I have such a love/hate relationship with Bravo. I love to hate it. I hate how much I love it. Given the network’s newest brainchild, Shahs of Sunset, I am hatefully smitten. I CANNOT WAIT to watch. In a recent press release, Bravo fills in viewers on what is sure to be our next very guilty pleasure.
The premise of what is being touted as a “docu-series” follows the stories of six Persian-American friends in Los Angeles. The kicker? While we are used to watching beautiful young people navigate friendships, social scenes, and budding careers, this program also focuses on a different aspect of the soon-to-be introduced group. The series will watch its cast members as they work towards successful positions in California while balancing the family and traditions of their old-world community.
The show will film the young men and women as they create individual identities and new opportunities while facing the pressures put upon them by family to settle down within their culture. We will join the cast mates as they socialize with the creme de la creme, shop at Pretty Women style Rodeo Drive boutiques, and bypass the red velvet rope at the hottest clubs. However, the most intriguing part of the show (for me) deals with Bravo newbies juggling these opulent scenarios with the traditional customs of their family’s values.
Even better? The king of reality television–Ryan Seacrest himself–is jumping E!’s ship expanding his network-ial (new word) horizons to produce the Bravo show along side Adam Sher and Pete Tartaglia. Even though I am strongly opposed to all things Kardashian, I am quite on board with all things Seacrest. It’s quite the conundrum, but I’m working my way through it…with counseling…from Andy Cohen. Don’t I wish? Read on to see the bios of the stars of Shahs of Sunset!
Set your DVRs and TIVOs dear readers! Shahs of Sunset premieres on Bravo Sunday, March 11 at 10 PM ET.
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After that pesky little football game sidelined the Mob Wives last week, the ladies were back last night with extra drama to make up for their absence.
The episode opens with Renee Graziano speaking with ex-husband Junior Pagan about how she feels an impending sense of doom. However, she believes it is because of her loony friends having such heated arguments with each other. She wasn’t too keen on hearing that Ramona has been talking smack about her all over town. Renee is also stressed about Junior’s upcoming indictment. The lady has a lot on her plate.
Drita D’avanzo discusses the state of her relationship with Lee with her daughter. She brings up the “D” word, and while I am glad she’s talking about this to her daughter, it is irking me that she’s doing it on camera. Her daughter tells her that Lee has promised to take all of the family on a vacation and she’d like to go to Hawaii. Drita gets choked up by this revelation.
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Oh Atlanta… I am thankful to you for many reasons. You’ve got peaches. You’ve got the Falcons (Rise up! I know nothing about NFL teams except for their tag lines), you’ve got the best shopping for those of us in the South who live off I-85 (thank you Phipps Plaza!) who think fine apparel comes from Target (a lot of it does. IT DOES). And you’ve got the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Bless you fair Georgian city. Let’s get right to the newest RHOA gossip, shall we?
Just because she’s starring on Bravo’s sure to be latest hit Don’t Be Tardy for the Wedding with her new husband Kroy Biermann doesn’t mean that Kim Zolciak has forgotten her RHOA roots. After being the palest wig wearer for four seasons, many speculated she would be taking the Bethenny Frankel route and not returning to the show that made her a star household name.
Fear not, dear readers. Kim’stwitterverse (of course, where else?) has been abuzz with rumors that the fair Kim (no pun intended…okay, pun totally intended which is why I italicized) would not be returning to Bravo’s Atlanta franchise for season 5. On Friday, Kim pacified many a worried viewer, tweeting, “I’ll be back don’t believe rumors!!”
In fact, when many Kim followers started to voice their concern that the voluminous wig wearer was placating her masses, her twitters tweeters tweet peeps fans were relieved when Kim reiterated, “I’ll be back!!! Xxx”
Even though there is no official word from Bravo as to the season five cast, I, for one, can rest assured that if Kim’s wig doesn’t grace my screen next season, I can hopefully watch a twitter inspired video network of her future life. #trademarkedandregisteredsaidtwittervideofeedsobackoffpeoplewhowanttobeonsharktank
In other, and equally important RHOA news, Phaedra Parks is speaking out on eurweb.com about her place on the show and her new career as a funeral director.
As we all know, Phaedra isn’t just a reality star, she’s a savvy business woman and attorney. And due to that, she’s hoping that the show serves as an advertisement for her new other worldly business ventures. It appears that she was picked up for the show just in time to realize her true dream.
Phaedra tells the site, “It wasn’t that I had so much of a desire to be on the Real Housewives of Atlanta. It came at a great time. I was on bed rest. I was pregnant and it was a good opportunity for me to really expand my brand because I had produced TV shows.”
She continues, “I am an entertainment attorney, but I had never been in front of the screen so I understood all the workings of reality except for being a true cast mate. So it gave me an opportunity to say ‘Hey, I have diversified and I can do every part of TV now.’ I know the legal side. I know the technical side and I know the artist side of it.’”
While it’s easy for viewers to see that being a part of the show was a big jump start for Phaedra, she is quick to admit that viewers are the the ones who make the call as to who is popular, who is hated, who needs to stay, and who needs to go. Regardless, Phaedra is very happy with the part she’s played in the franchise and shares what she believes to be the most important aspect of her time with Bravo.
Phaedra asserts, “I think as black people, we have to stop saying this show represents our whole race. We have to vote with our viewership and say ‘On the show we want to see professionals. We want to see mothers. We want to see whatever it is that you actually want to see…[u]nfortunately, as viewers we have sort of bought into the stereotypes that the mass media has shown us for years and we glorify it. One of our biggest characters on there is probably very stereotypical of what we want to admonish as a people, but people love to say ‘Oh we love to see her cut up because that’s what we’re tuning in to see.’”
Amen, Phaedra. I have always thought she brought the comic relief (pickle photo shoots and baby poop, anyone?), but I love to hear her intelligent side give the general opinion of the show. She is, of course, totally correct… people want drama. Sadly, we wouldn’t be tuning in in droves to see the women succeeding in their professional lives. We just like to see Nene Leakes and Kim go at it. #SadForUs
“It’s unfortunate, but I think we have been programmed to want to see drama,” Phaedra continues. “We want to see discord. And when you see people getting along, instead of us actually praising ‘Oh wow, they’re getting along. There’s teamwork. There’s camaraderie. There’s things that’s positive about us as black women,’ people will say ‘Oh, that’s boring. That’s so boring. We don’t want to see that.’ I think we sort of went in a direction where we subscribe to drama and we appreciate that more than sensible behavior.”
In the interview, Phaedra veers away from the show and discusses her dream to own and operate a funeral home. I have to say that for once I don’t think this is a story line Bravo was smart enough to think up on its own, let alone encourage. No offense Andy Cohen, but I do think this has been the long time brainchild of Phaedra herself.
The star speaks candidly about her passion for owning her own mortuary. Phaedra states, “I developed a big desire to be in the funeral home business about five or six years ago. I had a lot of friends that passed away and I was the person that would plan their homegoing services, so that’s how the interest started.” She reveals, “The funeral home I’m going open will be fabulous and the services will be a celebration of life. It will be a family business. My husband, my mother, and my brother will be involved. It’s going to be a great legacy we can leave for our son.”
Bless you, Phaedra. I wish you had been around when I had to plan the funerals of family members. No, I am not Phaedra’s biggest fan, but I do have to applaud what seems like a sincere effort to follow her passion. Bottom line, I do think that if this was the last season we saw of RHOA, ten years from now Phaedra would be embalming our loved ones. And that’s solid on her part.
Finally, turning away from the macabre, I have new cast members to report on…or not report on, as the case may be. Thankfully the Atlanta Journal Constitution is relaying that CNN magnate Ted Turner (the same man who is not, I repeat happily is NOT, Marlo Hampton’s rich older sugar daddy)’s daughter Laura Turner Seydel has been approached by Bravo to join the fifth season.
While she made an appearance on a recent episode to tout her charity, Laura is however way too busy not being uber-dramatic actually doing volunteer work to have her world filmed for the Bravo series.
The site reports that while she did enjoy her minutes in the limelight, she will be turning down Bravo’s offer. Her spokesperson Denise Elsbree claims, “[Laura] really enjoyed that. It was fun. She was able to promote Captain Planet. She works hard to get the message out about the group’s different initiatives.”
After graciously declining Bravo’s invitation, her spokesperson (how many times do I get to quote the actual spokesperson – not a ‘source’ or an ‘insider’ when referring to Bravo-lebrities? Answer: never) states, “[Laura] has a really complicated schedule. She’s on all sorts of boards of foundations and travels all the time. She’s flattered to be considered but there’s no way she could do it.” More respect for you, Mrs. Seydel, more respect.
If you have digested all of this wonderful RHOA info, then clearly you are ready for a preview of tonight’s episode which airs on Bravo at 9PM ET. It’s the third installment of the “ladies’” trip to South Africa and the drama is still high between Marlo and Sheree. When Nene is the voice of reason in screaming match, you know it’s bad! The smalls head to Sheree’s friend’s for dinner while the talls head to Nobu. There is a good deal of fire juggling and Sassafras. The smalls try to set up Kandi with a struggling actor and model, but she didn’t come all the way to Africa to find someone who is fakes it till they make it. With the talls, Cynthia is disappointed that she is with the group that doesn’t want to soak up any culture. Nene eats her sushi with a fork. Can’t wait! A preview clip is below.
ARE YOU EXCITED THAT KIM WILL BE BACK FOR SEASON 5? THOUGHTS ON PHAEDRA’S INTERVIEW? ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT LAURA TURNER SEYDEL WAS APPROACHED FOR THE SHOW?
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Last night’s time with the gang from Jersey Shore was just how I like it: Light-hearted, drunken tomfoolery without excessive urine, blurring of Britneys, or vomit, and a stage-five clinger thrown in for good measure. Speaking of measurement, Mike logged in some quality phone time with the Unit.
Mike is disappointed when he calls the Decibel and finds out he’s in Miami. This means he’s not able to come to the Shore to tell Jionni about Snooki’s situation with the Situation. Mike is thrilled to learn, however, that his brother is hooking up with Deena’s sister. There were so many bleeps in that portion of the conversation I felt like Mike was a smoke detector. Mike is being an evil genius right now… minus the genius part.
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Sometimes it is easy to forget that the ladies of Mob Wives are called “mob wives” for a reason. However, due to the recent drama with Renee Graziano’s father and ex-husband, the women seem less like reality stars and more like the products of their crime family pasts.
Renee’s mobster father Anthony “TG” Graziano was just indicted on racketeering charges… charges that were a result of Renee’s ex-husband Hector “Junior” Pagan going all Benedict Arnold on Renee’s family by wearing a wire to get information from his former father-in-law.
A recent article from the online edition of the New York Post spoke about Renee’s breakdown outside the New York courthouse this week after her father was charged. She talked openly about her ex-husband (who she had hoped to reconcile with on the current season which filmed months ago). Her ex, as you know, ratted out her father by becoming an FBI informant.
As Renee’s father was taken away by U.S. Marshals, the Mob Wives star couldn’t handle the pressure of the given situation. And who can blame her? It was during this real life “Usual Suspects” moment that Renee realized perhaps Junior’s promises of a stronger relationship were nothing more than an attempt to get closer to her father to garner information for a DEA investigation, which would send her father back to the clink. Shame on you, Junior. Not that I’m pro-mobster, but I am totally against betraying your loved ones in exchange for immunity for your own misgivings.
A tearful Renee told the magazine, “They’re in ‘The Life’ with you one day, and then cooperating the next.”
Renee hasn’t seen Junior, who is reportedly in the witness protection program, but she is devastated by the potential effect on AJ, her 17-year-old son, with Junior. She reveals, “My son is taking this very hard. He loves his father.” Continuing, the mama bear is adamant that she “won’t forgive [Junior] for what he did to my son.”
Renee admits that had she known of Junior’s intentions she would have tipped off her father, regardless of the pair’s tumultuous relationship. She cites Junior’s actions as an “immense betrayal.”
“I would have told my father — 100 percent,” Renee promises the magazine.
The article points out that had Renee tipped off her father, she likely would have sealed her ex-husband’s fate. According to the New York Post, the mob is quick to extinguish government informants. As someone who has always been indifferent about Renee on the show, I do hate to hear that she could have potentially been put in such an explosive situation.
With the cameras still rolling for the VH1 hit, Renee chooses to focus on the positive things the series has done for women in her position. While she’s the star of a show which highlights the feminine side of the Mafia world, Renee wants to point out, “This is not about the men. It’s about what women go through.”
And speaking of turncoats, everyone’s favorite overly-enhanced second season addition, Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, gave an interview to Good Day L.A. explaining the seemingly counterproductive concept of having a reality show about people whose family members are literally trying to remain anonymous… you know, because they’re hardened criminals and all.
Huffingtonpost reports on that appearance, saying that in this reality world of the mob, according to our love Big Ang “everybody rats” and the series is in no way on La Cosa Nostra’s radar.
Big Ang can relate to the world of informants, as she herself was arrested in a cocaine bust in 2001 because of one. She admits, “A girlfriend of mine, an informer, had a wire … She went into witness protection and then we all got arrested. I did house arrest … We had parties every day for six months.” Sounds kind of fun, right?
It certainly makes people wonder why these women would do a show when most of their family and friends are involved in a very secret–and very dangerous–crime ridden world. However, Big Ang believes that the secrecy involved with being part of a mob family rarely exists nowadays.
She explains, “How could it be secretive? Everybody’s rats … There’s no more secrets, they’re all ratting each other out. It’s over.”
Of course Big Ang is in the perfect place to call out the turn-coating ways of infamous Mafia crime families. Of her own family, linked to the mob, she admits, “Thank god they’re dead.” It’s definitely hard to hate on a show that exposes your family secrets when your family isn’t around to watch it!
[Photos Credit: WENN]
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF JUNIOR TURNING ON RENEE’S DAD? IS HE JUSTIFIED TO EXPOSE A CRIMINAL OR DID HE OVER STEP THE BONDS OF FAMILY LOYALTY? THOUGHTS ON BIG ANG’S INTERVIEW?
The relationship drama never ceases with the ladies of Teen Mom (seasons 1 AND 2) as y’all well know. This week alone it was reported that a few of MTV’s chosen teen mothers want to get pregnant again. However, if they keep breaking up with their boyfriends, that thankfully won’t happen.
The main young mom to which I’m referring? Maci Bookout who appears in the first installment of the franchise. She is apparently back on the market as Hollywoodlife.com is reporting she has broken up with boyfriend of nearly two years Kyle King.
The blog cites an UsWeekly article which states the couple have broken up just a few days before celebrating what would have been their two-year anniversary. Viewers know that Maci has been anything but shy regarding a wedding with Kyle, and she has also spoken more than once about quickly starting a family with her beau. Those assertions allegedly caused many an argument between the pair, as Kyle wasn’t totally on board with kick starting such a planned future.
An insider claims, “Maci wanted something way more serious. She was never happy enough just being a couple. She always wanted more, more, more, whether it was a ring or another baby.”
The source continues, stating that Kyle was more than content to just date and live together at their place in Tennessee. “He broke it off. It’s really sad because they love each other but she pushed him away.”
Maci, however is denying these claims, and where do reality stars go to denounce such rumors? None other than their personal soapbox, Twitter. The MTV sweetheart tweeted yesterday, “Hahaha well once again the tabloids are wrong … Don’t waste your time!”
The magazine is alleging that that the straw that broke the camel’s back happened while Maci and Kyle were recently visiting California. After a heated fight about the state of their relationship on said trip, Maci allegedly left Kyle in a tizzy and stayed out partying until 3 AM. When will these girls learn that partying isn’t going to solve any of their problems?
The insider reveals, “Maci’s been partying way more lately [and] Kyle is not okay with it. She’s just not the girl he started dating.” Sounds like someone didn’t sign up for the life that comes with dating a “reality star.” Kind of makes me respect the poor guy. Kind of.
If these reports are on the up and up, it seems that Maci isn’t taking too well to the single life. The source claims, “She’s super, super upset right now, [b]ut she’s trying to keep herself busy. She’s just focused on Bentley and being an amazing mom.” If the break-up rumors are true, I do hope that Maci is focusing more on her son and less on the party circuit to get over ol’ Kyle.
In other news, Tuesday’s episode of Teen Mom revealed that Leah Messer had cheated on her husband Corey Simms a mere week before the two got married. We all know now that Leah and Corey have divorced, and she has moved on with Jeremy Calvert.
The same site is alleging that Corey is doing his best to win back the mother of his twin daughters.
Citing an In Touch report, a friend of the former pair says, “Corey dumped his girlfriend and bought a home in order to lure Leah into his life again.”
There has been speculation that both Corey and Leah were unfaithful during the course of their courtship and union. Leah recently admitted to having sex with her ex a week before their wedding, while Corey has been accused of cheating while the duo was still married… but after they separated.
The insider tells the magazine, “He wants to prove to her that he’s a changed man this time.” I would like to think Corey is a changed man, however, this kind of change isn’t what I was hoping for in the young father.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE RECENT TEEN MOM NEWS? DO YOU THINK THAT KYLE HAS BROKEN UP WITH MACI? SHOULD COREY TRY TO WIN BACK LEAH? SHOULD SHE GO BACK TO HIM? ARE THESE QUESTIONS AS RIDICULOUS TO YOU AS THEY ARE TO ME? SAY IT AIN’T SO, COREY!
Last night’s Teen Mom 2 was thirty minutes longer than it needed to be. Why MTV, do you need to draw out this drama past its allotted hour? If the show had just been in its normal time slot, I wouldn’t have seen Leah file for divorce or Kailyn cheat on Jordan with Jo. Of course, I also wouldn’t have seen Chelsea work towards her GED (you go, girl!), or Jenelle check herself into rehab for her addiction issues. Oh MTV, you’re both a b*tch and a lover…
Jenelle is on probation, but she’ll be scott-free if she can stay clean for one year. She’s not allowed to fraternize with anyone who has pending drug charges, and that includes Kieffer. She’s back in Barbara’s house, and it’s back to status quo with the pair cussing and screaming at each other in front of poor Jace. This child deserves so much more than these MTV cameras are providing. Jenelle feels like her world is coming to an end because she can’t smoke and she can only communicate with Kieffer via phone. She talks to him about breaking up since they won’t be able to see each other in person for at least twelve months. He’s on board. That should tell the out-of-touch-with-reality Jenelle a lot.
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On last night’s Love & Hip Hop, it was the Producer’s Tell All! I have to say I didn’t hate the format as much as I thought I would. With the ladies not yelling over one another, it was easier to get more questions answered… and they seemed to ask the questions viewers would want to know, aka no John Salley softballs!
The show’s executive producer Mona Scott-Young reveals that because one several cast members now refuse to be in the same room together, coughs Chrissy, the show has to forgo the traditional reunion format. Instead, viewers are treated to a behind the scenes look at the inner-workings of the show as well as one-on-one interviews with the cast.
First up, Jim Jones! The man, the myth, the dude at the center of a lot of the ladies’ drama. This season’s new cast mate, Yandy Smith was the rapper’s manager for the past eight years, and she was supposedly brought on at the request of his girlfriend Chrissy Lampkin. However, quickly, the ladies began feuding, with Jim caught in the middle. It resulted in a total breakdown of Jim and Yandy’s professional relationship which we watched play out over the course of the season.
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