<3 Mike Shouhed <3 <3

Does anybody else need to talk about Mike Shouhed, resident Persian Jewish beefcake on Shahs of Sunset? Because I do.

Like the rest of Persianity, I was pretty poised to hate this show (blind rage is a normal knee-jerk reaction when the aberoo of our people is at stake, must be in the blood) but it’s now in season 2 and I’ve watched every episode and not ironically either. I mean, I am buying the episodes on Amazon streaming because that’s how into this show I am, I am into it to the point that I am willing to pay to see it.

Yes: the cast behaves like the world’s oldest 12-year-olds, and at the risk of committing girl-on-girl crime the girls mostly have unfortunate plastic surgery and fake hair and wear those horrible clompy shoes with the enormous platform and pencil-thin stiletto that make them look like sexy donkeys and no I don’t care if they’re Loubies, ladies, they’re still REALLY ugly and please stop wearing those awful bandage dresses (except Asa, she gets a pass for doing her own thing).

BUT as a cast they’re also doing good things by talking about family problems, religion, race, sex, and what it’s like to be gay in the Iranian community. I am just waiting for Dr. Holakouee to come in and help them with some real talk. Maybe the last episode of the series will be them all fighting each other in a ring, gladiator-style, with Dr. Holakouee yelling at them, and the winner is crowned the actual Shah of Sunset? Make it happen, Ryan Seacrest.

So Mike Shouhed, OMG.

He carries himself like a regal English bulldog, all neck and shoulders and enormous arms and prominent brow bone and shiny, shiny teeth. When the small yappy one starts talking about tasers and knives and hitting people he holds her face in his enormous hand and tells her to calm down and makes my heart thump. He takes his season 2 Fiji-water girlfriend on a date in an Italian restaurant and kisses her hand and tells her he wants to take her home to his mamanjoon and my face burns with envy. Although I like this girlfriend because unlike the season 1 girl, she’s not stick-thin with an inflatable chest, she’s just a regular rich girl with fake eyelashes and that’s far more accessible. And when his maman tells him that he’s not a hustler, I jump up at the TV and yell “yes he is!” because, let me be real here, he has hustled his way right into my heart. I like it when he wears his hair in that Cary Grant style, all smooth and non-spiky, which doesn’t happen often enough, and I want to replace all of his sunglasses, but I’m willing to overlook these things.

Really, I just want to thank him for fulfilling all my fantasies of Iranian take-charge machismo with a sensitive side and a heaping helping of bouncer-worthy biceps. It’s like the perfect man conjured by my 13-year-old self has come to life and I can hardly believe he exists, even if he’s just a character on a reality show as far as I’ll ever know.

Mike Shouhed: You’ll always be my Shah of Sunset. Now let me squeeze your muscle-y arms.

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