Step aside Beverly Hills and Atlanta, there's a new group of wives -- and one man -- looking to rock the reality TV world with their recently launched show, "The Gems of Ruby Hill", which was shot in the backyard of the Tri-Valley.
And while they don't necessarily compare themselves to the women in "The Real Housewives" franchise, mostly because they all have worked and continue to work in different jobs, the cast members and Pleasanton residents all still very much encapsulate the fun, dramatic and unfiltered feel of any other reality TV show.
All while simultaneously highlighting their South Asian and Indian American heritage and culture.
"That kind of South Asian representation has been totally missing considering that Indians are one of the wealthiest minority groups," Anoop Judge, one of the cast members of the show who lives in the Ruby Hill community, told the Weekly. "With so many of them being in the tech industry, we should have had this kind of show in the Bay Area ... 15 years ago."
Created and produced by Nila Dhugga, a Hayward native who now lives in Tracy, the show follows the lives of a group of four women and one gay man, who have all worked hard to build their careers and lives in order to live in the affluent area of Ruby Hill in south Pleasanton.
The show was shot in October 2021 and followed the group of Indian friends and Ruby Hill neighbors for two months as they did everything from planning weddings to throwing axes at Limitless Axes and Ales in Pleasanton.
Dhugga told the Weekly that the underlying theme of the show was not just that these families have fairly normal lives, they also are still putting in the work in their day-to-day careers, which play off their culture and South Asian heritage of being hard workers.
"For every episode there's something really positive as far as South Asian excellence and success that's shown," she said. "Each episode deals with very real, South Asian issues. When we live in America, we're raising our families and kids here, but we still want to hold on to our tradition."
That's especially true for Judge, who came to the U.S. after being born and raised in New Delhi, to continue her career in law.
After working as a litigator for roughly seven years, she had to quit her job in order to take care of her high school daughter who developed a medical condition. It was during that time when she rediscovered her passion for writing, which came naturally given that she had a bachelor's degree in English literature.
That's when she decided to write her first book, "The Rummy Club", which touched on topics that she experienced in her own life as an immigrant such as marriage, friendships and family businesses.
She has since gone on to continue her successful career in publishing with three other published books and another on the way.
But for Judge, being on "The Gems of Ruby Hill" was particularly special in the sense that it blew the door wide open for more representation in the TV world for Indians and South Asian, which for her was already an issue in the publishing industry.
That sentiment was also shared by Rani Dhillon, one of the other cast members who is also the CEO and owner of NOBLE Hospice and Home Health Care, a hospice health care facility in Fremont.
However, her experience being born in the U.S. and coming from a family who had big agricultural ties in California's early history gave Dhillon a slightly different perspective coming into the show. She not only wanted to live up to her family's legacy, she wanted to be able to represent the kids like her who grew up in predominantly white areas and faced racism to show that people like her could also make a name for themselves.
"Unfortunately, I was the victim of a lot of racism being one of the only brown people in a very predominantly white affluent area," Dhillon said. "I feel like I have a little bit more to prove just because I was raised here ... I want to make sure that people know that the South Asian community has a lot to offer."
That's why when she got the call from Dhugga to get involved with the TV show -- even though she had originally planned to only be involved behind the scenes -- she knew she had to put together just the right group of women to be able to really show that South Asians also lived these glamorous and successful lives just like any other person living in the U.S.
But at the end of the day, Dhugga said it really couldn't have even started without her brother's newly founded streaming service, Cpics, which is where the show airs.
She said that even though there had already been discussion within certain groups in Los Angeles to create a show like "The Gems of Ruby Hill", it wasn't until Cpics came about that she was actually able to see the project come to fruition simply because it's a streaming service that solely features South Asian shows and movies.
"Right now, streaming is so popular, but Netflix and Amazon, they're very happy to say that they have their one South Asian represented show ... and they think that's enough," Dhugga said. "For Cpics to be able to support something like 'Gems of Ruby Hill' or the many other shows that are coming out on that platform and to give these types of shows a house, a place ... I think that's amazing."
Cpics is currently running a 30-day free trial for anyone wanting to check out the show. The first episode aired on July 29, with episode two out now and episode three coming out on Friday.