Tale Of Two Trusts
What’s In Anna’s Shower?
Beverly Hills Heartbreak
The Other Side
Kevin and Kane Take Charleston
Will You Marry Me?
A new year rolls round and with it, a new wave of reality TV offerings. Next up on the endless conveyor belt of contrived drama is Bling Empire, a reality series shining the spotlight on LA’s extravagant Asian and Asian-Americans. Glamorous parties, cat fights and eye-wateringly expensive shopping trips are the norm here, allowing Bling Empire to tick all the reality TV boxes while remaining indifferently average and forgettable in almost everything else. It’s also a show that tries very hard to bring Crazy, Rich Asians to life every chance it gets.
If you’ve been following the reality TV circuit, by now you’ll know the drill. The 8 episodes available on Netflix each clock in at 30 minutes or so, following a group of characters who live out their lives while flamboyantly showcasing their lifestyle and wealth. In the midst of a pandemic when millions have lost their jobs and others are struggling through furlough schemes, this seems like a bit of an insensitive time to release this show – especially on the back of Kim Kardashian’s viral Tweet about her private party.
I’m not saying this is the fault of Netflix or those in charge of the show, but some of these episodes – especially when our cast bemoan their lifestyles – can feel pretty tone deaf.
The eccentric group of characters we follow across the season include Christine Chui, naturally the Queen Bee of the group after her husband, Dr Chui, would have been in line to be an Emperor in China.
Alongside her is former model and DJ, Kim Lee. Kelly Mi Li is here too, a girl who ran away from a boy… into the arms of another; the Red Ranger from Power Rangers Megaforce no less! You’ve also got Jaime, Kevin, Kane and half Japanese/ half Russian woman Anna Shay. The narrative (because let’s face it, there’s always a thinly veiled story in shows like this) begins on Chinese New Year and progresses through a variety of parties, fights and big character drama until the final episode.
There’s a will he/won’t he marriage proposal involving another key character Cherie too, which progresses all the way through to the final episode with boyfriend Jessey. She’s desperate to get an engagement ring and during the final episode, makes a pretty big decision regarding her future.
It’s all standard reality guff and if you enjoyed Selling Sunset and its kin, you’re sure to have a good time with this. It’s not particularly great TV, and there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done better in other shows, but the timing of this one is ultimately the biggest hindrance. Do we really need another show about rich people involved in contrived fighting with other rich people?
Verdict - 2.5/10