Strap in everybody, Netflix is about to blow you away, once again, with its latest reality series: Bling Empire. And before you click out of this page because you value your brain cells and don’t indulge in reality shows, let me tell you; this one is worth the watch.
Unlike many of Netflix’s previous reality offerings, like Too Hot To Handle and Love is Blind, Bling Empire doesn’t place hot young people in absurd situations and watch them run after love like hamsters in a wheel. Instead, it displays the real (although otherworldly) lives of the absurdly wealthy – particularly the absurdly wealthy Asian community – living in LA. It’s a lot like watching Crazy Rich Asians, but without the comfort of knowing it’s all fiction.
Of course, like others of its ilk, (think the Kardashians) the series follows the lives of ridiculously hot young people who live lives so completely unrelatable to most of us – but therein lies its appeal. Seeing how the other half lives – the plastic surgery parties, the shopping sprees, the trips to Paris for dinner – is so alien that it gets hard to looks away as the absurdity just continues. It’s excellent escapism that for some might also be aspirational (No judgement if having a Botox bar at your next birthday party is your thing. Please invite me.)
We’re introduced to DJ and model Kim Lee (who wears Kylie Jenner’s face with such confidence it’s like she was actually born with it), Anna Shay (who’s wealth came from weapons and who’s reportedly worth $600 million, making her the wealthiest Bling Empire cast member), and Dr. Gabriel Chiu and his wife Christine (who grapple with weather or not to have another child using a surrogate), amongst numerous, fabulous others.
Thrown into this whirlwind of wealth is super hottie and model Kevin Taejin Kreider, who is reportedly the only one who “doesn’t come from wealth”, and is still worth a cosy $10 million. Kevin’s role in the show is to voice the surprise that all the viewers watching feel when he encounters the eccentricities of his uber-rich clique. Plus, he’s just nice to look at.
What’s especially enjoyable about this particular show, though, is that despite the number of zeros in their bank accounts, or the number of shoes in their numerous walk-in closets, most of the people Bling Empire introduces us to have heart.
For anyone who enjoyed the Crazy Rich Asian movie, and especially for those who loved the series of books, Bling Empire is going to scratch an itch that most other movies and TV shows don’t.
If you’re going to destroy valuable brain cells on any reality show, let it be this one.