Netflix recently dropped its latest reality TV show Bling Empire and it’s by far the best reality show from the streaming platform (yes, better than Selling Sunset).
Bling Empire features a cast of young, hot Asian and Asian Americans who are living the high life.
The cast ranges in wealth a bit with some, like Kane Lim and Christine Chiu, so rich they can shut down Rodeo Drive. Others, like Kim Lee and Kelly Mi Lee, definitely come from money but don’t have the unlimited funds of Anna Shay. And then there’s Kevin Kreider. Kevin is, in comparison, a regular Joe, who is essentially poor compared to his friends.
Considering the show comes from the brains behind Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Bling Empire is surprising light on the frivolous drama. Sure, there’s necklacegate. And then there was the whole penis pump incident. But the back half of the episodes focuses on a group of friends who seem to truly care about each other and are just going through the ups and downs of life.
We watch as Kevin finally decides to search for his birth parents and looks to learn more about Korean culture. We follow Kim, who hasn’t seen her father since she was eight years old, as she starts confronting her painful family history.
But most of all we have some truly endearing moments. The friends come together to throw Kevin’s first surprise birthday party and bond with his adopted mom. Kane and Kevin go on a search for Kim’s father, only to have to break the news that he passed away. (Although the trip might’ve been a bit suspect, the two truly seemed to have good intentions at heart, hoping only to provide Kim with closure.)
And then, of course, there’s Christine and the shocking revelation at the end that she isn’t just a shallow frigid bitch but actually struggled emotionally for a decade at the hands of her in-laws because her husband couldn’t get her pregnant — a fact she kept to herself to protect him.
But perhaps what truly separates Bling Empire from shows like Vanderpump Rules is that many of the cast members actually seem, well, nice.
Yes, they love to buy $15,000 Dolce & Gabbana sneakers but they are also extremely generous and caring when it counts.
Kane, despite his ridiculous wardrobe, seems like the kind of supportive best friend everyone should be so lucky to have. And Anna is the loving older mentor you can turn to for advice when you’re boyfriend is an emotionally abusive jerk (ahem, Kelly and Andrew).
Listen, I love ridiculous reality TV drama as much as the next person. I lived for Stassi Schroeder‘s annual birthday meltdowns and watched as Christine Quinn verbally assaulted Chrishell Strauss at a pool party.
But Bling Empire delivers a little more than that. Drama, friendship, and love. What more could you ask for?
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she’s not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.