If you’re looking for a show with glitz, glamor, and a whole lot of drama, check out the new reality TV series “Bling Empire” on Netflix. The first season of the Los Angeles-based docuseries is available to watch on the streaming platform today. Here’s the dish about “Bling Empire,” including everything you want to know about the cast and upcoming season two.
About “Bling Empire” on Netflix
“Bling Empire” follows the lives of fabulously wealthy Asians and East Asian Americans living in Los Angeles, California. This group of socialites seems to revolve around Kane Lim, a 31-year-old investor, actor, and entrepreneur from Singapore. Kane’s a loyal friend with a heart of gold who befriends newcomer Kevin Kreider, introducing him to his rich friends and couture fashion.
Often considered a real-life version of the hit movie “Crazy Rich Asians,” this highly binge-able reality series first aired on March 10, 2021.
Season one is currently available to watch and includes the following eight episodes:
1. Necklacegate 90210
Meet LA’s Asian socialites. Chinatown comes to Beverly Hills, just for Christine. Anna jets Kelly to Paris for her birthday and then sends a message.
2. Tale of Two Trusts
Ill will lingers as Christine faces Anna, who shows her hand–and more–to Kevin while playing matchmaker. Family pressure looms for the Chius.
3. What’s in Anna’s Shower?
Cherie welcomes her baby while still expecting a proposal. Kim and Anna clash after a raunchy discovery. Kelly throws a party–who threw the drink?
4. Beverly Hills Heartbreak
Kim strikes out at Kane’s bowling bash. Christine confronts Gabe. Kevin explores his origins. Andrew hurls accusations, and Kelly makes her move.
5. Private Lies
It’s birthdays and Botox as Kevin strips and Christine impresses. Kim hunts for her dad. Kelly and Kevin step out, but can she resist Andrew’s lead?
6. The Other Side
Kelly plays with fire–and Andrew. Medium Tyler Henry helps Cherie find closure. Blocked in both love and life, Kevin breaks down during hypnosis.
7. Kevin and Kane Take Charleston
Tired of the judgment, Kelly dodges rumors. Kim worries about reconnecting with her father, so Kevin and Kane embark on an excellent adventure.
8. Will You Marry Me?
Kevin breaks the heartrending news to Kim. “E is for Hermès” as the friends shop the feelings away in Vegas. Cherie shocks everybody.
Netflix announced it would renew “Bling Empire” and its other popular LA reality show, “Selling Sunset,” in March 2021.
Will There Be a Season Two of “Bling Empire?”
The first season of “Bling Empire” was produced by Jeff Jenkins Productions, the executive producer of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” They specialize in the type of show called a “docusoap,” which documents a real person or group of people in an unscripted way. Netflix renewed “Bling Empire” for a second season, so docusoap fans, rejoice! More escapist, guilty-pleasure episodes are on their way.
Showrunner Brandon Panaligan recently revealed what we can expect from another season of “Bling Empire.” He said we’ll see even more parts of the group’s lives than we did in the first season, including meeting more of their friends and family. Panaligan also hopes we’ll get to see more of Guy Tang’s Filipino husband, Almar, in season two.
All of the familiar faces of “Bling Empire” are expected to return, but it’s questionable whether Cherie Chan and Jessey Lee will be back. Chan is highly concerned about the fame the show brings and how it will affect her growing family. We’re also unsure if Kelly’s partner Andrew will return — have they finally called it quits once and for all? Also, be on the lookout for newcomers like Filipina actress-singer Heart Evangelista and Dorothy Wang, the daughter of Chinese real estate billionaire Roger Wang.
About the “Bling Empire” Cast
Most, but not all, of the “Bling Empire” cast, would be considered very wealthy. From models to trust fund babies, here’s a look at who’s who from season one.
Kevin was born in Seoul, Korea, and adopted by a family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He’s a male model who recently moved to LA to pursue a modeling career on the West Coast. Coming across as a regular guy, Kevin is a fish out of water among his new upper-class friends.
Kane is one of the first people Keven meets and befriends. He helps Kevin with his fashion but also has a deeper side to him that practices Buddhism. Kane is an investor and real estate developer from a wealthy family in Singapore. His family is also involved in shipping and the oil industry.
Christine is the Taiwanese-American wife of Dr. Chiu and mother to their son, Baby G, but she’s also a businesswoman who helped produce “Bling Empire” and co-founded Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery. Christine is also a philanthropist, couture collector, and past participant of “Dancing With the Stars.”
Dr. Chiu is a frequent guest on “Bling Empire” as the husband of Christine and Baby G’s proud papa. He’s a plastic surgeon and supposedly a direct descendant of the Song emperor (with claims to the throne if there still was one in China).
Kelly Mi Li:
Born in China, Kelly is an entrepreneur, film producer, and investor. She also helped produce “Bling Empire,” which chronicles her rocky relationship with actor Andrew Gray.
The on-again-off-again temperamental Andrew is Kelly’s boyfriend, but he’s also a Latino model and actor.
Eccentric heiress Anna Shay is the queen bee of the group. From American, Japanese, and Russian descent, her fortune comes from her father’s global defense contracting company (basically, weapons).
A Chinese heiress to a denim empire and a former pop star in Japan, Cherie is a sweet mother living with her boyfriend, Jessey Lee. She recently lost her mother and is awaiting the birth of her second child (and for a marriage proposal) when we meet her. Her visit with celebrity clairvoyant Tyler Henry proves comforting.
Jessey’s family made their money in the furniture industry. He’s the commitment-phobic boyfriend of Cherie and the father of her two children.
Kim is a famous DJ and a formal model of Vietnamese descent. She’s very close with her mother but has been estranged from her father since childhood. Her quest to find him becomes a big part of her journey in season one.
Chinese-American Jaime is the daughter of billionaire Ken Xie, founder, and CEO of a cybersecurity company. She’s also a fashion blogger and model.
Guy is a celebrity hairstylist and a singer-songwriter who’s a frequent guest on the show. Married to Almar Guevarra, we should be seeing more of them in season two, as Guy is planned to be a main lead in the show.
Who’s the Richest on “Bling Empire?”
There’s rich, and then, there’s wealthy. Kane Lim and Jessey Lee didn’t even bat an eye when they saw an item in the grocery store for $15,000 per piece. Kane even told Jessey to get two for his girlfriend; the ingredient only costs about as much as the bracelet on Jessey’s wrist, so it’s no big deal, right? Meanwhile, everyman Kevin’s eyes were bugging out of his head at the absurdity of the prices during this shopping trip in episode three.
Many of the people on “Bling Empire” appear to be in the top 1% in America, but who’s the wealthiest of them all? Heiress Anna Shay wins the contest with a cool net worth of $600 million. Anna’s wealth comes from selling her father’s defense technology company, Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE). Edward Shay founded the company in 1955, and it grew to become a major supplier of services to the U.S. Department of State, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Cherie Chan and Jessey Lee, who both hail from wealthy families, don’t even come close to Anna’s fortune even, with a combined worth of about $200 million. The Chius are in third place at about $80 million. Here’s where the rest of the cast stands:
- Jaime Xie: $50 million
- Kane Lim: $20 million
- Kim Lee: $10 million
- Kelly Mi Li: $5 million
And, as far as we know, Kevin Kreider’s wealth status is unknown. It was rumored that his net worth was upward of $10 million, but he laughed that suggestion off and called it a possible prediction of his future earnings.
Is “Bling Empire” for Real?
As with any reality TV series, viewers are wondering, are these people for real, or is this just another scripted “reality” show? What’s known is that this cast of people really do know each other behind the scenes and have spent time together off-camera. They are friends, friends-of-a-friend, romantic partners, and, sometimes, even rivals.
Showrunner Brandon Panaligan revealed to Oprah Magazine that the magic of the show comes from the cast already being invested in each other’s lives. He explained that there are no forced situations between strangers, so the dynamic feels more realistic than other reality series. Kevin Kreider also recently spoke about the realness of the unscripted show. New to the reality TV acting scene, Kevin found the filming of the show to be 100% real. He said, “I know what I went through, that was so real.”
Read All About Your Favorite Reality Shows and More on BuddyTV
“Bling Empire” is a reality television show that’s an easy escape from the grind of everyday life, much like Shonda Rhimes’ binge-worthy and steamy Bridgerton series (also available for streaming on Netflix).
Season one of “Bling Empire” followed cast members from Los Angeles to Paris, and we’re excited to see where the cast and crew head in season two. Kane Lee hopes it’s to his homeland because he’s dying to show America and his friends the “real” Singapore. As you wait for new episodes, keep up on all the latest gossip, drama, and news about your favorite TV shows, stars, and more on BuddyTV.
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV