Bling Empire (S2E1)
Kane and his shoe collection? That’s my Heartstopper.
They spend so much time in Paris I’m sick I’m ill why can’t that be me. Anyway, THEY’RE BACK. The Crazy Rich Asians of LA. The first season of this show was a pandemic hit for me - from Kane wearing fashion camo in South Carolina to Anna’s penis pump getting thrown out a window. It was awesome.
This opening episode threw a lot at us, including several new cast members. The most striking is definitely Mimi Morris (from a quick Google search, it seems as though she is pulling in first as the wealthiest person in season two). Christine and Dr. Chiu (and Baby G) halt their Paris fashion rush just to attend her wedding anniversary party. The Morrises have models wearing disco ball reflective wings, a bejeweled piano, seared sushi, incredible flower and butterfly arrangements, and a massive set of sparklers to set off when they kiss for the photo-op. Crazy shit.
Some things are the same: awkward bachelor Kevin, who gives me such strong second-hand embarrassment a lot of the time. He’s finally moved into an apartment where he’s got a mattress on the ground and sheets covered in stains (yes I vomited it’s true). It seems like they’re unfortunately going to push the Kevin x DJ Kim romance route this season after their enemies to friends arc the previous season. I think it’ll be a plotline that’s pretty unbearable to watch.
Kelly is officially single (gg bb) and Kane is the nosy bestie who lives for the infighting drama, especially between Christine and Anna. Can I just say that Christine is the Moira Rose of wigs? I swear every talking head has her with a different cut.
Anna and Christine's drama continues, thank god. They were the crux of the start of last season; we need them. Christine always feels the need to impress and Anna is unpredictable. Will she sledgehammer a wall in her closet in a dress and heels? Or will she sledgehammer a person? Only time will tell.
Anna’s moved into a new house (including but not limited to a gigantic wall of (probably not) loaded guns) and invited Christine over to check it out. It’s a weird move that ultimately and thankfully ends in a tense disagreement: Anna sees Christine as someone who’s trying too hard to be altruistic, a “pretend Martha Stewart,” when she’s just not because she cares so much about her public image. As always, Anna couldn’t give two shits about how anyone thinks of her; she doesn’t know her neighbors.
They basically argue about which of them is or isn’t impressed by money and things - kind of funny since we’re in Anna’s huge new house and Christine spends 400k a month on her Amex so...seems like Anna invited her over to antagonize her. Either way, there wouldn’t be a show here if people with huge amounts of money weren’t fucking insane.
Much happened last season, and I’m particularly interested in seeing where Kane goes this time - there were hints of things in the very last episode of a potential relationship, but I could also respect not wanting to go that far even for a reality show because of the impact that could have.
The most, most, most interesting tidbit of last season (spoiler alert) was Jessey and Cherie. They’ve got two kids, the second during last season, and they’re not married. Obviously, not everyone who has kids chooses to get married. But Cherie would love to be married and it means so much to her, so why aren’t they? Cherie proposed to him in the finale of last season. Loved her for going for it, but I honestly didn’t get much of a read on him.
It’s a reality show so it’s hard to tell what could be for drama and what could be real. Did he not propose just for the plot of the season? Cherie even goes ring shopping with Anna in this episode and Anna, who seems like a great friend if you’re on her good side, is confused about why they still aren’t married. It’s been forever since Cherie proposed and Jessey and their feng shui expert keep giving them reasons that it’s “not the right time.”
Jamie is back, seemingly with a more prominent role than the previous season. At the end of the season two premiere, she’s having lunch with her friend Leah who’s known Cherie for a long time. She unknowingly drops a bomb on Jamie (and ME): Jessey was married to a woman named Crystal and they had two kids together. Does he have a fear of marriage or is he somehow still married to Crystal??? What’s going on???
I’m so excited to watch the rest of this season - following rich people on a reality show in the US isn’t a unique concept, but the cast here is entirely unique in the genre. There are a lot of cultural factors at play that add another layer to the drama, and it’s just so much fun to watch. Community is such a huge emphasis, especially with grounded characters like Kane and Cherie who seem to know everybody. Cherie better be getting the wedding of her dreams this season.
Bling Empire is streaming on Netflix.
UPDATE: WELL. I WATCHED EPISODE TWO.