Bling Empire 1×01 Review

It is a surprisingly good shitshow.

Well, there’s a lot to unpack here, starting with the episode title: Necklacegate 90210. What am I in for? I have a strong feeling this is going to be the lovechild of Crazy Rich Asians and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I’m excited and afraid at the same time.

The show starts very slow, introducing you to all the rich Asians in LA, and honestly, for all the money they have, I have literally never heard of any of them in my life. Also, they seem kinda boring.

The first two to be introduced are Kevin Kreider – the adopted Korean baby of a white family from Philadelphia – and Kane Lim – the Singaporean who will mention his family is in oil and real state ad nauseam. Kevin is all about how he grew up being the only Asian out there and how he’s basically a banana, not knowing shit about his own roots. Somehow he met Kane and he’s now introducing him to the culture he’s never experienced.

All we know so far about Kane is that he’s rich and a Buddhist, and that he wears more bling bling than Liberace. They say they’re just extremely good friends but I’m suspicious. This bromance of theirs smells fishy, I bet they’re fucking each other on the side. No shame in that, especially when Kevin is a model and looks like this:

More power to Kane if he’s tapping that.

We meet Jaime Xie, a Silicon Valley trust fund baby who’s as dull as stale water. I shed a tear when she told over brunch how she wanted to be an Olympian horse rider. Unfortunately for her, her horses only fly Emirates Airlines and that was too expensive. As heart-shattering as this confession was, she managed to move on with her life. Buddha truly sends the toughest battles to his strongest warriors.

There’s also Kim Lee, a Vietnamese DJ who’s arguably “the Calvin Harris of Southeast Asia”. She might be, but I’ve never heard of her. She seemed kind of annoying, so hopefully she won’t be around as much. I liked her mom/manager/pimp though. She was trying to whore her daughter out for the gram and I respect that.

We are briefly introduced to Cherie Chan, whose only life achievement is that she’s a major insta filter offender. I thought Asian parents were all about getting them into Harvard and becoming doctors, lawyers, or at the very least accountants? Have I been lied to?

So then we move on to the two women who, as of episode 1, seem to be the major source of drama. On one side there’s Anna Shay, who looks like Donatella Versace but with less fillers – still unsure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. On the other side, we have Christine Chiu, who’s married to a would-have-been Chinese emperor and who’s considered the Queen Bee of Chinatown 90210.

I was undecided on which bitch I was going to root for until we were introduced to Kelly Mi Li and her boyfriend Andrew Gray, an actor known for playing the Red Power Ranger.

I have pressing questions now. Well, actually just one question: Is this the same Red Power Ranger that ended up doing gay porn? Can someone please confirm? He’s kinda good looking, so maybe, (big maybe) I would watch that video… for research purposes, of course.

In any case, if his major acting milestone is being a Power Ranger, I’m going to make a wild guess and assume his career is pretty much over. You know what? I’m actually going to check IMDB now.

OK, so I was right about his career tanking and wrong about the gay porn vid. Never say never though.

So Anna takes Kelly to her favorite restaurant to celebrate her birthday, and that’s cool and whatever, but it turns out that her favorite restaurant is in Paris. Nothing that a first class ticket on Air France can’t solve, of course. Somewhere along the trip, Kelly leaves Andrew at the hotel because he was being a little bitch jetlagged, and all Hell breaks loose. The guy calls her, screaming his head off and immediately telling her how she’s just not putting that much effort into the relationship.

Andrew gaslights her and manages to convince her that he wants to be better for her, but he doesn’t know how to. Kelly, taking a big sip of the dumb bitch juice believes him and lets Anna and all of us know that he has been abusive to her many times before. However, she still wants to stay with Andrew because she feels like she’s the only person who’s there for him, and deep down he loves her deeply.

Bitch, I can’t. How do people fall for this crap all the time? I’m high key hoping she dumps him by the end of the season. Then again, she’s the woman who introduced herself as coming to LA for two reasons:

I’m thoroughly convinced that people are stuck in shitty relationships because they secretly thrive in them. As Anna put it:

Icon.

Sidenote: Is Anna always this calm or is she popping Xanax like Tic-Tacs?

So we are moving on to the climax of the first episode and honestly, it did not disappoint. Christine bought the same necklace Anna in a power move to flex her power as the new HBIC of Chinatown 90210. I feel like I will grow to strongly dislike her but for now I will just admire her level of pettiness. In an unexpected move, but also totally reminiscent of a Disney villain, Christine decides to wear that necklace at Anna’s party.

Harry Potter and the Audacity of this Bitch, seriously.

However, Anna one-ups her by changing the seat arrangement and sending her to the corner like a grounded dog. That certainly wiped that fake, condescending smile off her face and I’m living for this shit right now.

I suspect Christine won’t be sitting anywhere anytime soon after having her ass kicked so swiftly by Anna.

This is how the first episode went and I can’t wait to watch the next one and see these two vindictive women tear each other apart. As Kane said:

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