Bling Empire S2
WHERE TO WATCH:
WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
Los Angeles' beloved uber-rich Asians are back with even more luxury, glamour and crazy. This season, a romance between Kevin and Kim percolates, Cherie and Jessey's relationship is questioned, and as Kane and Kevin's best bud friendship is tested, Beverly Hills' rivalling queens, Christine and Anna, put a new twist on the art of social warfare. But through it all, the one thing these friends hold dearest to their hearts is their love for each other…and, of course, impeccable style.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
(Warning: this review contains spoilers)
To quote Kevin from the season 2 trailer: "It's spectacular. This one just takes it to a whole new level."
After binging the eight episodes of the new season in one go, I can confirm that this season is indeed on a whole new level - more drama, more opulence, more high-end parties, a random Paula Abdul appearance, and two 'new villains'. There's even a Swarovski covered toilet pot, it doesn't get bigger than that, right?
If you didn't watch the first season, you can read my review here. The core cast: Anna Shay, Christine, Dru Chiu and Baby G, Kane Lim, Kelly Mi Le, Kim Lee, Jamie Xie, and Kevin Kreider are all back, while Cheri Chan and Jessey Lee make an appearance (I will get into that later).
Joining them this season is Dorothy Wang, the daughter of billionaire Roger Wang, the former Chief Executive Officer of Golden Eagle International Group (shrugs) and Mimi and Don Morris, the founder of Morris Group International, who runs 28 companies and one of them supply toilets to prisons (not the blinged-out one though, that's just for his home).
The series follows much of the same recipe it did last season, extravagant parties and shopping sprees; however, the drama has been amplified; it went from 0 to 100 real quick.
The main instigator of the drama is Kane Lim. I was a massive fan of him in season 1, but he was just a hot mess this season! He started drama with Cherie and Kevin, who was supposed to be his bestie. On the plus side, though, thanks to him, we have Anna Shay and Christine Chiu teaming up to take him down. These two combining their powers is something I never knew I needed.
A big part of the show focuses on Kevin's infatuation with Kim, who he earnestly pursues. I don't know if Kevin ever watched He's Just Not That Into You, but that girl was sending all the signs; if someone wants you to take a lie detector test before getting into a relationship with you, they're probably not that into you. I really felt for Kevin, and while I can perhaps have some understanding towards Kim, as she was hurt by her past relationship, it doesn't excuse her bad behaviour, and Kevin deserves better. With that said, Kevin also showed a lot of growth throughout the season, he also opened up about his sobriety. We meet his sobriety coach Peter. In these scenes with Peter, you get a sense of who Kevin really is as a person.
Another person who showed growth was Kelly. In the first season, she was in a toxic relationship with Andrew, aka the Red Ranger. They fought so hard we all thought they'd break up but the season ended with her going back to him. In the second season, we learn that it didn't work out as Kelly said he reverted back to his old ways. Kelly is focused on her healing and taking care of herself, and she just looks all around happy this season.
We also got to see Jamie more this season, and I am living for the friendship between Anna and Jamie. Jamie just lives for her cute fits and creating content. The most talked-about moment was Jamie's awkward date, shame. I haven't been on a date for a long time, so I have no right to judge her, but that was painful to watch.
The biggest plot twist of the season was Cherie and Jessey. It turns out that Jessey was married before he got with Cherie, and it turns out Cherie was friends with his ex-wife (there are Instagram receipts). After an almost confrontation between her and Kane at a party, Cherie and Jessey left the show. Although we didn't get to see the wedding and whether Jessey was interested in getting married, the pair did, in fact, have a lavish ceremony. Sigh, we'll never know if Cherie actually bought her own engagement ring.
As for the new cast members, Dorothy didn't have a 'big arc', and at the end of the season, she moves to New York, so what was the point. In the seventh episode, Don and Mimi get the spotlight with a pee/toilet pot storyline that felt very awkward and random.
Overall, Bling Empire season 2 was just as entertaining as the first season, and if you were a fan, you don't want to miss this one. It ended with a cliffhanger, and I am curious to see just how things will unfold. While it's not award-winning television, escaping into the messy world of the super-rich is a great distraction from real-world problems.