Howdy, Blurbers! Welcome back to Open Post! For those unacquainted, every Sunday, we provide you some light reality show fluff to digest, while simultaneously giving you a forum to talk about whatever you want! This includes shows we don’t normally cover on here, so if you need to get something off your chest about Family Karma, have at it!
For those that are acquainted with Open Post, my apologies in advance for the same old schpiel, but it bears repeating: please keep things nice in the comments section, okay? We’re here for lovin’, not warrin’! So, with that out of the way, let’s get to today’s topic!
We’ve been giving you A LOT of Real Housewives-centric Top Ten lists lately, so to mix things up, I want to talk about a show that’s quickly become a cult classic among reality TV fans. AND I want to talk about their jewelry. So, get ready to feel bad about your bank account balance, because it’s time for the Top Ten Most Outrageous Displays of Wealth on Bling Empire!
If you’ve never watched the Netflix show Bling Empire, let me paint a quick picture for you. After years of watching Housewives, and years of reading news about Housewives’ financial problems, it’s become common knowledge that MANY of the cast members aren’t nearly as well-off as they project themselves to be. For every legitimate richie rich like Lisa Vanderpump, there are about a dozen wannabes that use every smoke and mirror trick in the book to make them LOOK like LVP. It’s a tale as old as time, Blurbers.
So, when Bling Empire – a soft-scripted amalgamation of Crazy Rich Asians and Real Housewives – came along, my eyes nearly popped out of my head beholding all that REAL WEALTH. Like daughter-of-an-arms-dealer real wealth. Or “Hey, let’s take a nice, relaxing private flight to Paris for a shopping day!” real wealth. The opulence on this show is intense. During the age of ever-growing class disparity, it can be a hard pill to swallow, to be honest. But! Palace intrigue of the upper crust is captivating in its own right, so let’s get to it!
10. The Women’s Jewelry in Their Talking Heads
HOLY MOLY. Every cast member (except for the “poor” model, Kevin Kreider) wears some major bling in their talking heads, but rivals Christine Chiu and Anna Shay take it to a whole nother level. We’re talking Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron, Cartier, and more. So much more! Housewives watchers are used to cast members in their talking heads dressed like this…
…Whereas, on Bling Empire, they look more like this:
9. Baby G’s First Photoshoot
I don’t remember my first photoshoot, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t involve sunglasses, a Dolce & Gabbana suit, and a mini-Tesla. Well.. maybe? While I dig back into my photo album for tell-tale signs of RICHES, take a gander at Baby G up there, looking like a boss.
8. Christine’s Chinese New Year Party on Rodeo Drive
This party was insane. Christine and plastic surgeon Dr. Gabriel Chiu summoned the powers of the uber-wealthy, and were able to shut Rodeo Drive down completely to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Not only that, but the couple pledged to sponsor an orphan in China for every guest in attendance! Christine wears a spectacular ruby snake necklace as she grills Anna about what hotel she stays at when visiting Paris. “The Plaza,” Anna quietly replies. “I stay at the Plaza too!” Christine proclaims. “What room do you stay in?” “The Presidential Suite.” “ME TOO!” And so on.
7. Jaime Xie’s Woeful Tale of Her Expensive Horses
Jaime Xie wasn’t a featured player on the show, but every time she’d pop up onscreen, we got a VERY good idea of how rich her family is. In a restaurant scene between Jaime, Kevin, and Kane Lim, Jaime laments how expensive it is to be an Olympic-level equestrian. “We were so close to buying a barn, but they’re expensive ponies! They cost more than $200,000 and have to fly Emirates.” In another scene, Jaime tells us she could shop for five days straight from when the stores open to the time they close. “I don’t have to guess if I could… because I’ve done it before.” Dear, sweet, humble Jaime. She’s so relatable!
6. Anna Shay’s Dinner Party Seat Assignments
Anna knows dinner parties. Anna knows seat assignments! “They’re an artform, you know.” As MASSIVE amounts of caviar were being passed around, Christine comes up to Anna and asks, “Do you like my Louis Vuitton necklace?” This was a weird, shady flex on Christine’s part because she already knew Anna owned the same necklace. As a brilliant act of retaliation, Anna did a last-minute seating assignment switch, and banished Christine and her husband to the other side of the table from where the rest of the group was sitting. Anna knows that revenge is a dish best served cold.
5. Baby G’s First Birthday Party
I’m not 100% sure, but I think that dress is Dior, and it is AH-MAZ-ING. Christine pulled out all the stops for this ridiculously over-the-top celebration held at the Caytan Children’s Museum in Santa Monica. It featured a Gucci claw machine, giant jazz band, virtual reality booth, ball pit, customized surf shop (???) and Dr. Chiu scaring the HELL out of Baby G with a party popper.
4. Kane’s Bank-Breaking Fish Maw Soup
Kane is easily one of the most lovable characters to emerge from Bling Empire, and watching him shop with Kevin is always a joy. In one particular scene, Kane, Kevin, and Jessey Lee stop in a Chinese apothecary shop, and the boys joke about the size of dried sea cucumbers. As they’re browsing around, Kane spots dried fish maw (or fish bladders) that run for $15,000 a piece! Kevin is beside himself over the price, but in classic Lim fashion, Kane picks up TWO fish bladders for good measure. “That is going to be one expensive bowl of soup,” Kevin squawks.
3. Cherie Chan’s 100 Day Party
Man, there sure were a lot of baby parties in season one! I really like Cherie Chan. She’s got the quietest voice, and seems like she has a very sweet spirit. Her mother died of pancreatic cancer right as they started shooting Bling Empire, so poor Cherie’s pregnancy was a bittersweet experience. She threw a party to celebrate her son’s first 100 days, and it was more akin to a wedding than a kiddie party. Bottles of Moët abounded, and a toy castle cake the size of my house was wheeled out. The funniest scene of this party was when Christine asks jewelry expert Florent to assess everyone’s jewelry at the table. He looks around and then whispers, “One fake,” and the camera zeros in on Kelly Mi Li’s earrings. LOLOLOL.
2. Kevin Getting Schooled About Fashion on a Private Flight
This is a more subtle scene than the decadent parties or baby photoshoots, but it’s very telling all the same. The group takes a private flight to Vegas for some SHAWPPIN’, and Christine and Kane chide Kevin relentlessly over his limited knowledge of designer duds. “‘Hair-maze’, right? That’s how you pronounce Hermès?” He wasn’t that far off, but the other two erupted in laughter, and Christine leaned over to her nanny, who was laughing even harder. Kevin was always a good sport about his costars’ teasing… probably due to the fact that his friends were very generous when it came to shopping trips.
1. Anna Shay’s EVERYTHING
Don’t let Anna’s slight case of putty face fool you. She IS the breakout star of Bling Empire, and it has everything to do with her insouciant approach to being wealthy as f**k. As the daughter of an arm’s dealer, Anna has never been wanting for money a day of her life, and even during mundane activities such as yoga or home renovation, she casually wears diamonds that cost more than people’s entire college educations. While Christine (who is great as a villain, by the way) hams it up with the one upmanship, Anna is the embodiment of ‘true wealth whispers’, especially when she tells Kevin not to “let the clothes wear you.” My favorite thing about Anna is how disheveled she often looks. Her hair is usually a mess, and some of her designer gowns look a tad rumpled, but she gives off the air of a woman who doesn’t give a dog’s rip if you don’t like her. In fact, she may not like YOU, but is too polite to do anything other than sit you at the end of the table.
There you have it! I cannot wait for season two of Bling Empire, and wouldn’t mind recapping it when it comes back on. IF we do that, would the readers prefer we recap the show once a week even though it all streams at the same time, or give a general recap in one long post? That’s the eternal Netflix conundrum.
Have a great rest of your Sunday, Blurbers, and for those that celebrate, Happy Fourth of July!
[Photos courtesy of Netflix]
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