'Bling Empire': all your questions on Netflix’s hit show answered

'Bling Empire' is back and better than ever! Here's what to expect ahead of season two...

Bling Empire season 2, Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

Bling Empire was one of Netflix's biggest hits last year and it got us hooked—following in the footsteps of fellow gone-viral series like Lupin and Bridgerton.

If, like us, you've been obsessed with all the reality TV offerings the streaming service has produced in the past couple of years—from Selling Sunset to Love is Blind and The Ultimatum—then you'll no doubt be a Bling Empire fan, too. 

The show, which premiered its first season back in January 2021, is back for Bling Empire season two and we couldn't be more excited to see what Los Angeles' finest circle of wealthy Asian-Americans have been up since we last saw them. 

Here's everything you need to know about the show if you're new to it, as well as what to expect from Bling Empire season two... 

Bling empire

(Image credit: Netflix)

What is 'Bling Empire' about?

Set in Los Angeles, California, Bling Empire follows the lives of a lavish group of Asian-American friends who live incredibly affluent, glamourous lifestyles. The cast is all connected in the fashion and entertainment industries, wearing the best designers and attending the hottest events in the city. But of course, behind the glitz and glam lies what we're all really here for—ferocious drama! 

If you liked Singapore Social—another one of the shows like Bling Empire that focuses on the lives of young, rich socialites in Singapore—or any of the Selling Sunset girls, then you'll love the Bling Empire cast. Especially since the show has been produced by Jeff Jenkins, who previously oversaw E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians

After a successful first season that had us all talking, from our fascination with billionaire heiress Anna Shay, party girl Kim Lee and heartthrob Kevin Kreider, to asking ourselves: is Bling Empire scripted, or is this actually real life? It's safe to say that we can't get enough of the show. In fact, we're counting down the days to see them all again and find out where the Bling Empire cast are now, as well as indulging in their endless drama now that the episodes have dropped on Netflix (Friday, May 13).

Bling empire

(Image credit: Netflix)

Who is in the 'Bling Empire' cast?

  • Kevin Kreider: actor and model, a fan of "flexing muscles all day" and often seen shirtless throughout season 1.
  • Kim Lee: DJ, model, and actor, sometimes dubbed the 'Asian Kylie Jenner.
  • Anna Shay: the daughter of a billionaire defense contractor who sold 'bombs and guns'.
  • Cherie Chan: heiress to a major denim business.
  • Kane Lim: fashion designer and entrepreneur, who expresses his love for shopping and finer things in life.
  • Christine Chiu: married to the son of a Chinese emperor and known Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Gabriel Chiu.
  • Kelly Mi Li: successful businesswoman, also produces the show and was in a turbulent relationship with a former Power Ranger, Andrew Gray.
  • Jaime Xie: a regular presence at all the Fashion Weeks, raised in Silicon Valley and daughter of a cybersecurity technology entrepreneur, Ken Xie.

When was 'Bling Empire' filmed?

Despite coming to our screens in early 2021, Bling Empire season one was actually filmed back in 2019, way before the coronavirus pandemic hit. The confirmation came from cast member Dr. Gabriel Chiu, who said in an interview with Los Angeles news station KTLA5 last year that filming for the first season of the show wrapped up two years ago.

The second season then began filming in 2021 and we'll finally get to watch it this month!

Bling empire

(Image credit: Netflix)

How many seasons of 'Bling Empire' are on Netflix?

For now, only one season of Bling Empire has been released, but season two is fast approaching, with a release date of May 13.

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How was 'Bling Empire' received? 

The show was mostly well-received when it first dropped last year, but it did cause a bit of controversy over criticism for being tone-deaf and feeding into unrealistic stereotypes and racial myths about Asians. 

When the show first aired, one viewer tweeted: "Finished screening Netflix new reality series, BLING EMPIRE. As an Asian, I'll say this 1). Fun to see "Crazy Rich Asians"-esque lifestyle on small screen 2). Never apologize for your success BUT Not sure a show flaunting excessive wealth in a time of pandemic is a good idea."

Similarly, another agreed, saying: "CRA [Crazy Rich Asians] was released during a very different time and at least had characters like Rachel, Nick, Peik, and Astrid, who audiences could connect with because of their humility. Bling Empire is troublesome to me because of what you said, it’s tone-deaf."

However, we did end up seeing the human side of all the cast members, from relationship issues to estranged fathers and identity struggles—and it's fair to say there are plenty of fans eagerly awaiting season two's arrival.

Sagal is a journalist, specialising in lifestyle, pop culture, fashion and beauty.  She has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Glamour, Stylist, Evening Standard, Bustle, You Magazine, Dazed and Wonderland to name a few.