Meet the sometimes crazy, mostly rich cast of Netflix's Bling Empire
If there's one thing the new Netflix reality show Bling Empire succeeds at, it's showing that sometimes more money really does come with more problems.
Granted, the series — which has been compared to a real-life Crazy Rich Asians — does live up to its glittering title, with scenes of cast members weighing down their arms with diamond-studded Piaget bracelets. But it also goes deep on fertility issues, adoption journeys, parental death, and toxic relationships.
Ahead of the show's Friday launch, here's a rundown of the main cast members.
While introducing Lim, a castmate explains that his money comes from a variety of sources including oil and real estate, but "when I mean real estate, he owns the shopping malls that you go into in Singapore, Thailand, and all of Southeast Asia." The billionaire and practicing Buddhist is the glue that holds the cast together. From listening to dating woes to facilitating apologies between foes, Lim is the playful conscience of Bling Empire.
Adopted from Korea and raised in Philadelphia, Kreider is a model from modest beginnings. What he lacks in funds, he makes up for with fun and flirtiness, often serving as the voice for viewers at home. As a new member of the group, who grew up a part of a white family, Kreider spends the season learning more about where he comes from and how to navigate the world he finds himself in, where the dinner parties come with a server for every diner.
Christine and Dr. Gabriel Chiu
When Christine Chiu says she wants to bring Chinatown to Beverly Hills for Chinese New Year, that comes with getting permission to shut down town all the way to Rodeo Drive. With her husband, plastic surgeon Gabriel Chiu, being a descendant of the emperor of China during the Song Dynasty, Christine embodies both words in the show's title. Discussion of a sibling for their princely miracle child, Baby G, reopens old wounds between the couple, though, throwing Christine off her game heading into an impish rivalry with the group's other queen bee.
Kelly Mi Li and Andrew Gray
In her 20s, Li lived the kind of jet-setting life many dream of — until she was blindsided by her then-husband's arrest for running one of the largest cyber scams in American history. Finding a fresh start in Los Angeles, Li has shacked up with actor Andrew Gray, who played the Red Ranger on Power Rangers Megaforce. But viewers quickly learn that the relationship is far from a happily-ever-after for Li.
Anyone who can hear her whispers will learn that Shay is a generous, mischievous spirit who stresses that life is not a dress rehearsal. That's why the Russian-Japanese daughter of a billionaire defense contractor gets away with traveling to Paris more times in a year than she crosses town from Beverly Hills to Silver Lake, as a castmate jokes. Finding her way back into the L.A. social scene, the elusive dame is not here for any nonsense.
As the daughter of a cybersecurity tech billionaire, Xie realized she didn't need a college degree to explore her passion for fashion. The youngest in the group, Xie lives the kind of life where talk of $19,000 a month in rent doesn't faze her, and a reasonable excuse for not bringing her bathing suit to the pool is that she left it in her other walk-in closet.
One of the biggest DJs in East Asia, Lee is introduced alongside her sprightly Vietnamese mother, who suggests she show more skin in her photos. Beneath the tough (yet always Instagram-ready) shell is a person still learning how to say sorry to herself and others.
Cherie Chan and Jessy Lee
Power couple Chan and Lee come from denim and furniture fortunes, respectively. Shirking tradition, they are on the precipice of having their second child but remain unmarried. After recently losing her mother, Chan is ready to finally take the next step, even if she has to be the one to make the commitment.