Dripping with diamonds, designer garments, and plenty of drama, Netflix’s new series Bling Empire (premiering January 15) follows a clique of insanely abundant Asians and Asian Us residents in Los Angeles as they check out to a single-up each individual other via extravagant residing, excessive paying, and outrageous parties—and I knowledgeable it all firsthand.

Covering 1 of these above-the-major gatherings for T&C for the duration of early filming for the sequence, I found myself immersed in this exclusive team of frenemies—so substantially so that I secured some monitor time in the to start with episode.

l r anna shay and christine chiu in episode 1 “necklacegate 90210” of bling empire season 1 c courtesy of netflix © 2021
Bling Empire’s Anna Shay and Christine Chiu. The fact sequence premieres January 15 on Netflix.


It was February 19, 2019 when Christine and Dr. Gabriel Chiu—two of the principal solid members—hosted an elaborate Chinese New Year get together in Beverly Hills, reworking Two Rodeo into a mini Chinatown for 130 company. Hopping on a flight the evening prior to, I experienced no strategy what was in shop for me.

Christine warned me there would be a digicam crew at her household when I arrived to job interview her for the magazine that morning. She casually explained to me the party and preparations were staying filmed but didn’t offer a lot more on the matter. As I passed as a result of the gates to her sprawling Bel Air residence, I was stunned to uncover myself driving onto a are living set. A single of the numerous generation assistants escorted me to the dining area where by a producer defined that—if it was alright—they’d like to shoot me interviewing Christine. Naturally, I claimed yes.

Even though receiving mic’d and some primary instructions on disregarding the cameras, I appeared up to see Jeff Jenkins—one of the executive producers accountable for the Kardashian franchise—and recognized immediately this was anything at all but a minimal task. Realizing Christine, who also happens to be 1 of the show’s producers, I need to have predicted as substantially.

kelly mi li in episode 8 “will you marry me” of bling empire season 1 c courtesy of netflix © 2021
Kelly Mi Li in Bling Empire.


We fulfilled a yr earlier as a result of a mutual close friend and quickly bonded in excess of the organization of trend, haute couture, travel, and our adore for truly excellent caviar. Sometimes it’s significant discussion, but generally it devolves into laughter—as with quite a few sections of our interview that weren’t witnessed on digital camera.

For occasion, viewers speedily find out Chiu enjoys a superior wig, like the bob she wears to on-display screen sparring husband or wife Anna Shay’s dinner celebration a several scenes into the episode. During our interview I noticed the wig on a table in the qualifications and decided to throw her a curveball by asking if that meant she and Gabriel have been into part play.

Everyone—including the crew—burst out laughing when I quizzed her about their safe and sound words. It was so unpredicted that the producers asked me to do it yet again, this time without having output breaking the fourth wall. “You’ll have to discuss to Dr. Chiu about that 1,” she coyly replied soon after the next choose.

karen lim in episode 4 “beverly hills heartbreak” of bling empire season 1 c courtesy of netflix © 2021
Bling Empire’s Kane Lim and a choice of his shoe selection.


What can make Bling Empire exclusive, both equally on Television and on its set, was that perception of humor. Regardless of whether we’re shopping for a Ducati with Chiu in anticipation of the zombie apocalypse, waiting around patiently for aspiring design Kevin Kreider’s up coming striptease, or viewing Shay dress up like an Air France stewardess on her 1st-course flight to Paris, it’s crystal clear that—for these if not major people—this fact show is a thing of a playground.

Huge estates, fleets of exotic cars, non-public jets, and closets stuffed with expensive clothes all of a sudden become a great deal much more fun if you camp it up for the cameras. I signify, when would you at any time really see an heiress in an night robe wield a sledgehammer because she thinks selecting a contractor is a “stupid idea”?

Christine’s outgoing persona and couture-clad exterior—complete with a Louis Vuitton superior jewelry necklace that is been the matter of main Beverly Hills gossip—make her excellent for a fact present about excess and glamour. But these people today are not just people on display, and they are not without having their serious sides. In fact, for all their bling, it is worthy of noting that—like their forged mates—off-camera the Chius are truly philanthropic, donating and elevating tens of millions for results in including the Grace Rose Foundation in assist of Cystic Fibrosis exploration, Artwork of Elysium, The Prince’s Basis, and the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork.

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Coming down from my brief orbit all-around the stars of Bling Empire and observing their storylines evolve, I simply cannot assist but relish the experience and hope long term invitations come my way—maybe for an impromptu vacation to St. Barts to celebrate an conclusion to the pandemic, or just to just take a further seat at the desk of an outrageously-themed dinner get together. Possibly way, my attendance is totally confirmed.

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