A ménage à trois of high fashion, drama, and East Asian representation, Bling Empire, which provides a glimpse into the lives of wildly wealthy Asian and Asian Americans living in Los Angeles, dropped its second season on Netflix on May 13, much to the delight of Chinese audiences (including several guilty members of the RADII team).
Undeterred by the unavailability of Netflix in China, Chinese viewers have found ways to watch the program since season one debuted in 2021.
The second season brings back hot topics from the first, such as the fierce rivalry between Taiwan-born businesswoman Christine Chiu and Japanese-Russian-American heiress Anna Shay. It also explores uncharted waters — like Korean American model Kevin Kreider’s attempts to woo half-Vietnamese DJ Kim Lee.
View this post on InstagramA post shared by Golden (@netflixgolden)
A post shared by Golden (@netflixgolden)
As fans might recall, season one saw Chiu boasting about her father-in-law being a direct descendant of the Song Dynasty’s royals — a tall claim that roused interest in China.
Editor’s note: Spoilers ahead; you’ve been warned!
One of Chiu’s signature catchphrases, ‘HDDD’ (heads down, dicks down), makes a comeback this season and has caught on in China.
“I learned a new phrase, ‘HDDD.’ It is used to warn men who are married or in relationships to stay away from other women,” shared a fan by the name of Maggie.
Maggie was also amused by the appearance of a feng shui master claiming to be the 69th descendent of the Mencius family.
“Now we have descendants of the Song Dynasty’s royal family and descendants of the Mencius family both living in L.A.,” commented Maggie ironically.
View this post on InstagramA post shared by kane lim (@kanelk_k)
A post shared by kane lim (@kanelk_k)
Of the colorful bunch, (Anna) Shay has been a favorite among Chinese viewers for her level-headedness.
“These rich people are so bored that they are creating drama. Only Anna sees through everything,” posted a viewer.
ANNA SHAY PUTTING KANE IN HIS MF PLACE THANK YOU!!“Gossip to me is absolutely diabolical. Kane’s family has its own problems too. So I really, honestly don’t know who he think he is to talk about people.” #BlingEmpireS2 #blingempire pic.twitter.com/RpStSx0DY2— Stella (@stellaspeaks1) May 13, 2022
ANNA SHAY PUTTING KANE IN HIS MF PLACE THANK YOU!!
“Gossip to me is absolutely diabolical. Kane’s family has its own problems too. So I really, honestly don’t know who he think he is to talk about people.” #BlingEmpireS2 #blingempire pic.twitter.com/RpStSx0DY2
— Stella (@stellaspeaks1) May 13, 2022
One particular scene has caused jaws to drop worldwide, but especially in China, where sexuality is often a taboo subject.
Feeling low after a recent breakup, Chinese-American entrepreneur Kelly Mi Li hires a sexual empowerment coach. Among the coach’s dubious techniques is a scene where the coach-client duo sunbath their perinea (the plural of perineum, described by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “the area between the anus and the posterior part of the external genitalia” — aka ‘the gooch’) in Li’s backyard.
“Good for you, Bling Empire S2. Sunbathing your butt for an hour will probably cost somewhere around 1,000 USD, since the show is set in Beverly Hills,” reads one comment on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo.
Kelly Mi Li. Screengrab via YouTube
While the Valley girl accent — aka ‘Valspeak’ or ‘Valley Speak’ — is merely part of the scenery in L.A., Chinese netizens name it as one of their reasons for being hooked on Bling Empire.
The ‘alien’ accent so transfixed one Chinese viewer that it seeped into her sleep: “I binge-watched the second season last night, and my friend told me that I was sleep talking — apparently I screamed, ‘What are you fucking doing?!’ in an L.A. girl accent.”
Cover image via IMDb
We highlight our top stories each week in an email newsletter that goes out every Monday - hot, fresh, and straight to your inbox.
Don't worry, we don't spam