‘Bling Empire’ takes the ‘Fabulous Lives …’ motif and runs with it. However, there’s something more in store for the fans of the Netflix reality show. What makes ‘Bling Empire’ work so well?
After the fanfare of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, people wanted a real taste of the Asian royalty. ‘Bling Empire’ arrived at the perfect time to capitulate on the rich Asians phenomenon. Amid a pandemic and a lockdown, the group of wealthy people partying might not seem like the perfect antidote, but, given the series’s popularity, you bet it captivated audiences worldwide.
- What is ‘Bling Empire’?
- Why does ‘Bling Empire’ work so well?
- How is Netflix reality TV shaping up after ‘Bling Empire’?
Why does ‘Bling Empire’ work?
‘Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives‘ had the same premise as ‘Bling Empire’. Both were showcasing rich people living their best lives. However, the former was released within the pandemic and seemed way more limited in its prospects than ‘Bling Empire’ could be.
Reality shows are not supposed to be very well-made, as a rule. However, ‘Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives’ took a risk while making it. The Bollywood story is important but, it was told through the eyes of potent outsiders.
Even though the riches were present and large in number, you’re left wondering about what the Bollywood world has to offer. Extravaganzas are present but mostly muted compared to the high-flying fashion life of ‘Bling Empire’.
Plus, ‘Bling Empire’ moved onto the area of culture and personal lives way more than the other did. Dealing with the way one of the main characters, not as rich, feels alienated by the rich people and offers insight into this community is important here. In ‘Bling Empire’ vs. ‘Bollywood wives’, ‘Bling Empire’ seems to be geared towards telling a coherent story.
What is ‘Bling Empire’?
‘Bling Empire’ had a straightforward pitch. It wanted to be ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ in reality show form. It was a community that was more than walled-up; almost no one related to them or even knew about them. These uber-rich kids from the Asian-American community rule the world, but they rarely have time in the outside world.
So, we get lovely scenes where the people in the show shout at a white supremacist rally, telling them that they’re staying there and they’re not moving. We also get the community standing around and discussing ancient marriage rituals and connecting through their culture.
‘Bling Empire’ is interested in culture, and ‘Fabulous Lives…’ is not. The Bollywood show is more focused on the glitter and the emotionality of the people involved.
‘Bling Empire,’ of course, stems from a need to understand this almost hidden culture. So, the goals are much nobler. While the show, more often than not, delves into the adages of rich people enjoying themselves and has a pretty solid footing in the world of stories.
No ‘Bling Empire’ review can go out without understanding the Asian story of immigration behind it. The immigration story and the anxieties of the Asian-Americans play into ‘Bling Empire’.
What’s next in reality TV?
‘Bling Empire’ shows a new way of shaping up reality TV. Netflix has been doing this for a while. With ‘Indian Matchmaking’, ‘The Circle’, and others, Netflix shows are known to go into people’s stories rather than empty shells of reality shows.
Reality shows that deal with real people and not caricatures are essential in furthering the genre. With Netflix pouring in more money into making new original content, the latest shows would be far more relatable and dealing with real issues that concern themselves with the real world.
So, Netflix might be heading into the future of reality TV with their brand of newer and fresher TV shows. With their regular dealings with cultural anxieties and the ‘Bling Empire’ review that praises the performance, Netflix is well-suited to becoming the next reality giant.
In the battle of ‘Bling Empire’ vs. ‘Bollywood Wives‘, ‘Bling Empire’ beats them up in every category. Having more glitz and glamour, with cultural anxieties and characterizations that make sense, ‘Bling Empire’ is not only one of the best reality shows to come out in recent years, it’s also the show to look out for when we look into the future of reality shows.