By Randall Yip, AsAmNews Executive Editor
America’s fascination with rich folks seems to dominate reality TV these days. House of Ho is another addition to a genre filled with eye candy and family drama that really can happen in both wealthy and not-so-wealthy families.
That drama is being played out in season 2 which debuted Thursday on HBO Max.
Leslie Ho struggles with her husband Washington’s insobriety even as he is on the rocky path of recovery.
“I thought after season 1, it couldn’t get any darker, crazier,” said Washington Ho during a virtual interview produced by Gold House. “Me and my wife are continuing to work on it as I work on myself. A partnership requires each partner to represent the other. I’m working on myself, and I’m proud. Whatever hurricanes go through my family, we’re getting through it and things are looking better.”
Meanwhile, Judy Ho has bounced back from divorce and found love with Nate Nguyen, a father who recently lost his three children in a house fire caused by a winter storm.
“Appreciating life a lot more,” said Nguyen. “Not worrying about the little things as much. The people that love me and show that they love me, I cherish them a lot more. Judy is one of those that matters a lot.”
In season 2, Judy and Nate make their engagement official before the entire family and participate in an engagement ceremony, a tradition in Vietnamese American culture.
The scene and others like that make House of Ho different from most other reality shows. It’s a glimpse into a culture most of America is not exposed to.
“It really is meaningful for our parents,” said Judy Ho. “Hopefully our children will remember and they will carry on to the next generation. That’s something we should all strive we should not forget.”
Returning to season 2 are the patriarchs of the Ho family, Binh Ho and wife Hue, who like so many Vietnamese moved to the United States following the Vietnam War.
New to season 2 are two young cousins- 21-year-old Kim Ho and 25-year-old Bella Ho. It’s apparent from seeing them that good looks runs in the Ho family. Washington says the show has attracted a strong female viewership and says he hopes the addition of Kim and Bella will bring more men to watch House of Ho.
In addition, Kim and Bella’s mother is Thanh Ha, whose popularity in Vietnam is compared to Justin Beiber and Mariah Carey. Her story as a single mother and a huge fan base will also play out in season 2.
It’s clear after watching the opening episode of season 2 that Leslie and Washington still have a lot of baggage to clean up. It’s the type of dirty laundry Leslie Ho admits she wasn’t ready to expose to the public. Perhaps naively, she said she agreed to do the show thinking the producers would only show the good.
“It can become a beast of its own,” she said. “You don’t know what comes out. These are honest conversations we have. It’s not scripted. I don’t know what the other person is going to say. Sometimes it comes out shocking and it’s hurtful. There are moments in season 2 when I actually say I’m done. I’m over it. and I walk out of a scene because I can’t. It’s too much. I can’t take it.”
Season 2 also highlights drama in Judy and Nate’s life.
“The first season was more about me and Nate falling in love, a much more carefree time,” said Judy. “The IVF is something that we really focus on. It’s something that gives us hope. We have each other and at the end of the day, it’s all that matters.”
Judy promises season 2 will reveal a lot more about the family and that fans were learned much more about them.
“There are moments I wish I could take stuff back what I said,” said Nate.
AsAmNews is incorporated in the state of California as Asian American Media, Inc, a non-profit with 501c3 status. Check out our Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or submitting a story, or making a tax-deductible financial contribution. We are committed to the highest ethical standards in journalism. Please report any typos or errors to info at AsAmNews dot com