House of Ho is HBO Max’s newest “docusoap” aka reality series. Described as a cross between Crazy Rich Asians and Keeping Up With The Kardashians, House of Ho manages to show viewers what it’s like living in this affluent Vietnamese family, but still deliver the drama.
The Ho family consists of Binh and Hue Ho, the patriarch and matriarch of the family, Judy their daughter, Washington the oldest son and his wife Lesley, Reagan who wasn’t in the premiere but based on the trailer looks to be featured in other episodes, their children (who are also named after United States presidents), Aunt Tina who is Binh’s younger sister, and Cousin Sammy.
House of Ho follows the daily lives of the Ho family, but also includes the ever-popular talking head interviews, so that viewers can hear directly from each person what they think about a situation. The series starts with drama right out of the gate when Judy reveals to her family that she is filing for divorce at family brunch after church. While divorce has become a common occurrence in the United States it is obvious that is not an acceptable outcome for this family. Aunt Tina explains to viewers why this is such an issue in Vietnamese culture.
“As a Vietnamese culture when a woman marries she belong to the husband’s family. When she get a divorce it’s a curse. That’s what we believe.”
The tension between generations is obvious with Judy’s parents and Aunt clearly upset, but her brother and sister-in-law are on her side, with Washington attempting to get their father to support Judy. Audiences then learn that Judy is staying with Washington and Lesley while going through the divorce which seems to be causing tension between the siblings, although Judy and Lesley have grown closer.
Washington and Lesley appear to have a strained marriage, which based on the episode has more to do with his drinking and playboy behavior. It’s hard not to feel bad for Lesley while she tries to fit in with her in-laws and deal with a husband who doesn’t want to grow up and act like a husband and father.
Judy is another person it’s hard not to feel sympathy for, knowing how difficult it must have been to decide to get a divorce and the strength it took to tell her family. She clearly feels inadequate in the eyes of her parents, especially when compared to her brother Washington simply because he is a son and she is a daughter. This feels especially odd given the fact that she is a lawyer who has worked to make her parents proud and Washington appears to simply throw around money, drink, and avoid any and all responsibilities to his family.
Hilarious highlights of the premiere were Aunt Tina and Cousin Sammy, with Tina taking Judy out for happy hour after her divorce announcement. Tina also revealed that her nickname is “Hot Mess” and Washington’s is “Bullshit Ho”. Cousin Sammy, although not in much of the episode did have one of the greatest lines. When Judy explains that Sammy is Washington’s assistant, Sammy corrects this. She explains that she wouldn’t be a good assistant as she doesn’t actually assist Washington in anything instead saying she’s “side kicking”.
HOUSE OF HO THE ULTIMATE AMERICAN DREAM
One of the interesting aspects of the premiere is the snippets that were revealed about Binh and Hue Ho’s immigration to the United States as well as Lesley Ho’s parent’s immigration. Binh and Hue immigrated to the United States as refugees in the 1970s following the Vietnam war. Neither spoke English or had much money. Binh worked at a gas station and Hue worked at a convenience store, but through hard work the Hos now own a multi-million-dollar bank.
It is truly the epitome of what many want from the American dream. Lesley briefly talks about her parents moving to Oklahoma and working long hours which taught her the value of a dollar which is a big part of why she went to school for ten years and now has a doctorate in pharmacy. Although this was not the typical reality show drama, it was something that hopefully gets explored more in the series because this was definitely a story that deserves to be told.
Overall House Of Ho is an engaging new reality show that not only brings the expected drama, but also represents a wealthy Vietnamese American family in a way that hasn’t been shown before. It looks like the series will cover many very serious issues like substance abuse, divorce, gender bias, and generational differences. For fans of reality television, House of Ho is definitely worth a watch.
HOUSE OF HO TRAILER AND SYNOPSIS
House of Ho, the multi-generational family docusoap, chronicles the daily lives of patriarch Binh Ho, matriarch Hue Ho, their daughter Judy Ho, their son Washington Ho and his wife Lesley Ho, Aunt Tina, and Cousin Sammy. Power couple Binh and his wife Hue immigrated from Vietnam to the United States with little money, relying on hard work to establish the ultimate American dream. They have built a multi-million dollar bank, a real estate development company and a new generation of American Hos. The series pulls back the curtain of their lavish Houston lifestyle and showcases the tight family connections that unite them as well as the multigenerational outrageous drama that ensues.
Katy Wallin, Stephanie Bloch Chambers, and Nick Lee executive produce the non-fiction series with co-executive producers Amanda Ly and Rosalina Lydster. House of Ho is produced by Wallin Chambers Entertainment in association with Lionsgate Television.
House of Ho premieres on HBO Max December 10, 2020. Are you going to watch the new reality show House of Ho? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.