HO-USTON

HBO's House of Ho Season 2 Promises More Family Drama—and More Hos

Ahead of the second-season premiere, we caught up with the Houston-based cast of HBO Max’s House of Ho.

By Shelby Stewart August 24, 2022

House of Ho is back on HBO Max on August 25.
Image: Warner Media 

When HBO Max premiered House of Ho in December 2020, the show was unavoidably dubbed a real-life version of the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians. But House of Ho is much more than that; it’s the true story of a wealthy, intergenerational Vietnamese family set right here in Houston, a city boasting the second-largest Vietnamese population in the nation. We at Houstonia couldn’t get enough of the Hos, and neither could HBO Max—the first three episodes of season two are premiering on August 25. 

The Ho family is led by patriarch Binh Ho and wife, Hue, who moved to the US following the Vietnam War. After settling in Houston, savvy businessman Binh amassed a fortune through real estate development and investments, and now the family lives a lavish lifestyle befitting 2022 reality stars.

Washington Ho tosses money into the air. 

Image: Warner Media

While the show sheds light on the entire family, most of the story is centered on daughter and sons Judy, Washington, and Reagan Ho. Judy, the firstborn, says that she was a disappointment, which explains why her name is simply Judy—in an act of sheer patriotism, Binh named his sons who followed her after American presidents, i.e., Washington and Reagan. The tradition was passed down to the next generation, as Judy named her children Kennedy, Truman, and McKinley, while Washington named his children Roosevelt and Lincoln. 

While much of their screen time is dedicated to showcasing frivolous spending—the ladies of House of Ho jetted to Dallas on a private plane to go shopping, naturally—the Hos, at their core, are anchored by family traditions. The entire clan gathers on Sundays for church, dines at brunch, and celebrates the holidays together. The loving interpersonal dynamics on display are almost heartwarming enough to make you forget about all of the money being spent. 

"Since season one, a lot was shown, like our family cooking together and the traditions that we have like [celebrating] Lunar New Year—those are things that we've always done," Judy Ho tells Houstonia. "Being on the show from season one to season two, that hasn't changed. It's 100 percent real. This is our life, and this is how we genuinely live, day to day."

But living in the lap of luxury doesn’t permanently remove life’s troubles. In season one, we saw Washington’s struggle with sobriety, leading his family to wonder whether he was really ready to take over the business. 

“Not being handed the company was a difficult day for Washington Ho,” Washington explains. “After filming, I was like, ‘Dad, how dare you?’ But my dad’s response was, ‘Washington, I can only be honest. I thought that's [what] we got into this for—to inspire people to be honest.’ Which has changed me for the better.”

Judy, meanwhile, grappled with her impending divorce and the road ahead as a single mom. “In the first episode of season one, it was me telling my family about my divorce and dealing with that,” she says. “They were so disappointed in my divorce. I think it shows a 360-degree view of our lives. It’s not just a highlight reel.”

So, what’s to come in season two? According to the cast, redemption, new beginnings,  more family fun, and drama, plus music. Spoiler alert: in the season opener, the Hos celebrate Judy’s new engagement (!) and her pregnancy journey with her fiance, Nate Nguyen. As for Washington, he may be “King of the Hos,” but is he ready to take over the family business? You’ll see.

We’ll also get to meet some compelling new characters: cousins Bella, Kim, Vanessa, and Tammy usher in storylines of their own. As the two youngest cousins on the show, Bella and Kim bring a fresh new perspective to their older, more traditional family members. 

“I think we just add a really good balance,” says Kim of her role in season two. “Even though [Judy and Washington] do have roles as daughters, sons, wives, fathers and mothers, and stuff like that … they also have a duty to themselves and to be able to enjoy themselves because our parents have given us so many sacrifices, and that’s what you’ll see we bring to the show.” 

Throughout the twists and turns of the new season, be sure to keep an eye out for cameos from some of our favorite local spots,  like the Johnny Dang & Co. jewelry store, Secret Garden HTX, Viet Hoa International Foods, and Segundo Coffee Lab. 

Washington Ho and his wife, Lesley, out for dinner in Houston

Image: Warner Media

Despite the fact that House of Ho isn’t the first show of its kind, the Hos are in a lane of their own, and this Vietnamese family doesn’t take the opportunity lightly—especially Washington, who says he always wanted to work in Hollywood. 

“I wish I had a Vietnamese person to look up to when I was younger, and I didn't. For all Vietnamese and Asian [families], a lot of times, we don't confront our issues with our immediate family, and I hope that Asians around the world get inspired that when you do confront your issues, you can grow from them—something as deep and as tough as what my sister and I went through," Washington explains. "Look at what's happened since then: it's been beautiful.”

House of Ho season two premieres on HBO Max on August 25. Find more information here.



Filed under
Share
Show Comments