HBO Max didn't have the best launch last spring. First of all, it was sandwiched between the launches of other streaming services like Quibi and Peacock. But more importantly, average TV-watchers couldn't tell how it differed from regular HBO, HBO Now and HBO Go. Moreover, HBO Max originally didn't have an app on Amazon Fire TV (and it still doesn't have on on Roku), meaning many households didn't have an easy way to stream it on their TVs. But with the app now on Amazon products, the promise of major theatrical titles, and new reality soaps like House of Ho, audiences are adopting the streamer in a big way. But, will House Of Ho Season 2 happen on HBO Max? HBO Max's renewal decisions have thus far been hit and miss.
Unlike Netflix, which first started putting out original programming with the promise of guaranteed second seasons, HBO Max was never going to go that route. The streamer already has several verticals feeding its programming. That includes HBO, which has mostly stayed traditional in how it brings shows to the air and keeps them there.
But shows that did well immediately were handed renewal orders. Legendary, the ballroom competition series that helped launch the new network, was granted a Season 2 just as the first season ended. The Ridley Scott drama Raised By Wolves only had to wait a few weeks into its first season to get the same news.
But House of Ho is a little different. Unlike Legendary, which breaks new ground in reality competition fare, and Raised By Wolves, which is prestige TV directed by one of the most respected names in the business, House of Ho is relatively simple. It's an intergenerational reality series based around the family of Houston banker and real estate mogul Binh Ho, with rich people problems played out for viewers' entertainment.
The main difference is that this is also a story of Vietnamese immigrants, featuring the communication struggles between those who came here versus their first-generation children. Those stories are well balanced against the otherwise manufactured problems. Moreover, it deals directly with a generation that believes in a patriarchal family structure and how they react to running up against more modern attitudes.
In a TV landscape that's sorely lacking in Asian representation of any type, having a show like this is a big deal. Last year's APAMC (Asian Pacific American Media Coalition) annual report showed Asian American representation on television overall was at a standstill, which networks and streamers alike needing to do better at correcting.
Still, although House of Ho is a step in the right direction, there's no guarantee of a Season 2 unless viewers are tuning in. Most streamers don't release detailed info on how their shows are performing, so it's hard to know how House of Ho is doing among audiences. Viewers will have to wait and see if the series catches on among reality show fans enough that HBO Max gives it another round.
House of Ho Season 1 is on HBO Max now.