Sunday, January 25, 2015


I've had so many ideas for blog posts swirling around in my head the past couple weeks, it's been difficult to decide what to write about. And then I realized I was using that as an excuse to be lazy. So I'm kicking off some more regular posts with a review of my favorite mid-season premiere of the season: Empire.

Just to clarify....not this Empire.


What's not to love about rich people scheming and backstabbing? Sure, this is kind of a common plot in television, but you guys. Empire is really really good. I think it's actually crazy good. It takes everything that's awesome about shows like Dallas, but isn't ridiculous or campy. I was completely hooked in just the first few minutes and every episode keeps getting better (and the ratings have gone up with each episode which is kind of unheard of these days on network television).

The plot is very King Lear set in the modern music industry. Lucious Lyon (Terrance Howard), is a former drug dealer turned hip hop mogul and the CEO of Empire Entertainment.  In the pilot episode, he's diagnosed with ALS and told he has only three years to live. Of course his thoughts turn to his legacy, and he tells his three sons that one of them will inherit Empire...and they will have to prove they deserve the honor. So basically, they are competing among each other for ULTIMATE POWER. Well, ultimate music power. Well, millions and millions of dollars. The stakes are high is what I'm saying.

Everyone instantly starts plotting against one another and the waters are further muddied with the arrival of Cookie, Lucious' awesome ex-wife and mother of the three sons. She's just out of prison where she served time for getting the seed money for Empire Entertainment by getting involved in some drug deals. Cookie is just an all-around badass with amazing fashion sense and is pulling for her second son (he's very much of the John Legend-type singer/songwriter school) to be the heir. But since the son is gay....Lucious is against the idea.

If Cookie ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy.

I mean, seriously. THE DRAMA. There is so much going on with this show it's crazy, but it all makes sense, the performances (at least as far as the older characters are concerned) are really strong, and the music throughout the show is great. It's also really nice to have a black-centric show that doesn't feel like it was just thrown together (ahem, Blackish. Looking at you). This is a tight, well-made, compelling drama.

Empire has right off the bat established itself as must see tv for me, so give it a shot and I bet you'll get hooked. You can find it Wednesdays at 9:00 EST on FOX, and catch up with the three aired episodes over at the show's website.

No comments: