News, Review

‘Empire’ Rules Wednesday Night

Hip-Hop Family Drama


January 7, 2015, Fox premiered its highly anticipated new American musical drama television series Empire at 9:00 p.m. starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. Lee Daniels and Danny Strong are the creators of the series, and it was sensational! Empire attracted 9.8 million viewers and a 3.7 rating among adults 18-49 years old. It beat out ABC’s Modern Family head-to-head for the top-rated show and outperformed the heavily hyped Gotham premiere this fall. Empire became Fox’s highest-rated series debut since Touch three years ago. Fox has not been this hot since some of my favorite shows such as New York Undercover and Martin were in their primetime lineup.


The Pilot


The pilot of Empire is centered on Luscious Lyon (Terrence Howard), a former drug dealer turned hip-hop mogul and the CEO of Empire Entertainment, which he launched into a publicly traded company. Luscious is diagnosed with ALS and he is trying to figure out which one of his three sons: Hakeem Lyon, Jamal Lyon, and Andre Lyon is going to run Empire Entertainment once he is gone.

Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson), Lucious’ outspoken ex-wife and mother of his three sons, was released from prison after served a seventeen-year bid for drug dealing. She is the backbone of the Lyon family and Empire Entertainment. Her drug money helped fund the company and she wants 50% of it. There is unfinished business between Luscious and Cookie that can get ugly any second. Empire is the hip-hop version of Shakespeare’s King Lear.


Father denouncing His son


The flashback scene of the family’s early years in Philadelphia was memorable. Luscious Lyon’s too-young-to-know-anything middle son, Jamal Lyon, was clad in his mother’s shoes and headscarve. Embarrassed by his son’s homosexuality, Luscious seized him and tossed him in the trashcan outside their family home. Cookie comes to save her son and almost kick Luscious. The scene was powerful and sad. I liked how Empire dealt with the issue of a father denouncing his son for their sexuality. I know the scene resonated with many viewers who experienced similar incidents.

Empire is my new favorite show to watch on Wednesday nights. I will be watching next week.

By Shamarie, 8th Jan 2015


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