Empire: A review from an unfaithful viewer

Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, stars of Empire

Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, stars of Empire

By Narra Georges

#TeamCookie. #TeamLucious.  Sound familiar? These hashtags are among the many that pepper my and many other “Empire” fan’s newsfeed every Wednesday night.

For those of you who don’t know, Empire is the new hit drama to that debuted on Fox early January. The series has broken quite a few records, and is steadily increasing its amount of viewers each week. The premise of the show is the internal struggle among the founders and key players of the music and entertainment company Empire Enterprises. Behind Empire doors, tells the never ending drama among the members of the founders’ family as they fight for control of the company.

The ever-so-smooth Terrence Howard plays Lucious Lyon, the CEO of Empire Entertainment. A former drug dealer turned hip hop mogul, Lucious’s old skeletons come back to haunt him and slowly tear down the glamorous world that surrounds him after being diagnosed with ALS.

A fierce Taraji P. Henson plays Cookie Lyon, Lucious’ bold ex-wife and mother of his three sons. Building Empire with Lucious, Cookie took the rap for dealing the drugs that financed Lucious’ early career and served a 17-year prison sentence as a result. Despite all that has happened, Cookie is determined to keep the Lyon name strong.

The eldest son of the Lyon family and CFO of Empire Entertainment, Andre Lyon is played by Trai Byers. Andre is ivy-league school educated, power hungry, and suffers from bipolar disorder. His first priority is to take his father’s position as head chair of Empire, but must compete with his younger brothers who also want the position.

Jussie Smollett plays Jamal Lyon, the middle son and black sheep of the Lyon family. Jamal is a sweet tempered, talented, and gay singer-songwriter whose hate for the corporate side of the music industry and the estranged relationship with his extremely homophobic father is clearly displayed. Despite Jamal’s sexual orientation, he still has a strong relationship with his younger brother Hakeem and stands out as Cookie’s favorite son.

Last, but not least, there’s Bryshere Y. Gray who plays Hakeem Lyon, the fame-obsessed youngest son. Hakeem is a new rapper who is topping the music charts. Being Lucious’ favorite son, Hakeem has great animosity for Cookie and is determined to be the greatest star the world has ever seen.

I’ll be honest. The only reason I watch the show, that is, if you call catching the last 30 minutes of every episode watching, is because my older sister is hooked on it. Plus, the good looking male cast members are always fun to gawk at. The music featured on every episode is surprisingly good and can even be found on iTunes. Some of the show’s plots do come with twists, shockers, romance, and the common tear jerkers. However, I still haven’t fully committed myself to its powerful ways. As a full-time college student who constantly gets homework and has limited time on the weekends, I only give my undivided attention to five television shows. The decision to make Empire #6 on the list has yet to be made.

If you’re into power struggles, backstabbing, first degree murders, family secrets, and screaming at your T.V. because of the all the plot twists in each episode, then this is the show for you. Creators of the show have already announced that there will be a second season, so who knows, I might get into it.

Til’ then, Empire will only acquire a very small portion of my week and that is totally fine with me.

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Categories: Entertainment, Opinion

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