Sooooo last night was the long awaited premier of the new Fox show Empire, starting Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson.
Howard plays Lucious Lyon, head of music empire called…none other than Empire Entertainment. Henson plays Cookie Lyon, the ex wife of Lucious who upon coming home from a 17 year stint in prison wants half her share of the Empire. Whatever she did to get in prison…I think she stole money. it wasn’t very clear to me…that money was used to start EMPIRE…
Now as a writer I am always excitied to see black folks on the screen. I am excited to see projects that involve people of color both behind and in front of the camera. Lee Daniels (director of the film The Butler) is one of the executive producers.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw the trailers. I just knew that I love anything Taraji P. Henson is in and Terrence Howard is easy on the eyes. I knew it was a drama about a family’s struggle for power of music empire (see how they got the title) but I didn’t expect it to be SOOOOOO DRAMATIC.
I mean is it supposed to be.
Henson’s character is fresh out of jail. Cookie coming off as the supreme ghetto Queen that she was when she went in works. I will give the writers credit for her sarcastic, snappy comebacks.
So far she is the BEST thing in the show that I am not laughing at.
Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon, a former drug dealer turned hip hop mogul that learns he is dying just as his past is coming back to haunt him. Between his permed hair, Hugh Hefner scarves and blazers that look like smoking jackets I do not know what to make of this character. Sadly when the episode had flashbacks Howard was more convincing as the drug dealer spitting lyrics on the stoop than hip hop mogul.
Bryshere Gray as Hakeem Lyon is the youngest of Lucious and Cookie’s three sons. He is an up and coming Hip Hop star…His character reads like a cross between Drake and Justin Bieber…so I call him Bieber Drake.
Jussie Smollett as Jamal Lyon, is the middle son. The black sheep because he is gay. So that means he has to be a sensitive songwriter…non of that hardcore hip hop ish…I call him Gay John Legend because he also plays the piano.
Trai Byers as Andre Lyon is the eldest son and CFO of the company. He is Ivy- League educated and believes he should run the company when Daddy announces he will be grooming one son to replace him. Of course the show needs a villain we want to love…I guess this is Andre…He will stab his brothers in the back if it means getting to the top of the Empire (pun intended) yet you want to love him because he has worked so hard for his spot at the table…married a white girl and everythang
Malik Yoba as Vernon Turner is Lucious’ longtime friend so that means he has to be a business partner, and chairman of Empire Entertainment. I’m not sure what is going on with this character but the spotlight was ALL on him…cause he was shinning like some greasy lips that just ate a piece of fried chicken.
For a first episode a lot was thrown in…Why writers feel the need to do that I don’t know. But they do it and at times it was hard to follow. Once scene Cookie is leaving jail, two scenes later she is already set up in an apartment, with boxes and bags of clothing. I know money talks but damn…
There is a cool chemistry between Howard and Henson that does show well when Howard isn’t being overly dramatic…which he does in every scene. From how he delivers the lines to how he sits in a chair…unless it isn’t overly dramatic to lean to the left in your chair when having a power struggle conversation and can’t be bothered.
I will continue watching because I love me some Cookie and because sometimes I like a train wreck.
50 Cent (producer of the wonderful show Power) said that Empire is a rip off from his show…
Boo…you do not need to worry…if the first episode is anything of what the rest will be the empire will crumble (like what I did there with the title 😉
*Did you watch Empire? What are your thoughts?*
Yes this post is more sarcastic than I normally do…but come on!!! I have a lot of material here.
Until next time,