Empire (TV Series): Review
Music. Family. Power. The battle begins.
“If music be the food of Love, play on!”~~Shakespeare……….Lionel Richie verse to end it……”Play oooon, Play on, Play on.”……
A drug dealer turned hip-hop mogul must choose between his three sons who are battling for control over his multi-million dollar company while his ex-wife schemes to get what’s hers.
#Teamcookie all the way baby!!!
Before I get into everything else. Thank you Lee Daniels & Danny Strong for creating the character Cookie Lyon! She is just unbelievable. Major props and bows to Taraji P. Henson for pulling it off. She is a total badass, both complicated and complex. Stopping at nothing to get what she wants and wrecking ‘havoc’ along the way. It’s mad fun watching her antics. Her cadence is pure awesome. Yeah we have seen black woman portrayed like this on a smaller scale but Cookie Lyon takes it to a whole other level. She’s feisty, street-smart, passionate, vindictive, powerful, devious and most of all insanely protective of her family. I especially enjoy the character’s utmost defense of her gay son, Jamal and her unbreakable belief in his talent. She is without a doubt in my mind, the insurmountable, unstoppable, immovable heart of the show.
Follow her here.
So first things first, is this the same premise as the Shakespearean, King Lear? Yes.
But that’s where Cookie comes in to up-heave the whole dynamic, which is what hooked me to the show. Empire is the unlikeliest broadcast television success story in recent memory.
Lucious Lyon – Fiercely attached to his Empire and all he has built. Valuing many times above his own family’s wellbeing. Not noticing how much his oldest son has sacrificed for him, unsupporting of his second oldest’s lifestyle choice and overly spoiling his youngest. Yes he most certainly is that hate to love kinda guy. With so many irredeemable qualities it has me flabbergasted that comes out on top. His cunning nature probably lends to this. Lucious will most assuredly draw you in, especially with that almost ‘Grinchian” smile of his.
Jamal Lyon – What a character! He invokes such emotion with his music, building you up, letting you down and then taking you over that crescendo. It’s beauty! His songs are epic. It’s like Michael Jackson, Usher and Justin Timberlake combined their DNA to form him. The way he struggles against his father’s negative view of him. He just gets better with each song and episode. I love how grounded his character is, not letting his talent go to his head. Facing off against animosity with a firm grip on his beliefs. Jussie Smollet the actor who plays Jamal, is insanely talented. His song, Good Enough has so many feels! Follow him here.
Hakeem Lyon – yo! This dude be tripping. He is way too spoiled and easily manipulated. The only worthwhile songs he’s done is the ones with Jamal. Although there was this one rap battle…..but I’ll let you watch for yourself. Was definitely the only time I ever respected him. Other than that, booo. More Jamal.
It seems like its Jamal & Cookie vs Hakeem & Lucious. With Andre (the oldest) left on the sidelines because he doesn’t have any singing talent. Careful people, ignoring Andre could be the worst mistake you’ve made.
My mom is obsessed with this show and upon her constant insistence that I watch it, being the rebel that I am, I ignored her. Until one night, I was utterly bored and insomniac. The first season was the TV’s On Demand listings. So I put on the first episode and to my surprise, I reluctantly admitted that the Lyon empire drew me in. Cookie most of all. She reminded me of all the great things about my mom. Her tenuous belief in her son’s potential, her effortless selflessness in the face of her son’s needs. I just had to watch more and I did….by the morning I had already finished season 1. So of course by the time I woke up again, season 2 had already been downloaded. What an epic show.
Personal rating: 8/10
In the days to come I will add more reviews of my favorite TV shows and Movies.
Let me know your thoughts about the show. All views are welcome.
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Found this Epic artwork on Black Art in America.
~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres