Why Fox’s Empire is a must see!
Every time I am around a group of people and bring up the show “Empire” I seem to notice that people begin rolling their eyes and adding commentary that Terrence Howard is ruining his career. Although there are elements of the show that could be better, “Empire” has proven itself to be creative and diverse. If you don’t believe me then just look at the statistics—it is Fox’s top-rated show with an average of 16.5 million viewers. The show revolves around a former drug-dealing rapper turned clean, multi-millionaire music producer, Lucious Lyons, who has recently been diagnosed with ALS and needs to find a successor to his “empire.” With three sons, a girlfriend, and an ex-wife that went to jail for him, the choice is difficult.
Some people wonder if “Empire” will be able to strike viewer ratings just as hard in the second season. In my opinion there are twists, turns, and classic lines that make this show a hit, but there are three reasons to watch this show:
1) Cookie Lyons (played by Taraji Henson) – Ex-wife of Lucious Lyons
Posing with sass and class, Cookie Lyons is completely addicting on screen. I may be able to text and surf the internet when watching a show, but as soon as Cookie says something my eyes become glued to the tube. Her presence dominates the screen with her wit, cleverness, innate musical talent, and enormous love for her sons that is unlike any other television character. When Cookie has left the screen I reflect on what she said and begin feeling an immediate connection to her. When I envision Cookie Lyons I see a modern Wonder Woman who has gone rogue on the Justice League. But one of my favorite aspects of Cookie’s character is that she has the best lines. Here is one my favorite lines from Cookie, which I think sums up my white girl lifestyle: “The streets aren’t made for everyone. That’s why there are sidewalks.”
If you haven’t heard a song from the show “Empire,” immediately stop what you’re doing, google “Money for Nothing” revival, or “You’re so Beautiful,” and be prepared to be blown away when you hear it for the first time. Being a native of Hampton Roads, I have a great appreciation for musical legend, Timbaland, and his creativity. He transpires that same musical talent that we know and love to the show. Haven’t heard of Timbaland, you say? If you haven’t heard of him you’d be surprised to find out that you’ve been dancing and/or listening to his music for decades. For example, remember that huge Justin Timberlake single “Cry Me a River”? Yup…him. Aalyiah’s songs from the record “One in a Million” ring a bell? That’s him too. The list goes on and on, but in sum the music on the show speaks to his talent and I believe is part of the show’s success.
3) Chemistry between Terrence Howard and Taraji Henson
In 2005 “Hustle and Flow” demonstrated that Howard and Henson were meant to be partners in crime. Howard played a pimp and drug dealer and Henson was his love interest. Although the plot in “Hustle and Flow” was far from a storybook ending, this chemistry gave the creators of “Empire” the idea to emulate and sky-rocket the connection between Howard and Henson that would give fans something to cheer about. I have to admit that although I loathe Lucious Lyons, I always wonder if he and Cookie will keep the flame of love going for next season. Their love is strained and complicated, but that is the kind of love that keeps viewers watching.
So, before you hastily judge “Empire” watch a few episodes and I guarantee that you will agree that this show brings an interesting dynamic and flavor that the other shows on television just can’t compete with. Do you think the “Empire” will strike television ratings again?