The “Empire” strikes first
By Fred Singleton
When was the last time you’ve seen a network television show with a majority black cast, that is as well put together as the new hit series “Empire.” The script is is phenomenal, cast and performances are off the meat rack. I’ll tell the last “Never…” Viewing the last past episodes has truly been a pleasure, Taraji P. Hendson and Terrence Howard thespianship is worthy of an Emmy. Because their acting is more than captivating it’s the true epitome of art imitating life. the story line is one for the history book. Therefore I’d like to personally thank the script writers, producers and last but not least Lee Daniels the show director for his breathe taking visuals.
To create such a show that encapsulate black culture, and at the same time transcend the stereo-typical aspect of the every day hustles ambition is truly a feet in my opinion. Actually there’s very little about this show that is typical, starting with Taraji’s character “Cookie” the mother of three children who goes to jail for drug dealing leaving the father of her child/Rapper Terrence Howard left with the responsibility of raising their children.
Then you have the premise of the show being about a rap label started by a street hustler, attempting to take his company public i.e. Wallstreet, nothing typical there! Furthermore the intricate storyline and the development of the supporting cast, has a unique way of supplying its audience with the unpredictable. For example the character “Jamal”, Terrence’s gay son who has been conflicted about coming out to the world about his homosexuality, then enters the video director hired by his father who unbeknownst to his father is also gay, who encourages Jamal to come out. The eldest son “Andre” who struggles with acceptance issues, married to a Caucasian women, and dealing with severe anxiety issues. Andre’s characters deepest conflicts lie’s in his battle for his fathers approval, do to his lack of musical talent unlike his siblings.
The beauty if this series compared to other urban stories which often times has the same plot, with the average hood story ending i.e. Drug dealer get money, starts a record label, friend snitches and the key character wind up dead or in jail. Yet Empire, constantly leave you in suspense with it’s innovative twist and turns at the end of every episode one finds themselves saying “What the hell is next.” This series is “Son of Anarchy-meets-New Jack City” where this story will end, all are still wondering. But one things for sure I’ll be watching and it’s my recommendation that you do the same.