I will preface this review by reminding everyone that I am a white woman with limited expertise of the hip-hop mogul community. Unfortunately, I have the overwhelming suspicion that the creators of Empire don’t either.
Its like the creators made a list of all the most stereotypical black clichés and then made sure they packed them all in to the first ten minutes. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the original script was written as satire that completely went over the network’s head. And if the clichés had stopped there I probably would assume that and forgive it.
But, when they weren’t casually mentioning friendships with the president or holding business meetings on a basketball court, it was nothing but a string of more well worn clichés. But, once we got past the first 15 minutes, Empire found its footing with those clichés; its over-the-top, soap opera spectacular footing.
Now, I am not one to sneer at a good soap opera, in fact I quite enjoy them. It’s just not exactly how the show was advertised. If Empire fully embraces its soapiness it could be a hit in the same vein as Revenge. Granted, that may seem like I’m damning it with faint praise, but successes is success.
But really, the biggest draw for Empire is Taraji P. Henson who takes the fabulous, diva soap villain to new heights. Move over Annalise Keating, there’s a new bitch in town and she is not playing. It would be nice if there were a few more likable characters, but sometimes fierce is better than likable. At least for now.
Final Verdict: If you’re into soap operas and don’t mind if they exist nowhere near reality, its worth a few episode investment to see where it goes.
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