June 30, 2016 \ TV \ 0 Comments
Empire is about a music label (of the same name) and the Lyon family that runs it. Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) is the co-founder of the company along with ex-wife Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson). When the series begins, Lucious has a meeting with his three sons, Jamal (Jussie Smollett), Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray), and Andre (Trai Byers), explaining that he intends to groom one of them to be the head of the Empire — but only one. Meanwhile, Cookie is released from being imprisoned for 17 years, expecting to take her half of the company. The series is about the five of them wrestling for control of Empire while trying to make it (and themselves) a success.
Since the show is about a music label, Empire contains a number of original songs, which the show presents with great assuredness (with Timbaland as the show’s music producer). Empire is also nighttime soap and is a deliberate, perpetual tornado of melodrama. Everything that has to do with the music great, while much of the melodrama feels excessive. It’s almost like it’s two different shows, which creates some great heights and some unfortunate depths.
I recently started watching Fear the Walking Dead. It started with some great tension, but over time that greatness has faded. It’s not just that the show is in The Walking Dead‘s shadow, it’s that there is a problem with conflict on the show. There simply isn’t enough conflict (so far) between the characters and each other, themselves, and their surroundings. Fear the Walking Dead might have some interesting groundwork, but it hasn’t quite blossomed yet.
April 7, 2016 \ TV \ 0 Comments