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Review: Empire

Empire-2Empire” is the HIGHLY anticipated upcoming musical drama from Academy Award nominated director Lee Daniels (“Precious” ’09) and Emmy Award winning screenwriter Danny Strong (“Game Change” ’12).  The show revolves around the musically inclined Lyon family, who started a record label and built it into a music empire (hence the show’s title).

Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard (“Hustle & Flow” ’05) stars as rapper turned record head Luscious Lyon, reuniting with “Hustle” costar is fellow Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” ’08) as the razor-sharp tongued Cookie Lyon.  Playing the couple’s three children are Trai Byers as oldest son and businessman Andre, Jussie Smollett as middle son and R&B singer Jamal and Bryshere Y. Gray as youngest son and bad boy rapper Hakeem.

Don’t be fooled though because it’s not all sunshine and kumbaya with this family.  There’s drama and LOTS of it within the first episode. Viewers will see battle lines being drawn, a hidden agenda revealed and some secrets someone wants to keep hidden.  Great vocals, slick rhymes and hot beats flow throughout the episode that even the music is a supporting cast member.

I think Fox JUST found its next new hit with this fresh, smart, and juicy new drama.  As of reviewing the pilot, I already have my favorite characters.  Cookie to me is the scene stealer because with every appearance you’re DYING to know what she’s going to say next.  Aside from his singing, with Jamal, you’ll just have to wait and see why, but I think viewers are going to really like him.  My HOPE is that people will tune in giving it the ratings this top notch show DESERVES to have.  If the pilot is any indication as to what the first season will bring, then count me in!  “Empire” begins its reign on Wednesday January 7th at 9pm following the season premiere of “American Idol.”