Empirical (Television Thoughts: Empire Season One)

empireThe non-comformist in me tried and did ignore “Empire” when it was burning up earlier this year. But I am not going to lie – I was curious, and kept episodes in my hard drive, because really I know I should be watching the show. (That, or maybe I did not want to support it because its soundtrack kept Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ from debuting on top of the charts) So Labor Day weekend comes, and I felt like binge-watching something, and since the second season of the show is premiering soon, I ventured to my trusty hard drive and watched the pilot episode. God, I was hooked – i was so hooked like you wouldn’t believe. This is night time soap opera at its juiciest – and it feels so now that I asked myself, why the hell was I not watching this again? It had everything – camp, furs, and Taraji P Henson. I swear, she should be standing there Emmy night with statuette in hand. (I mean, she has to battle Viola Davis for it, but I want her to be victorious)  Let’s face it – this isn’t the most serious of shows (logic flies out the window with each magnificent twist and turn) but damn it if you aren’t invested in those crazy twists and turns. Plus, it’s a gay show, in the literal sense. Jussie Smoleet, as gay son Jamal, is a central character, and is one of the drivers for all the twists and turns. And wait – there’s more! Since the setting is at a recording company empire, music permeates throughout the show – and there is no shortage in divas galore – on the first season alone we get Jennifer Hudson, Gladys Knight, Mary J Blige, Rita Ora, just to name drop, and rumor has it that Mariah Carey will be showing up on Season Two (It won’t be a surprise since she has already worked numerous times with Lee Daniels, who created this series ) So on paper, it has all the elements of what I would enjoy, and in that sense it delivers. Do I feel dumb after seeing it? Honestly, I do. But I don’t have to think and be emotional in everything I watch, and this one gets a major pass. Bring the new season on!

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