Ufff! What a way to start what promises to be the best season of Empire so far. You have to give it to the Lyons family for turning up the crazy value all to 11. Even grandma is in on this insane rollercoaster ride. The first 10 minutes of episode one will leave you speechless. The acting alone is flawless. Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson start strong and finish even stronger. The supporting cast is superb too.
Up until now we have seen the shady, corrupt and shameless ways Lucious runs his music empire. Regardless of his past experiences, the thug inside this man is what makes him the king of R&B and rap. However, without his wife Cookie he’d still be out hustling or worse, in jail for life. She sacrifices 18 years of her life to keep the family secrets safe and her children secured in a world full of big dreams and fast women. By the time we join their journey the children are all grown up, all three of them, but she’s freed just in time to make real men out of them. This momma bear is fierce and she doesn’t hold back any punches when it comes to keeping her Empire prosperous. The family’s love hate relationship is engaging and so real you’d think they exist and this was a documentary.
Andre, Jamal and Hakeem keep it real even though their caviar and champagne upbringing and lifestyle removes them from the street life that saw them be born. Without malice or much backstabbing, the boys make toil and trouble for their parents who can’t understand why these three are soft and entitled. In between the drama there are music numbers and guest appearances that almost make this show seem like a broadway production. The songs and arrangements are a good enough reason to watch the show. It is a true gem.
Watch Empire Wednesdays at 9pm on Fox.