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TV Show Review: Empire: “Pilot”


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The New Year for TV begins quite successfully. There are many TV series lined up  and waiting to be released to the general public, such as Eye Candy, CSI: Cyber, American Crime, and The Royals. But, while we`re waiting for them to come out, here is a big treat from the inexplicably talented writer and director, Lee Daniels, who has brought us the critically acclaimed The Butler, The Paperboy and Shadowboxer. This time he brings something that will certainly blow your mind, because the quality is all that we need to see on TV, and his Empire is exactly the kind of project we so desperately want to see.

Empire is mixed with beautifully written hip hop music, and, as well as being a thriller, it revolves around a family that is willing to fight each other for the Empire they all want to possess. Lucious Lyon plays Terrence Howard who is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His doctor tells him there is no cure for ALS and he has only has three years to live, maybe less. Once our hero finds out the bad news, he decides he must protect his empire and find someone who can take over his company – one of his sons, Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Gray), Andre Lyon (Trai Byers) and Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett). All could go as planned for Lucious, if not for his ex-wife, with an edible name, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) who has just been released from prison for good behavior, and has plans of her own.

Empire begins with Lucious, who looks for perfection in everything he creates. And this how we find him at the opening scene; listening to beautiful soul music performed by a young singer, and he is not happy about her performance. He interrupts her performance and asks her to think of an accident she had last year, and then to perform the song again. Meantime, in the second scene, while listening to the music, we see Luciuos in the hospital, undergoing tests to determine his current condition and find out the diagnosis. The look the doctor and Lucious exchange shows us that there is nothing good to expect from the results.

In the Pilot episode of Empire, which is co-written by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, and directed by Lee Daniels himself, reveals many small details that hooks the audience right away, from the very first second. The music we hear at the beginning promises us that the show will be as sad and well performed, with as much love and passion, as the song itself. This is the main reason this show is turning out to be one of the most anticipated of the year. Lee Daniels, in Empire, develops his characters as if he has known them for a long time. All that he needed was to have the opportunity to have them appear the way he wanted us to see them; talented, determined, risky, and powerful, by all means.

Cookie, who is Lucious’s ex-wife adds intensity with her appearance, which makes this show, not just worth watching, but eagerly awaiting the next episode. The performance delivered by the cast is very convincing. Terrence Howard plays an interesting character, who I am sure, with his ability to transform himself into his character, will certainly allow Lucious to shine the way he should. If by any chance you have not seen the very promising pilot episode of Empire, turn your channel to FOX and make sure to catch the season`s best opening series so far, as created by Lee Daniels, where the only thing you can be assured is that the biggest battle of the season begins on FOX, where the Lyon family will do anything to hold onto power… and murder is one of them…

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About Ulkar Alakbarova (1102 Articles)
My name is Ulkar Alakbarova. A wonderful name, is it not? I come from the exotic land of Azerbaijan but now I live in the hub of Hollywood North – Toronto, Canada. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favourite avocation of watching movies. Movies of every genre are screened here in Toronto. There are black and white classics, avant garde, independently produced, and of course, newly released movies for all to enjoy. Let me share this treasure of entertainment with you. Read my thoughts and opinions then let me know if you agree.

6 Comments on TV Show Review: Empire: “Pilot”

  1. I wasn’t looking forward to this show and I was busy when it premiered, but now I really want to check this show out.

    • If you ever heard of Lee Daniels, then you must know that some part of this taken from his personal life… He said that during Q&A in Toronto. i`ve been looking forward to see it since the day when I heard his story… It`s pretty good show. And by the way, thank you for stopping by and leaving comment.

      • I’ve heard of Lee Daniels, mostly because of The Butler. He’s a great all-around filmmaker. It was pretty much once I heard that he was involved that my interest was increased. I don’t watch a lot of shows on Fox so I rarely saw ads for it, other than in magazines, but I never really paid attention to them.

      • FOX aired one of my favorite tv shows “FRINGE”. But what I knew from Lee Daniels, I heard it from himself. This is why knowing his incredibly difficult past, the way he became who he is right now is told in EMPIRE but adapted a little bit differently.

      • I loved Fringe, still haven’t finished it. I should probably study up on Lee Daniels. Sounds very interesting.

      • I don`t know how much you can find about the past of Lee Daniels. Fringe was excellent show. I to watch it sometimes. Ana Torv was great as Olivia Dunham

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