Why "Empire" Is the Funnest Show on TV
Because Oscar contenders make a killer soap opera
King Lear meets Dynasty meets Glee, starring Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard? Oh, and Lee Daniels and Timbaland at the helm? This show is the best thing to happen to TV in years. Here are the exact reasons Empire is our new obsession.
World, meet Cookie (played by Taraji P. Henson), lover of furs, fedoras and all things leopard. She just got out of prison (after 17 years) and is making up for lost time. If the only thing you watch Empire for is her over-the-top outfits, it’s a good enough motive.
Similar to Nashville, the premise of Empire revolves around the music industry--namely two brothers who compete to be the bigger artist under the thumb of their record-executive parents. Expect a mix of original hip-hop and R&B songs, all produced by Timbaland (who--fun fact--just won a Grammy for cowriting Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love”).
As we said, it’s not just Oscar nominees Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard running this ship. The show is actually created by fellow Academy hopeful Lee Daniels, director of Precious and The Butler. (Bonus: Gabby Sidibe guest stars, too.)
Daniels uses one of the brother characters to shine a light on blatant homophobia in the hip-hop community. Though it's sometimes tough to watch the father’s hateful actions, they’re definite eye-openers.
Then again, there are the traditional cat fights, secrets and murder. It is, after all, still a juicy soap.
Naomi Campbell, Cuba Gooding Jr., even Courtney Love make an occasional appearance. And we’re sure that’s just the beginning.