Author: Ashley E.
The highly anticipated series Empire premiered last night on Fox. The show introduces us to Lucious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard), the head of Empire Entertainment. Lucious is aware that his business is not as profitable as it once was due to the changes in the music industry over the years. As he looks for other financial opportunities to keep his empire secure, he discovers that he has ALS and has an estimated 3 years or less to live. This is where the plot thickens. Lucious has to appoint someone to take over the business so he turns to his three sons to see which one can step up and fill his shoes. The brothers are as different as night and day. Hakeem and Jamal are both music artists and the oldest brother Andre chose to avoid the celebrity lifestyle altogether. Hakeem is young and reckless but Lucious makes it a priority to manage his youngest son’s career in an attempt to turn him into a mega star that will bring more money to his empire. Jamal is a very talented artist as well but because of his homosexual lifestyle, his dad looks upon him as the “black sheep” of the family. The oldest son is seemingly well rounded and responsible; however his lack of affiliation to the entertainment industry causes his dad to question his leadership.
Taraji P. Henson’s character Cookie ignites the show. The first episode shows her being released from jail after serving 17 years for selling drugs. When she gets out, she finds out a lot has changed with the empire she helped to establish, her 3 sons, and the man she once loved. She is back to remind Lucious that she sacrificed years of her life to help build the business and she wants her piece of the pie. The competition to take over the throne is in full throttle! Will the love of money and power cause a split in the family? We shall see.
It was also great to see Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard unite on the screen again. Ironically Terrence Howard’s character looked like he stepped out of a scene from Hustle and Flow. Henson and Howard co-starred in the 2005 film.