'Empire' finale deftly lays groundwork for second season

March 19, 2015 8:35 AM

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'Empire' finale deftly lays groundwork for second season

As is so often true in today's traffic-oriented media culture, the astonishing success of "Empire" has inspired people to heap praise on the Fox series that it probably doesn't deserve and attribute qualities to it that scarcely exist. At its core, the show is essentially a "Dynasty" retread, a splashy primetime soap combining sex, money and power, with music and the predominantly African-American cast offering updated - and clearly, well timed - wrinkles. And while the program initially featured subplots seemingly culled from a "serious drama" checklist, it steadily developed and expanded upon them, as was evident in Wednesday's twist-laden season finale.

"Empire" didn't hide its Shakespearean elements - heck, it overtly stated them from the get-go - while carefully pulling from a grab bag of serialized plots. The series has also been informed by the Shonda Rhimes school of drama, which states that the audience can embrace ridiculous moments on somet...

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