Empire Series Premiere Review: King Lear (Remix)

January 8, 2015 3:14 AM

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Empire Series Premiere Review: King Lear (Remix)

You know that style of review where the writer opens with, "All you need to know about Show X is that it's the kind of show where a character says 'Wild Line Z'"? Yeah, you know the one. I'm not necessarily a big fan of that approach, but I can't think of a better way to introduce Fox's new hip-hop drama Empire. You see, Empire is the kind of show where the the male lead (the always game Terrence Howard) says, with absolute earnestness, "I've never let anything become between our friendship. [Beat] Except a bullet." [Immediately executes his lifelong friend.] That, folks, was a tremendously wild moment toward the end of Empire's first episode, and it was just one of many.

Empire (developed for TV by Danny Strong and Lee Daniels, with the pilot directed by Daniels), is not an exceptionally original show, premise-wise. Howard's Luscious Lyon is a hip-hop star turned mogul who's looking to take his label/multimedia conglomerate public, but he's doing so with the knowled...

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