My Obsession With 'Empire' Explained
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

My Obsession With 'Empire' Explained

“ Empire" resonates with me because of its power to grip our America's heart--Black and White. It transcends.”

15
My Obsession With 'Empire' Explained
TV Guide

It was its glamor and sophistication. Or the swag that came from those Louis Vuitton shoes and its designer million dollar wardrobe. I even thought maybe it could be the sound of Timbaland's sweet beats that ring through my ears every Wednesday night and stay forever embedded in my heart. But maybe what Empire Boo Boo Kitty said: "the beauty of 'Empire' is you never know what's going to happen."

Strong actors such as Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard won several Best Actor/Actress awards from the Emmy’s, Golden Globe, and Critics Choice Television Awards and were nominated for countless others. Most notably, “Empire” was awarded with Program of the Year during its first year running. That is not only rare, but profound. All of these accomplishments could have only been achieved by having the platform that they did, and used it wisely. With such a strong platform and track record of success, they are able to feature multiple successful and dynamic guest actors and actresses such as Jennifer Hudson, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, Estelle, and Chris Rock.

What “Empire” has done is something that has never been done: force the predominantly white audience of FOX to swallow the uncomfortable pill of a struggle that occurs in America. Black America, that is. Yeah, many people say it's layered with countless negative Black stereotypes, but these so-called stereotypes reflect a reality, and the show itself is a soap opera in which it dramatizes that reality further. It is an entertainment show after all, but it has a foundation of realness.

The hood is uncomfortable for a lot of people, but behind Luscious’ intense encounters with the lives he has taken or the drama of Boo Boo Kitty or even a sassy remark from Cookie, they also show Cookie’s severe depression of sacrificing over half of her life in prison for the ones she loved, seeing you come from undesirable circumstances and making greatness happen, homophobia, fame’s desire of corruption, and for thrusting Black individuals from the hood into a million-dollar, glamorous lifestyle. Wealthy and successful is how you describe the Lyon family, and that for a family under similar conditions cannot say the same for themselves. So what happens to this family form the hood when they reach fame and better yet a sense of freedom? Well, “Empire” is that reality (to a certain extent).

I love "Empire" because of that unique rawness. Because "Empire" never refuses to take risks. The people behind "Empire" too know that they have a responsibility to change the game for Black TV in America. I think the most important reason why "Empire" resonates with me is because of its power to grip our America's heart as well, Black and White and everything else alike. It transcends. Whites and even Blacks as well as other races don’t always understand this spectrum of America, but they enjoy watching a come up from it. It’s a success story, a rags-to-riches story, a new story. Black people can be successful from the hood and struggle and succeed. People like seeing Blacks when they’re successful and when they’ve hit big, but the work behind it isn’t always pretty, and it humbles us as their viewers. It also captivates those viewers, and there are a LOT of viewers.

Cookie is a personification of Empire’s glamor, and rawness because she has the swagger, glamor and nuance of New York women to be strong, ruthless, and undeniably controversial. People don’t always like what she has to say, but they respect what she says because Cookie’s character has never purposefully wanted to do something that didn’t have honest intentions behind it. She says the truth so easily and carefree that it makes people uncomfortable, and that’s exactly what “Empire” is doing.

“Empire” is successful in its own right, and differs from “Scandal” and “Power” in complex ways. But that’s OK, because the whole Black population isn’t the same either.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

71558
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

133527
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments