Empire (TV Series 2015– ) Poster

(2015– )

User Reviews

Review this title
133 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Just terrible
redwolf28386-893-9026214 January 2019
Bad acting, bad scripts- just bad! I have no idea how a show this bad can stay on television.
57 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The AUTO-TUNE Empire
trudystillbottom15 December 2016
A good show gone bad. In the beginning, Cookie was the breakout and deservedly so, but now, in season 3 she is a cartoon. Empire has forgotten the Cardinal Rule of nighttime soaps. That is you have to have at least one character that is good and likable. That never wavers from that good. Here, almost every character is completely deplorable. Too many guest stars mugging for the camera. And all the children of privilege, getting much more than they deserve, and not equal in the talent department. It also past time to turn off that auto-tune machine. It is obvious that Hakeem does not possess the talent of the character and the excessive use of auto-tune in his performances is like painting everyone bright luminous yellow. Jamal is talented, but his distinctive voice and style makes everything sound repetitive and is approaching tiresome. We saw the rise of this Empire, I guess we now get to see the fall.
52 out of 60 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Crappy craptastic
ptepowell17 February 2019
Trys way to hard very prediciable and acting is subpar and thats being generous... The Wire will always being the greatest assembale of african american talent evrything else is pale in comparrision
32 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Black stereotypes and drama....but no substance!
kimgarrett-782959 November 2018
How is this show so highly rated? Bad actors, bad scripts, black stereotypes gone amuk... it's like glee without the talent for people who just want to root for black millionaire moguls...the characters are poorly developed and have no integrity(Cookie is the best of a bad lot). The autotune nightmare is flat out ridiculous and Hakim is a decent rapper but as bad an actor as they come...there is so much great black talent out there...The actor who plays Lucious isn't awful but never seems to really dig for deeper emotions...not that the writing gives them much to work with...its all drama without any grounding in real connection or character development! A real crime as its a great concept...just poorly executed.
23 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
lmcbrien314525 September 2018
I had to stop watching after the first season because the show promotes the worst stereotypes of the african-american community.
20 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
rodbernakashima27 October 2015
The first season I was hooked and intrigued. i found it fascinating in their world. I anticipated the second season and even marked my calendar.

Second season came and I said it will get better. I gave it 3 episodes and decided it a waste of my time.

There is no fluidity in the story line. Constantly new characters are being introduced with no character build up. They come and disappear. It seems like the producers are accommodating these celebrities to appear in the show or vice versa. The producers compromises the integrity of the story line. It instead becomes a variety/musical fashion show or a very long music video.

The Empire story does not make sense anymore nor is it believable. The main character Luscious, always wins no matter what. He is able to block all the unbelievable ploys.

I believe Empire lost it. There are a lot of good shows around that last for years. My prediction Empire is a one season show. Producers invest on writers instead of the revolving door of celebrities.
65 out of 90 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Waste of time and not really good
tonyt-2459916 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
How does this show get any buzz at all. It just a bad soap opera with over acting. With all the good television out there how is this show the most talked about show and gets the best ratings. Obviously we all know why and 90 % of the ratings on this board that are positive is from Afro American viewers. Do they really like this show or they just support this show because it is their show. That is the question. It is like Obama getting elected and getting 90% of the Black vote or O.J.Simpson getting cheered by the Afro Americans in colleges when he was found not guilty. Does it have to be about race all the time and not the quality of the show. Sorry to say but this show is not quality at all. I get it that they want to support it but getting nominations for awards is ridiculous. Maybe one day an Afro American show on cable will be produced and will be done with better quality and I will be the first too watch it just like I watched Afro American classics like The Jeffersons, Good Times, Sanford and Sons, and The Prince of Bel Aire.
53 out of 74 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Cheesy heading towards cringey
sy-holsinger4 October 2018
Mix between being simply cheesy and uncomfortably embarrassing to sit through and watch
17 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
So... my two cents...
mrie6 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, I have to say it: I am not a huge fan of Empire. It's entertaining, it's interesting, it has some pretty good humor, and I liked the casting choices. However, this show is soooo not original, the content is very shallow (meaning no depth), and I find it hard to follow at times.

I knew I wasn't going to care about it before it even aired. I saw the promo with Taraji and Terrance, and instantly thought it was an unoriginal "Hustle and Flow" spin-off. Aside from that, it already looked messy. So, I didn't see it when it premiered. Well, my co-workers were praising the show the next day at work like it was the best thing to happen to television. So, yeah, that got my curiosity going. By that time I was aware that Empire in fact was not a Hustle and Flow knock-off. More like an urban "Dynasty", a soap opera, which was one of the inspirations for Empire (Daniels mentioned this himself).

I was not impressed by the first episode. In the first scene Lucius is telling a singer to think about her brother who got shot in order to convey more emotion in her singing a song about love and loss. So, right away, I thought that the show was already bordering on too dramatic with the whole "I need you to REALLY bring the pain" dynamic of that scene. Just ask her to remember her first break up and go from there. Gosh. The flashback scenes with the gay son Jamal dressed like a woman were somewhat unrealistic to me because of how they played out. Why did the kid dress that way and then just stand there in front of everyone? What was the point of that? He didn't even pretend like he was modeling the clothes or anything like how you play dress-up. He just stood there and looked stupid. Was he making a statement? Anyway, Lucius throwing his son in the garbage was really traumatic for some viewers and made some people cry. But, I thought it was a bit extreme, and I almost stopped watching after that. I also wasn't too thrilled with the fact that the writer being gay made the gay son the most sympathetic character with hardly any flaws compared to everyone else. Is that really fair? Makes me feel as though Jamal can do no wrong and will always just be a victim and if not him, then any other gay character. On top of that, I can't stand Jamal's weak, shaky singing voice. How are people saying that he sounds so great? I'm not convinced that the writer knows how to write believable black female characters (speaking as a black female). Cookie is loud and obnoxious, which makes for good drama and entertainment. I'm not mad at her being real, and having flaws. However, there are times when I really wish Cookie would stop wearing her feelings on the outside all the damn time. Honestly, there are times when I believe she could be upset or disappointed about something without being so obvious or over-the-top. I wish she could be more cool in certain situations. The way she deals with Lucius' girl, Anika makes her look extra pressed in almost every scene. But, I guess if she toned it down, she would be less "real", so that won't be an option.

Lucius is a piece of ****. As far as I'm concerned, he doesn't treat any of his sons right, even his "favorite", Hakeem. What does any of his relationships even mean to him? Seriously. Why is he acting like he can't decide which son should be CEO of Empire? Clearly, it should be mature, business-savvy Andre, but, he leans more towards Hakeem the "star". His struggle with the decision really annoyed me from the very first episode and just convinced me that Lucius was simple as hell. In later episodes it shows that Lucius suddenly doesn't seem to trust Andre. Okay, whatever.

When it comes to a show like Empire that combines music with drama, it sometimes feels like I am being forced to listen to music that I don't like. The "You're So Beautiful" track from the show is honestly getting on my nerves. I don't care to hear Cookie or Lucius attempt to sing at times, either. But, that's more of a personal thing, so moving on...

I ended up binge watching the first 9 episodes of Empire OnDemand just so that I wouldn't be out of the loop and to give it a fair judgment instead of copping out after the first episode. Afterwards, I was thoroughly convinced that this show is over-rated... but, not horrible. I do think that for this show to be as real and raw as it aspires to be, it would have to be a netflix series or featured on a premium cable channel where it wouldn't be censored. I can give it 4 stars. The writing is very lacking with poorly developed characters and predictable plots. However, it delivers a good cast, and good entertainment (you won't be bored) and some insight into the music industry.
40 out of 55 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
highlander_3152722 February 2019
This show is nothing more than liberal left wing garbage. Just like it's actors.
23 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Disappointment that Promotes Colorism and Worse
siamivi7 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
It's somewhat of an interesting show, more over-the-top flash than substance. That's probably why it has the ratings now. I just wonder about its creation.

It seems kind of odd that this almost all black show was created by a gay white man (Danny Strong) who then gets Lee Daniels, a gay black man, to help develop a show full of black stereotypes and maybe even some fabrications? I have no qualms with the two of them creating a show, but it just seems like it would have been more authentic if they'd made something that was closer to themselves, like perhaps a show about a black and white interracial homosexual couple and their struggles. Instead, they make this.

I understand that Mr. Daniels said this show parallels his childhood, but growing up in a hip hop family really wasn't his childhood. I can only hope that the unbelievable extravagance of dysfunction seen on this show wasn't his childhood too. At least with a show like Game of Thrones, you know that it's all made up and not meant to parallel any reality. I think this show makes the mistake of not making that distinction clear.

I was intrigued by the outline of the show, and I wanted to like it, but after watching a few episodes I do not think it represents anything positive. There is quite a lot of colorism. Only the darkest people are "servants," and the lightest are the upper crust. They even manage to have that hierarchy with the Lyon sons, with the lightest (Jamal) being the obvious favorite of the show, the next lightest being the oldest son who's the "smart one" that married and is controlled by his white wife (she literally grabs him by the balls and tells him what to do and he obeys like a child), and then the darkest (Hakeem?) is the youngest son who is bratty, brash, disrespectful, and a wannabe thug. It's also interesting that he's the only of the three sons that seems to like dating his own race, while the "smarter" and more "sensible" brothers don't. It doesn't stop there.

The father dumps the faithful black wife (Cookie) he had, a woman who went to prison so he wouldn't have to for seventeen years, even going so far as to divorce her and forget about her and keep the kids away while she was locked up for the sake of their family. She gets out and he's marrying a biracial (black/white) woman who the show portrays as more desirable and better than Cookie. They show Cookie as an annoyance and someone to tolerate because they can't get rid of her because she knows too much. It seems odd to me that the sons don't seem to care too much about her. The only possible positive is that she does end up being the most likable character on the show, though I'm not sure if that's entirely the writing.

For anyone not sensitive and knowledgeable about racial issues and contexts relating to racism, I think a lot of this will fly over your head, but subliminally it's being shown every second. They call this show "real," but I doubt that it is. I think they deal with some real issues in some very unreal ways, sometimes even insulting the intelligence (or taking advantage of the lack of intelligence) of their audience. Some of the messages I got were that we're all supposed to love homosexuality (which I have no problem with) and that black people should glorify racism by promoting and practicing colourism against other people of color, not to mention being stereotypes themselves. This is on top of the messages about backstabbing, cheating, killing, robbing, and more. This show may be insanely popular, but it is also highly destructive.
82 out of 130 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
god awful
joerghuebner3 May 2017
I really can't understand the popularity of this show: African American stereotypes in every possible way, combined with a really unbelievable story line, and a cast of awful actors playing awful characters. I remember a show called Wiseguy, season two "dead dog records story line", well that was more believable. I'm sorry but I think it's wasted time. I admit that some of the songs aren't bad, but that's not enough.
26 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Auto Tune City
interstellar888813 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
They auto tune so much in this show, the music feels like it just doesn't belong in the show. I just watched the youngest son do an impromptu song at an informal family gathering that was auto tuned. Apparently they all wear devices on them where ever they go. A duet between Terrence and May J had him auto tuned and her not. It was actually laughable. I mean, does Kayne do all the music for this show? Aside from that, here is a show where African-Americans could choose to show themselves in a successful, responsible, honorable and loving light, but instead choose to portray everyone as selfish, violent, racist, intolerant, narcissistic and shallow. Such a lost opportunity.
43 out of 65 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Typical FOX series, time wasted.
ogry-3469519 April 2017
Don't expect to learn any from the music world, this is only a stupid collection of unreal stereotypes.

Same about families. Real life are very different.

Awful, predictable, uninteresting...

Really annoying.
22 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Lee Daniels
claireaemcgee11 March 2019
I worked in film and only worked with this LOSER for a week and a half. He is completely not on this planet. He was rude AF, thoughtless, uncaring, racist, ageist, sexist. I got called "little girl" MANY times by him especially when he was pissing in public (in a downtown area) and drawing MORE attention to himself by repeatedly saying "don't look, don't look, little girl!" Like.. I NEVER WAS and certainly I don't want to see your junk. That's why it's a SEX OFFENDER crime to pull your nasty junk out in public to pee. He's an dramatic self absorbed LOSER. Jamal's character was "loosely" based off him. No wonder Jussie created his waaaay over the top hoax. Jussie has been in the industry for his whole life and can't even see straight. No one with any functioning brain cells would believe you're going out for wallgreens or subway at 2AM in the freezing cold with a death threat on your head and got recognized and attacked by guys equipped with a noose, bleach, and saying this is maga country... in CHICAGO. Dumb AF. He is so out of reality and sadly probably going to get off on the charges. Lock that boy up at the VERY least in a mental hospital. OH. And the narcissist TERRENCE HOWARD can get lost, too. Anyone who puts his hands on a woman like he has deserves a true beating in jail. As a survivor of domestic violence, these punks deserve to get smacked. Especially Jussie and hopefully he won't have pay for it. No way those men gave you a scratch on your cheek.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I do not understand what all the hype is about!
extremecraigfan6 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The show is not bad but it is far from all the ranting and raving that is going on about it that I have heard on every talk/news show in the last 3 weeks.

In fact it is quite ordinary and seems to be a bit of an old story line. There is a show that hit the TV last year named 'Power' (starring Omari Hardwick and not to be confused with the new superhuman detective show 'Powers') that is far, far better than Empire in many ways...with a similar storyline. However, it did not seem to catch on and I am not sure it will be back for a 2nd season.

The one thing that REALLY bothered me and it occurred in the first couple of episodes. There is a hint the 'ruler of the empire' knows through business dealings/or knew...the president of the USA. Whatever the relationship is there is NO WAY he should be calling the president by his first name while in conversation. He should have called him Mr. President. I found that to be very disrespectful. We get the idea the man is very powerful. I am sure it could have been written in another manner for the audience to draw the conclusion of friendship between the two.

As mentioned...it is not bad...a good little time waster but not outstanding in any way and certainly does not match all that has been said about the show.
37 out of 61 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I love Terrence Howard because of Hustle n Flow, BUT...
backup-5036222 February 2019
I was gonna write a review but two black panthers kidnapped me and tied a noose around my neck yelling racist things against white people so instead I'm just gonna rate this 1 star.

Terrence Howard is the only good thing about this. Is the whole show built on racism? Is that the general tone on set? "How do we lie and race bait?" Good to know.
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One to miss
ememessien-977-8709615 February 2015
This show jerks from one ridiculous scene to another in a manner reminiscent of one of those truly awful Latin-American telenovelas. There is a slight difference here in that whilst those are entertainment for the sake of it, this show appears to have an 'agenda'.

Nothing about this show is captivating or appealing - the characters are dreadful, a problem compounded by a disturbingly amateur like quality to some of the scenes and much of the acting. Any semblance of art imitating life is lost instantly due to the performances.

Taraji P. Henson, Terence Howard and Malik Yoba are seasoned actors but they can do nothing to redeem this latest mess by Lee Daniels. There are too many gimmicks, too many clichés. In summary, this show is Shakespeare for dummies.
57 out of 101 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I tried but...
JabezGill22 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I tried to watch this show and give it a chance, but every time I hit play a group of guys would bust through the doors and windows yelling "this is MAGA country!" And beat up my TV...
13 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Slap in the Face
jrbungit12 January 2015
You have powerhouse actors like Terrence and Tajiri, and this is what you do with them? You have them portray over-stereotyped, dull, insipid buffoons who lack depth, character or intelligence? This is what Fox gives us as an interesting story involving Black America? When you think about the wit, creativity, artistry, hard work and brain power that goes into the business of Hip Hop, this show is a slap in the face. The characters are uninspired, poorly written, predictable and hackneyed. I expected far more. This was a MAJOR let down.

The problem is that Fox mis-represented the show. The show is clearly aimed at teenage or young adult audiences. However, it was presented as a serious show for more mature audiences. Among a younger audience this might be somewhat interesting. For anyone who was expecting the next "Scandal", keep looking. Just so sad to see such talented actors get such a juvenile script. Sigh.
82 out of 153 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Epic... Empire
bwair33-152-1517842 February 2015
I love this show. I wasn't going to watch it because I am more of a binge watcher and I don't subscribe to cable TV. However, I love Taraji & Terrence together since Hustle & Flow. They just fit perfect together for this series. The issues that arise within this family are real. The dynamics are present in every family household from illness, to the struggle that wealth brings, to homosexuality to obesity and style. The music is amazing. You don't have to love rap or hip hop to appreciate the musical talent behind the scenes of this show. My favorite character is Cookie of course. She is an OG gangsta female who is unafraid to speak her mind and is always in the Height of Fashion. Besides that the chemistry that still exists between her and Luscious is palpable. He loves her for who she is and always was. She never stopped loving him either. I will watch this show play out and it will be one of very few that I watch from TV. ITS DEFINITELY WORTH IT!
64 out of 119 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Ahahaha It's Awful
calebperryman9 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I have to say this is one of the worst shows I've watched. A friend told me about this and i said "Oh that's sound's like an interesting show", but no it's really horrible. I have to say the music sounded like something you would hear on Disney Channel. The one scene that killed me the most is when Jamal was performing in the club/bar, I mean come on really it was auto-tuned??? I don't expect this to last very long. Oh my gosh and Luscious's reaction to his son's song, like really I thought his song was terrible. Sorry for my bad punctuation in this review, but I'm sure it will get a better rating than this show because I'm giving it a 1 star.
62 out of 115 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good until season 4 rolled out..
kozinskimaciej5 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Seasons one to three were good. I mean its not the best show out there but it WAS standing out until lead actor lost his balls with his memory. What the **** is this? This show was gangsta with a bit of gayness. Now its full retard. There is no main story. I cant get through an episode without turning it off and trying again later. I have the same issue with Gotham. It started strong and then they added more characters that no one cares about. I would understand if those characters were interesting but to be honest? Im just annoyed by them.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Going downhill fast
LGBen24 May 2017
The first season of Empire was entertaining ... now it is just silly/stupid - no longer worth watching. The characters have become too extreme. Racist portrayals are disturbing. For a family that supposedly is close, there is far too much back stabbing and maneuvering - especially since they are portrayed as being hoodlum-like. One expects more character elimination and less soap opera drama. Without major improvements, I don't expect Empire to last much longer. BORING AND TEDIOUS.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Prime time soap opera bomb
russmillerwy-957-68243914 January 2015
Anything with Howard, Henson, and Yoba in it has some potential, enough for me to round up from 2 to 3 stars out of 10. But this is really just a lame soap opera about black music industry stereotypes. The characters fall into one of two categories, malevolent and annoying or just annoying. A lot of the rest of the cast look like they belong on a soap opera, that is, they could be models and they do more posing than talking. Hard to like anyone enough to watch them, though. Anytime someone gets killed off or diagnosed with some terminal disease you may feel a little guilty, but you can be pretty sure TV land is a happier place without them.
25 out of 44 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed