a note on empire


I do not know how to write about TV. And, frankly, I know too many people who write about TV so excellently that venturing into the territory makes me feel presumptuous and silly. It’s 2:30 in the morning, I can’t sleep, and I have thinkings. Call this a weak disclaimer. Also, Tavia wrote something that made me think. So, blame him.

Lee Daniels’s Empire highlights transformation: flashbacks to the past chart the distinction between the past and the present. Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), the drug runner, is now a music mogul; Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) the cross-dressing son is now a firmly cis gay man; Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), once apprehensive and uncertain, now strides boldly across the world. In fact, as soon as Cookie returns home from jail, Jamal insists that she needs to acquire a new wardrobe and weave. On a more basic level, the young(er) people in…

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