And Chris Rock, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Marisa Tomei are along for the ride as “Empire” returns with the extravagant storytelling that made it an instant hit last season. More of the same. “We want to continue to make the audience gasp and laugh and scream and cry”. But more than all that, Empire was driven by its spot-on depiction of the modern music industry, specifically in the controversial realm of hip-hop. And we open up new doors. She notes one other bonus: “Everyone on the present is extraordinarily lovely or extraordinarily good-looking, so there are fairly a number of issues that maintain you coming”. But not to worry, there will be Cookie/Lucious scenes – and just because Lucious is wearing prison orange, doesn’t mean he isn’t still in control. (Yes, you read that correctly.) The Lyons’ internecine alliances have reversed, with the soulful Jamal (Jussie Smollett) leading Empire Records and embracing his father Lucious, the harder-edged Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) is now loyal to Cookie, and Andre (Trai Byers) and his wife, Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday), have calculatedly switching allegiances.
Cookie is behind a lot of the shifting loyalties of the family’s drama, expertly playing each of her sons off of each other and conspiring against her ex Lucious (Terrence Howard), all while dressed impressively and striding into each room as if she owns the place.
“Dynasty, that’s a dope name”, ex-felon and foul-mouthed matriarch Cookie Lyon (the incomparable Taraji P. Henson) coos in the second season of “Empire” (FOX), examining office space for a new venture.
She still loves garish outfits and she still uncorks a few fantastically inappropriate zingers, but the character feels more controlled and calculated this season.
Jamal Lyon – Jamal Lyon spent the entire season regaining a connection with his mother Cookie after she was released from prison. G told Entertainment Weekly that her character is so feisty, crew members called her “baby Cookie” on set. And, then, of course, there is the much talked about appearance by Mariah Carey, which is being kept under wraps.
While every episode of “Empire” featured catchy music in season one, there are only two songs that you have to know in order to fully understand the dynamics of the show. I get it from the brown, spherical little woman but in addition the thin white man. I assume I am a spherical peg making an attempt to match right into a sq. gap. Moving away from that plot line without a thoughtful resolution would take some of the heart from the show.
This is what makes Empire magical, not to mention wildly popular: its ability to be so many seemingly contradictory things at once. “But the family is what the story is about”.
Although the “Empire” team has kept the new season under wraps, Doubleday isn’t violating any confidentiality agreements when she says there is plenty of attitude ahead.
Yes, the producers and the cast are very engaged in social media, live tweeting the shows, but they don’t let the feedback that they get from fans change anything.