I did watch episode 1 last night, and my 3-episode rule still stands (for those just joining us, I give each new TV series the first 3 episodes to decide on whether I’ll continue to watch, or not).
I must say, however, that I was underwhelmed with the intro. It’s cheese; but I suppose, for some, it’s entertainingly edible cheese, and maybe that’s ultimately the point. It feels like it’s caught between its current home on a broadcast TV network (which isn’t exactly where you’d expect to see the work of the show’s co-creator Lee Daniels) and a premium cable TV channel like Showtime, or even Starz, where it probably instead belongs, which would allow Daniels to be as unrestricted as he wants to be with the material. So, in that sense, it feels, shall we say, lost, as it tries to stay within the boundaries of what broadcast TV allows, with the occasional hint at where its ambitions really lie.
But I’ll return for at least 2 more episodes, and then decide on whether it’s for me or not. However, I am just one person, and I’m sure the show appealed to a lot of you instantly (we, after all, don’t all like the same things). So, if you tuned in last night, what did you think of “Empire,” now that it’s on the air?
It’s premiere ratings imply that it was well-watched, in terms of the strong number of viewers it attracted: 9.8 million viewers overall, during the hour, dominating its time slot, and also was last night’s number 1 show in key demos.
Something that I should point out is that FOX’s “Empire” went head-to-head with another next TV series about a black family in “Black-ish” on ABC last night (“Black-ish” is a half-hour comedy however, while “Empire” is an hour-long series). And maybe not-surprisingly, especially given that it was a premiere episode, “Empire” beat “Black-ish” in the numbers.
It’s a great time for TV shows centered around characters of African descent, some would argue – “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Black-ish,” “Empire,” and others…