The 2015 TV landscape this week has been shaped by two equal and opposite forces: “The Jinx” and “Empire.” Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or you’ve been going outside and doing things, bleh), you know that these are the shows people love and love to talk about. But while “The Jinx” may be over, “Empire” is just getting started. Its record-breaking debut season ended yesterday, leaving in its wake dozens, no, hundreds of think-pieces and e-ephemera.
This is what makes “Empire” such a special phenomenon: Unlike the niche/prestige “Mad Men” or popular but bland “The Big Bang Theory,” “Empire” is the show everyone is talking about at the same time that everyone is watching it. Buzzed-about match, meet popular powder keg. Below are some of the best, most insightful and/or funniest pieces and posts generated by the #Empire phenomenon. If they don’t convince you to give the show a try, that’s fine. Plenty of other people have boosted its ratings sky-high.
2. “House of Chords” (The New Yorker)
Emily Nussbaum’s original review of the show holds up about as well as any review of the first two episodes of any series, in terms of what it gets right and wrong about the show. What’s really interesting, though, is the other shows she compares it to. Remember when “Mozart In The Jungle” was about to be a thing? Remember when “Empire” was kinda-sorta “Nashville”? Oh, the difference two months and a few million viewers makes.
3. The Boo Boo Kitty Meme (everywhere)
Disregard the fact that “boo boo kitty” was first uttered in a “Jay and Silent Bob” movie. Just….just, don’t think about that.
4. “Why Can’t We Stop Watching Empire?” (The New York Times Magazine)
The Times wasn’t about to devote valuable column inches to the show’s trashiness or drama, however fabulous it may be. Instead, it ran a feature asking “writers, academics and cultural thinkers” for their two cents. In other words: smart people. You do you, New York Times.
5. The Soundtrack (iTunes)
This is a show about music, or at least, the music industry, featuring a lot of music. The original songs are produced by Timbaland and are pretty darn good, featuring the talents of Mary J Blige and Courtney Love, among others. The album is performing as well as the show.
6. Cookie Entrance Supercut (Gawker)
Her talon-like nails reaching around the closing elevator doors tell you almost everything you need to know about the character.
7. The Buzzfeed Bonanza
“Empire” is the kind of show Buzzfeed was made for: Over-the-top characters, fierce fashions, gif-able moments and quotable lines. Not surprisingly, the news/entertainment website/behemoth has gone inside the show, done interviews with cast members and generated quite a few character quizzes. In general, they’re all about Cookie Lyons.