Empire Lucius Lyon now has what illness

"Empire" in season two: moderate stories meet a fantastic soundtrack

by Nicole Schmidt07. August 2017, 7:07 am

Unfortunately disdained by the German audience, ProSieben has now put it on the back burner. How good is the second "Empire" season?

In 2015, “Empire” was an absolute success for the American TV broadcaster FOX. A second season was ordered at an early stage with constantly increasing ratings and outstanding market shares in the advertising-relevant target group. The hip-hop drama is currently on the summer break in the USA and will return to the screens there on September 27 with the fourth season. In the USA, the first signs of fatigue are now appearing in the form of declining ratings, but “Empire” continues to impress in the advertising-relevant target group of 18 to 49 year olds. For FOX, the series is and will continue to be a success that those responsible would certainly want to hold on to a little longer, which is why the first spin-off started last year with “Star”. On the other hand, there is lively speculation about further spin-offs.

In Germany one is far from dream values ​​when it comes to audience numbers. Although ProSieben positioned the first season in June 2015 at prime time, the ratings were not convincing at the beginning of the broadcast. The result: Season two was moved to the Tuesday evening slot at 11:15 p.m., and a short time later moved completely to the night program. Nevertheless, ProSieben announced the broadcast of the third season for mid-August, but revised this decision shortly before - to the displeasure of some fans.

When season three will be shown on free TV in Germany remains uncertain, because the new season has not yet been launched, but according to the broadcaster on Twitter, it should come sometime in 2018. Subscribers to the streaming service Maxdome, on the other hand, can already enjoy the third season, which has been available there since August 3rd.

There can be many reasons why «Empire» does not meet the taste of German viewers. One of them is certainly that it focuses primarily on the American hip-hop scene and works on the history of the Afro-American population. A topic that is certainly of higher and more topical relevance for the American population. But the pronunciation itself is crude, not always suitable for young people and uses predominant slangs. But maybe it is also the music that does not meet the taste of every audience and is limited to Hip Hop and R n ‘B.

What is Empire about?

The focus of the plot is the Lyon clan, who have built a successful media company with the record company Empire. When the head of the family, Lucius Lyon, is diagnosed with an incurable disease, he has to appoint a successor to run Empire. His three sons Jamal, Hakeem and Andrew, none of whom have the potential for this job, would come into question. Nevertheless, he plays the three off against each other by promising everyone the leadership position. After more than ten years, his ex-wife Cookie, who was arrested for a drug offense but used her money to build the company, is also released from prison. She, too, would like to get back into the family business from now on.

Producers Lee Daniels and Danny Strong did an excellent job on the first season of "Empire". Season one has everything that makes a good series: an exciting story arc, multi-faceted characters and a fantastic soundtrack, for which producer Timbaland is responsible. A pleasant mix of drama and music that is also suitable for those who are not a fan of the genre. The expectations for season two were high, but only partially convinced me.

Because the drama part of this season was almost too much of a good thing for me. Although this ended in an extraordinarily exciting, fast and shocking season finale, the way there was sometimes difficult to watch. Because it's mainly the repetitive dynamic within the Lyons family that made me yawn, as there was too much of the first season repeating itself here. Again, Lucius plays his family against each other most of the time, again there is an incipient romance between him and Cookie and again the head of the family has problems with clearing his place for the now grown-up sons, he also continues to struggle with Jamal's outing. Character development looks different. And don't forget how easy it is to get some opponents out of the way and without any consequences. As a result, «Empire» seemed to me to be caught in a diabolical cycle that is unwound anew every season. Of course, this is also the basic premise of the series, but still the same plot becomes tiring at some point.

But it wasn't all bad, because there are acts that are quite convincing, such as Hakeem's character development at the end of the season, Jamal's musical journey, Lucius' backstory about his mother and Cookie's entertaining and iconic one-liner that always makes the series an absolute one Make a highlight. Just because of Taraji P. Henson's fantastic acting performance, «Empire» is worth a second look. I couldn't imagine any other actress in this loud, eccentric and over-the-top figure.

But especially musically, the second season had a lot to offer again. There was a new addition to the music team with Ne-Yo, who knows this genre very well and who, together with Timbaland, has once again created a varied soundtrack. Vocally speaking, Jussie Smollet stands out for me, who takes care of the quieter tracks with his angelic voice, while Bryshere Y. Gray and Terrence Howard should inspire hip hop fans. The numerous prominent guest appearances by American artists are exciting for the viewer in each season. Thanks to the success of the series, the producers were able to sign Kelly Rowland, Ne-Yo, Alicia Keys and Pittbull in season two. For me it is also these special musical moments in which the actors come together for their songs with international artists that make me tune in week after week.

The season finale itself held some surprises for the fans in the end. So it came not only to a surprising wedding, which destroyed all hopes for a relationship between Cookie and Lucius, but also to the big showdown between Anika and Rhonda, the outcome of which is the biggest cliff hanger of the final episode. Whether any of them survived the fall from the roof will only be shown in the coming third season. Andrew's pained look should certainly be an indication of the direction in which the resolution could go.

«Empire»: What can the fans expect in season 3?

For the third season, too, the producers managed to hire well-known artists. In addition to Mariah Carey, the audience can expect performances by rapper Birdman and Sierra McClain. Well-known actors such as Eva Longoria, Runner Willer and Demi Moore could also be engaged for recurring characters. Of course, at the beginning of the season it is resolved whether Anika or Rhonda survived their fall or not.

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