#watched EMPIRE (Season 1)

So, like, I'm this mid-40 year old Chinese guy living in Singapore (no, it is not "a part of China" ;p), and haven't studied overseas, much less even been to the United States … whose "experiences" with the US-based hiphop / pop music scene is based solely on music videos and online documentaries. And I know whatever I think I do know about the culture and lifestyle, primarily based on these controlled and designed media.

And while I'd known of the existence of EMPIRE by Fox on television, I had not even considered watching it, until seeing responses to it on Facebook (on my former filmmaking students' streams actually LOL), and decided to pulled the trigger on a Tuesday afternoon (when I should be work-blogging, I know I know…), and subsequently devoured 12 episodes (technically 11eps as #11 proved to be a challenge to complete) within 2 days. Ah but for the joys of binge watching in this digital age!

And at wherever part of the world or culture I personally may physically be, the concept of "family", "treachery" and "love" resonates on similar planes of existence, and the notion that everyone bleeds the same red under their human skin - regardless of color - hold true … except for in EMPIRE, "money" - especially "big money" - remains "alien" an experience to me LOL

This is "RICH THUG LIFE" right here LOL

WHAT-IS: "Empire is an American musical drama television series which debuted on Fox on January 7, 2015. The show centers around a hip hop music and entertainment company, Empire Entertainment, and the drama among the members of the founders' family as they fight for control of the company. The hour-long family drama was created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, and stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson.On January 17, 2015, the series was renewed for a second season." (Wiki / www.fox.com/empire)

The melodrama is pretty tame by Taiwan tv series standards, but reflects more of an enhanced "family reality" ala (non-Family-ccentric) South Korean tv, which is all sorts of salacious fun, with most of the slang recognizable because of said viewing of online docus. Some words and phrases used sparingly (I've heard the word "beef" used only one time in EMPIRE, while I've since watched 3 x docus on them on youtube hahahaha), and some quite "manufacturedly presented" - but hell, nothing could ever beat THAT "cat fight" in the last ep, and not to mention Cookie spitting out "Boo Boo Kitty" = cracked me up sumthin'fierce too LOL

Brought a whole new "meaning of life" to Shirley's first utterance of her stuffed plush cat in 1970s sitcom "Laverne & Shirley"! Here are some folks' reactions (comments on my IG pic, used with permission):
"It's so damn good! I watched The whole season in 2 days! I can't wait for season 2!" - @donfelits

"Hahah i tried to resist watching for a while. I hate Terrance Howard but after @woes and @hijinxpr told me I should watch it and I did and I was hooked" - @ritzyp

Featuring music by Timbaland, my initial expectation of the series was likened to GLEE (for which I loved the first one and a half seasons of, thanks), but was pleasantly surprised that folks did not break out in song as and when, if only for purposes of performing as the script required or designed them to.

Truthfully, if this series was "made" to sell records, it certainly "failed" on me - liked some songs, wouldn't pay for them LOL … the first track I searched for on youtube afters, were songs from Run DMC LOL … but perhaps all I am interested in, are the songs, and how they resonate with me LOL

But of course the music might not be geared toward folks like me, 'coz I don't Drip Drop Drip-Drippity-Drop hahahaha

I heartily recommend this drama series to anyone out for some fun, regardless of culture clash. Regardless of how true and real this fictional telling is or is not, or how stereotypical it might or might not be - it still "entertainment" - which provided ample amounts of sneaky smirks, aggressive giggles, airfist punches, faux emo and even some head-boppin … And anyways if I was out looking for "real", I'd look out my window, thanks! I cannot wait for Season 2 too! Lucius said it best;