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Can Queen Latifah and Star upstage Empire?

When Empire entered the world of television it was seen as a shot in the arm. Another high-profile show with big name actors and a big production budget but, this time it was geared towards the African-American community and not a show like 24. While Empire has had its fair share of ups and down, lovers and critics it still continues to go strong in the ratings. So strong in fact that FOX has decided to give show creator Lee Daniels another show with a similar based theme as Empire.

Star is scripted for three girls who travel to Atlanta to begin a music recording career. The show centers mainly around Star Davis (Jude Demorest), her sister Simone Davis (Brittany O’Grady) and their Instagram friend, Alexandra Crane (Ryan Destiny). While the newcomers are the focal point of the show, the cast is still rounded out by a few acting heavyweights like Queen Latifah, Benjamin Pratt and Darius McCrary.

While Daniels is never one to do anything without controversy he leaves the same imprint on Star that he has done with Empire. There are racial boundaries with Star being Caucasian trying to break into an African-American dominated genre, heavy traces of religion, transsexuals, violence and secrets. Yes, it’s a heavy nod to how Empire made its huge splash.

Star is only one episode into its season but you can already tell there will be plenty of heartbreaks, drama, controversy, and music. Daniels love music but that may be where Empire has an advantage. Empire has that good soul feel mixed with street and while we have yet to see the full potential of what Star has to offer on that level, you get the feeling it will be geared towards more of the pop scene.

Carlotta’s character is no Cookie Lyon but she holds a big secret to Star and her sister’s past that could either help them succeed or damage them even more. The washed out promoter, Jahil Rivera takes the girls on but the look in his eyes when he looks at Star, you can see there will be problems ahead.

I applaud Daniels and FOX for giving the viewers what seems to be another successful show but Star must not fall into the same trap that Empire did. One episode in and Daniels has already taken a shot at rival 50 Cent. It’s time to leave that old drama behind and focus on what could actually be bigger than Empire if done right.




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