The “Power” and “Empire” TV Series: Excellent Writing, feat. Serious, Realistic Drama!

Power (Starz series), Empire (Fox series) (re)In the summer of 2014 I watched, was impressed and very pleased with the Starz network TV series Power, which is executive produced by rapper and actor Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. The series follows character James St. Patrick, nicknamed “Ghost”, owner of a popular New York City nightclub. St. Patrick/Ghost is also a major player in one of the city’s biggest illegal drug networks. Last season unveiled his struggle to balance his two lives – perhaps three lives, since he is married but has a mistress. The balance begins to collapse when St. Patrick/Ghost realizes he wants to leave the drug ring in order to support his legitimate business and commit to his mistress, an Assistant District Attorney. Each episode of the new Power series was simply awesome. I wait anxiously for Season 2 to premiere this summer!
Here’s an intro-episode clip of Power:

Last Wednesday evening (January 7, 2015) the Fox TV network premiered the new series Empire, created, written and produced by actor/film director/producer, Lee Daniels and actor/screenwriter, Danny Strong. The show centers around a hip hop music and entertainment company called Empire Enterprises, and the drama between the members of the founder’s family as they fight for control of the company. Expect to hear some damn good music on Empire which can be downloaded on iTunes.
Here’s an intro-trailer clip of Empire:

Having watched the first episode of this show I must admit to being impressed and pleased with that show, too. Both Power and Empire feature Black actors in lead and major roles. Each series has a different plot and obviously different characters. I have yet to see more episodes of Empire to ascertain whether I will fully like the show. Considering that I’ve seen the collaborative work of Daniels and Strong before, it’s a safe bet that I’ll be giving high praises to this new series too!

Speaking of giving, I give extra points to Empire for immediately featuring in its first episode, one major character as a masculine Black gay man who is in an interracial homosexual relationship with another masculine man. Sweet! I make special mention of that point because on basic (not cable) television it is rare to see masculine Black gay male character roles, let alone on a show series where a male, same-gender-loving character of color is in an interracial relationship.

In both Power and Empire, I’m pleased to finally see realistic drama television programs featuring a predominately Black cast – with each role specifically written for and fitting the actor or actress portraying their assigned character of the story. It’s especially refreshing to see a cast of Black men and women featured in good quality and serious drama roles instead of always in a terribly written situation comedy or in one of those shitty “reality TV” series shows (click here to see a list of them) that I’ve always loathed. I think those particular television shows are ethnically embarrassing to me as a Black man and wish that every last one of them were yanked off television.

Simply put, I think Power and Empire are (so far) examples of exceptional television writing; something which – as far as television shows featuring people of color are concerned, has long been missing from television. As long as the writers and producers continue the excellent writing of these two television series and keep them realistically entertaining, I’ll keep watching. For another review on Empire, I invite you to click here to read my friend Kris Avalon’s excellent blog article!

Check local television and cable listings or the embedded links in this article to learn more about Power and Empire.

Keepin’ It…REAL!

Annual Friendectomy of My Facebook Friends List

RobFather XIt is January 1st… a day where annually I restart the quarterly clock of friendectomizing (aka “defriending” or “unfriending”) those persons from my Facebook friends list whom I’ve:

  • had little to no meaningful contact or communication exchange over the past several months to complete year… and/or
  • received little to no sign of support or at least some favorable comments for any of my life statuses… and/or
  • determined to have surpassed my patience and tolerance of their religious and political expressions and/or their ignorantly made comments related to certain issues affecting our society… and/or
  • simply lost interest in that person being connected to me in social media.

CHECK IT: The fact that it’s a new year doesn’t mean I have changed or somehow need to modify my desire in wanting and requiring quality social media friendships and relationships. It also doesn’t mean that I need to demonstrate social media “loyalty” by continuing to keep someone – anyone, on my social media friends list who give or offer me nothing. The friendectomized will have to fuckin’ deal with being cut; they will quickly get over the sudden disconnect and move on. After all, it’s just Facebook. More importantly, what have any of them done for me lately?

Keepin’ It…REAL!

Movie: “Exodus: Gods and Kings” (Hated it!)

This past Tuesday evening (December 30, 2014), my son and I saw the recently released movie, Exodus:Gods and Kings. I’ve been calling that film a “remake of sorts” of the 1956 film, The Ten Commandments. Never mind the awfully silly social media Exodus_Gods and Kings (2014) posterfusses made over what the skin color or ethnicity of the characters were “supposed to be” in that movie. Fuck all that dumb shit about race because Exodus:Gods and Kings is after all, just a movie. Being “just a movie” doesn’t mean that I can’t give an assessment about the film itself, so here it is.

Exodus:Gods and Kings is in my view, a terrible movie! Actor Christian Bale SUCKS as Moses; and so does “God”. Yeah, the great Almighty sucked too as the lazy, pass-the-buck, so-called-all-powerful, “I AM”.
Give me a break!

I hated ninety-eight percent of the film. The two percent which I did like was the one battle scene (shown early in the film) and the one Ben-Hur-like scene where horses and chariots run over people. Those who have seen the 1959 movie Ben-Hur will remember the scenes where people got ran over by horses and chariots. I love seeing that shit in movies depicting ancient times!

My son happen to like Exodus:Gods and Kings but then, he’s young; what the fuck does he know? LOL!

Exodus:Gods and Kings has earned my red X of disapproval in films to recommend for watching. UGH!

Keepin’ It…REAL!