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“Empire” react: Standard Episode, But Why Low Ratings?

The latest Empire episode, “Poor Yorick,” had classic Empire shenanigans, and I do mean “shenanigans.” Hakeem and Jerk Jamal fighting on the set of the awesome Black Panther-in-the-future music video. Lucious and Cookie being lovers at war. Cookie selling out Lucious again after facing the possibility of going to jail again. Andre and Rhonda digging up poor Vernon, only to have Lucious and Thirsty help them out with the process. Vernon’s decrepit body showing up in the Booby Prosecutor’s car. Also: Cookie invoking Sandra Bland as she was being carted away to an interrogation room.

If it’s all standard stuff for Empire, then why have the ratings begun to slip? Since the Season 2 premiere, the ratings have been slipping slowly. Of course, for Empire, a ratings slip is like a billionaire becoming $1000 short. There’s not much to complain about. Or is there? Because even with a billionaire, losing a $1000 a week begins to add up. 

“Empire” react: Jamal’s Still a Jerkwad

It seems like every Empire react I’ll be making this year will be “Jamal’s a big jerk.” And he is still a jerk in the latest episode, “Fires of Heaven.” Like, I get that Lucious is a the king of jerks. But Lucious seemed like he never had a chance to be anything other than a jerk. His jerkiness seems to come from having to live tough in order to survive. But Jamal? As pampered by money and rejected by his father as he is? He’s going to try to act tough and not speak to Cookie, the only parent who gave a damn about him? Jamal’s made me resort to using curse words! 

Why You Are Seeing Lots of WOC/White Men Pairings On TV

The past three fall TV seasons have been amazing in terms of Stage 1 in Addressing Diversity in Entertainment. We’ve seen breakout shows like Sleepy Hollow (in it’s first season; for coverage on last season and the present one, click here), How to Get Away with Murder, Jane the VirginElementary, the continuation of Scandal‘s dominance, etc., etc. But there something these shows, and other shows this season including Minority Report and Quantico have in common; they all include women of color with white men. What’s with that?

Kardashians Called “America’s First Family,” Twitter Goes Off

It’s not a surprise that America’s getting tired of the Kardashians. We’ve had to endure what started out as a relatively harmless reality show for over a decade. It’s now turned into a monster for many different reasons, and Cosmopolitan just added to the Kardashian Hate Machine with their new cover, proclaiming the Klan as “America’s First Family.” To which Twitter responded, “But what about the actual First Family, the Obamas”?

End Embarrassing Racial Debates and Keep Your Friends

Let’s face it: We’re in a very polarized climate in the United States right now.

On the one hand, we have a Hollywood system finally beginning to wake up to the wealth of diversity America has to offer. The result, at least in TV, is one of the most diverse fall TV seasons on record.

On the other hand, we have GOP candidates, candidates who have support in the double digits, that state they’ll humanely round up immigrants and that Muslims shouldn’t even consider running for President. Buttress that against one of the bloodiest summers on record, with a hashtag occurring every week, the corrupt members of the police blaming unarmed black people for their own deaths, and a large quadrant of Americans supporting these particular policemen and blaming the victims for their deaths.

Suffice it to say, with all of these extremes, it’s clear that America is at an impasse. We, as a country, must learn how to talk to each other about race. Unfortunately, many of us don’t know how to talk about race. It gets embarrassing and awkward for everyone.