Not that long ago, I had some time on my hands and decided to go against my entertainment grain and give two new shows a shot. Both were very different from what I normally watch, and both drew me in almost from the start. The two shows I am speaking of are Fox's mega-hit Empire, and Showtime's latest drama, The Affair.
The Empire that Rose, Seems to be on Shaky Ground
The story seemed compelling and very refreshing for a drama. Sure it was built around a high profile family with a lot of money and a lot of problems, but it was still different somehow. The minute I got to know Cookie Lyon, I realized she was the TV drama mama that I had been waiting for.
Through the first season there was so much treachery and backstabbing, I actually wondered if I wasn't watching an alternative, slasher flick. In fact, I was so into all the shady dealings, I devoured the first season in less than a week.
While the music wasn't exactly my taste, I was intrigued by the way they portrayed the industry. I found the Lyon's family dynamic explosive, yet highly entertaining.
As season 2 came around, I was excited to add Empire to my regular weekly rotation. For the last six weeks or so I have been waiting for that magic to appear that I saw in the first season. I can't put my finger exactly on what's missing, but it has yet to happen. The stories are dragging, and the characters are losing whatever special spark they had in that first season.
With a full season order in place, I am holding out hope that it quickly bounces back and finds its footing, or Fox may opt to close the doors on the Lyon's Empire.
The Affair May Have Only Been a Fling
Oh, where to start? I initially flipped this on during a free Showtime trial, and ended up subscribing because I needed to see how things turned out. Season one of The Affair was able to captivate my attention, not necessarily for the two people involved in the infidelity, but because of the underlying story of a murder mystery.
Allison and Noah, the two at the center of The Affair, are both incredibly flawed people who find each other during a summer in Montauk, NY. Both are married, and unhappy for very different reasons. Throughout the ten episodes of season 1, I found myself genuinely loathing both of them.
What made it watchable, outside of the murder mystery, was how each episode was divided into two perspectives: Noah's and Allison's. The story was being told as a retrospective, with each character telling their side while being interviewed by a homicide detective. It was a unique trick that really worked well through season 1, especially when you started to notice the differences in their respective stories.
However, now that we are well into the second season, the perspective has been divided yet again to now include both spouses. Instead of keeping the format fresh and interesting, it seems to have bogged it down with minute details, and a lot of repetitive information. If this keeps up, I fear that not even learning the identity of the killer will keep me tuning in.