Thursday, September 17, 2015

Captivating Phenomenon “Empire” Season 1 Arrives on Blu-ray

Become a part of the phenomenon that captivated the nation when “TV’s biggest smash of the past decade,” (Robert Rorke, New York Post) arrives on Blu-ray™ and DVD September 15th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Set within a world of music, glamour, danger and power, EMPIRE is about a family dynasty that follows the head of a music empire whose three sons and ex-wife all battle for his throne.  After music mogul Lucious Lyon (Oscar® Nominee Terrence Howard*) is diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease, he must choose which of his three sons will succeed him at the legendary Empire Entertainment. The game changes when his ex-wife Cookie (Oscar® Nominee Taraji P. Henson**) returns from prison where she’s been for almost two decades. Brash and fearless, she sees herself as the sacrificial lamb who built an empire with Lucious and then took the fall for running the drugs that financed Lucious’ early career. As the Lyons slug it out, a battle begins that will either cause the family’s destruction or redemption.

From the award-winning Lee Daniels, (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Precious”), Emmy Award winner Danny Strong (“Game Change,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”) and Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind,” “24”), comes “a genuine cultural phenomenon” (The Village Voice). Executive-produced by Daniels, Strong, Grazer, Ilene Chaiken (“The L Word”) and Francie Calfo (“Those Who Kill,” “Gang Related”), this groundbreaking series features a pulsating soundtrack from legendary R&B/hip hop producer and composer Timbaland.

“Empire” Season 1 features iconic music performances from an all-star cast which includes Terrence Howard (BET Award winner for Best Actor), Taraji P. Henson (Critics’ Choice Television Award winner for Best Actress in a Drama Series, BET Award winner for Best Actress), Jussie Smollett, Byshere Y. Gray, Kaitlin Doubleday, Malik Yoba, Trai Byers and Grace Gealey. The series included an impressive roster of guest star appearances from the likes of Courtney Love, Jennifer Hudson, Gabourey Sidibe, Gladys Knight, Cuba Gooding Jr., Estelle, Mary J. Blige, Naomi Campbell Snoop Dog, Rita Ora, and Patti LaBelle, among others!

The Blu-ray™ and DVD of “Empire” Season 1 is packed with even more show-stopping moments and music performances such as “Drip Drop” and “You’re So Beautiful.” Get five complete performances, including the popular hit “No Apologies” on the DVD. Own it on Blu-ray™ and dive into more than nine hours of content and 50 minutes of special features, including 11 complete performances highlighting five of the most-popular songs from the series purchased on iTunes.

Blu-ray™ Special Features: (11 Uncut Music Performances)
  • No Apologies - Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) Uncut Music Performance
  • I Wanna Love You –Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) Uncut Music Performance
  • Come Away With Me – Video Medley – Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon)
  • Whatever Makes You Happy (feat. Jennifer Hudson & Juicy J) Uncut Music Performance
  • Keep it Movin – Byshere Y. Gray (Hakeem Lyon) and Serayah McNeill (Tiana) Uncut Music Performance
  • Tell the Truth – Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) Uncut Music Performance
  • Nothing to Lose - Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) Uncut Music Performance
  • Power of The Empire Video Medley – Byshere Y. Gray (Hakeem Lyon)
  • For My God - Jennifer Hudson (Michelle) Uncut Music Performance
  • Good Enough - Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) Uncut Music Performance
  • You’re So Beautiful – Estelle, Terrence Howard (Lucious Lyon), Taraji P. Henson (Cookie Lyon), Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon), Byshere Y. Gray (Hakeem Lyon) feat. Serayah McNeill (Tiana) Uncut Music Performance
  • You’re So Beautiful - Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) Uncut Music Performance
  • Drip Drop (DIRTY i-Tunes) - Byshere Y. Gray (Hakeem Lyon) feat. Serayah McNeill (Tiana) Uncut Music Performance
  • What is Love Video Medley – feat. Veronika Bozeman
  • Featurette: Empire:  It’s in the Music
  • Featurette: The Empire of Style
  • Special Feature: Commentary on the “Pilot” 
“Empire” Season 1 Blu-ray™
Street Date:               September 15, 2015
Pre-Book Date:          August 12, 2015    
Screen Format:          16:9 (1.78:1)            
Audio:                         English DTS-HD-MA 5.1/ English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Special features)
                                   Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Subtitles:                    English SDH, French (Canadian), Spanish
Total Run Time:         Approximately 528 minutes
U.S. Rating:               TV-14
Closed Captioned:     Yes

My Thoughts 

Empire is a fantastic series that blends great acting and great music. The show centers around Lucious Lyon.  He's the head of a huge record label. When he's diagnosed with a disease that could possibly end his life, his family feuds over who is going to take over.  All his children want to get a piece of the pie, and he needs to decide which of his kids would be the best suited to run the business.  To complicate matters even more, his ex-wife is released from prison after almost twenty years. She thinks she has a right to the business too because she went to jail for selling the drugs that got the record company off it's feet.

This is a such a great show with lots of drama and a little romance. Taraji & Terrance are hot together and you can't help but route for them.  With so many shows on television that seem the same, it's nice to see something so fresh and original. I can't wait to see where it goes in Season 2.