Star is Lee Daniels' second musical series on the network, following in the footsteps of his recording industry drama Empire. Unlike Empire, which is about hip-hop mogul Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) fighting to keep his musical legacy alive, Star is about the titular character (Jude Demorest) fighting her way out of foster care in order to pursue a singing career.
For those who haven't tuned in to the new drama — the series airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox— the show is a rags to (hopefully) riches story, complete with incredible original music and killer performances by the cast. The show kicks off with Star heading to Atlanta in pursuit of her godmother Carlotta (Queen Latifah) and a place to crash while scoping out the music scene in her new city. Her sister Simone (Brittany O'Grady) and friend Alex (Ryan Destiny) — who just so happens to be the daughter of a musical legend — round out her girl group, and though they don't always get along, they are straight-up fire when they perform side by side.
It's not long before the group is covering TLC's "Waterfalls," performing for Gladys Knight, and covering up the murder of Simone's foster father. Just another day in the life of a struggling artist.
Star may be all about the music in many ways, but it's not exclusively about Star's pursuit of, well, stardom. As Star claws her way to the top, the series places plenty of obstacles in her path — thus presenting real-world problems that can stop any person from achieving their full potential.
So far the series has confronted issues like police brutality, sexual assault, and drug addiction. It's also one of the few shows on TV to feature a transgender character as more than just a caricature. (Cotton, Carlotta's daughter, who is portrayed by Amiyah Scott, is hands-down my favorite...and she hasn't even scored her own musical number yet.)
Get ready for more sweet musical moments and also some tough-but-important social issues in season 2. It's that combo that makes this show more than just Empire 2.0.