Star is a bad name for a TV show. That was the first thing that sprung too mind when Lee Daniel’s new show made it’s debut. In a world of star orientated media and you know those things in space, Star is up against a lot too set itself apart.
But it’s good. I’m not saying Golden Globe winning but it’s watchable right down until the last minute.
That’s not to say it’s impossible after all Empire, the sister show to Star, has become an international, award winning icon in it’s own right.
So what is Star? We start off with a Queen Latifah (Carlotta Brown) narrated monologue about Star, our streetwise talented Star on what looks to be the brink of fame.
A journey of a teenage girl’s rise too the top feels like it should have been on TV before in a rags too riches story. Although there have been many films that document similar feats it’s interesting too see how it’ll work through long format TV.
But we don’t start off at the moment of stardom but in the origin story of the girl group in which Star is the part of.
Star is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, stuck in the foster care system with the only bright light being her instagram working relationship with Alexandra Crane, a girl so far on the right side of the tracks that her name is monogramed on the train.
Only Alexandra is hiding the fact she’s the daughter of one of the most famous singers in the world Roland Krane but that drama is pretty shit compared too what comes next.
As Star campaigns too be released from the foster system we look too her motivation. A younger sister by the name of Nadia, stuck in an even shittier foster home Star arrives as her sister is being molested by her foster father. Emboldened and without much play for her emotional state Star gets a knife and goes for the foster father.
It’s impossible not to compare the tough and spunky Star too Empire’s Cookie. Both tough as nails women in a world that has been doing them wrong. Motivated by family love and facing their problems head on. Although Taraji P.Henson played Cookie as emotionally nuanced and her story was layered and complex from the get go, Star is a teenager and her story moves between sad and ridiculous in equal moments.
Potentially murdering someone after sexual assault is played as just another Tuesday as the girls get in the car and get to Atlanta too see their potential god mother Carlotta.
Although Carlotta is enthusiastic too have the prodigy of her former singing partner with her, the rest of her primarily black community doesn’t greet the white Star with much enthusiasm. Leading Star too call out one of the hairdressers as a racist in what may have been set up as a ‘water cooler’ moment is just plain cringey set up against the type of prejudice later set upon.
The episode sits nicely with three minutes of low key drama as Alexandra flirts with the boy next door and Nadia flirts with being saved by Jesus. Offering us some of the real moments of character development and potentially what will make the season good. Focusing on the three main characters as actual teenage girls in the middle of an unfamiliar situation is watchable and fun.
Alexandra Crane actress Ryan Destiny could potentially be the breakout star of this series. With her supermodel good looks, great singing voice and the ability too make the best use of her screen time Alexandra is a vital member of the girl group and the best set up point of band contention as an outsider too the family she’s trying too feel a part of.
The girl group’s potential is showcased in an open mic night, the girls move together like they’d been rehearsing with the Destiny’s Child’s choreographer for six month straight. Attracting the attention of Carlotta’s daughter whom promises that if they come to the strip club where she works then they’ll get a meeting with bigwig producer Jahil Rivera.
While Nadia and Alexandra are dubious about the prospect Star goes full steam ahead, gold cat suit and all into the champagne room and into a gig at a famous footballer’s party. Star initially moves between mild flirtations with the golden boy footballer and the skeevy producer whom may have more of a connection too her mother than he’s letting on.
A big break for the girl’s almost ruined by Nadia’s self medicating drinking. She manages too shake it off for a stellar performance. This kind of presents the major flaw with the show as music videos are shot within the middle of naturalistic scenes, Star can’t seem to decide whether or not it wants too be a musical or a music drama.
It’s not a perfect episode and I don’t foresee a perfect season, but Empire’s first season was as close to perfect as modern day TV could be and it’s second season was disappointing. Star has all the components for a charming TV show, it’s actresses are all watchable and the story is set up into something potentially Sta. Growing into something more interesting although I can’t help but wonder if like Supergirl it might be more at home on the CW.
With the show ending with Nadia’s foster father waking up in hospital the show playing into a soap that we’ll find ourselves tuning into next week.