This video originally ran on March 11, 2015. With Empire’s second season premiering this week and our Vulture Remix series in full swing, we’re bringing it back.
For all of Empire’s many assets — juicy story lines that move at hurricane speed, addictive original music, the force of nature that is Cookie Lyons — Fox’s overnight phenom sadly lacks one ingredient: a grand opening credit sequence (and theme song) that sets the stage for the awesomeness that is to come. Yes, technically, each episode does begin with a five-second musical sting and a flash of the Empire logo. But like too many broadcast-TV dramas today, Empire forgoes the once obligatory opening opus. There are none of the high-fives and hilarity that began every Beverly Hills, 90210; no absurdist animation set to Danny Elfman as with Desperate Housewives. Quite frankly, it’s just not right. So Vulture decided to do something about it. We asked video editor Louis Plamondon to imagine what an opening sequence for Empire might look like had the series existed in an era when every great TV soap opera had equally great main titles. And we asked him to pattern this imaginary opening after a show Empire co-creator Lee Daniels has specifically cited as an inspiration for his series: ABC’s iconic, Aaron Spelling–produced Dynasty. Check out the results.