On tele­vi­sion Fox’s “Star” is just plain bad

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Bethonie But­ler

You’ll have to sus­pend a lot of be­lief to watch “Star,” the new mu­sic drama from “Em­pire” co-cre­ator Lee Daniels. Is it worth it? Well, that de­pends.

Do you live for ter­ri­ble TV movies? Medi­ocre pop songs? Are you a per­son who would watch any­thing star­ring Queen Lat­i­fah, Lenny Kravitz, Naomi Camp­bell, Tyrese Gib­son or Ben­jamin Bratt? Is your TV cov­ered in bub­ble wrap so that it’s pro­tected when you scream “oh, come on!” and hurl some­thing at the screen?

These are just a few ques­tions you should con­sider be­fore watch­ing “Star,” which pre­mieres Wed­nes­day on Fox. (Sub­se­quent episodes will air weekly be­gin­ning Jan. 4.)

The show fol­lows three young women try­ing to break into the mu­sic scene. Star (Jude De­mor­est) has spent most of her life in foster care fol­low­ing her mother’s death from a drug over­dose. She has been record­ing tracks with Alexan­dra (Ryan Des­tiny), an as­pir­ing singer she met on In­sta­gram and who (un­be­knownst to Star) is the daugh­ter of a wealthy rock mu­si­cian (Kravitz) with lit­tle in­ter­est in her mu­sic. Star tracks down her 16year-old sis­ter, Si­mone (Brit­tany O’Grady), who she has not seen in five years, to round out their girl group.

Two scrappy or­phans and a poor lit­tle rich girl des­tined for fame isn’t the most orig­i­nal premise. But Daniels, who co-cre­ated the se­ries with Tom Don­aghy, has a list of proven hits. In ad­di­tion to his work on “Em­pire,” he directed “The But­ler” and “Pre­cious,” earn­ing an Os­car nom­i­na­tion for the lat­ter.

If you’re fa­mil­iar with Daniels’ work, you know to ex­pect a cer­tain level of camp, and there’s an over­abun­dance here. If campi­ness were the only is­sue, “Star” could still pass muster as awe­somely bad TV. (“Em­pire” of­ten veers into that cat­e­gory.) Un­for­tu­nately, “Star” suf­fers from stilted di­a­logue and a nar­ra­tive so sloppy it over-

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