TV’s #1 rated soap opera musical, Empire, returned last night to mixed reviews.

Most reviewers are bought and paid for by Fox TV, so their reviews are unreliable. The more honest reviews can be found on social media where most viewers panned the show’s script as overdone and over-the-top.

Season 2 opened with a flurry of pointless cameos by pop culture notables such as Vogue‘s Andre Leon Talley; activist and radio host Al Sharpton; CNN anchor Don Lemon;.singer Kelly Rowland; and RHOA alum Miss Lawrence doing his best Sylvester impersonation.

Most of Empire‘s female (and gay male) viewers raved over Trai Byers‘ newly chiseled body, while the rest of us fell out laughing at Grace Gealey‘s pathetic twerking.

Oddly, the show’s new writers brought in comedian Chris Rock for a 1 episode turn as a jailhouse cannibal; and actress Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny and A Different World) as a lusty lesbian businesswoman.

After shamelessly hitting on Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), Whiteman beds Boo Boo Kitty (Gealey) who joined Cookie in a failed attempt to wrest control of Empire Records from the imprisoned Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard).

Tomei’s lusty lesbo character was overkill and unnecessary.

Also overkill and unnecessary was Jamal’s (Jussie Smollet) singing. At times he sounded like a cross between a strangled cat and a billy goat.

Despite the show’s numerous flaws, Empire garnered a a near-record 16 million viewers in the coveted 18-49 age demographic last night. That’s 1 million less viewers than last season’s Empire finale. The ratings drop is sure to be bad news for the show’s advertisers who already dished out $650,000 for a 30-second commercial spot on upcoming episodes.

Watch the full episode below, courtesy of