So what’s there to love about Power?…….. How about everything?
HBO has secured the reigns for network originals for quite some time. With cult hits like the Sopranos, Sex and the City and True Blood, their standing is not only well deserved but easily understood. Networks like Showtime have developed their own footing with ‘recent’ hits like Weeds, Homeland, and Penny Dreadful, and Starz has been aggressively following in their footsteps. The network has invested tons of time and dollars in shows like Boss, Spartacus, Magic City, and White Queen to name a few. All, at best a mild-moderate success. None with as great a following as other network originals. With an average 850,000 views Black Sails yielded the network’s best ratings. With over 53 million subscribers ratings don’t matter that much. After all cable box office networks like Starz and HBO aren’t driven so much by ratings but their subscriptions.
Within its weekend debut Power grossed a total 2.6 million in viewership. A number that secured them a 10 episode second season and a growing audience since. I, like many others, was not a part of that 2.6. In fact, I didn’t have much interest in the show. The premise seemed a bit typical and predictable. A few weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night to the glaring television lights and the sound of a Hispanic woman coercing a Hispanic thug into some meeting. At first, I kept watching because it was on and unfamiliar. Within a few minutes I was fully engaged. I clicked the information button on my remote and soon after, I went to my On-demand and got caught up. Since then, I’ve eagerly awaited every episode.
The synopsis of Power is in fact typical. It’s about a drug dealer who upon acquiring a night club struggles with staying true to his roots or evolving into a potentially better version of himself. In its simplicity the juxtaposition of it all actually becomes quite complex. The story lines are very well written and superbly acted. Power is one of few shows where the characters are so well portrayed it’s as if watching ‘a day in the life.’ Within just four episodes you would have found yourself very much connected to the characters and eager to see how impending revelations will pan out. Courtney Kemp Agboh really knocked this one out of the park.
The dual lives of the lead character, James “Ghost” St. Patrick permeates through every connection in his life. From his wife and his lover to his best friend and business partner. There are several stories all effectively intertwined. At no moment is it too much, and at every turn there’s potential for it all to blow up in smoke. The acting is also quite stellar. Especially from Joseph Sikora, who plays the lead’s best friend, Tommy Egan on the show. The Performances of Omari Hardwick, Lela Loren and Naturi Naughton are all worthy of mention. The New York city backdrop for Power depicts two of the most powerful men on the brink of losing it all.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing about Power is how true the show is to the concept of power itself. It’s reminiscent of that age-old Samson and Delilah story that remains relevant today. How the downfall of an empire so often correlates with the menacing of a woman. The constant inevitable notion that perhaps women or at the very least their feminine wiles really do run the world.
Catch Power, Saturday nights at 9pm
What are your thoughts on Power (both the show and the overall concept)?