Eye on TV: Power Is Predictable Early On

The much anticipated premiere of Power on Starz is looming large on The Shadow League’s radar as the PR machine for the Omari Hardwick starrer has been in full swing.

With the show set to premiere Saturday, June 7, the 50 Cent produced offering centers on Ghost, a.k.a James St. Patrick (Hardwick), a drug distributor to high-class clientele.  The story begins as Ghost is opening a nightclub for the rich and famous to cover up is illicit activities. But it’s clear early on that he also sees it as a potential ticket out of “the life.”   

Power brings memories of past projects about organized crime and gangsters looking for a way out. The formula hasn’t changed much over the past 25 years.  From The Godfather trilogy to the Goodfellas, Belly, Sugar Hill and on to the front pages of your local tabloid, these stories have captivated the minds of Americans for the better part of the past century. The first three episodes of Power have the same familiar plot devices that are glaringly obvious.  

For example, there are character types that can be found in other films and television shows some might consider similar to Power. FBI special agent Angela Valdez (Lela Loren), is a former high school friend of Ghost’s. Unbeknownst to him, she works in law enforcement. A career that is apparent, at least to me, 10 minutes before she is actually introduced. Adding to this predictability, I already knew the as-yet-unrevealed perpetrator of a string of robberies against Ghost’s couriers.  For me as a viewer, I don’t want to be able to pick a show to pieces. But Power made it kind of easy. 

The problem with Power is the seemingly cookie cutter characters and the predictable manner in which they are presented.  There’s the aforementioned Ghost, a former street hustler who rose up through the ranks to his current position. His right hand man and day one homeboy Tommy (Joseph Sikora), does most of the footwork for his friend’s criminal enterprises. He constantly reminds Ghost of his allegiance to the life that made them both rich. Javier, a business partner turned adversary (Lucas Salvagno), is a looming threat to Ghost and his family. And Ghost’s forlorn wife, Tasha St. Patrick (Naturi Naughton), is feeling neglected, giving the “come hither” look to her driver after fighting the feeling that her husband is cheating.  

In the first three episodes of Power, I found myself waiting to be surprised beyond expectation. Still, the rags to riches by any means necessary storyline is one that resonates in the hearts and minds of many big city residents and struck home for me as well. We’re just hoping for more shock and awe sooner than later. 

The Shadow League gives Power a C+ fresh out the gate.

Power Premieres Saturday, June 7, 9pm on Starz.


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