A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show presents a glamorized view of a successful drug dealer, replete with fancy houses, expensive cars, and lots of luxury goods. Women are often treated as sexual objects, with the camera lingering on body parts without showing the women's faces.
Positive Role Models
Characters on Power are conflicted and duplicitous: They pay lip service to family bonds and friendship, yet use murder, intimidation, and violence to get their way.
Violence & Scariness
Very intense violence includes point-blank shootings with blood and gore, stabbings, and knife slashings. Children may be in jeopardy, as may parents. Characters we've gotten to know die suddenly and horribly on-screen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Frequent nudity and sex. Women's breasts and bare bottoms are shown in each episode; naked male bodies often are shown, but the audience doesn't see genitalia. Couples are shown having graphic sex with moaning and thrusting, sometimes in the context of violent situations. A woman cheats on her husband by masturbating for an associate; a man has an appealing-looking affair despite being in love with his wife.
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A near-constant stream of curses, including every four-letter word you can think of, unbleeped. Curses serve as punctuation, as affectionate nicknames, and as threats of violence.
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Products & Purchases
Luxury goods such as cars, shoes, and bags are name-checked frequently, with real designer names such as Prada and Gucci mentioned.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drugs are central to the show's plot. Many people are shown drinking and using drugs, sometimes pleasurably, sometimes not.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Power is an intense drama about a New York City drug dealer who's trying to go legit in the nightclub business. This show has all the elements that might worry parents: sex, drugs, violence, and language. Characters are killed on-screen in various horrible ways; they also are tortured, with blood, gore, and dead bodies. Women are menaced with sexually tinged violence; they also are treated as objects, with the camera lingering on the faceless body parts of scantily clad young women. Bared breasts and buttocks are seen in each episode, as is sometimes very graphic sex, with nude bodies and thrusting (no genitals are seen). Cursing is near-constant, with F-words and other epithets used as threats or affectionately. Drug use is somewhat glamorized, and designers and luxury goods are name-checked frequently.
Is It Any Good?
Complex, serious, and gritty, this series races through plot points without neglecting characterization. Power is the kind of potent, addictive, yet decidedly adult pleasure fans of shows such as The Sopranos and Breaking Bad will appreciate. Hardwick, all square jaw and throbbing forehead veins, is a magnetic center to the action, with dilemmas that are easy to understand yet compelling to watch play out. Will he maintain his drug-kingpin status and wind up in the country working on watercolors as his men take the risk? Or is his empire crumbling even as he works to free himself from it? Is Truth the way out? Or is it a sucker's game?
Ghost's love life is equally complicated. He's in love with his adoring, if a bit materialistic wife Tasha, with whom he has a calm and happy home life with his passel of kids. But then a woman from his past shows up, and she's looking great. But she's also a prosecutor trying to get a big drug dealer put away. Who's that big drug dealer? Ghost, of course. It's all a bit soapy, in the thugs-with-guns style exemplified by Tony Soprano. But if you liked that show, you may like this one, too. It's good.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.