A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
What's the story?
James "Ghost" St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) has POWER, but heavy lies the head that wears the crown. His venerable and successful drug-dealing business is facing new and deadly threats, while the nightclub he's launched with his colleague Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora), Truth, has its own problems. The real truth is that Truth, while massively successful, doesn't earn him nearly the amount of money that the coke dealing does. It doesn't necessitate that Ghost slaughter competitors in cold blood, either. Ghost is nearly ready to get out of the murderous drug-dealer business, but will his many rivals, including terrifying cartel boss Lobos (Enrique Murciano), let him? Meanwhile, Ghost's wife Tasha (Naturi Naughton), who loves top-shelf liquor and shoes that cost as much as Caribbean vacations, wants the flow of big money to keep coming and things never to change for her husband and kids. But with Ghost's old flame Angela Valdes (Lela Loren) suddenly back on the scene, she may not get her wish.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the famous creative forces behind Power, which include The Good Wife's Courtney Kemp Agboh and rapper Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. How does the past work from these folks compare with their work on Power? How are they the same or different?
Could Power have been set in a different city? In a different historical period? In another country? Why, or why not?
Is Ghost St. Patrick rich? How do you know? How does this show let us know the relative wealth of each character?
For kids who love drama and thrills
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.