'Power: The Complete First Season' is the story of James "Ghost" St. Patrick, a wealthy New York City nightclub owner who caters to the city's elite. He wants to build an empire and turn the club into a Fortune 500 business, but there's just one problem: Ghost is living a double life. When he is not in the club, he is the kingpin of the most lucrative drug network in New York for some very high-level clientele. His marriage, family and business all become unknowingly threatened as he is tempted to leave his criminal life behind and become the rags-to-riches businessman he wants to be.
The Starz network is like the much younger sibling of a family of five. You have two older and wiser siblings, being HBO and Showtime, with the youngest being Starz. The youngest is always last and late to the game, much like Starz with their original programming. When HBO, Showtime, AMC, and FX release shows about monsters, gangsters, or fantasy type characters, Starz is almost always last in line to release their own version of what ever genre is popular at the time. They win some. They lose some.
More recently though, Starz has announced a few original shows that nobody else has coming, including the upcoming 'Army of Darkness' sequel 'Ash vs. The Evil Dead', but most of its other series fall into the "last place in line" category. That is the case with their recent series that first aired in 2014 'Power', not to be confused with the Playstation Network's 'Powers'. 'Power' is a story you've heard a thousand times before in film and other television shows. It's been replicated and repeated so many times, that you can see everything coming from a mile away, which again, is the consensus here with 'Power'.
That being said, this show, which is produced by Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson is fresh and well-acted enough to stand on its own, despite the large percentage of predictability here. Stop me if you've heard this one. 'Power' follows a man named James 'Ghost' St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), who runs a very popular and hugely successful night club in New York City called Truth. He runs the nightclub with his business partner named Tommy (Joseph Sikora). When Ghost is not at his nightclub, he is tending to his loving, strong wife Tasha (Naturi Naughton), who can hold her own. Oh yeah, did I mention that Ghost and Tommy are also top members of the vicious underground illegal drug smuggling and dealing ring? Well, they are, and Tasha completely supports this.
While dodging bullets and other rival kingpins, Ghost tries to make his fancy club the top club in New York City. He's not a complete bad guy, as he desperately wants to leave the illegal drug trade, and focus on his club, becoming a legitimate businessman. Meanwhile, a past romantic relationship shows up with Angela (Lela Loren), who quickly hits it off with Ghost once again, although he doesn't know she works for a certain government agency and is investigating his crimes. So the show follows Ghost as he struggles with what path to take to make his future the best. Even though we've seen this tiresome story plot many times before, it's the acting performances here that make this trip all worth while.
Omari Hardwick plays Ghost very well. He makes you feel his struggles with him at all times, which is a rarity these days. Naturi Naughton also brings her A-game, by not playing the cowering wife behind the shadows, but rather a very strong and volatile presence if anyone ever steps up to Ghost. Again, even though we've seen these characters and story plots before, the writers and directors have given this enough backbone and toughness to stand on its own. This first season of 'Power' is definitely a diamond in the rough.
The first season of 'Power' comes with an excellent 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This Starz television series looks great, even with the many lower lit scenes it has. I thought that would be a consistent problem, but fortunately it wasn't. Detail is sharp and vivid throughout, revealing individual hairs, facial imperfections, and beads of sweat quite nicely. The luxurious wardrobe choices also stand out here with all the intimate stitching.
Wider shots do not move into the soft area either, providing great detail in the sets, props and overall look of the city life.There is some great visual depth to this show. Colors pop as well and seem well-balanced and natural at all times. There were no color correction problems here. Black levels were deep and inky and the skin tones were always natural as well. There was a minor bit of video noise that cropped up here and there, but other than that issue, there were no problems whatsoever, leaving this Anchor Bay release with solid video marks.
This release comes with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio mix, which sounds fantastic. First and foremost, the music and score is the big star in this show. Each song and music element is perfect, giving us a very well-rounded sound that fully immerses us in each episode. The bass has a nice rumble to it at all times, never going into rocky territory. Whether at a club or hearing the score, the music here is amazing. Next to that are the sound effects and ambient noises, which sound very good.
The ambient noises of the big city life sound lively through the rear speakers, no matter if it's from traffic or people walking by. Sound effects are realistic and robust, although the gunshots I heard sounded a little muffled and didn't pack the punch Ii thought it needed. Lastly is the dialogue, which is always crystal clear and easy to follow. There were no pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills here. The LFE is excellent and the dynamic range is very wide, leaving this audio presentation with high marks.
The New Series (HD, 2 Mins.) - Here is a very short recap of the overall storyline.
The Style of 'Power' (HD, 2 Mins.) - Way too short in my opinion, but here is a look at the high end costumes for the show as well as the design of the club.
NYC: The City of 'Power' (HD, 2 Mins.) - This shows us how New York City and the characters of the show mix together.
The Music of 'Power' (HD, 2 Mins.) - Here we look at the music of the series and its influence on its characters.
'Power' won't be your favorite show on television, nor will it probably win a ton of awards, come awards season. Although, it has enough raw stamina and grit to stand on its own in the vast sea of criminal and gang shows that we've seen too often recently. The performances by everyone are top notch and the music is incredible. The video and audio presentations are both excellent, although the few extras are way too short to enjoy any of it really. That being said, if you like this genre of show, 'Power' is definitely worth the watch. Recommended!