As “Power” prepares to sign off, it does so leaving a legacy that had an impact not only on its cast and crew but also on the wider cultural narrative.
“We have not had a lot of really rich, black anti-heroes yet,” showrunner Courtney A. Kemp told Variety, “and I think what’s really important is that we’re now able to be free of the shackles of needing to have only portrayals that are saintly or only portrayals that are sinners — that Ghost is somewhere in between; that he’s as complex as a Tony Soprano, as a Walter White, that we can enter that conversation and still be of color.”
The Starz series is centered on successful drug kingpin James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) and his attempts to go legit but was recently criticized for not depicting the effects of drugs on the streets of black and brown communities at large.
In response, Naturi Naughton, who plays Ghost’s wife Tasha, told Variety: “I would say to those critics, we show a very diverse side. Many people die, many people don’t make it, many people go to jail. Families are ruined on the show, people get killed, there are violent murders. But [it also shows] how a desire to change your life around can be very difficult coming out of a criminal drug background. It’s not just the glitz. There’s a struggle to this.”
Emotions were of course high among several of the actors at the Paley Center for Media in New York on Friday when the show presented a final screening and Q&A. Both Naughton and Michael Rainey Jr. were holding back tears on stage as the group reflected on the show’s legacy.
But while this chapter of “Power” is coming to an end, a spinoff is already in place. Two-time Oscar nominee Mary J. Blige and rapper Method Man were previously announced to star on the spinoff, which picks up 72 hours after the events of the “Power” finale, and is entitled “Power Book II: Ghost,” and Joseph Sikora alluded to the possibility of his fan-favorite character Tommy Eagen returning, though he didn’t specify to what capacity. Executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson also posted a now-deleted Instagram on the set of “Power Book II: Ghost” featuring Rainey.
It’s clear the fan-driven social media movement #PowerNeverEnds is not hyperbole!
“I think what fans are going to feel is satisfied with the show[‘s ending],” said executive producer Mark Canton. “I think we all saw a certain great series recently where the finale was disappointing. This finale won’t be that. And it can only ride on.”
The series finale of “Power” airs Feb. 9 on Starz.