james st. patrick

If you dream big, but struggle to get to your destination, POWER might be the show for you. A modern STARZ drama with “50 Cent” written all over, the series feels like Get Rich or Die Tryin’ since both feature a quietly intelligent and morally compromised protagonist. The difference is, while Get Rich or Die Tryin’ offers a redemption arc for its troubled lead, POWER seems primed to send its main character into much darker territory. Like Breaking Bad, this gangster soap centers on James “Ghost” St. Patrick, the owner of a successful NYC club; Jamie lives large, wears expensive clothing, and brings all sorts of spoils home to his family, BUT he leads a double life, a fact neatly foreshadowed by an opening sequence heavy on mirror imagery: he’s also a drug kingpin. For the most part, he keeps his hands clean, but he’s not afraid to get ‘em dirty; early on, he gets called upon to interrogate a thug, and, carefully removing his suit, St. Patrick reveals a tattooed body, so despite his luxuries, he bears the marks of a criminal. There are many moments in which the theme of duality comes into play, and we get a portrait of a man struggling to balance two incompatible existences: he wants to go legit, using his club as a means to maintain his lifestyle without having to deal with dangers of the drug trade. However, those around him, even his wife, encourage him to keep doing what he does. POWER isn’t immediately gripping, but if you like New York atmosphere, murder, suspense, and SEX, then what are you waiting for!?

Watch Me: Power

Starz hit drama series Power recently wrapped it’s 2nd season. I binge watched season 1 last year, and just started binge watching season 2. 

Power revolves around James St. Patrick (played by Omari Hardwick) who goes by the street name “Ghost”.

Ghost is an NYC drug kingpin, but he’s trying to get out of drug dealing so that he can live on the straight and narrow. 

It’s nice to see Omari Hardwick in a leading role. He’s been the object of many women’s affection for years on every black blog I follow, but I haven’t seen him star in much besides  Being Mary Jane’s first season and as Janet Jackson’s down-low husband in For Colored Girls

Ghost is opening his own nightclub called Truth, but there are constant problems with opening the club, and Ghost can’t escape his past. Especially since his drug money has afforded him his lifestyle and his new nightclub. 

Ghost has been married to Tasha (played by Naturi Naughton) for years. They have 3 children. 

Naturi was amazing as Lil Kim in Notorious. It’s great to see her in a leading role. She’s come a long way since being kicked out of 3LW. 

 Tasha has been James’ ride or die. She loves her husband and the lifestyle his drug dealing has afforded them. She’s even helped her husband with his business. Tasha knows how to shoot and hold her own to protect her family. 

Though Tasha is no match for Ghost’s high school sweetheart Anglea Valdes (played by Lela Loren). 

Ghost and Angela grew up together, and experienced young love. Angela’s family moved away and she hasn’t seen Ghost for years. As soon as they run into each other now that she’s back in NYC they quickly pick up where they left off, despite Ghost’s wife and kids. 

Ghost plots to leave Tasha for Angela, but things keep going wrong with his nightclub and drug dealing. So Ghost keeps procrastinating much to Angela’s chagrin. 

Though Ghost is unaware that Angela is actually an attorney sent to NYC to hunt him down, and Angela is unaware that Ghost is the huge drug dealer she’s supposed to send down. 

This complicated love affair is the source of the main drama of Power, but there’s still a lot else going on. 

Ghost’s right hand man Tommy Egan (played by Joseph Sikora) tries to keep business running even though Ghost is constantly distracted by his new nightclub and mistress. 

Tommy is sexy in ghetto white boy kinda way. He grew up with Angela and Ghost so his relationship with Ghost is strong. Though he’s definitely threatened by Angela coming back into the fold and ruining things. 

Tommy gets his own romance when he falls for Holly (played by Lucy Walters). 

Holly starts working at Ghost’s club and Tommy is head over heels for her. He quickly moves her in and spoils her with whatever she wants. Ghost and Tasha aren’t a fan of Holly, especially after they realize she stole from Tasha when they invited her over. Holly has her own troubled past, but she does care about Tommy. Though she unfortunately gets caught in the crossfire of the dangerous world Tommy and Ghost inhibit. 

Tasha starts to develop feelings for Ghost’s driver and “nephew” Shawn (played by Sinqua Walls). 

Shawn is actually Kanan (played by 50 Cent)’s son. Kanan and Ghost are old associates, but Kanan has been locked up. Shawn calls Ghost “Uncle G” so it’s obvious there’s a bond, and Ghost and Kanan were close enough for Ghost to look after Kanan’s son while he was in jail. 

Though Kanan is on his way out of prison, and he wants Ghost out of the picture so he can be the top drug dealer in town. So he’s sent assassins after Ghost and other drug leaders to wreak havoc and take out the competition. He also tries to frame Ghost as the one who is having his competition and associates killed to cause more problems for him. 

Power is a great show. There’s romance layered in with drug dealing and violence along with the police on the trail. Everyone’s got their own lives going on and drama. It’s a great soap opera. 

I can see somewhat why there were Empire comparisons, but they’re such completely different shows. There’s room on TV for multiple shows featuring primarily black casts. I’m a fan of both. But one is about the drug world and the other is about music. Don’t compare, just enjoy that there are multiple excellent shows on TV giving black actors starring roles. 

Season 3 of Power will premiere later in 2016, so get caught up on seasons 1 and 2 now!