4 June 2014 7:30 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

A pay-cable crime soap with a hip-hop beat, “Power” counts Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson among its executive producers, and draws liberally from a rich history of mob yarns. By that measure, this Starz series musters occasional moments — mostly courtesy of its charismatic star, Omari Hardwick — but has a second-tier feel to it, with the familiar theme of the drug dealer who yearns to go legit, despite all the forces standing between him and dreams of dying from old age. Violent, sexy and slick, the show mostly feels like it’s sampling riffs from movies and TV of yore.

Of course, Starz chief Chris Albrecht had to know the territory that the show seeks to navigate represents something of a minefield, having been at HBO during those halcyon “Sopranos” years. And while “Power” (a rather nondescript title) sets itself apart through casting and venue, the cops-and-robbers machinations, double-crosses and family concerns all »


- Brian Lowry

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