If you have yet to realize, the staff of “Not Just Another TV Site” is incredibly passionate about television and we hope that passion comes through on the page to you. However it is not the medium itself that we are so enamored with; we’re attracted by what we consider “Quality Television,” a term that most likely has different meanings for every person. That is our mission statement at “Not Just Another TV Site” and the reason that we started the site, to recap and discuss shows that our staff and hopefully you’re interested in digging a little deeper into what makes a particular series, stand out from the norm.
Our purpose is not being detractors, but instead proponents of the great things in television. Hence you are not going to read a lot of negative articles on this site, because if the show is less than worthy of our attention we choose to simply ignore it in most cases. Every rule does have its exceptions and there will be times that a show has all the factors we look for in a good show, but the show-runners fail to make it a cohesive package that works. We went through that experience this past Sunday night, as a series I had looked forward to with great anticipation; “The Leftovers” televised on HBO failed to live up to my expectations.
Although the début of the new Home Box Office original series failed to excite me, because of the people who created it, I am holding out hope that the series just stubbed its toe coming out of the starting gate and will start turning things around in the second episode. However the main reason I proceeded to post the recap, was because the show seems tailor-made for our readers, plot-wise and due to the series creators. It’s creators are author Tom Perrotta who wrote the novel the show’s based on and Damon Lindelof, one of the two men behind the highly acclaimed former ABC series “LOST,” one of my favorite shows ever to grace the small screen.
While the recap was certainly not a hatchet job, it was just as far away from being complimentary. The show had failed to meet my expectations and the article reflected my disappointment. I completed the recap with the following paragraph; “I had great hopes about this series heading into the première, but the pilot left me rather bothered and bewildered. I have enough faith in the show’s creators that I am willing to give the show time to develop. However if it stays as confusing and disjointed as it was in the first episode, it may lose me as a viewer before this season has completed.”
The next day I received an e-mail from one of my oldest and dearest friends, who loved the pilot and recommended I check it out, if I had missed it the night before. In return I sent my friend a link to my recap written shortly after the show aired. We had a good laugh over our different opinions and we agreed to disagree on the first episode.
In a conversation later that evening with “My Right-Hand-Man” and “Chief Partner In Crime” at “Not Just Another TV Site” Jason Jones, we both shared a laugh over the e-mail; but then he compared it to a conversation he had with somebody on a forum about the STARZ Network’s summer series “Power.” Created by Curtis Jackson III, better known by the name he raps under “50 Cent,” it received universal praise in the discussion when Jason joined in. He disputed their argument that it was a well made series and asked what attracted them to the show, they responded by calling him a “HATER,” something that many people resort to when they can’t defend their position and that ended the conversation.
I have to admit to being dumbfounded at the fact that not only were people watching the show, but they actually enjoyed it, as I deleted a “sneak-peak” of the pilot after watching the first 15-20 minutes of the show. The reason was simple, it was painfully bad television in every aspect concept, writing and acting-wise. It was at best amateurish and had it been written by anybody else, it never would have seen the light of day.
Power is certainly far from the first series to have a criminal as the lead character; a trail blazed by HBO series “The Sopranos,” years ago and many other shows have followed the same path since. So I had no problems heading into the pilot knowing that James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick,) a Drug-Lord/Gangster/Night-Club owner, would be the star of the series. However the way they executed the concept, was beyond laughable. There were times I thought I was watching a parody, like “I’m Gonna Get You Sucka” or the classic Robert Townsend comedy “Hollywood Shuffle.”
The opening montage consisted of watching Ghost get dressed over a song Jackson had written for the show. We move to a limousine which contains Ghost and his wife Tasha St. Patrick (Naturi Naughton.) The first line of dialogue was her saying “Tell me I’m beautiful” and he responds “You know that you are.”
They head into the club which is about to have its grand opening that night and Ghost talks to the deejay he hired to run it. The deejay asks about comping big names and the dude tells him no, that the club will be so hot all the stars will gladly pay. He then asks the deejay how big the opening will be and the deejay tries to play it down to lower expectations, but Ghost doesn’t want to hear that and implies that if the opening isn’t spectacular, the deejay will be sorry.
He then gets approached from one of his gang lieutenants who tells him they got some Latino dude from some rival gang as a prisoner on the roof of the club. They head up there and you see the most stereotypical street thug of all time. The gang member that captured him said they made sure he would talk and they show our guy the Latino’s girlfriend. I am paraphrasing here, but not by much as Ghost chews out his gang member for taking her along. He says don’t you realize she’s a Latina and if we kill her, her brothers and cousins will come down and be all over our stuff.
He tells them to bring her home and Ghost tells the woman to make-believe this was just a dream. After she leaves, he takes off his jacket, tie and shirt and starts pounding on the kid who’s tied to a pole. He then tries to get the guy to talk one more time and when he doesn’t he shoots him.
Back in the club Tasha is sitting in the private booth waiting for our guy to return. The deejay comes over and asks where he is, he has gate receipts from the night to show him. Tasha says you can show them to me, looks at them and asks him if that’s good? That was when I deleted it. My time is far too valuable to waste on garbage and Power is garbage, although attractively packaged. Although I did like the rap that 50 Cent, created for the opening of the series.
This has absolutely nothing to do with being a “HATER,” except hating bad television. I don’t care if it’s about Dutch people, make it good and I’ll watch it. If 50-Cent believes that watching a Z-grade version of life in the hood makes for fine TV I will respectfully disagree. Their are shows that have given Black men and women respect in their depictions among them “Oz,” “Treme” and “The Wire.” Power isn’t in that group. At least Leftovers has room to rebound, Power was 75 points down two minutes into the second quarter.