Review of the Prime Video series ‘The Power’
The cry “Who runs the world? Girls!” takes on new meaning in this exciting sci-fi series about a global revolution.
What would happen to the world if women suddenly had the power to electrocute others? This strange matter is fundamental to The power, the serial adaptation of the award-winning book of the same name. Do not expect a superhero story, but dark science fiction about how human evolution intervenes in the female half of the world’s population and thus shakes all existing (power) relations.
Teenage girls on various continents suddenly discover that they can generate electricity with their fingertips. Although this phenomenon seems incidental at first and is dismissed as a hoax by politicians and the media, MRIs show that this is due to a new organ at the level of the clavicle. The power only arises in adolescent girls, who soon discover that they can activate it in other women. With an American mayor as a whistleblower, it is clear that no one can ignore this and the world as we know it will never be the same again.
Just like in the book, the different stories are set in different parts of the world: from Seattle and London to Carpathia and Nigeria. After a somewhat slow explanation of all the characters and their backgrounds, the series picks up momentum from episode four onwards. Along with the characters, the viewer learns about the far-reaching consequences of power at various levels of society. Having power causes unrest and uproar and creates connection and division within families, relationships, schools, businesses, and governments.
It’s nice to see how evolution leads to a revolution: women stand in their power, unite and rebel against centuries of oppression. Understandably, this produces a panic reaction in the establishment: many men feel threatened now that women are no longer physically the fairer sex. Politicians are desperately looking for ways to contain the problem and the way this is done shows considerable parallels with the approach to the corona pandemic: monitoring, exclusion and medical intervention based on emergency law, without a constitutional or ethical basis.
The irony is that it is mainly men who decide on women’s bodies, which has happened more frequently in the past. This does The power again a link to current events, thinking about America’s increasingly strict abortion laws. The extreme reactions online and the resulting polarization are also familiar, as is the backlash to the misogynistic account of an Andrew Tate-like figure who primarily appeals to young men and calls on them to put women in their place. In short: the patriarchy is teetering on its foundations.
Of course, the newly acquired power of women also has a downside. There seems to be a fine line between the use of force in self-defense or for an equivalent position and its misuse to attack or even kill others, usually men. Are the roles now being reversed and women oppressing men? What is justified and what is not? Who is good and who is bad? Which side would you be on? These are just some of the many questions that make the viewer think.
The power is a beautifully shot large-scale production with strong performances from the versatile international cast. Because there are so many stories, it’s hard for new characters to appear often without an introduction. Then it turns out that many of those faces and names were not important to remember. Another downside to the many storylines is that they don’t come together for most of the season. Because it sometimes takes a long time before you return to a certain character, the connection to that person is lost a bit.
The power It’s entirely written and directed by women and thus has a strong feminist character, but because both sides of the coin are so clearly highlighted, the series doesn’t feel too awake. There is a complete focus on the idea of ’what if?’, with which the series sometimes evokes the same discomfort as The Handmaid’s Tale in black mirror. Therefore, mindless binges are not an option, but The power it’s accessible and entertaining enough to keep you wanting to know how the story continues. And that feeling doesn’t stop at the thrilling finale of this first season.
The power can be seen in first video.