Love Watching ‘Power’? Here are 6 Other Gritty Shows to Check Out
We know how you feel as you sit and wait for Power to return to Starz in January, and now only a few weeks remain. Fans who have been rocking with the series for all six seasons have their own rankings in terms of where it sits on a list of favorites, but it will be necessary—if it already isn’t—to find something else to fill the void once this chapter of Power closes.
It’s true that Book II is on its way along with other spinoffs. It’s true it will be hard to say goodbye for many fans. But if you are really into gritty dramas that touch on the drug game, street life dynamics, and characters who sometimes get in over their heads while trying to become bosses, then here are some suggestions for what to watch.
Set in Los Angeles in the ‘80s, Snowfall follows several characters during the rise of crack cocaine in the city. Franklin Saint is a smart, somewhat naïve teen determined to play it smart in the streets while dealing drugs and navigating his personal life. There’s a CIA operative who walks a fine line between corruption and righteousness when it comes to narcotics and funding operations, a crime boss, and a sometimes-luchador caught between a rock and hard place. It’s intense.
The show airs on FX and you can stream all three seasons right now on the app or through another platform such as Amazon Video. The series was renewed for season four which will debut in 2020.
‘Godfather of Harlem’
Based on the real-life gangster Bumpy Johnson, Godfather of Harlem takes you back to 1960s Harlem when he was released from prison and jumped back into the streets. Johnson, played by Forest Whitaker, took on local mob bosses but also was respected in the neighborhood and by fellow gangster, Lucky Luciano.
Check out how he runs things while being a community man. So far, there’s only one season of the Epix series and you can stream it now.
‘Queen of the South’
Who says it’s all about the men? One of the best shows on TV, Queen of the South takes you on a journey with Teresa Mendoza, a woman who was forced into drug trafficking after her boyfriend got her caught up. A survivor, she fought her way out of smuggling for the cartel, faced off against a queen pin, and for four seasons, has been outsmarting her peers to create her own international drug enterprise—on her own terms.
There’s action, masterminding, love, and good storytelling. If you like cameos, then you’ll enjoy seeing MC Lyte, Remy Ma, and others appear for small roles. It’s based on the La Reina del Sur series and airs on USA during the summer. Stream the first four seasons of Queen of the South before the show returns with season five.
A spinoff of Sons of Anarchy, Mayans M.C. is another crime drama that centers on bikers, brotherhood, family, and drug smuggling. Fighting with rivals like the cartel keeps things interesting, but moral dilemmas make things tense for some of the main characters like EZ. Two seasons of the FX series can be streamed right now.
If you’re looking to get into a British crime story, then Top Boy is for you. London’s drug underworld is explored through the show’s young characters who are in the life for various reasons. Among the danger there is some humor, but it’s about being street smart and not getting caught—by anyone.
Along with Sully and Dushane, young kids are looped into the game—willingly or reluctantly—to make ends meet. You’ll have to go back to season one which launched in 2011, and then catch up on the rest, including the Drake-backed 2019 reboot that is season three. Stream it on Netflix.
Drug dealing is the family business in Animal Kingdom, and this show is an example of how dark things can get in a sunny California suburb. What happens when your grandmother is the one calling the criminal shots, manipulating everyone and everything around you? Murder, tension, and drug trafficking mayhem.
Generations of the Cody family are in on this, backstabbing, selling, and trying to survive the business and each other. Catch up and stream all four seasons of the TNT series and prepare for the same type of jaw-dropping moments you see on Power.