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Toni Collette Stars in Fiercely Feminist Thriller

The Pitch: The phenomenon begins quietly at first, just amongst teenage girls — electricity shooting out from their fingertips, seemingly without warning. As more and more young women begin to accumulate this unexpected ability (and more importantly, discover that they’re able to activate it in other women, old and young), the ripples are extensive…

In the center of the storm is Seattle Mayor Margot Cleary-Lopez (Toni Collette), who becomes acquainted with the anomaly firsthand when her daughter Jos (Auliʻi Cravalho) develops the power early on. This complicates not just her family life, but her political career — especially as Margot steps forward as an advocate for those with the ability, making her a potential threat to Governor Daniel Dandon (Josh Charles), who has political aspirations of his own. The scope is much bigger than the Cleary-Lopez family, though: An abused foster girl (Halle Bush), the daughter (Ria Zmitrowicz) of a London gangster (Eddie Marsan), the women of Saudi Arabia…

There’s also a Nigerian journalist (Ted Lasso‘s Toheeb Jimoh), who sees his opportunity to chronicle an earth-shaking event from the beginning, after capturing and sharing some early footage of girls exploring this new power. Because everywhere in the world, women are waking up to their new potential, while forces rise up to try to return things to the previous status quo. The girls might have electricity shooting out of their fingers — but the fear they inspire in others, particularly men, is just as scary.

Fade In on Some Girls, With Sparks in Their Veins: The core of intrigue found in the premise of the new Prime Video series is this — what if adolescent women suddenly had an ability that completely shifted the balance of power within our world? The key aspect is them being adolescent women, a group often marginalized by society — their interests considered trivial, their bodily autonomy under constant attack by authorities aiming to police their wardrobe and behavior.

And that’s just in first-world countries where women have something resembling equal rights to men. In countries where women’s rights are far more constricted, what kind of shifts would occur, if the girls were no longer afraid?

It’s a wild idea that opens up a lot of fascinating angles, and in adapting Naomi Alderman’s best-selling novel as an ongoing series, showrunner Raelle Tucker and the writers show great enthusiasm for exploring as many of them as possible… Arguably too many.

The Power (Prime Video)

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