You can’t possibly imagine the high pressure situations and shocking service calls the mid-level management at these utility plants face in their everyday work, and those are the very conditions this satirical series attempts to illuminate.
Created by Ryan Ridley and Dan Harmon (both long-time Channel 101 veterans – Harmon’s a co-founder), Water and Power is your typical Channel 101 blend of low-budget cinematography mixed with ironic dramatization. But don’t let the production quality or characteristic acting cause you to click away. This one’s something special.
Harmon and Ridley work respectively for “Water” and “Power,” the government offices that control the precious resources’ supplies.
You think it’d be all customer service calls and navigating a convoluted bureaucracy while drowning in paperwork, but the series takes its cues from CSI, not The Office. Duplicitous bosses shut down hospitals in hungry grabs for power, the good guys on the job get sheltered from the harsh realities of the elements by weathered vets, and the profiling of different minority groups generally drives the storyline.
In each narrative, one of the two stars overlooks something important and realizes his error in some fatalistic twist, sort of like an Aristotelian tragedy. I can’t say the show achieves any genuine catharsis, but the absurdity of each calamity creates great opportunities for water and power-related one-liners and melodramatic sequences.
My only gripe is that the episodes aren’t longer. Lucky us, just like your regular, primtime, investigative TV drama, there’s a spinoff. Once you’ve had your fill of Water and Power, be sure to check out its hotter, sexier sister, Water and Power: Miami.