Power Book III: Raising Kanan is back, and the spinoff’s showrunner and creator Sascha Penn gives us the details on this season’s new villain, keeping the momentum going and why this season is all about family.
In Season 3 of Raising Kanan, the lines have been drawn, and Sascha Penn wants viewers to pick a side: Team Raq (Patina Miller) or Team Kanan (MeKai Curtis).
Ahead of the Season 3 premiere, CassiusLife once again spoke with Penn about his spinoff that follows the early life of Kanan Stark before he became the boogeyman that haunts Ghost and Tommy in the original Power series.
Season 3 picks right up after the Italian mafia takes down the Thomas family, but thanks to some help from an unlikely ally and sheer luck, everyone lives to see another day, but at what cost?
How Does Sascha Penn Keep Raising The Stakes In Raising Kanan?
We asked Penn how challenging it is to keep viewers hooked on the show and keep the momentum going that keeps viewers tuning in faithfully.
“Yeah, I mean, I think that’s the challenge. I think that’s the challenge of any television series, but specifically as it relates to Raising Kanan, a lot of sh-t happens, as you saw at the end of Season 2, ” Penn begins.
“So it’s like, ‘Well, how do we keep raising the stakes, how do we keep raising the bar, how do we keep Raising Kanan?’ That is the real challenge, but to do it in a way that doesn’t feel, frankly, false or unearned. And I think what makes this show work is that it’s a family drama. So a lot of the stuff that seems to really resonate with people is the emotional stuff, the family stuff. That gives us a lot of latitude, in terms of, to your point, raising the stakes where it’s like we don’t have to have bodies dropping all the time.”
Our show is set in Southside Jamaica, Queens. It’s a very different world than the world of power and truth.
He continues, “What we can do is we can have a really complicated relationship between Raq and Kanan and see how that evolves and see how that deteriorates and see where they betray each other and where they have each other’s backs. That’s something that I think resonates with everybody because we all have families, and we all have complicated relationships with our families. So that, again, just feels very organic and real. And I think we’ve always tried to make sure that Raising Kanan feels pretty grounded in a way that maybe some of the other series, they’re a little bit… And this is by no means a criticism. It works incredibly well. Those shows are maybe a little bit more hyperreal. They exist. Our show is set in Southside Jamaica, Queens. It’s a very different world than the world of power and truth.”
The Inspiration Behind Season 3’s New Villain
All of the Power series are never short on villains, which continues to be the case with Raising Kanan. Unique (Joey BADA$$) has been the main villain for the past two seasons, but now his brother, Ronnie (Grantham Cole), is here.
We asked Penn if there was any inspiration behind Season 3’s scary new villain.
It gets real scary, real fast.
“I mean, I think the inspiration is real-life stuff more than anything else, ” Penn begins. “I mean, Ronnie is such an enigma that it just makes him really scary. And I’m sure you’ve experienced this in your own life. It’s like it’s always the guy that you can’t wrap your head around, the quiet guy that all of a sudden you’re just like, “Whoa, where the f*ck did that come?” It gets real scary, real fast. And that character, especially as realized by Grantham Coleman, who’s a spectacular actor, he’s so unpredictable that it just makes him really, really scary. And I think he was the character who’s envisioned that way, but I don’t think that I anticipated or anyone anticipated, and how should I put it, how much depth that Grantham would bring to that role. He did something with it.”
Sascha Penn Says Season 3 Is All About Family
Each season, there always seems to be a theme. In season two, music played an important role for most of the characters, mainly Jukebox (Hailey Kilgore), Uncle Lou (Malcolm Mayes) and Famous (Antonio Ortiz).
For Season 3, Penn says family is the one word to describe the show’s third season best.
“I think probably family, again, I’ll go back to that. This is a family drama, and I think at the end of Season 2, you see the family laid low in a way that is pretty dramatic and violent,” Penn said.
…All of our families are so complicated and layered, and the Thomas family is no different.
He continues, “I think a lot of Season 3 is about rebuilding and reconstituting the family and the notion of family and what that looks like and whether that’s even possible, by the way. As I said earlier, all of our families are so complicated and layered, and the Thomas family is no different. And I think coming out of Season 2, you really find a lot of these characters going through existential crises where they’re trying to understand who they are, both individually and within the context of the whole meaning, the family. So I think that’s really a big part of Season 3.”
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