All hail Queens Ava Duvernay and Oprah Winfrey!
Over the past few years, Duvernay has been dismantling barriers in Hollywood with her intense storytelling. From Middle of Nowhere to academy nominated film Selma, her projects have brought diverse stories to the forefront.
Queen Sugar, a collaboration with Oprah Winfrey on the Oprah Winfrey Network is no exception. The two-night premiere drops viewers right in the center of a storm brewing within a Louisiana-based family. Ending the life of its patriarch Ernest Bordelon, the storm touches down and his three adult children are left to pick up the pieces. Now Charley, Nova and Ralph Angel have to balance their individual drama, while trying to save their father’s farm.
My roommate and I watched captivated as we gasped, laughed and attempted not to cry at the immensely emotional portrayal of everyday life. We forgot that we were watching television, instead of a this real life unfolding.
Queen Sugar‘s Tuesday night premiere opened with Nova sharing a bed with some mystery man, and I must say, getting dressed in the morning never looked so sexy. Then there was Ralph Angel and his son Blue, who is the sweetest little boy EVER (which makes the fact that his father robs a bank 10 seconds later that more tragic). Finally, there was Charley, the Los Angeles-bound baller’s wife, her NBA star husband David West and their teenage son Micah.
Back in Louisiana, Nova is equal parts spiritual priestess and journalist, with a passion for social causes such as Black Lives Matter. In a span of a scene, she prescribes an “herbal” remedy and completes an article on police brutality.
Ralph Angel is the baby of the three and the most troubled. Fresh out of prison, unemployed and raising Blue without his mother, Darla, a recovering drug addict. He lives with his Aunt Violet and her boyfriend Hollywood, a couple full of southern charm.
Charley seems to have the perfect life, complete with a FINE husband and smart son, but when a sex scandal involving the team explodes, so does her life.
In arguably the best scene of the night, Charley and Micah are watching Davis dominate on the court when every phone in the arena begins to light up with notifications. A video has been released TMZ-style and Davis, who denied the sex scandal, has been caught in a lie.
Charley, seeing her life crashing before her eyes, walks on the COURT and confronts Davis in the middle of the game. All while my roommate and I are screaming No, No, NO!
Definitely the OMG moment of the night.
But the most emotional moments come after Ernest has at stroke at Blue’s birthday party. The family gathers around an immobilized Ernest that can’t talk and has to use vocabulary cards to communicate. Everyone is by his side except Charley, who shows up seconds after he passes away.
In the second biggest OMG moment of the night, Nova sits parked outside of a house and we see mister sexy from the beginning of the episode with his WIFE and KIDS!
The spiritual priestess, journalist and social activist has been sleeping with a married, white police detective.
After all that, part two of the premiere on Wednesday focused more on Ernest’s home-going services.
Charley, Nova and Ralph Angel come together to bury their father at a traditional Louisiana service, which included soul food at the repast and Nova sewing a pouch containing a priestess blessing in the lining of the coffin.
While Wednesday night focused more on grieving, it also set up the rest of the season when potential buyers came by the farm unannounced.
If the two-night premiere is any indication, Queen Sugar is about to explode and Hollywood needs to take notes.