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Crystal R. Fox
"Queen Sugar" examines the intricate dynamic of familial relationships, race, culture and heritage. If you're interested in another predictable array of characters and plot twists, then you will likely be disappointed. Should your soul require retouching, or should the transcendence of blackness be something you dare allow handle you, then Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey's collaboration is well worth your attention.
The highly praised director of 2014's "Selma" is yet breaking ground as one of the elite visionaries of our time. Equipped with a diverse crew under all-women directors, "Queen Sugar" takes you to the mountaintop with intimate aesthetics and actors whose commitments will leave you at the edge of your seat. You will also journey through the valley as siblings Nova, a natural healer, journalist and activist, sister Charley, a scholar, business manager and NBA wife, and their brother, the previously incarcerated single-father, Ralph Angel, are further bound in the wake of their father's failing health. This may sound a little like George Tillman Jr.'s 1997 film "Soul Food," and while the resemblance is uncanny, the setup is real. Unfortunate as it is, life tends to bring families together on few occasions—mainly weddings and funerals. It's painful, and beautiful. It's infuriating, and righteous. It's a feeling of undisputed connectedness that empties your belly and puts weight in your toes. And in the midst of America's current socio climate pervaded by the Black Lives Matter movement, rest assured that "Queen Sugar" is both aware and intentional. You will be moved and forced to confront some difficult scenarios should you choose to tune in. "Queen Sugar" is certainly more than entertainment, but make no mistake, it's still damn good TV. If that doesn't convince you, the opening scene of episode one featuring Nova played by Rutine Wesley ("True Blood") in little more than sweat and shadows to accompany her luscious locs and exquisitely defined sable physique should provide more motivation, if not #workoutgoals. And get ready to upgrade your playlist as neo-soul artist Meshell Ndegeocello's musical direction offers the perfect underlay to what already promises to be a phenomenal project.
The contemporary drama is adapted from a novel of the same name written by Natalie Baszile. Leading roles are portrayed by: Rutine Wesley (Nova), Dawn-Lyen Garner (Charley), and Kofi Siriboe (Ralph Angel).
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