I used to be ashamed to admit that I really enjoy watching tv. Besides reading a book, watching television [or netflix] , is often my may of winding down. As a writer and overall creative, I am fueled by visual art in television. I was/am a faithful viewer of family shows – well shows centered around families – such as Brothers & Sisters , Parenthood , Grey’s Anatomy [they are like family, right?] the Cosby Show and most recently This is Us. I am particularly drawn to shows that depict the braiding that holds families together , and the loose strings that often cause them to fall apart.
Last night was the season finale of a show I fell in love with last season … QUEEN SUGAR.
This incredible show tells the story of Charley, Nova, and Ralph Angel Bordelon after the passing of their father. His passing is the opening of Pandora’s box , if you will. Lies and truth collide to find their places in the Bordelon Family and what comes to light is nothing short of captivating. The cinematography is intentional and breathtaking , setting a standard for television that is beyond what I’ve scene in a long time. The dialogue , characters and music seem to mesh together invisibly to create an experience that takes the viewer into emotional depths that are often unexpected.
Appearing on Oprah’s OWN Network and produced by Ava Duvernay , this show has an elegance and strength to it that outshines many other shows . It’s not just tv. This art is speaking to the issues, struggles, illusions and realities that are happening in our country and have happened between many black & White families for many years prior to now. Will it make you feel good? Oh, indeed! But, there is nothing “light” about this masterpiece. It isn’t boxed cake. It’s the rich chocolate cake your grandmother makes from scratch with eggs, real butter, sugar and frosting she made herself. The kind that leaves the house smelling like chocolate long after the oven has been turned off. This show is rich.
Is it a black show? Well, I guess the argument could be made that since the cast is primarily black, perhaps it is. But, this show is not just for black people. This show is for everyone. We all need to behold such beauty with our eyes and allow this art and this textured characters to bring us to tears and lift us to laughter.
Queen Sugar Just might be the best kept secret. But, this is no secret. When it comes to Good tv, Queen Sugar is KING.