Few things bring a fractured family together like a crisis — and Queen Sugar‘s got ’em in spades.
Tuesday’s series premiere, written and directed by executive producer Ava DuVernay, introduced viewers to the Bordelon family, whose eclectic members include Hollywood-based sports manager Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner), journalist/activist Nova (Rutina Wesley) and single father Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), who can’t seem to escape his past as a convict — or give up the destructive behavior that landed him behind bars in the first place.
Initially, all seemed well — or at least well enough — at the family’s Louisiana sugarcane farm, but by the end of the hour, the Bordelon siblings were reunited at the hospital following their father’s fatal stroke. Without sharing so much as a word, Nova and Charley’s emotional embrace spoke volumes about their complex relationship, as did the absence of a furious Ralph Angel.
Of course, their father’s death was only one surprise the Bordelons received in the drama’s first hour; Charley’s husband, star basketball player Davis West, was caught on camera helping his teammates usher an unconscious woman into a hotel room, and Charley did not take the revelation lightly. Before she even digested the news — which was delivered to her cell phone during a game — Charley was digging her heels into the damn court, demanding an explanation from her husband.
And that’s really just scratching the surface of Tuesday’s premiere. From Ralph Angel’s volatile relationship with his son’s mother (played by Bianca Lawson, who’s always welcome on my TV screen) to Nova’s unspoken connection with married detective Calvin, there’s a lot to unpack — and I look forward to watching the Bordelons hash out their issues every week.
Queen Sugar‘s two-night premiere continues Wednesday at 10/9c, but will you be returning? Grade the premiere below, then drop a comment with your full review.