Texture , Candor and Heart: Queen Sugar’s Winning Recipe


Annie Q. Syed’s definition of story is one I keep close to my heart. In her book Collection of Auguries she shines a light on society’s misconceived notions of intimacy:

“Showing is not sharing. A telling that stirs something within yourself and another is sharing. Just like slicing a thin layer of the cornea cannot be done without a slight flinching for the onlooker and the one on whom the eye surgery is performed, so is the case with truly sharing—both feel the pinch of a truth no matter how far removed.”

Cue the slow clap for Queen Sugar. I wasn’t prepared to be moved quite like I was. A pilot episode is supposed to be great. It’s supposed to be so compelling, so ripe with interesting character and plot that you’re hooked. Rarely have I ever watched a show that’s been able to slurp me in and swallow me whole.  I can no longer count how many times I’ve turned off the television and said, “Welp, it’ll get better in a couple of episodes.”

This pilot made no such mistakes. You shall find no hiccups. Just perfection. This is the kind of storytelling my soul has been longing for. The kind of story that demands a blanket, maybe something sweet to drink and your full, undivided attention. 

I swear it’s as if Ava somehow found the magic formula. The planets aligned. She got THE best writers, producers, actors…she got the best team PERIOD and created this crazy, beautiful show.

I already want to be Nova. I can’t wait to see how Charley and her beautiful MBA is able to help with her family’s farm woes. I’m rooting for Ralph Angel. I adore Blue. I love Hollywood and Aunt Violet’s love.  How were they able to develop these characters so quickly and so well?!  I’ve been waiting for these people! I’ve been waiting for THIS type of storytelling.

I can just taste the goodness to come. I can tell these writers were ready to give us something real...something textured. And they infused love into every last detail. There are no one-dimensional stories; everyone's deliciously complex.  Flaws are hinted at and I plan to slurp up that realness, too.  I’m addicted to the pinches.

Queen Sugar has me feeling some kind of wonderful something, y’all. (My Meshell Ndegeocello albums have come back out to play.)

Are you watching? If you don't have OWN, fear not! Mama Oprah showered mercy on us all. You can watch the show on her OWN TV app.

"There is a God."


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