Ava Duvernay’s Queen Sugar
If you need proof that we are in the golden era of television, look no further than the new trailer for Ava DuVernay’s upcoming TV series Queen Sugar. It stars True Blood’s Rutina Wesley and unknowns Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Kofi Siriboe as siblings who reunite after their family patriarch passes away.
They had me at Nova. If Ava DuVernay directed the opening of a bag of chips, I would PVR that sh-t, read 10 recaps on it and listen to 4 podcasts dissecting how she captured the essence of all-dressed (or barbecue, I don’t discriminate) flavours so well. I have that much faith in Ava’s brilliance. Queen Sugar looks like a spectacular continuation of that brilliance. Based on a 2014 novel by Natalie Baszile, the story revolves around an 800-acre Louisiana sugar cane farm. As you saw in that trailer, it looks gorgeous. The scenery is living, breathing and gave me chills just as much as Rutina yelling “we do it with our own hands!” God, I can’t f-cking wait for this show. Ava talked about what we can look forward to in a recent interview:
“You have to sink into it. It’s a different pace. It’s not going to go fast like a music video.”
If Selma is any indication, Ava knows pace. I love that this show is going to be a slow burn because that means serious and meticulous character development. It might seem silly but one of the things that stood out for me about the trailer was that these people look like they are going to be flawed and complex and REAL. Those are three things black people haven’t been able to be on TV until recently.
So, after I watched the trailer, I got really excited but then I got stressed. TV homework stresses me out. I still haven’t watch The Americans (stop yelling at me Duana!) or Bloodline or the latest season of Jane The Virgin. So much TV homework. So little bandwidth. Plus, Queen Sugar will be airing on OWN, naturally, since Oprah is an executive-producer. I don’t even know if OWN comes with my cable package. How do I find OWN shows on the Internet? No disrespect to Oprah. I haven’t seen a single episode of Greenleaf. I don’t know anyone who has. That is on us.
Ava DuVernay just gave us all a reason to look within ourselves and figure out why we’ve been sleeping on OWN. This is a network that has allowed Ava to hire all female directors for the entire first season of Queen Sugar. That is badass.
Speaking of badass, it was just announced that Ava’s Netflix documentary The 13th about mass incarceration will open the New York film festival. She also has about a million other highly anticipated projects on the go.
Finding pants to walk my dog in every morning is a daily struggle for me so I really can’t relate to how much it seems like Ava has her sh-t together. My point: Queen Sugar premieres on OWN on September 6th and 7th. We have some time to pull it together, do our homework and make this show appointment television.