Queen Sugar

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Queen Sugar
Queen Sugar Title Card.jpg
GenreDrama
Created byAva DuVernay
Based onQueen Sugar
by Natalie Baszile
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes55 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Running time37–65 minutes
Production company(s)Warner Horizon Television
Harpo Films
Forward Movement
Array Filmworks (Season 4)
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkOprah Winfrey Network
Picture format480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseSeptember 6, 2016 (2016-09-06) –
present (present)
External links
Website

Queen Sugar is an American drama television series created and executive produced by Ava DuVernay, with Oprah Winfrey serving as an executive producer. DuVernay also directs many episodes. The series is based on the 2014 novel of the same name by American writer Natalie Baszile.[1] The series airs on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and premiered on September 6, 2016.[1][2][3] Its fourth season started in 2019.

The series follows the lives of three siblings in rural Louisiana: sisters Nova Bordelon (played by Rutina Wesley), a formidable journalist and activist from New Orleans, and Charley Bordelon (Dawn-Lyen Gardner), a working wife and mother in Los Angeles; and their brother, Ralph Angel Bordelon (Kofi Siriboe), a single parent struggling with unemployment and raising his son alone. Their father has recently died and unexpectedly bequeathed to Charley an 800-acre sugarcane farm in Louisiana. Recently divorced, she takes her teen-aged son Micah and moves to the heart of rural Louisiana to operate the farm.

Queen Sugar is said to be the first television series in which female directors direct every episode of the series.[4] Critics have praised the racially progressive show for storylines that tackle universal issues such as culture, class, and gender, while highlighting many elements addressing more specific concerns of African-American society as expressed by the show's predominantly black cast.[5] The mainstream themes in the series often accompany episodes centered on racial profiling, the long reach of chattel slavery in American history and the inequities in the criminal justice system, and other issues related to African Americans. [6]

In August 2018, OWN renewed the series for a fourth season,[7] which premiered on June 12, 2019.[8] In September 2019, OWN renewed the series for a fifth season.[9]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Rutina Wesley as Nova Bordelon, the eldest Bordelon child. She is a journalist, activist and Louisiana Voodoo/Yoruba herbal healer in New Orleans.
  • Dawn-Lyen Gardner as Charlotte "Charley" Bordelon West, the second Bordelon child and was conceived out of an affair. She is the half sibling to Nova and Ralph Angel, a sports manager, mother of Micah and ex-wife of Davis West.
  • Kofi Siriboe as Ralph Angel Bordelon, the youngest Bordelon sibling. He is looking to better himself after recently being released from prison. Tied strongly to his family land.
  • Tina Lifford as Violet Bordelon, the younger sister of the Bordelon sibling clan's father Ernest. She acts as the matriarch of the family and lives with her younger beau, Hollywood.
  • Omar Dorsey as Hollingsworth "Hollywood" Desonier, a much younger oil rig worker, boyfriend to Violet, and friend of the Bordelon family.
  • Dondre Whitfield as Remy Newell, an irrigation specialist who was a friend and confidante to Ernest. He soon tries to help Ernest's grown children and soon becomes Charley's love interest (seasons 1–3; guest, season 4).
  • Bianca Lawson as Darla Sutton, Ralph Angel's ex-girlfriend and Blue's mother, seeking to reconnect with them both as she is in recovery from a drug addiction.
  • Nicholas L. Ashe as Micah West, Charley's and Davis' teenage son.
  • Ethan Hutchison as Blue Bordelon, Ralph Angel's and Darla's six-year-old son.
  • Henry G. Sanders as Prosper Denton, a lifelong friend to Ernest and fellow farmer (recurring seasons 1–2; main, season 3).
  • Timon Kyle Durrett as Davis West, a charismatic star basketball player, ex-husband of Charley, and father of Micah. His involvement in a sex scandal resulted in the end of their marriage (seasons 1–3).

Recurring[edit]

  • Glynn Turman as Ernest Bordelon, the late patriarch of the Bordelon family and older brother of Violet (season 1)
  • Brian Michael Smith as Toine Wilkins, Ralph Angel's childhood friend. He is transgender and influences Ralph's acceptance of his son Blue's differences. (Seasons 2-4)[10]
  • True O'Brien as Stella, Micah's girlfriend in Los Angeles (season 1)[11]
  • Reagan Gomez-Preston as Chantal Williams, Nova's friend
  • Issac White as Devonte "Too Sweet" Bonclair, a teen who after being falsely imprisoned becomes the main focus of Nova's current crusade on how the parish DA has been railroading African-Americans (season 1; guest, season 3)
  • Tanyell Waivers as Keke Raymond, a teenage friend of the family who becomes Micah’s current girlfriend.
  • Deja Dee as Sierra, Nova's college roommate
  • Sharon Lawrence as Lorna Prescott, Charley's mother
  • Michael Michele as Darlene, Darla's mother
  • Roger Guenveur Smith as Quincy, Darla's father
  • Alimi Ballard as Dr. Robert Dubois, an activist who is briefly Nova's love interest in the second season
  • Lea Coco as Jacob Boudreaux, a member of the Landry family who takes a special interest in Charley
  • David Jensen as Samuel Landry, the owner of the most popular mill, the Landry mills, in the county who Charley and Ralph-Angel go up against
  • Walter Perez as Romero, a doctor and love interest to Charley (season 3)
  • Vivien Ngô as Trinh Phan, a young woman who returns to help her parents with their seafood plant who becomes Ralph Angel's love interest. (season 3) [12][13]
  • Tony Aidan Vo as Khanh Phan, the younger brother to Trinh and son of Mrs. Phan (season 3) [12]
  • Elyse Dinh McCrillis as Mrs. Phan, a Vietnamese American refugee and the mother to Khanh and Trinh; also Ralph Angel's boss at the seafood plant (season 3) [12]
  • Greg Vaughan as Calvin, a married police officer and Nova Bordelon's longtime secret lover (Season 1; Guest Season 2).
  • Marycarmen Lopez as Reyna Velez, Blue's elementary school teacher (Season 1).

Guest[edit]

  • David Alan Grier as Jimmy Dale, Violet's abusive ex-husband (season 4)[14]
  • Cree Summer as Octavia Laurent (season 4)[15]
  • Bryan Terrell Clark (season 4)[15]
  • Amirah Vann as Parker Campbell, corporate lobbyist and bi-racial daughter of Sam Landry (season 4).

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On February 2, 2015, it was announced that Oprah Winfrey Network had ordered a straight-to-series TV drama based on Queen Sugar, the 2014 novel by Natalie Baszile.[1][2][16][17] Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, who worked on the 2014 film Selma, co-created the series, with DuVernay was set to write and direct the initial episodes.

The first season began filming in February 2016[18] and contained 13 episodes. DuVernay announced on January 27, 2016 that the series would feature an all-women directorial team.[19] On February 15, 2016, Neema Barnette joined the series as director and producer.[20] Award-winning director Tina Mabry is a producer and will also direct two episodes, and Anthony Sparks,[21] an award-winning TV writer and professor, began as a co-executive producer for the series in its first season and is now the head writer, Executive Producer, and Showrunner.[22] It was later announced that singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello would provide the score for the series.[23]

Casting[edit]

On January 13, 2016, Rutina Wesley was announced to play the role of Nova Bordelon.[24][25][26] Further casting was announced January 27, 2016. Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe, and Omar Dorsey, who co-starred in Selma, were all announced in leading roles.[27][28] On February 1, 2016, it was announced that Emmy Award-winner Glynn Turman will guest-star as Ernest Bordelon, the patriarch of the family who dies in the first episode.[29] On February 16, 2016, it was announced that Tina Lifford, Dondre Whitfield, Timon Kyle Durrett and Nicholas L. Ashe were cast as series regulars.[30] On February 23, 2016, Bianca Lawson and Greg Vaughan joined the cast as regulars, while Henry G. Sanders joined in a recurring role. Oprah Winfrey Network said that Winfrey, who earlier was announced as a recurring character, would not have an onscreen role.[31] On March 11, 2016, it was announced that Marycarmen Lopez also was cast as regular.[32]

Seasons[edit]

On August 1, 2016, the series was renewed for a second season ahead of the series' television premiere, which aired in a two-night premiere on June 20 and 21, 2017.[33][34] The second season premiered on OWN in a two episode special on June 20 and 21, 2017.

The show was renewed for a third season on July 26, 2017.[35] The third season premiered in a two-night special on May 29 and 30, 2018.

On August 8, 2018, the series was renewed for a fourth season. Following the renewal, co-executive producer Anthony Sparks was revealed to be the new showrunner, replacing Kat Candler.[7] The fourth season is set to premiere on June 12, 2019.

On September 12, 2019, OWN renewed the series for a fifth season.[9]

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113September 6, 2016 (2016-09-06)November 30, 2016 (2016-11-30)
216June 20, 2017 (2017-06-20)November 15, 2017 (2017-11-15)
313May 29, 2018 (2018-05-29)August 22, 2018 (2018-08-22)
413June 12, 2019 (2019-06-12)September 11, 2019 (2019-09-11)

Season 1 (2016)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
11"First Things First"Ava DuVernayAva DuVernaySeptember 6, 2016 (2016-09-06)2.69[36]
The estranged Bordelon siblings Nova (Rutina Wesley), Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner), and Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) come together to save their family's ailing sugarcane farm in Louisiana; Charley leaves her upscale L.A. lifestyle to return to her family home in Louisiana after her dad suffers a stroke and she receives unwelcome news about her husband.
22"Evergreen"Ava DuVernayTina MabrySeptember 7, 2016 (2016-09-07)2.14[37]
The siblings plan the funeral, but Charley and Nova disagree about how best to honor their father; and Ralph Angel and Aunt Violet are at odds over whether it's okay for Blue to attend the funeral service. In other events, Charley faces the fallout from the news about her husband and also learns there are things they don't know about their father's farm.
33"Thy Will Be Done"Neema BarnetteJason WilbornSeptember 14, 2016 (2016-09-14)2.00[38]
Charley, Nova and Ralph Angel learn the contents of their father's will and contemplate running the farm together; someone attempts to repossess one of the father's possessions; and the family considers a low offer for the land from a local buyer.
44"The Darker Sooner"So Yong KimKay OyegunSeptember 21, 2016 (2016-09-21)1.52[39]
The Bordelon siblings return to their everyday lives: Ralph Angel struggles to run the family farm; Charley resumes managing her husband's basketball career; and Nova seeks justice for a friend's son who she believes was wrongfully imprisoned.
55"By Any Chance"Victoria MahoneyAnthony SparksSeptember 28, 2016 (2016-09-28)1.59[40]
Nova's relationship suffers because of her pursuit of justice; Charley confronts her husband's accuser; Ralph Angel faces a moral quandary; and Hollywood resumes contact with someone from his past.
66"As Promised"Tanya HamiltonMelissa CarterOctober 5, 2016 (2016-10-05)1.44[41]
Nova and Charley clash over Nova's comments regarding Charley's marriage; Ralph Angel wants out of an illegal arrangement; and Charley discovers what Davis did on the night in question.
77"In No Uncertain Terms"Neema BarnetteDenise HarkavyOctober 12, 2016 (2016-10-12)1.68[42]
Charley deals with the state of her marriage; Ralph Angel decides to farm full time; Violet finds out information about Hollywood that threatens their relationship.
88"Where With All"Kat CandlerTina MabryOctober 26, 2016 (2016-10-26)1.71[43]
As the family members prepare for a hurricane, many of their issues come to the surface; Nova and Charley argue over their different lifestyles; Hollywood and Violet are reunited.
99"Next to Nothing"Kat CandlerJason WilbornNovember 2, 2016 (2016-11-02)1.69[44]
As the siblings work together to repair the damage caused by the storm, Charley, Ralph Angel and Remy are shocked to discover two dead bodies on their property.
1010"So Far"Salli Richardson-WhitfieldAnthony SparksNovember 9, 2016 (2016-11-09)1.50[45]
The storm impacts the harvest schedule, leaving Charley in search of a new mill; Nova encounters issues in her romantic relationship.
1111"All Good"Salli Richardson-WhitfieldKay OyegunNovember 16, 2016 (2016-11-16)1.64[46]
The Bordelon siblings must find a new mill, and expenses mount; Too Sweet returns with doubts about his future.
1212"Far Too Long"Tina MabryMelissa Carter & Ali Gordon-GoldsteinNovember 23, 2016 (2016-11-23)1.50[47]
Charley makes a cunning decision as a result of the siblings' quest for a new mill; Ralph Angel locks heads with Charley; Hollywood and Aun Violet's relationship hits a roadblock; and Nova's ex, Calvin, returns.
1313"Give Us This Day"Tina MabryAva DuVernayNovember 30, 2016 (2016-11-30)1.91[48]
In the Season 1 finale, Charley makes calculated choices about Davis' basketball career and securing an investor; Nova and Calvin reunite but not everyone is happy; Davis attempts to repair his relationship with Micah; Violet learns surprising news about Hollywood; Ralph Angel makes a shocking discovery that changes everything.

Season 2 (2017)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
141"After the Winter"Kat CandlerMonica MacerJune 20, 2017 (2017-06-20)2.31[49]
Charley and Davis remain entangled; Ralph Angel tries to find his footing on the family farm; Violet confronts her feelings for Hollywood; Micah has a dangerous encounter with a police officer; Nova deals with the loss of her relationship with Calvin.
152"To Usward"Cheryl DunyeJason WilbornJune 21, 2017 (2017-06-21)1.69[50]
Ralph Angel has an idea for the farm; Charley is blind-sided during her final divorce mediation with Davis; Nova holds a community fundraiser; Violet learns that Hollywood might have been involved in a life-threatening accident.
163"What Do I Care For Morning"Aurora GuerreroAnthony SparksJune 28, 2017 (2017-06-28)1.55[51]
Micah finds solace at Nova's place; Charley confronts Davis about their custody arrangement; Violet realizes her time with Hollywood might be short-lived; Nova meets someone at a symposium; Ralph Angel confronts Jacob Boudreaux about spying on his property.
174"My Soul's High Song"Maryam KeshavarzAva DuVernayJuly 5, 2017 (2017-07-05)1.46[52]
Charley searches for a more permanent home for Micah; a whitefly infestation threatens the farm; Nova adjusts to a new editor who wants her to change her approach; Darla makes a decision that has serious consequences.
185"Caroling Dusk"Amanda MarsalisDavita ScarlettJuly 12, 2017 (2017-07-12)1.52[53]
Charley's therapy session brings to light childhood issues; Nova reunites with Dr. Robert Dubois; Davis meets an intriguing singer; Ralph Angel meets an old friend during a high-pressured situation; Darla finds an unexpected job.
196"Line of Our Elders"DeMane DavisMimi Won TechentinJuly 19, 2017 (2017-07-19)1.56[54]
Charley's opening celebration of the Queen Sugar mill suffers a setback; Nova learns something surprising about her late father; Ralph Angel has a run-in with someone he previously robbed, which inspires a huge confession to his family.
207"I Know My Soul"Kat CandlerMaria Elena RodriguezJuly 26, 2017 (2017-07-26)1.57[55]
Ralph Angel's confession continues to cause unrest among his sisters, and his appeal to Darla for emotional support conflicts with Charley's wishes; Nova learns something surprising about Violet.
218"Freedom's Plow"Amanda MarsalisAnthony SparksAugust 2, 2017 (2017-08-02)1.59[56]
Nova and Dr. Robert Dubois' reunion hits a roadblock; Charley's magazine interview raises concerns with the farmers; Charley confesses her feelings for Remy; Violet has a health issue; Ralph Angel and Darla take a big step in their relationship.
229"Yet Do I Marvel"Julie DashJason WilbornOctober 3, 2017 (2017-10-03)1.74[57]
Darla reaches out to her family to share her engagement news; Violet's condition worsens; Nova's Zika story causes concern in the community; Micah finally comes to terms with his emotions; Charley receives an unexpected visit from her mother and the two have a honest conversation about Charley's upbringing.
2310"Drums at Dusk"Julie DashValerie ChuOctober 4, 2017 (2017-10-04)1.20[58]
An unexpected encounter creates issues between Ralph Angel and Darla; the presence of Charley's mother Lorna gives rise to old tensions in the family; Violet finally sees a doctor about her recurring symptoms.
2411"Fruit of the Flower"Cheryl DunyeDana GreenblattOctober 11, 2017 (2017-10-11)1.31[59]
Nova and Robert's relationship begins to shift; Ralph Angel feels humiliated by Remy; Hollywood and Violet clash over Hollywood's new friend; Lorna finally reveals the true history of her relationship with Earnest.
2512"Live in the All Along"Garrett BradleyMimi Won TechentinOctober 18, 2017 (2017-10-18)1.14[60]
Nova and Robert's relationship hits a major setback; Darla and Ralph Angel plan their upcoming wedding; Davis offers Charley help with her harvest festival; Davis and Charley realize they've both moved on in new relationships; Davis makes amends.
2613"Heritage"Liesl TommyMonica Macer & Davita ScarlettOctober 25, 2017 (2017-10-25)1.34[61]
Remy and Charley discuss their future; Violet receives a life changing diagnosis; Nova and Calvin come face-to-face for the first time in months; Darla reunites with her parents, and reveals a devastating secret to Ralph Angel.
2714"On These I Stand"Christina VorosJason Wilborn & Anthony SparksNovember 1, 2017 (2017-11-01)1.28[62]
Ralph Angel is left devastated by Darla's news; Charley's business is threatened; Micah has an issue with his school; Nova receives a new opportunity; Violet reveals her diagnosis to Hollywood.
2815"Copper Sun"DeMane DavisMonica Macer & Dana GreenblattNovember 8, 2017 (2017-11-08)1.22[63]
Charley fires Darla after learning that she's lied to her family; Micah gets suspended from school; Hollywood promises to fulfill Violet's wish list; Jacob Boudreaux suggests he and Charley form a partnership.
2916"Dream Variations"Kat CandlerAva DuVernayNovember 15, 2017 (2017-11-15)1.33[64]

In the Season 2 finale, Charley's shocking plan to save her business puts her relationship with Remy in jeopardy; Hollywood proposes to Violet; Nova and Remy share an unexpected moment; Ralph Angel weighs his decision on whether he can forgive Darla.

Note: This episode is 90 minutes.

Season 3 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
301"A Rock, a River, a Tree"DeMane DavisKat CandlerMay 29, 2018 (2018-05-29)1.48[65]
The biological connection between Ralph Angel and Blue is revealed; Charley reveals her hidden plan to Sam Landry and signs with his business; Nova gets a book deal offer and is propositioned by publishers; Violet and Hollywood announce their engagement.
312"Of Their Sojourn Here"Patricia CardosoAnthony SparksMay 30, 2018 (2018-05-30)1.04[66]
Violet gains a life-changing business offer; Nova's career decision hits a roadblock; Micah persuades his parents to let him transfer schools; Charley discovers shocking intel about Sam Landry.
323"Your Distant Destiny"Lauren WolksteinErika L. JohnsonJune 6, 2018 (2018-06-06)0.92[67]
Micah begins his new school with excitement; Blue encounters Ralph Angel in a guilt-ridden situation; Nova finds new material for her book; Charley exposes her plan for Sam Landry to Nova; and Darla returns back home.
334"No Haven in My Shadow"Maria GovanMike FlynnJune 13, 2018 (2018-06-13)1.13[68]
Fate brings Ralph Angel and Darla back together for the first time in months; Hollywood helps Violet with ideas for her business; Charley learns more information about the Landry and Boudreaux families; Davis reveals a life-changing hidden secret to Micah; Nova reveals something personal to Remy.
345"A Little Lower Than Angels"Shaz BennettChloé HungJune 20, 2018 (2018-06-20)1.14[69]
Davis reveals his secret to Charley; Nova and Remy act on their feelings for each other; Ralph Angel bonds with his boss' daughter, Trinh; Micah and his new friends come across a disturbing moment; Darla and Ralph Angel finally reveal their status of their relationship to Blue, leaving him heartbroken.
356"Delicate and Strangely Made"Christina ChoeChanning Godfrey PeoplesJune 27, 2018 (2018-06-27)1.17[70]
During a fishing date, Nova and Remy decide to address their feelings; Violet receives a business proposal; Blue is ready to talk about what happened at school; Charley learns something that raises suspicions; Ralph Angel goes on a date with Trinh.
367"Study War No More"DeMane DavisAnthony SparksJuly 11, 2018 (2018-07-11)1.20[71]
Nova and Remy grow closer, causing Nova to discuss her relationship with Remy to Charley; Darla and Ralph Angel go over custody arrangements; Violet learns more intel about her new business arrangement; the Landrys' new plan for the land leaves the Bordelon family on devastating terms.
378"Come, Clad in Peace"DeMane DavisErika L. JohnsonJuly 18, 2018 (2018-07-18)1.01[72]
Just as she's ready to celebrate her 60th birthday, Violet learns something has gone wrong with her pie business; Micah gets involved in a new protest with his friends; Charley threatens the Landry Enterprises board and is not ready to give up on what appears to a downfall.
389"The Tree and Stone Were One"Nijla MuminAnthony SparksJuly 25, 2018 (2018-07-25)1.05[73]
Charley gains an unexpected ally in her fight against Sam Landry; Nova receives an non-refusal offer for her book and comes clean to Charley about Remy; Violet discovers the fate of her pie business; Micah and his friends execute their plan for the plantation.
3910"Here Beside the River"Ayoka ChenziraChloé HungAugust 1, 2018 (2018-08-01)1.02[74]
Information about Nova's article has Violet searching for answers; Ralph Angel receives an unsettling visit from the Department of Children & Family Services; Charley makes another move against Landry Enterprises, when Mr. Prosper is being foreclosed out of his home; Micah confesses to Keke about plans for the correctional facility; Nova and Remy learn the status of their future.
4011"Your Passages Have Been Paid"Rachel RaimistChanning Godfrey PeoplesAugust 8, 2018 (2018-08-08)1.05[75]
A custody mediation between Ralph Angel and Darla turns sour; Nova makes a confession; Charley confronts Micah about the fire and hits a major roadblock.
4112"The Horizon Leans Forward"Kat CandlerMike FlynnAugust 15, 2018 (2018-08-15)1.05[76]
Ralph Angel and Darla go to court but they both realize that they must resolve their issues for the count of Blue; With Hollywood's help, Violet finally reveals her lupus diagnosis to the family; and the City Council makes a decision about the prison.
4213"From on the Pulse of Morning"Kat CandlerAnthony SparksAugust 22, 2018 (2018-08-22)1.01[77]

In the Season 3 finale, Ralph Angel receives some unexpected news, regarding his probation; the fate of the prison is revealed and Micah must fight the power to make this right; Charley makes a proposition on behalf of the farmers; Violet and Hollywood celebrate their wedding.

Note: This episode is 90 minutes.

Season 4 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [78]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [78]U.S. viewers
(millions)
431"Pleasure Is Black"Cheryl DunyeAnthony SparksJune 12, 2019 (2019-06-12)1.02[79]
Ralph Angel learns that his parole has concluded; Charley and Romero enjoy each other's company; the Bordelon family celebrates the opening of Vi's Prized Pies and Diner; Nova's "Blessings and Blood" book is completely published but revelations from dark longtime Bordelon secrets brings old wounds to light.
442"I No Longer Imagine"Carmen MarrónChloé HungJune 19, 2019 (2019-06-19)0.97[80]
Nova's memoir sparks up a lot of controversy with the family and faces possible backlash from everyone; Charley awaits Micah's return home from Europe.
453"Where My Body Stops or Begins"Lacey DukeMike FlynnJune 26, 2019 (2019-06-26)1.08[81]
Violet's ex-husband returns and surprises her at her diner; Prosper offers comfort to Ralph Angel and Charley when they discover something unsettling about Landry Enterprises; Violet demands that Nova leave for good.
464"Skin Transparent"Numa PerrierValerie WoodsJuly 3, 2019 (2019-07-03)1.03[82]
Nova remains estranged from her family; Charley learns more about the Landrys' plans; Ralph Angel launches a reentry program; Charley and Romero start their makeshift clinic; Nova reveals a disturbing family secret at her book launch.
475"Face Speckled"Heidi SamanLisa MoralesJuly 10, 2019 (2019-07-10)1.18[83]
Remy returns and reveals he's leaving town; Davis turns to Charley for advice when Nova's book impacts his job; Charley and Romero's clinic is raided by ICE agents; Ralph Angel explains to Blue that they are connected by their souls, not by their blood.
486"By The Spit"Bola OgunFelicia PrideJuly 24, 2019 (2019-07-24)0.95[84]
Ralph Angel and Darla grow concerned for Blue; Nova and Octavia's relationship hits a setback; a concerning attack raises doubts about Charley's campaign; Hollywood grows more concerned for Violet.
497"Of Several Centuries"Tchaiko OmawaleAnthony SparksJuly 31, 2019 (2019-07-31)0.95[85]
Nova's press tour continues, and she reconnects with Calvin; Violet's diner is vandalized, and Charley discovers the perpetrator; Darla continues to struggle; Ralph Angel's reentry program is in jeopardy; Charley receives devastating news.
508"All The Borders"Deborah KampmeierChloé Hung & Valerie WoodsAugust 7, 2019 (2019-08-07)1.07[86]
Charley learns some devastating news about her mill; Violet calls in a favor from Sam Landry; Nova has an emotional conversation with Calvin; Ralph Angel and Darla comfort one another; Romero and Charley's relationship hits a roadblock.
519"Stare at the Same Fires"C. FitzLisa MoralesAugust 14, 2019 (2019-08-14)1.15[87]
Violet confesses a hard truth to Hollywood; Micah turns to Ralph Angel for advice about his relationship; Nova helps Charley when she hits a low point; Darla also hits a low point when she learns a painful truth from her past; the community comes together at the Queen Sugar Mill to say enough is enough.
5210"Oh Mamere"Cheryl DunyeChloé Hung & Felicia PrideAugust 21, 2019 (2019-08-21)1.02[88]
Micah takes Blue to the park triggering trauma from his past; Darla learns a painful truth about the night Blue was conceived, and Violet stands by her side for comfort.
5311"I'm Sorry"Stacey MuhammadMike Flynn & Valerie WoodsAugust 28, 2019 (2019-08-28)1.02[89]
Micah and Keke's plans for prom are derailed; Charley tells Jacob Boudreaux a shocking secret; Darla pleads for Ralph Angel's forgiveness; Violet tells Hollywood there's something she needs to do to release her past.
5412"Here"Pratibha ParmarAnthony Sparks & Alison McKenzieSeptember 4, 2019 (2019-09-04)1.05[90]
Nova tries to mend fences with Ralph Angel; Violet attempts to put her past behind her by confronting Jimmy Dale and helping a young woman in need; Micah and Charley discuss college; Romero and Charley attempt to reunite.
5513"I Am"Ayoka ChenziraAnthony SparksSeptember 11, 2019 (2019-09-11)1.10[91]
In the Season 4 finale, Sam Landry and Violet's shared past is revealed; Charley realizes she's been used by Sam Landry for his own personal agenda; the Bordelon family unites, determined to face an uncertain future together.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 93% approval rating for the first season, with an average rating of 7.4/10 based on 41 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "With an authenticity of culture and place and strong performances throughout, Queen Sugar rises above melodrama in this alluring, unhurried and powerful portrait of a fractious black American family."[92] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 75 out of 100 based on 25 critics for the season, indicating what the website considers to be "generally favorable reviews".[93] A 100% approval rating for the second season was reported by Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 8.03/10 based on 7 reviews.[94]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2017
48th NAACP Image Awards[95] Outstanding Drama Series Queen Sugar Won
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Kofi Siriboe Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Rutina Wesley Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series Ava DuVernay (for "First Things First") Won
Anthony Sparks (for "By Any Chance") Nominated
2017 Hollywood Music in Media Awards[96] Original Score – TV Show/Limited Series Meshell Ndegeocello Nominated
2018
49th NAACP Image Awards[97] Outstanding Drama Series Queen Sugar Nominated
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Kofi Siriboe Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Rutina Wesley Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Dondre Whitfield Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Tina Lifford Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited-series) Ethan Hutchison Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series Ava DuVernay (for "Dream Variations") Nominated
Anthony Sparks (for "What Do I Care For Morning)" Nominated

Novel[edit]

UCLA graduate Natalie Baszile started writing Queen Sugar, the novel, in the early 1990s, but the text was only completed ten years later. She first presented the manuscript to publishers in 2009 but without any success. After revising the book for another two years, she resubmitted the text, with one agent agreeing to represent her.

Baszile took part in a women writer's retreat in Hedgebrook. A friend of hers who was also at the retreat, the novelist Sarah Manyika, suggested that she read part of Queen Sugar to fellow residents. Leigh Haber, O, The Oprah Magazine's book editor was attending and loved the novel and passed it to people at Oprah's Harpo Productions. A few months after that, Harpo called to say they wanted to option the book for a project.[98]

The book was published by Penguin in 2014 as Baszile's debut novel and, a few months later, OWN negotiated the deal to turn the book into a television series.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]