Queen Sono will gain attention for being Netflix’s first African original series.
It certainly deserves attention for breaking obstacles in the programming of Netflix, but that is far from the series’s greatest achievement: Queen Sono is among the originals Netflix has introduced lately.
In six episodes it expands the nature of it. Beyond supplying representation, it proves that diversity in television is most effective when cultures are allowed to make classic tropes their own. Queen Sono isn’t “Alias but Black” or Black girl James Bond: It’s a carefully crafted, visually vibrant drama that examines everything from Black lady liberty to the impact of white colonialism on Africa.
Together with 45-minute episodes, Queen Sono never falls prey to Netflix’s usual “bloat issue”; the storyline moves at a near-perfect rate, balancing the psychological complexities of the show’s heroine, Queen, along with the complexities of African politics.
The series follows Queen Sono as she traverses across Africa, stopping terrorists on behalf of the secret spy organization, the Special Operations Group (SOG). She’s also searching for the facts behind her army revolutionary mother’s assassination.
Series founder Kagiso Lediga’s script allows Queen to become ruined and imperfect, crafting her right into a compelling central figure instead of some mythical Black.
She is plagued with doubts and insecurities which produce her relatable As soon as it’s apparent Queen is a professional, trusted fighter and spy.
The personality is approached by pearl Thusi using an essential strength that provides more weight to the minutes when Queen lowers her defenses about friends and family.
The show also owes its success to a superlative outfit, as Queen is assisted by her SOG colleagues. South African comedian Loyiso Madinga plays with Fred, who softens Queen’s serious demeanor with moments of levity.
Fred isn’t just comic relief, nevertheless, and Madinga has no difficulty as he attempts to solve his household mystery, pushing into the dramatic land. And the Miri of Chi Mende isn’t just Queen’s stern and accountable gal pal.
The show takes the opportunity to research her dissatisfaction with conventional sex roles as she’s secretly the manager of a whole spy organization but plays with the part of a happy housewife at home.
Both these characters might have come perilously close to presenting as caricatures of sidekicks, however, Queen Sono finds wealth in providing them their own lives and stories. She is what makes them interesting while Queen brings each of these characters together.
This thickness of personality allows Queen Sono’s central battle between the SOG and a safety terrorist company to succeed. The show’ duo, Sandhu and Eterkarina, knowingly plot violent attacks but can acquire sympathy as morals and their values are tested.
Vuyo Dabula is particularly strong as Sandhu, a revolutionary who fights for independence, but gradually becomes corrupted by his need for power. Dabula brings a sincerity to the function which makes him quite unpredictable.
Kate Liquorish manages female anti-hero Eterkarina using a coolness that makes it difficult not to root for her since she speaks multiple languages and breaks down the glass ceiling of terrorist organizations.