Ava DuVernay Explains Why OWN’s ‘Queen Sugar’ is Must-See TV


The stars of OWN's forthcoming series "Queen Sugar," (l-r) TKTK, Rutina Wesley and TKTK. (Photo: OWN)
The stars of OWN’s forthcoming series “Queen Sugar,” (l-r) Kofi Siriboe, Rutina Wesley and Dawn-Lyen Gardner. (Photo: OWN)
Director Ava DuVernay attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards. (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Director Ava DuVernay attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards. (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

You know a series has to be good when it’s renewed for a second season and the first one hasn’t even debuted yet.

And good doesn’t even begin to describe OWN’s highly-anticipated original drama “Queen Sugar.” I had the chance to watch the pilot episode and let me tell you…I was pretty impressed. Whether the beautiful way it was filmed, the complex storylines and the equally complex and multidimensional characters (no one-dimensional black characters here), “Queen Sugar” really is a breath of fresh air. Oh, and it’s juicy! I’ve heard various people who also saw the pilot question how the series finale would top the first episode’s ending.

“Queen Sugar” follows the lives of the three estranged Bordelon siblings — Nova, Charley and Ralph Angel — who have to unite in order to save their family’s ailing sugarcane farm in Louisiana. It stars Rutina Wesley as Nova, a world-wise journalist and activist; Dawn-Lyen Gardner as Charley, the savvy wife and manager of an NBA star; and Kofi Siriboe as Ralph Angel, a formerly incarcerated young father in search of redemption. You may not be too familiar with Gardner and Siriboe but will surely remember Wesley as Tara in the HBO hit “True Blood.”

I recently had the opportunity to interview Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay about her baby, “Queen Sugar,” while she was in Washington, D.C. DuVernay, who executive produces this new series with OWN founder and CEO Oprah Winfrey, speaks with me about how “Queen Sugar” came into being, why it’s important to show black people’s complexities on TV and why the series only has female directors.

Watch my interview with DuVernay and then watch the “Queen Sugar” extended trailer and her acclaimed film “Middle of Nowhere,” all below. “Queen Sugar” will have a two-night debut Sept. 6 and 7 at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

WATCH: Ava DuVernay discusses “Queen Sugar”



WATCH: “Queen Sugar” extended trailer



WATCH: “Middle of Nowhere”


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