Just finished watching season 6 of Queen Sugar – I’m way behind the curve because I watch it on Hulu instead of OWN. As always when I watch this show, my heart is in my throat almost the entire time – I’m just so stressed about what else is going to happen to this family!! It amazes me how the writing can seem rather stilted one minute, and then the next I’m weeping because of how heartfelt and genuine it is. I love the show’s commitment to incorporating real world politics and social issues that impact the Bordelons, but sometimes the characters’ dialogue feels like a very well-informed essay rather than the way folks actually talk to each other. The next moment, though, the interactions among the characters can feel incredibly raw and vulnerable and real. An incomplete list of moments from all seasons of Queen Sugar when I’ve been bawling so hard I could barely see the TV screen:
Darla tells Ralph Angel that he might not be Blue’s biological father.
Ralph Angel tells the rest of the family that he’s not Blue’s biological father.
Ralph Angel tells Blue that he’s not his biological father but that Blue is still Ralph Angel’s everything.
(I’m sensing a theme here)
Ralph Angel and Darla have “the talk” with Blue, about how our society treats black boys and men. Darla’s expression of pain in response to Blue’s fear and confusion wrecks me.
Ralph Angel realizes that he might lose the farm because of his bad decision to steal from Landry. This scene works because we know how much of himself – his sweat and passion, his pride and sense of self – Ralph Angel has poured into the farm.
Darla’s speech at her baby shower, especially when she thanks Vi for raising Blue when she and Ralph Angel couldn’t and for supporting her when she relapsed, and especially especially (like runny-nose weeping by this point) when she thanks Hollywood for saving her at her lowest point. Again, this moment works because of the personal histories the show has so skillfully established and because Bianca Lawson is one of the strongest actors in this ensemble.