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News & Interviews for Queen Sono: Season 1
So consider "Queen Sono" version 1.0 of Netflix's African Originals. It's a somewhat unremarkable start, but there is plenty of room for improvement with future upgrades.
Series creator and South African TV comedy veteran Kagiso Lediga achieves a fine balance of action, drama and reflection, and he organically presents socially conservative audiences with progressive perspectives on women, sexuality and religion.
For these six episodes, all under 47 minutes for faster binging, it's enough that Queen Sono fits into that familiar-but-distinctive international sweet spot Netflix is carving out.
The pleasures of "Queen Sono" come outside of the action and the highly basic presentations of espionage and police work.
Queen Sono never falls victim to Netflix's usual "bloat issue"; the plot moves at a near perfect pace, balancing the emotional complexities of the show's heroine, Queen, and the complexities of African politics.
This first season of Queen Sono gifted us with an open-ended dialogue grounded in Black and African liberation. In this spy thriller there is room for this discourse, badass martial arts, and an honest look at neocolonialism.
Queen Sono is more than just an appealing spy thriller. It's a fierce, conscious celebration of black Africa and the women at its heart.
Queen Sono is a fun spy thriller that isn't trying to answer too many questions about the meaning of life, which is sometimes exactly what you need.
Queen Sono is thrilling--full of action and espionage and traumatic pasts that lead to fatal mistakes.
Audience Reviews for Queen Sono: Season 1
Sep 11, 2020The show was smart and action packed with a kick-ass female lead (literally). The beautiful views of many major cities throughout the continent of Africa was a welcomed surprise. I look forward to season 2. My only criticism is the unnecessary amount of profanity used by everybody! Sometimes the unleashing of the "F" bomb made no sense at all. Overall, it was a great experience.
Jul 19, 2020Mediocre at best and stereotypical, this show has an interesting premise and great promise. The lack of funding is shown throughout the show and acting is flat or over the top. However, the plot is interesting; Pearl Thusi is great as the lead and shines above everyone else; some scenes have really great fusion of cinematography and score; and with more funding and better casting, this show may stay with us for long.
Jul 02, 2020Can appreciate the technical aspects only ! The portraits are horrible especially from the lead character and the rest even not that par with a average B movie.
Jun 07, 2020Very heart stopping....it's like a book you cannot put down.... could not believe all the episodes were over.... I loved every minute of it.
May 14, 2020Like a great airport novel. Fast, sexy, often funny, soapy, topical, informative, fun. Would like to have more of the feel and flavour of Africa.
Mar 28, 2020Amazing movie... Amazing storyline and thumbs-up Netflix for a cool show. However, sometimes I find the conversations very shallow. I'll give the plot and storyline a 9.5/10; the Action a 7/10; dialogue gets a 4/10 and the professionalism of the casts, would get a 6/10..hence the 4-star review
Mar 16, 2020Queen Sono – an uneven mess For about two minutes I was seduced by Queen Sono's incredible cinematography, vibrant colour treatment, fresh styling, beautiful people and director, Kagiso Lediga's love letter to Joburg, and Africa. Then it all came crashing down. The dialogue is peppered with corny Hollywood one-liners (I've got this! Let's go get'em!), rather sexist tropes (If you're going to be a bitch, you know, just be a bitch. Commit.) and baffling stereotypes (And they say the Zulu's are bad). To not even mention the convoluted and boring monologues on race relations, gender politics, etc. If you have something to say, show us, don't tell us. (Are you too much of a man to be led by a woman? Why be a mere man? Help me rebuild this continent and I will make you an emperor when it is borne again. Vitali kept you in the shadows. Come walk with me in the light with your head held high…) The storytelling is all over the place. A beautifully shot scene in an open pit diamond mine, had me sitting up. The images of the mud-smeared miners immediately evoked empathy towards these exploited men. But then they are rounded up and addressed by their new leader in, wait for it, English. It made no sense in that setting. As Queen, an agent known for her volatility, walks into a very dangerous situation, she is told via microphone, that her mother's killer has just passed away? Really? Queen is chewed out by her sidekick for being reckless, but praised for good work a split second later, without a pause, or a reason for the deviation. The same goes for her boss reprimanding her, then offering her a shoulder to cry on a second later. It leaves your head spinning. When Charlize Theron trained for Atomic Blond, she insisted they only use moves that an actual woman could perform to overpower men physically stronger than her. Queen Sono apparently packs quite the punch, because she easily knocks out dudes twice her size, all the while looking cool, but emitting very OTT grunts. The action in an action series needs to be believable, not? Or so grandiose, that it becomes part of the charm? In District 9 all the different groups were initially made into caricatures, from the Afrikaners, to the Nigerians. Halfway through they morphed into something more. You saw past their stereotypical traits and witnessed them grow. In Queen Sono the stereotyping abounds, but it stays one dimensional. The Greeks are corrupt and sleezy. The Russians are cold and clinical. When Queen visits the white trash family there is the Klippies & Coke in plastic cups, exaggerated accents, the obligatory braai on a built-in braai, the car with open bonnet by the front gate and of course, the Vierkleur-flag. Loyiso Madinga's normally lovely South African accent is replaced by something so comical it sounds like his voice was dubbed. I winced every time he opened his mouth. There was one heart-warming and totally authentic scene, and had the series contained more of this, one could've forgiven it its flaws. Queen goes to visit her mother's grave along with her grandmother, played by the incredible Abigail Kubeka. You are immediately in awe of this icon. They lovingly spar, as granddaughters and grandmothers do, then drive to granny's house. The trip is a hoot, as granny is half blind, but more importantly, not interested in driving on the right side of the road. Queen hilariously eyes her granny, the road and then tries the safety belt, which of course, has not worked in years. Pearl's comedic chops are showcased here, but also on the stoep, when granny goes on about gays needing to be fixed and whether Queen is perhaps a prostitute. I could've watched a whole episode of them on the stoep.
Mar 14, 2020Derivative and unoriginal to the point of being laughable. Writers should be ashamed, as should the people who greenlit this shit. What an awesome opportunity for South Africa to shine, only to be wasted on taking every secret agent show stereotype and setting them in Africa. Pathetic. The worst thing, however, is how well this is doing. I guess the producers of the show knew what they were doing when they made a show appealing to the lowest common denominator.
Mar 12, 2020Riveting. Thrilling. An action packed delight lead by the incomparable Pearl Thusi. The ensemble cast is not overshadowed or underutilized. Great series from Kagiso Lediga
Mar 10, 2020The reason to me at least that this show is getting good reviews is for one of two reasons. 1) The bulk of critics that review this show are either not full time reviewers or down this show positively like the regular CW network schlock, only it's prettier to look at and on a bigger budget. 2) It's a representation score similar to the One Day at a Time reboot that makes critics feel good that it's on even though they don't regularly watch it. The setting is unique, and the pace quick but the dialogue, acting and fight scenes y'know things I actually care about, are all irredeemably bad. I just wish more accomplished critical writers (who are also in touch) and less disposable click-bait made up the bulk of the Tomato-meter these days. Moreover if I can't have that can they all just not trumpet the same horn? This is TV. It should be good or not with interesting characters who aren't just representative archetypes, but this is a battle that for better or worse by the monies of today simply won't be won.