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REVIEW: Queen of the South

ReviewNikole Gunn

Alice Braga stars as Teresa Mendoza in Queen of the South
image - Foxtel      video - US Trailer

There have been many movies and TV shows about drugs or the war on drugs.

Most often they’re told from the law enforcement side of the business.  Occasionally from the other side of the law and almost always it’s the male perspective.


What we don’t see is the women; unless they’re the stereotypical victims, drugs mule or gangster’s mole.  But in “Queen of the South” we get another side of the story.


Premiering on Foxtel’s showcase channel, Thursday August 4, this 13-episode drama tells the story of drugs Queenpin in the making, Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga, I Am Legend, Elysium). 

image - supplied/Foxtel

We see her go from being on the fringes of crime as a ‘money changer’ to the girlfriend of an influential drugs runner within a powerful Mexican cartel.  They’re living the life of an Upwardly Mobile Power Couple in drug/crime ‘society’.

It all comes crashing down when her boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered by members of his own syndicate. Teresa is hunted and on the run and eventually winds up in America.  It’s there that she learns the ‘tricks of the trade’ and positions herself to become “The Queen”.


Based on the best selling novel La Reina Del Sur by Arturo Perez-Reverte, Queen of The South is a surprising package.  It resists the temptation to dive head first into ‘gritty realism’ and at first; it appears a bit ‘frothy’ and shallow.

However, that perception is quickly dispelled when Teresa ‘breaks the fourth wall’ and addresses the audience directly.  The story is further enhanced when ‘future’ Teresa addresses ‘near and now’ Teresa.

It’s used cleverly and gives the story telling an interesting and engaging dimension.  Episode 1 hints at enough interesting plot twists to see it through a 13-episode story arc.

Queen of the South premieres on Foxtel’s showcase channel, Thursday August 4th at 8.30pm.