A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Queen of the South is a dramatic action series that centers on the Mexican drug trade and features all the bloody violence (including a rape scene), sexuality, and drug use that come with it. There's some cigarette and cigar smoking and some drinking, too. Strong language is mostly offered in Spanish, and on occasion logos for Cadillacs and other cars are visible. While all this is offered within the context of the storyline, it's not intended for young kids and best left for older viewers.
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What's the story?
Based on the novel La Reina Del Sur by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, QUEEN OF THE SOUTH tells the story of Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga) and her rise to the top of the biggest drug empire in the Western hemisphere. Life is good in Sinaloa, Mexico, with her drug-runner boyfriend "El Guero" (Jon-Michael Ecker) and friends like Brenda Parra (Justina Machado). But when El Guero is murdered by members of a drug-trafficking ring controlled by his uncle, Epifanio Varga (Joaquin de Almeida), she finds herself crossing the United States border to survive. Soon she finds herself teaming up with narco leader Camila Varga (Veronica Falcón), Varga's estranged wife, to take him down. As she learns the tricks of the trade, she strategically plans to take over. The problem? It's always possible that she won't live long enough to enjoy her success.
Is it any good?
This dark, well-written series offers a gritty portrayal of the day-to-day inner workings and power struggles of the Mexican drug trade from a woman's point of view. Teresa Mendoza is an appealingly calculating antihero, which makes it easy to look past the fact that she's skillfully navigating an unapologetically greedy, ruthlessly violent world for her own personal gains, as well as for her survival.
Highlighting the lurid nature of the border drug trade isn't particularly new, nor is the depiction of Mexicans as drug traffickers. But the show's narrative is well-constructed, and Medoza's difficult rise to power underscores how she, in her own way, is overcoming the way women are culturally viewed and used within the industry. It's an entertaining story, even if it isn't for everyone.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about movies and TV shows that center on drugs and drug cartels. Given the nature of the drug trade, why do people find it entertaining? Is it that the shows and movies glamorize drug use or drug trafficking? Or is it something else?
Do shows like this one contribute to negative stereotypes about specific racial and ethnic groups, such as Mexicans or Latinos in general?
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