Parents' Guide to

Queen of the South

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Gritty, violent drug cartel story has strong female lead.

TV USA Drama 2016
Queen of the South Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 18+


SO GRUESOME! Man BURNED alive, woman cut open just so that men could take drugs out of her. Useless routine of selling drugs / killing anyone who gets in your way with little to none morals. There a few characters that are "good" - and the main character which starts off OK, kills, sells drugs, uses people for her benefit / the benefit of the cartel. DEFINITELY NOT for kids!!!

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 18+

Can we get more female leads like this?

I just finished watching the final season of Queen of the South and, too put it simply, I loved it! I am a lifelong lover of action, crime, drama and espionage/mystery and Queen of the South has it all and does it well. The story is strong and captivating with twists and turns galore to keep you on the edge of your seat. The show is phenomenally cast with each major actor bringing his or her character to life. For those like me who loved Breaking Bad, Deter and other similarly complex and high quality crime dramas I highly recommend. For kids and from a content perspective approach with caution. Queen of the South does not shy from depicting the violence and terror or organized crime and drug trafficking in a realistic fashion. Numerous people are shot, knifed and beaten severely and there are also several scenes of torture and one instance each of rape and cannibalism. There is also the moral issue that the protagonists we follow and root for are bosses and enforcers in a drug cartel. For mature audiences this does not pose an issue but for kids you might consider the potential appearance of glorification of crime and drugs. That said, the show does a good job of not glorifying the crime but focusing on and humanizing the people affected by it. Characters show admirable qualities of love, compassion and loyalty, which is an important theme of the story. Teresa has compassion for others and works to avoid violence. Pote's dedicated loyalty is also admirable, as is James often unspoken love for Teresa. It also offers positive representations, not only of women but Latinos as well. I personally appreciate how Teresa is a powerful female lead and strong woman, but this never feels like a ham fisted, "girl power" agenda piece as so many female led stories become today by forcing gender politics or feminism into the story in a distracting or overt way. This allows us to focus on the story and makes Teresa all the stronger. I would place Queen of the South in my top 5 tv series.

This title has:

Educational value
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (3 ):

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.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate