Hulu’s quirky series “Queenie” brilliantly combines comedy and drama

It’s a raunchy series which explores black culture as it follows Queenie Jenkins, a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in south London. Jenkins, played by Dionne Brown is straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She has a great best friend in the energetic and vibrant Kyazike, played by R&B artist Bellah, and a job as a social media assistant at a local newspaper.

 After a messy breakup with her long-term live-in boyfriend, she’s uncertain about her future and where she fits in so she stumbles along, battling stereotypes and validation at work as she seeks comfort in all the wrong places before she finally realizes she has to face the past head-on before she can rebuild.

 Based on the best-selling novel by Candice Carty-Williams, it’s a bold, brassy, entertaining and expressive dramedy about a black woman trying to keep it all together. The strength of the series comes from Brown’s performance as Queenie. She’s a curvaceous natural who immediately sweeps you up and carries you along on her journey of triumph and disappointments.

Hulu’s Queenie Jamaican British woman living in south London

 There are troubles at home, troubles at work, troubles with friends and troubles with adulthood and although the outcome is predictable, this series feels entirely fresh and marked with unexpected humor and insightful emotional observation. It welcomes and embraces differences: the differences between black women, between races, between families and it’s drizzled with plenty of Black history along the way.  

The series takes its time, first establishing the push-pull of the various elements in her life as it begins with an uncomfortable opening sequence where Queenie is spreadeagled on her gynecologist’s table in the middle of an awkward pap smear. Then another series of awkward exchanges with her white boyfriend’s grandmother during dinner. It’s really just discovering that her life isn’t what she imagined it would be and she’s not sure how to deal with it.

 Created by Candice Carty-Williams, the first Black woman to win the “Book of the Year” accolade from the British Book Awards, “Queenie” is produced by Further South Productions in association with Lionsgate TV.

  All eight episodes of “Queenie” will premiere this Friday, June 7 on Hulu.  

Samantha Ofole-Prince is a journalist and movie critic who covers industry-specific news that includes television and film. She serves as the Entertainment Editor for Trendy Africa.

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