Loosely based on the book La Reina del Sur by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, and translated into English, this Telenovela has been revamped for USA audiences in what can only be described as a female led version of Breaking Bad. The cinematography and writing styles are superb, and the mixing of Spanish and English dialogue glues you to the screen. I fell in awe of the series because it flows like an action movie. The Cartels, the actors and the sets are so intriguing and well designed it is hard to find flaws in the execution of the content. Without glorifying the violence of the drug trade and its members, the show makes sure you understand there will be no happy endings. This is as real as it gets; no one is safe and no one is guaranteed to live a long and prosperous life.
Teresa Mendoza, played by Alice Braga, is brilliant as the protagonist of the story. Bound to become the Queen of the South, she narrates her rise and fall as a Cartel leader. Her humble beginnings in Sinaloa did not prepare her for the trials she would face once she gets caught in the middle of a fight between married drug lords. The female led cast is exquisite, proving that strong women can rule in one of the world’s most dangerous job roles. You will see not one but two female Cartel leaders at the helm throughout the series. Camila, played by Veronica Falcon, will show Teresa how to grow a thick skin and run a profitable business. When the torch gets passed you can only expect it will be epic and phenomenal.
What I like the most about the story is how our main characters develop under the worst possible circumstances. They must learn to cope with being powerless and have to sacrifice greatly to find the inner strength and wisdom to survive. It is a story of sisterhood and greed, mixed in with a little bit of drama and real life situations. You can see the great care that went into making sure the story was relatable and appropriate for the times. It shows how drug smuggling has become the true border war. With 20% of North American using some kind of illegal drug, he or she who controls the spice controls the world.
Watch the first season live Thursdays USA or On Demand. Recently there have been news of a second season being ordered for the summer of 2017. You can also search online for La Reina del Sur and the book to tie you over and prepare yourself for what is to come. Love, lust, drugs and violence, it is a made for TV Sicario.