Queen Sono season 1 review – a fresh, vibrant African spy thriller on Netflix

February 26, 2020 (Last updated: February 28, 2020)
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Reviews
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Pearl Thusi plays Queen Sono in Netflix Series Queen Sono season 1


Netflix’s Queen Sono Season 1 is an exciting African original series about a spy desperate to learn the truth regarding her murdered mother 25 years ago.

This review of Netflix Series Queen Sono Season 1 contains no spoilers.

In the constructs of Film Twitter, it is often argued whether or not James Bond should be gender-swapped. It’s a debate that tends to have a 50/50 opinion of yes or no. Agnostics tend to say, “Eell, instead of gender-swapping 007, create a 008”, and I believe we are getting a version of that in the upcoming movie No Time to Die.

Putting my head above the parapet, here is my view — just make new stories. Some readers will no doubt have their jaws opened wide while others will say, “thank you!” to the rooftops, but I do believe new stories serve better than re-engineered scripts. Sex Education Season 2 is likely to be the most diverse, discussed Netflix series this year, and barely anyone batted an eyelid — it was well-received and celebrated.

Removing the gender swap element removes the conversation and the story is paramount — an exception recently is Hulu’s High Fidelity, but even that was glazed with social commentary about the PoC female swap from the white-male equivalent.

New stories serve characters and represent the target audience in more constructive ways. Queen Sono Season 1 is a fresh example; a vibrant, action-packed African thriller, served as a Netflix Original Series that introduces us to a black, female lead character. Queen Sono proves you do not need a new Bond, you just need a new spy.

And putting aside my perhaps controversial opinion, Queen Sono Season 1 also represents an African culture with varying language and teases with past and present politics. The story follows a spy (Queen Sono played by Pearl Thusi) who works for a secret operations unit in Joburg called SOG (Special Operations Group). After learning that her famous mother’s murderer will be released on parole after 25 years, the spy is desperate to learn the truth. Her mother was a strong political activist, seen as a terrorist by some and a hero to others during apartheid conflicts. The Netflix series teases the complexities of post-apartheid politics.

Queen Sono Season 1 hits the diverse category, but its story is truly vibrant and consuming. While the themes and plotlines are serious, on the surface, it is not meant to be taken too seriously. Everything is magnified for entertainment; villains, heroes, missions and side stories.

And the cast knocks it out of the park as well. Queen Sono Season 1 provides Netflix with an English/African original series that is a contender for one of the top series of the year, mixed with thrilling action scenes and a mystery that is well-served to its audiences.

It definitely deserves a Season 2.

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