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Queenie Review: The Hulu Series Proves We’re All Just Going Through a Quarter-Life Crisis

Queenie Review: The Hulu Series Proves We’re All Just Going Through a Quarter-Life Crisis

“Queenie is straddling two cultures here; it’s about where she comes from and what she’s being thrust into,” Carty-Williams says. “She’s someone who didn’t have the best upbringing and also isn’t able to discuss that within her family. So, what does it mean when you just drop this person into white British society and work, and then simply say, ‘Okay, go figure it out?’”

The eight-episode series also delves into Queenie’s journey of self-discovery and sexual exploration following the end of her long-term relationship. Her feelings of heartbreak will resonate with all, but the story takes a unique turn when she embarks on a series of encounters as an attempt to understand her relationship with sex and untangle its many complexities and nuances.

Like her cautious exploration of BDSM, for example. While BDSM itself is not problematic, her venture into this domain clearly feels incongruent with her true self. The show brilliantly probes this without judgment, sense of shame, or moral imperative. Instead, it explores what sexual freedom and sexual agency can look and feel like for young women today.

Queenie’s experience is universal—we’ve all navigated bad dates, had mixed experiences with sex, and dealt with the inevitable self-reflection that comes after. What the show does so well is allow viewers to reflect on their own relationships and sexual experiences—and how the lines between good and bad are often blurred.

In the midst of Queenie’s turmoil, her friends and family form a tapestry of support and tough love. Estranged from her mother but deeply bonded with her Jamaican immigrant grandparents and the aunt who raised her, she resides at the intersection of cultural, generational, and racial influences that she sometimes finds difficult to navigate. Her girlfriends, in a group chat called “the Corgis,” offer their version of support. And then there’s Darcy, a colleague who’s a bit too solution-oriented, and Cassandra, the frenemy who psychoanalyzes with precision.

But it’s her family that anchors Queenie’s support system: her aunt Maggie, grandmother Veronica, and cousin Diana. Their banter is the lifeline that keeps Queenie afloat and us glued to the screen. You can feel the love there, but the real standout aspect of Queenie is its approach to family trauma. By delving into the backstories of Grandmother Veronica and Queenie’s mother, the show deepens our understanding of how intergenerational pain shapes our heroine. It defies the tired trope that Black families shy away from therapy, instead showcasing a touching, supportive journey toward mental health.

For me, the heart of the show is Queenie’s best friend Kyazike, a powerhouse of a Black woman who knows her worth and exudes unapologetic confidence. With an unyielding determination, she navigates life with clarity, always knowing what she wants and how to achieve it. Kyazike’s presence highlights the importance of strong, assertive female friends who fearlessly speak their truth. As she eloquently puts it, “My character doesn’t skate around it. I’m like, this is what it is, and this is what it isn’t. I can exist with you in both of these scenarios. What you just did was mad, but I’m not going to admit to everybody else that it was mad; I’m telling you that it was crazy on a united front.”

As Queenie sorts things out, she hits some bumps along the road. But that’s life. There’s beauty in her flaws. It’s like looking in a mirror, right? Facing tough times might freak you out—but once you start dealing with your feelings, it can be like a weight off your shoulders. It’s about knowing yourself and being cool with it. That way, you’re ready for whatever life throws your way, now or in the future. And knowing there’s people who have your back, especially someone like Kyazike, makes it all a bit easier, doesn’t it?

So whether you’re in the throes of your first, second, or third quarter-life crisis, Queenie is a must see. It’s a reminder that we’re all a bit of a beautiful mess, stumbling towards clarity, one epiphany at a time. And that’s perfectly okay.

Queenie is now streaming on Hulu.

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