I was really excited to watch Queens, but mostly because I’m a big fan of Eve and Brandy. Not saying I had low expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised after the first episode.
Queens focuses on four fortysomething women who were previously in a Hip-Hop group; they are now reuniting to recapture their fame after breaking up 20 years ago. The show begins by introducing each of the ladies of the former group, Nasty Bitches, explaining who they were then and who they are now.
Professor Sex a.k.a Brianna
Brianna, played by Eve, is the first group member we’re introduced to. She’s now a wife and mother of 5 children. Her story is a little complicated. It started when she went out to the grocery store and got mistaken for someone from TLC but then they played her saying she couldn’t be a member of the group looking that raggedy. She immediately went home, did her hair and makeup, put on some lingerie and headed toward her bedroom to surprise her husband. But on her way there she heard some interesting sounds and tripped on one of her kids toys. As she made it to the door, she opened it and found her husband in bed with another woman. And to make it worse, the woman was a student of his and white. She was upset with him, but wasn’t sure that she wanted to leave him just yet…
Da Thrill a.k.a Jill
Next we meet Jill, played by Naturi Naughton, in a confessional with a priest. She confessed to cheating on her husband, but walked out before saying anything else. What she left out was that she’s been cheating on him with a woman, whom she’s in love with. She wants to tell her husband that she’s a lesbian but she’s conflicted because she says he believed in her when nobody else did, and he deserves better from her. She’s also the daughter of a Deacon and devout Catholic so she’s afraid to come out in general. Jill is battling her identity, as well as decisions like taking the next steps on having a child with her husband or living in her truth and leaving him.
Naomi a.k.a Xplicit Lyrics
Brandy plays Naomi, who is still fighting for her dream of being a famous artist, no matter what it takes. She no longer raps, but is singing in local bars and traveling trying to find her next big break. We learn that she doesn’t have a great relationship with her mother or her daughter because of her career choices. She stopped by her mother’s house to see her daughter but they wouldn't let her in. Her daughter went off claiming she’s a reckless person who doesn’t know who doesn’t know her baby daddy and only comes around once every year or so.
Valeria a.k.a Butter Pecan
Valeria is played by Nadine Velazquez and she’s the only one of the group who continued onto fame after they broke up 20 years ago, but not as a rapper. She’s now a rising talk show host, who is first in line to become the lead anchor after the current anchor went off on a racist tangent. She’s seemingly the only one who isn’t going through anything traumatic at the moment.
The episode takes a turn when all of the ladies hear their classic song on the radio after a new artist named Lil Muffin sampled the hit single. They got a call from their old manager E Roc, a.k.a Eric Jones and met up with him to hear what he had to say. However, when they all arrived we quickly learn that Naomi and Valeria don’t like each other. Naomi attacks Valeria claiming she’s the reason they broke up in the first place. Jill and Brianna break them up and Eric let’s them know that he wants to bring them back together as a group to perform with Lil Muffin at the BET Awards. He offered them $50,000 each for the performance.
Valeria says she’s above a reunion show and doesn’t agree to do it. But the next day she got humbled real quick. The station director found evidence of Valeria putting something in the “racist talk show host’s” drink and they made her resign effective immediately.
Meanwhile, the other girls went out to catch up and we find out that Naomi used to like E Roc but he chose to date Valeria. Neither of them are with him anymore but they allude to that being the real reason the group broke up. Eve also tells the girls about her husband’s infidelity, comparing her staying with him to Beyonce staying with Jay Z. But the girls advise her to find the badass woman she used to be and leave him for good.
After going their separate ways for the night, Naomi spots E Roc at the bar by himself. She approached him and they talked about their past of having a situationship on the low. They flirted for a second and Naomi suggested they drink until they can’t remember what happened 20 years ago and invited him up to her hotel room. She apparently wanted that old thang back!
The next day, Valeria meets up with the girls, and apologizes for what she said. They all agree to do the show and go straight into rehearsing as they’re going to perform in just 4 days. Watching them prepare their new verses over the “Oochie Wally” instrumental gave all the dope cypher vibes, but it was cut short when Brianna’s husband came in to talk to her.
Earlier in the episode, he talked to Brianna about having constant migraines so he went to the doctor and now he was revealing to her that the test results came back and he has cancer.
They go home to break the news to their kids together, and after putting them to bed, her husband argues that maybe the cancer is the reason he cheated, claiming it could have impaired his judgement. To his surprise, she was not going for that! Brianna went off on him saying she’s going to get so much joy out of nursing him to health then leaving him.
As the awards show approaches, the ladies continue to rehearse and this time with Lil Muffin present as well. Muffin invites all the girls over to her house later that night, but when they arrived they found her on the floor from overdosing on coke. They rush her to the hospital but when her manager arrives he’s livid, saying they ruined her image by bringing her to a local hospital. Jill and the manager argue over Muffin as a person and Muffin as an artist, and Jill slaps him for his insensitivity. Muffin’s overdose was personal for Jill, as we find she battled with a drug problem before as well.
However, slapping Muffin’s manager got them taken off the BET Award performance. As the 4 women sat around reflecting on what just happened, Naomi called Jill out for ruining the opportunity for them, mentioning that not all of them have a perfect life like her. Jill clapped back saying she doesn’t know what she goes through and came out for the first time during the argument. She told her groupmates that she was a lesbian and loved a woman but doesn’t know how to tell her husband. All the ladies congratulated her for opening up about who she really was, and encouraged her to do whatever was best for her.
As they all reconciled and hugged it out, Muffin walked in and said she wouldn’t perform without them no matter what her manager had to say about it. So now the girls' public reunion was back on!
Now it was the night of the awards show, and Muffin closed by introducing the Nasty Bitches, letting them do the performance without her to honor their comeback to the music industry.
The episode ended by fast forwarding to six months later, showing Brianna, Jill, Naomi, Valeria and Muffin looking at a billboard of themselves promoting their upcoming tour together!
I know I said I didn’t have high expectations for this show, but it’s nothing like I thought it would be. I love each character's story line and can’t wait to see what they all get into this season! We'll catch up next week after Episode Two!