''Queen of the South'' is an American crime drama television series developed by M.A. Fortin
and Joshua John Miller
. The series premiered on June 23, 2016, on USA Network
and is an adaptation of the telenovela ''La Reina del Sur
'' which airs on USA's sister network Telemundo
; both are adapted from the novel ''La Reina del Sur'' by Spanish author Arturo Pérez-Reverte
. The series was renewed for a fifth season on August 29, 2019. Production of the new season was suspended indefinitely on March 14, 2020, due to COVID-19
, but resumed in fall 2020. On March 8, 2021, it was announced that the fifth season would premiere on April 7, 2021 and serve as the series' final season.
''Queen of the South'' will end with a series finale on June 9, 2021.
''Queen of the South'' is an adaptation of the telenovela
''La Reina del Sur
'', which is itself an adaptation of the novel
of the same name by Spanish author Arturo Pérez-Reverte
. The series centers around Teresa Mendoza, a poor Mexican woman who becomes wealthy by building a vast drug empire.
Mendoza lives in the barrio
. She falls in love with a member of a drug cartel
, and tries to rise above her life's impoverished condition. After she is told her boyfriend has been murdered, she is forced to flee. She crosses the border to the United States where she teams up with a person from her past in order to take down the leader of the drug ring that is after her. Mendoza ends up starting her own drug distributing organization and becomes very wealthy, which presents her with more problems, of a different kind.
Cast and characters
* Alice Braga
as Teresa Mendoza, a poor woman from Sinaloa
, who becomes wealthy by building a vast drug empire.
* Veronica Falcón
Camila Vargas (seasons 1–3), Don Epifanio's estranged wife and head of the North American branch of the Vargas Cartel in Dallas
* Justina Machado
as Brenda Parra (season 1, guest season 4), the wife of a high-ranking transporter for the Vargas Cartel, and Teresa's best friend when the series begins.
* Peter Gadiot
as James Valdez (seasons 1–3, 5; guest season 4), Camila's right-hand man.
* Hemky Madera
as Pote Galvez, a former Vargas Cartel lieutenant who has since become one of Teresa Mendoza's strongest allies.
* Gerardo Taracena
as Cesar "Batman" Guemes (seasons 1–2), Don Epifanio Vargas's right-hand man.
* Joaquim de Almeida
as Don Epifanio Vargas, Camilla Vargas's husband (seasons 1–2, guest season 3), head of the Vargas Cartel (see: Sinaloa Cartel
), and a candidate for the governor
of the Mexican state of Sinaloa
* Jon-Michael Ecker
as Raymundo "Güero" Davila, Teresa's love interest and a drug dealer. (season 2–3, recurring season 1, guest season 4)
* Nick Sagar as DEA
agent Alonzo Loya (season 2–3).
* Yancey Arias
as Alberto Cortez (seasons 1-3).
* Idalia Valles as Isabela Vargas (season 3, recurring seasons 1–2), the daughter of Camila and Epifanio Vargas.
* Alfonso Herrera
as Javier Jimenez (season 4, recurring season 3), a member of the Jimenez cartel and a mercenary willing to kill for the highest bidder. He is now an ally of Teresa Mendoza.
* David Andrews
as Judge Cecil Lafayette (season 4), a corrupt judge who is looking the other way and is making things harder for Teresa's drug operation in New Orleans
* Molly Burnett
as Kelly Anne Van Awken (season 5; recurring seasons 2–4), a Dallas socialite who becomes part of Teresa's inner circle.
* Joseph T. Campos as Boaz Jimenez (seasons 1–4), a former cartel leader (and Javier's cousin) who now runs Teresa's operations in Sinaloa and Miami
as Teo Aljarafe (seasons 1–2), the first lawyer Camila Vargas employs while setting in motion her plan for independence.
* Rafael Amaya
as Aurelio Casillas
(seasons 1–2), a drug lord
* Nikki Dixon as DEA Agent Valerie Postak
* Michel Duval
as Enrique "Kique" Jiménez (season 2–3),
son of Boaz Jimenez, and later fiancé of Isabela Vargas.
* James Martinez
as Gato Fierros (season 1), a lieutenant in the Vargas Cartel
* Ximena Duque
as Eva Buemeros (season 2), Epifanio's smart and ambitious young assistant
as Olivia Gutiérrez (season 2), a close friend of Isabela Vargas since their childhood. She introduces Isabela into the drug-fueled party lifestyle of a "narco-brat".
* Ryan O'Nan as King George (seasons 2–4), a smuggler who helps Teresa build her empire.
* Armando Riesco
as Pecas (season 3), the narco boss of La Comisión, a group trafficking in Arizona.
* Alimi Ballard
as Marcel Dumas (season 4), a slick and measured Creole leader of a New Orleans street gang, and owner of a hip jazz club.
* Chris Greene as Bobby Leroux (season 4), Marcel Dumas's right-hand man.
* Pêpê Rapazote as Raul 'El Gordo' Rodriguez (season 4), a Cuban drug dealer based in Miami who partners with Teresa and Oksana.
* Vera Cherny as Oksana Volkova (season 4), a Russian drug dealer based in Atlanta who partners with Teresa and El Gordo.
* Bailey Chase
as Eddie Brucks (season 4), a musician attempting to overcome his personal demons who crosses paths with Teresa.
* Chelsea Tavares
as Birdie (season 4), a New Orleans mixology whiz who works at Teresa's bar.
* Sofía Lama
as Emilia (season 4), Javier's girlfriend and Boaz's ex-fiancé.
* David Bianchi
as Manny (season 4), one of Teresa's New Orleans soldiers.
* Alejandro Barrios as Chicho (season 4), one of Teresa's New Orleans soldiers.
* Felipe Barrientos as The Charger, Camila Vargas's gang master.
* Adolfo Alvarez as Tony Parra (seasons 1–2), Brenda's son and Teresa's godson.
* Julian Silva as Tony Parra (season 4), Brenda's son and Teresa's godson.
* Cory Hart as Detective Randall Greene (season 4), a corrupt New Orleans cop who is Judge Lafayette's right-hand man.
* Derek Evans as Davis Lafayette (season 4), Judge Lafayette's emotionally fragile son.
* Donald Paul as Cedric (season 4), the savvy and sly hit man gangster working for Marcel Dumas and sometimes the Queen.
* Pasha Lychnikoff
as Kostya (season 5)
''Queen of the South'' first season received mixed to positive feedback from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes
, it has a rating of 68%, based on 19 reviews, with an average rating of 6.18/10. The site's consensus reads: "''Queen of the South'' enlivens an overdone premise with action and narrative vigor—and shows hints of intriguing potential." On Metacritic
, the first season scored 59 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Awards and nominations
Internationally, the series premiered in Australia
on August 4, 2016.
TV channel DMAX
is showing the series since June 14, 2017.
Pérez-Reverte, author of the novel, has stated that a great source of inspiration was Mexican ''narcocorrido
s'' (drug ballads), country-polka songs that tell the stories about real life Mexican drug lords.
One of the real life characters who inspired the novel is Sandra Ávila Beltrán
, known as the "Queen of the Pacific", famous for being one of the first female drug traffickers to reach the level of "Boss" in the Mexican cartels, a place usually reserved for men.
Category:2010s American crime drama television series
Category:2016 American television series debuts
Category:American action television series
Category:American television series based on telenovelas
Category:American thriller television series
Category:English-language television shows
Category:Serial drama television series
Category:Television series by 20th Century Fox Television
Category:Television series by Universal Television
Category:Television shows filmed in Texas
Category:Television shows set in Costa Rica
Category:Television shows set in Dallas
Category:Television shows set in Spain
Category:USA Network original programming
Category:Works about Mexican drug cartels