''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 of Culiacán in Sinaloa, Mexico. 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, Mexico, who becomes wealthy by building a vast drug empire. * Veronica Falcón as Doña Camila Vargas (seasons 1–3), Don Epifanio's estranged wife and head of the North American branch of the Vargas Cartel in Dallas, Texas. * 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 *Mark Consuelos 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 *Paola Andino 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)



Critical response

''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 Showcase on August 4, 2016. German TV channel DMAX is showing the series since June 14, 2017.

Source material

Pérez-Reverte, author of the novel, has stated that a great source of inspiration was Mexican ''narcocorridos'' (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.


External links

* * {{USANetwork Shows 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