Written by Sharee Silerio

Summer has officially started, which means that the new season of “Queen Sugar” has arrived!

Along with the return of the Bordelon family comes a new column on Curly Nikki called “Reel Noire”, written by me! Every week, I will write a recap or review of black television shows and films, highlighting their life lessons, artistry and poignant moments.

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In the first “Queen Sugar” recap, I’ll talk about seven life lessons I learned from the first two episodes, including GIFs, if necessary, lol.

Before the second season premiere, many wondered whether the show’s ratings would hold steady, while some predicted that they would decline.

Well, they obviously forgot about word of mouth, the power of imagery and the beauty in the show’s storytelling, because the ratings didn’t decrease, but were better! According to Shadow and Act, the June 21st premiere was the show’s highest-rated episode in the series’ history among its core female demographic!

So far, everything about the colors, background, lighting, framing, costumes, discussions, dialogue, and emotion in season two takes the series to another level. From race and culture to letting go of the past, relationships and love, Queen Sugar is off to an amazing start. Not only did it speak to my five senses and stir my soul, but I picked up a few lessons along the way.

Here’s what I learned about life from this week’s premiere of “Queen Sugar”:

*The first four lessons are from the first episode and the last three are from the second episode.

1. Forgive as many times as you want to be forgiven. Forgiveness frees us to attract and create the life we want to live.

In the debut season, RalphAngel asked Aunt Vi for custody of Blue, and she initially refused, but changed her mind when he shared that not giving him a second chance is like continuously “doing time”. In the first episode of season two, we see Aunt Vi working at the High Yellow, telling Prosper that she hired some women from the local halfway house to work for her, and that Ralph Angel is responsible. It seems that she has a new outlook on forgiveness, and realizes that if she would have given Hollywood a second chance, then he might still be there with her.

2. Express what you need. You can’t love others if you don’t love (and take care of) yourself first.

Darla has an intimate moment with RalphAngel, where he asks her to spend the night. She tells him that she needs them to slow down and can’t play house anymore because it’s what she needs to maintain her sobriety. She also says that they both need to be able to stand on their own before they can be together.

3. Never forget who and what matters. Sometimes being petty hurts.

In a scene that eerily and sadly resembles real life, Micah is driving his new birthday present, a sports car, when he’s pulled over by a police officer. He doesn’t have his ID and reaches over to get the registration at the officer’s command, when he draws a gun. Fast forward, and Charley, Nova and Davis arrive at the police station to get him. As they leave and are on the parking lot, Nova wraps her sweater around Micah’s waist after noticing that he urinated on himself. The entire time, Charley and Davis argue about whose fault it was that Micah was arrested, while he looks on, alone and traumatized. Nova’s experience with fighting against racial injustice and for youth kicks in, firing up her instincts to protect her nephew. Micah’s relationship with his parents probably won’t be the same as they basically abandoned him, especially emotionally, during his time of need.

4. We are ALL walking contradictions. Allow what’s on the inside to be present on the outside. It’s the only way to be true to oneself.

Nova is having a conversation with a group of women at a baby shower about family, relationships, children, careers and the “order” to do these things in. While she denounces the “old”, “outdated” way of life – namely getting married then having children – part of her secretly wants these things with her ex-man Calvin. And since he’s already married with kids, this isn’t going to happen. After their breakup, she’s been consoling her heartache by filling her bed with a new man seemingly every night. Although she is happy and lively with her family and friends, it is in the aftermath of her encounters with these men that we see how she truly feels. As she casually but sternly dismisses the men, her eyes reveal emptiness, sadness and loneliness. She’s definitely hiding the true condition of her heart.

5. Allow yourself to grieve. So often, we use our emotions to protect us from pain instead of feeling and resolving them. We must work through the expectations that didn’t become reality, loss and hurtful experiences in order to be whole.

Before divorce was in the picture, Charley had unofficially moved on with Remy. This causes tension in their relationship, as she is still connected to Davis emotionally, financially and legally. When she and Remy go to the bank to get a loan for the sugar mill, she’s told that the deal will only be approved if they have Davis’ signature. Remy tells Charley that their relationship is going to be professional for now on, and later he adds that she needs to grieve the loss of her marriage before they can move on.

6. Life can change in a second. Life is short, and we never know what is going to happen, who we’re going to lose, when or how. Dwelling on the past isn’t valuable to anyone.

When Charley shows up to Remy’s house after learning during what was supposed to be her and Davis’ final divorce mediation session, that Davis wants joint custody of Micah, they discuss the passing of Remy’s wife. In a startling parallel, Remy tells Charley the story of how his wife died in Afghanistan as a member of the Army Reserves, while Aunt Vi is anxiously waiting at the rig to see if Hollywood survived a fatal explosion. One by one, Aunt Vi watches man after man leave the bus, hoping to see the love of her life.

7. Trust in yourself and find your own way. When others don’t believe in you, believe in yourself and do what you have to do to make what you want to happen a reality. Don’t let anyone stop you, not even you.

RalphAngel is stepping up as far as the farm goes, but one person is having a hard time letting go. Following in her controlling, my way or the highway, know-it-all, this is what I do, I have two degrees ways, Charley continues to believe that she is the only one who knows what she’s doing, including what’s best for the Bordelon’s farm business. RalphAngel decides to plant soybean in what he calls “Blue’s Corner” to generate income, but he needs money from the bank to purchase the seeds. The bank tells him that he needs Charley’s signature to withdraw from the account, and once again he is blocked by his sister’s need to control. Remy encourages him to change his perception of himself – to see himself as a farmer, be positive and do something about it by applying for financing.

What do you think about these sweet life lessons from the two-episode premiere of “Queen Sugar”? Did you watch it? What are some of your favorite moments?

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Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for SincerelySharee.com, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at ShareeSilerio.com then connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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