5 things to expect from the final season of ‘Queen Sugar’

The seventh season of the hit series from Ava DuVernay premieres Tuesday night on OWN.

After six acclaimed seasons, “Queen Sugar” is saying goodbye. The popular drama from Ava DuVernay premieres its seventh and final season on Tuesday night, ending a run that included numerous awards, immense praise from audiences and critics, and a role in supporting the continued success of OWN.

Based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Natalie Baszile, the series centers on the Bordelon family in Louisiana and dives deeply into their legacy, personal lives and story of their land. The series has become one of the longest running, hour-long family dramas about a Black family in television. And the series creator, and industry titan, DuVernay crossed boundaries in front of, and behind, the camera.

Season 7 Queen Sugar Poster
Photo Credit: OWN

Amazing work from female directors

Since its premiere in 2016, the show has employed 42 women directors, 39 of them whom were first-time directors for a scripted television series, per The Hollywood Reporter. As it has done for every season prior and in keeping with the standard DuVernay set with the series’ first episode, “Queen Sugar” has an impressive slate of all-female directors this year. Kat Candler, Stacey Muhammad, showrunner Shaz Bennett, Patricia Cardoso, Aurora Guerrero and DeMane Davis make up the final season’s director lineup, as well as DuVernay.

Ava’s finale

In a fitting move, DuVernay will helm the series finale, just as she did the pilot episode in 2016. In a recent interview with The New York Times, DuVernay opened up about directing the finale and said she is a “different woman” than when she started the series. “This show helped me grow up and embrace blessings in ways that will reverberate through my whole life,” she explained.

A little less Charley

While most of the cast is returning for the final season, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, who played Charley on the show since the first season, will not return as a series regular. At the end of season six, her character moved back to Los Angeles after reconciling with Davis, her husband. Per Variety, Gardner won’t appear as a series regular. However, “her storyline will be tracked in a number of episodes across the season,” as the show’s final season takes place primarily in Louisiana.

The same lush visuals

It wouldn’t be “Queen Sugar” without those gorgeous Louisiana landscapes, would it? The final season of the series continued to shoot just outside of New Orleans, honoring the culture and history of the land by shooting on location for the story. To honor the series’ decision to shoot on location, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell presented DuVernay with a key to the city this summer when the series finale wrapped.

“The City is grateful to Ms. DuVernay, ARRAY, OWN, Warner Bros. and the entire cast and crew for empowering, uplifting and amplifying our people’s voices throughout its seven seasons,” Cantrell said in a statement at the time.

An end on their own terms

It’s rare, especially in the streaming era of television, for a show to have the opportunity to end on its own terms, and “Queen Sugar” is getting to do just that. Through its various seasons, “Queen Sugar” touched on several themes for its audiences including inherited trauma, racial protests and domestic abuse while saying “what they wanted to say,” DuVernay recently shared with The New York Times.

She told the outlet, “The fact that we were able to stay there for seven seasons, say the things we wanted to say and leave on our own terms is a real testament to Ms. Winfrey and OWN.”

The final season of “Queen Sugar” premieres Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.

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