In the 'Queenie' Trailer, the Struggle is Real

Dionne Brown as Queenie debates her future with her friends in 'Queenie'

Dionne Brown as Queenie in 'Queenie' 

LIONSGATE/Latoya Okuneye

When Candice Carty-Williams published her debut novel, Queenie, in 2019, it was an instant best-seller. The novel had blurbs praising it from Candice Bushnell of Sex and the City fame to Roxanne Gay, and rave reviews from NPR and Book Riot alike. The story of a British-Jamaican young woman's coming of age as she tries to figure out what she wants out of life, working for a national newspaper surrounded by white middle-class British people of a specific type, the novel was unapologetically Black while also hitting the universal sense of having taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way.

Carty-Williams was quickly commissioned by Channel 4 to make a series based on her novel, and Netflix followed suit by hiring her to create a new work, Champions. However, due to the vagaries of the pandemic and the TV development process, the latter wound up arriving first, debuting in the U.S. (painfully undermarketed) in January 2024. One might assume that a contemporary series about Black British culture would do better on Netflix's algorithms than on Hulu, and a year ago, that would be true. But with Hulu's recent move under the Disney+ banner and the series arriving in the middle of Doctor Who's run, this might be one case where it's the right show on the right platform at the right time.

Fans of the novel can only hope, as the trailer for the series looks absolutely pitch-perfect. It also feels a lot more accessible to the average American viewer than Champion, which was a music feast but of a style most U.S. listeners aren't that familiar with.

Here's the series synopsis:

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in south London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. After a messy breakup with her long-term boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places and begins to realize she has to face the past head-on before she can rebuild. The series is based on the best-selling novel by Candice Carty-Williams.

Dionne Brown (Criminal Record) stars in the titular lead role of Queenie Jenkins, with Bellah as Kyazike, marking the rising R&B singer’s acting debut, and Samuel Adewunmi (Prime Suspect: Tennison) as Frank. The series co-stars Joseph Marcell (The Sandman), Llewella Gideon (Rye Lane), Michelle Greenidge (It's A Sin), Joseph Ollman (Domina), Melissa Johns (Grantchester), Sally Phillips (Vanity Fair), Jon Pointing (Big Boys), Tilly Keeper (You), Elisha Applebaum (Fate: The Winx Saga), Mim Shaikh (Informer), Laura Whitmore (Sadhbh) and newcomer Cristale De’Abreu

Carty-Williams serves as showrunner and writer, along with Ryan Calais Cameron, Yolanda Mercy, Natasha Brown, and Thara Popoola. Directors Joelle Mae David and Makalla McPherson helmed the eight episodes. Carty-Williams executive produced with Further South’s Steve November and Sarah Conroy; Lisa Walters is a co-executive producer and series producer. The score is by Ivor Novello-nominated producer Swindle

Queenie will premiere with all eight episodes on Disney+ and Hulu as a standalone service in the U.S. on Friday, June 7, 2024.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

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