Queens 2024 / Treacly writing bogs down this otherwise compelling nature documentary about female animal rulers


There is no doubt that Queens is an epic, enjoyable spectacle. Unbelievably, the camera keeps pace with creatures as dangerous as lions and as tiny as bees, even capturing them in clear view at night when some of them are at their most ferocious. And these scenes are set against a rousing score of modern rock and pop songs, which feels refreshing. Why nature documentaries feel the need to use the same tedious instrumentals when they could’ve been doing this is beyond me. However, as resonant and compelling as narrator Angela Bassett’s voice is, the writing itself leaves little to be desired. It forces the narrative that these female rulers of the wild are very much like the female rulers of our society, when in fact, the two could not be more different. Where we’ve had to fight and claw our way to the top, some of these animals like the mighty elephant and lioness have always lived in matriarchal communities. Alternately, whereas drama and morality rule our lives, instinct and nature rule theirs. It doesn’t feel truthful or scientific to deviate from those facts, which is a shame because the show is otherwise a very engaging, educational, and empowering watch.

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