‘Queens’ review: Eve, Brandy headline a soapy ABC drama as a reunited girl group

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These final mundane actions are how we meet Brianna (Eve), as soon as referred to as Professor Intercourse, who’s now elevating 5 children. Methodically, the present goes about introducing the remainder of the quartet as soon as referred to as the Nasty Bitches (a reputation itself rooted previously), who, as Jill a.ok.a. Da Thrill (Naturi Naughton), notes, “stood on prime of the world for a sizzling minute.”

The opposite members of the group, Naomi/Xplicit Lyrics (Brandy) and Valeria/Butter Pecan (Nadine Velazquez), had a bitter falling out, with the previous toiling away as a solo act — “nonetheless chasing the celebrity that you just discovered 20 years in the past,” as she’s informed — and the latter having efficiently transitioned into morning TV, the place her unbridled ambition is on full show.

It is their supervisor (Taylor Sele) who suggests getting the band again collectively as a part of a televised occasion, and the lure of a fast payout is sufficient to erode the resistance on a number of fronts. However this can be a sequence, in any case, so the reunion will not finish there, with the problem of mounting a proper comeback and all of the soapy doings that go along with it.

As famous, the thought of one-time stars nursing outdated grudges and greedy for an additional couple of minutes of fame is hardly a brand new one (Tom Hanks’ “That Thing You Do” is an ode to one-hit wonders), however the hip-hop backdrop and casting provides “Queens” a comparatively contemporary really feel. The disclaimer can be that after you get previous the premise, the sequence turns into one other cleaning soap set towards the backdrop of the music world, a la “Empire,” which means it would solely be pretty much as good because the conditions that the writers can proceed to conjure.

Produced by “Scandal” alum Zahir McGhee (who wrote the pilot) and directed by Tim Story, “Queens” seems to be in fairly good fingers on that rating, even when the content material and actually-not-that-explicit lyrics can solely be as nasty as ABC’s requirements will permit. The present additionally figures to get a lift, in old school TV scheduling phrases, from having “The Bachelorette” as its opening act.

For now, “Queens” has accomplished an admirable job assembling the items. Preserving them from flaming out the way in which that the present’s fictional group did could possibly be one other matter.

“Queens” premieres Oct. 19 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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