Queen America, a dark comedy set to air November 18, 2018, will star Catherine Zeta-Jones on the new Facebook Watch.
Many people are unaware of Facebook Watch, the new streaming service that may alter the future of television. Because of the monetization of ads, it will be free for viewers, much like Hulu was back when it first launched. In addition, Facebook Watch will hold exclusivity over some shows, boasting originality, as well as an unmatched capability to personalize content. Moreover, Facebook’s social aspect connects viewers with other fans, allowing for live comments and a more interactive experience.
The show Sorry For Your Loss already made its debut on Facebook Watch with hardly a peep. However, Oscar-winning Catherine Zeta-Jones will put more than a face to a name. Much in the veins of Netflix’s Insatiable, Queen America puts a comedic twist on the world of beauty pageants. The similarities between the shows cannot be ignored. According to Vulture, Queen America holds more consistency and realism than Insatiable, whereas the Hollywood Reporter claims the cinematography and script in Queen America seem low-budget. It can be agreed that both shows explore pageants as platforms for opportunity within a toxic environment. Despite these similarities, Queen America might be the start of something new that could change the ‘face’ of Facebook and video streaming in the near future.
Set in Oklahoma, the show stars Catherine Zeta-Jones as Vicki Ellis, a pageant coach as ruthless as a drill instructor, renowned for transforming the most unlikely into the cream of the crop. “She’s a complete bitch from the get go. But I hope after a few episodes, you’ll love her,” Zeta-Jones stated in an interview with AJC, “This is a woman you can relate to. She really has this underlying determination to make things better for others.” Underdog Samantha, played by Belle Shouse, is Vicki’s new charge, but she has a lot of work to do. Samantha hails from the poverty-stricken part of Tulsa, seeking a better life through beauty pageants. Her upstanding morals and congenial personality become tested when Brittany, a wealthy, headstrong girl from Dallas, comes along. Vicki is also put to the test when the the charming Mandy (Jennifer Westfeldt), Brittany’s coach, becomes her rival.
Westfeldt commented on the social implications of the show beyond its representation of pageant life: “I just think it’s so exciting that this is such a female-driven piece.” Westfeldt pointed out that the writer and most of the producers were female. With such solidarity, the list of “firsts” for Queen America could add to its import within the industry. Regardless, Zeta-Jones’ presence on the show will likely gain it some credence and pique viewer interest in what else Facebook Watch might offer in the future.