La reina del sur ("Queen of the South") is a Spanish-language Telenovela produced by Telemundo and starring the actress Kate del Castillo. It is based on the novel of the same name by Arturo Pérez-Reverte.
The premise is Teresa Mendoza (Kate del Castillo) is a young woman from Mendoza who marries a cocaine smuggler. After he's murdered by the cartels for stealing from them, Teresa runs for her life to Spain and ends up becoming involved in the world of narco-trafficking herself. The story follows her Rags to Riches story as she eventually becomes a cartel boss in her own right.
La reina del sur features examples of:
- The Cartel: The concept is examined from multiple angles with some members being treated as Always Chaotic Evil while other members, like our heroine, being more of an Anti-Hero.
- The Don: Epifanio Vargas serves as this and is the leader of the Cartel. He has far less control over his subordinates than he'd like to imagine, though.
- The Dragon: César / Batman serves as this to Epifanio Vargas. He's the smartest of the group but easily bullied around by Ramiro.
- Foreign Remake: A English language version was made called Queen of the South.
- Happily Married: Teresa was this with her husband before his execution by his godfather's men.
- Interrupted Bath: Teresa in taking a luxurious bubble bath when she gets interrupted by the news about husband death over the phone.
- Moral Myopia: The Cartel's killers want to kill Teresa for murdering her rapist.
- Ms. Fanservice: The show is not afraid to show off Teresa's body, especially her legs, with many scenes having her wearing a bikini. In the very first episode, she takes a bubble bath and then walks around with a tiny Modesty Towel barely covering her and later runs for her life in her lingerie. Sadly, the latter follows Teresa's rape
- The Queenpin: Teresa becomes the leader of her own drug trade empire.
- Rags to Riches: The story follows Teresa going from being a woman on the run from her life to a cartel boss.
- Rape as Drama: Teresa is raped by one of her husband's killers at the start of the series. She kills her attacker and unwittingly sets off his accomplices in an act of revenge.
- Red Baron: There's lots of these through the series. El Guero, El Gato, El Ratas, Batman, and others. Teresa, herself, becomes "El Mexicanas".
- The Starscream: Ramiro Vargas is an Ax-Crazy Smug Snake who is the actual murderer of Teresa's husband.
- Telenovela: An extremely successful one that ticks all the boxes. It's a soap opera with murder, sex, drugs, and constant drama.