If you have a Netflix subscription but have yet to binge-watch the original series, Narcos, about the criminal exploits of a Colombian drug lord, this is me telling you now is the time to do so!
Narcos, a (relatively) new Netflix exclusive that aired its first season in the summer of 2015, quickly joined the ranks of Netflix’s other widely popular shows not long after it premiered. The biographical crime drama was so well liked that Netflix renewed it for a second season less than a month after it was released. Plus, it was nominated for two Golden Globes! If you’ve been debating whether or not to start the intense series (and maybe even brush up on your Spanish), hopefully this review will be a deciding factor. No major spoilers are included!
The show is based in Colombia and has a lot of characters to keep track of, but the main ones include Pablo Escobar (played by Wagner Moura), DEA agent Steve Murphy (played by Boyd Holbrook), and DEA agent Javier Peña (played by Game of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal).
The show, based on the true-life story of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar from the late seventies to the early nineties, delivers an experience that is as entertaining as it is informative with scenes in English and Spanish. Though season one followed Escobar’s rise to fame as a cocaine manufacturer and the issues he has with rivals, the show is actually shown through the perspective of DEA agent Steve Murphy. This is due to the fact that the series also focuses on Escobar’s interactions with DEA agents. Murphy was sent to Colombia with the objective of capturing and killing Escobar. He has a task force filled with other DEA agents who try their hardest to take down Escobar and his entire operation with the help of the Colombian police.
We see how Escobar rose from being a mover of illegal goods into Colombia (things such as cigarettes and alcohol, which were forbidden at the time) to creating a business in producing and moving cocaine with the help of a chemist. They sold most of their drugs in Miami, FL, which is how the DEA gets involved in trying to take down Escobar’s business. Throughout the show, there are also real clips of footage from Escobar’s reign, which adds a slight docu-series feel.
Over the course of the season’s ten episodes, Wagner Moura’s incredible performance as Pablo Escobar makes you root for the cocaine kingpin even as he performs awful, remorseless acts. The show is filled with brutal violence, torture scenes, and a lot of gore, so if that bothers you, Narcos is definitely not the show for you. If that doesn't phase you, you’ll definitely be drawn in by the great writing and acting. There are no awkward, unnecessary scenes and the dialogue is always on point with what’s happening. The writing stays consistent throughout the entire series and, overall, the pacing of the show flows well.
Although there is no exact date for the release of season two, now is as good a time as any to catch up on the series. If you just finished watching the last four seasons of a show on Netflix and have suddenly found a void in your life, fill it with this incredibly binge-worthy series. Check out the trailer below. Happy watching!