I’d like to start off by saying I don’t condone the usage of drugs, or any criminal activities in general. You can see the effects of crime throughout the United States, with cities like Chicago or Detroit having gang-related deaths nearly every day.
However, there seems to be a recent trend in TV where we end up liking criminals. Shows like Breaking Bad and Dexter show that it’s possible to humanize these criminals, making us root for the bad guy, and I’ll be damned if there wasn’t a more sensational bad guy out there than Pablo Escobar.
Narcos is a Netflix original show that follows the real-life story behind Colombia in the 1980s, when cocaine was king. We follow an American DEA Agent who is sent down there to essentially hunt down cocaine traffickers, primarily the notorious Pablo Escobar. If you aren’t familiar with this man, he started out as a small-time smuggler and ended up becoming one of the richest men in the world, valued at over $30 billion at his peak. Oh, and he was also responsible for over 4,000 deaths.
You see, Pablo was not a good guy by any means. But, throughout the first two seasons of Narcos, we see the human side of Escobar. He initially wanted to help his community by giving out money to the poor people of his hometown of Medellin. He was like a Colombian Robin Hood, if Robin Hood was a Cocaine Kingpin who murdered anyone who got in his path of domination.
The first season of Narcos covers his meteoric rise of wealth and power. It was one of the most well-executed shows I had seen in a long time. The story progressed at a great pace and encompassed some exquisite performances. Shoutout to Wagner Moura, a Brazilian national who not only knows Portuguese and English, but also learned Colombian Spanish for his portrayal of Escobar.
The second season is very entertaining, despite being a bit less consistent than the first. The story feels a bit disjointed as we cut from character to character and subplot to subplot in an attempt to cover as much ground as possible. That being said, there is an absolutely jaw-dropping action scene in episode 6 (“Los Pepes”), where it’s just one, extended shot of Escobar’s safehouse being attacked. As a fan of long one-shot scenes in movies, it was a pleasant surprise to see one done so well in a TV show.
Overall, Narcos is most definitely yet another Netflix show worth watching. It received critical acclaim from nearly everyone when it first came out, and while the second season isn’t as mind-blowing as its predecessor, it is still a great show.
Narcos is available now on Netflix streaming, and a third and fourth season have already been green-lit.