Netflix continues to turn out fascinating new series with Narcos, the story of the Colombian drug cartels in the 80s. They’re fast becoming the home of original, thought-provoking television. After news broke a couple of weeks ago that Netflix is going to focus on original content, I must say I won’t be disappointed if this is the level of quality that original content will have.
Narcos focuses on three main characters: Pablo Escobar, the drug baron; Steve Murphy, the American DEA agent; and Javier Peña, Murphy’s DEA agent partner. The series is narrated by Murphy, in an almost documentary style.
It becomes clear very quickly why it was shot in that way, as the sheer amount of story needed to be covered is immense. The season starts with Escobar’s first forays into the trafficking business, quickly rising to be head of the Medillin cartel. There are so many characters involved, that it can become easy to lose track. Without the commentary, it might have become indescipherable.
The thing that strikes you while watching the series is the sheer horror of living in Colombia in the 80s. The fictional world often shows footage from real life. Bogota got its reputation for a reason and the world is terrifying to watch.
The show as a whole is pretty much flawless. I can’t think of a criticism for it that matters. It’s engaging and had me gripped the whole way through. The plot is varied enough that it never got repetitive. I’m also not familiar with Escobar’s story, so it remained suspenseful to watch the whole way through.
I give Narcos Season 1 5/5 stars, and I can’t wait to see what Netflix makes next. I’m happy it’s already gotten renewed for season 2.
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