Last year, Netflix released season one of Narcos, a crime series about the rise and the fall of the Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar in the late 70’s to the early ‘90s. Ever seen Scarface? In a nut shell, Pablo Escobar is the real life Sosa.
Be prepared while binging this show — you simply cannot multitask on your phone and have Narcos on as background noise, and not just because it’s captivating. It’s mostly spoken in Spanish, so yeah, put that phone down and turn on the closed captioning unless you’re fluent in Spanish, because there’s going to be a lot of reading if you want to keep up with the plot.
Beyond that, you’ll appreciate the detail they put forth, as this show has a very retro Miami Vice feel to it with the vehicles, hairstyles, and fashion all in line with the era.
“Narcos” is a two way word — in Spanish, it means “drug trafficker,” whereas in English, if you work for the DEA, you’re a “narc.” Likewise, the show follows the drug traffickers and the DEA in equal measure.
The show summarizes a chess game of good vs evil. Escobar has all the power in Columbia from top to bottom, ranging from the children working as lookouts to dirty government officials and law enforcement officers who are on Pablo’s payroll. Pablo must always be several steps ahead of his DEA counterparts in order to succeed, but throughout the first seasons they’re swiftly gaining ground on him.
Season two depicts Pablo’s attempt to claw his way back up to the top, but the DEA and opposing gangs & drug lords continue to hit Pablo where it hurts and kick him while he’s down. With the Columbian government and DEA teaming up and accumulating information, they’re able to use early forms of signals intelligence to find Pablo’s hideout and attempt to end the reign of the most legendary drug lord in history.
What goes up must come down, and even though we know how the story ends, Narcos manages to make a familiar tale suspenseful, which is no easy task. Next time you’re ready to find a new Netflix show, check out Narcos — it never loses steam. Plus, you can pick up some Spanish. Who said TV wasn’t good for you?