1. The story is fascinating, regardless of preconceived notions.
Chances are that you will go into Narcos with preconceived notions. It’s a series that revolves around Pablo Escobar, the late drug lord whose notoriety has been explored and referenced in everything from literature, to film, to song. He’s definitely not an obscure figure, nor are drug cartels an unfamiliar subject, but you can expect Narcos to focus on the details that you might not know about. And although the series takes place primarily in the 1980s, the terror that drug trade-related violence inflicted still impacts people today.
Moreover, this is a story told from the perspective of a DEA agent and the U.S.’s involvement inSouth America has long been a source of controversy. There’s no way to watch this show as a blank slate. There will be some who go in with the attitude that drugs and drug dealers are bad, and they must cheer for the supposed “good guys” in law enforcement. There will be those who think the Drug War is a joke, and will assume that this is a bunch of American propaganda.Narcos plays on all those assumptions and the story unfolds. In the first episode, Steve Murphy (played by Boyd Holbrook) says as much. Nothing is straightforward in Narcos.
2. This is a complicated show—pay attention.
More than 15 years after The Sopranos first appeared on HBO, we’ve come to expect serialized dramas with intricately plotted story lines and complex characters. Narcos doesn’t disappoint in this regard. It helps that the events on which this show is based are fairly complicated too. It’s not just a matter of law enforcement fighting drug cartels. It’s about class struggle, U.S. interference in Latin America and other elements coming together in 1980s Colombia.
3. It’s visually stunning.
Narcos was filmed in Colombia and the locations are used to full effect. The aerial shots in the series, from the rain forests to the cities, are spectacular. Beyond that, the locations used work to illustrate the economic disparity that helps give rise to Escobar’s empire. The series also does an excellent job of incorporating vintage photos and video into the episodes—driving in the point that this is based on real events.
4. The cast is top-notch.
The eye-catching name in this cast is Pedro Pascal, who won the hearts of Game of Thrones fans with his role as Oberyn Martell. Pascal plays Javier Peña, the non-fictional DEA agent who sought out Escobar in Colombia. Although Pascal is once again playing an incredibly driven character, this is a very different role. Additionally, this is a cast of standout actors, particularly Brazilian actor Wagner Moura (Elite Squad), who gives a wonderfully nuanced performance as Escobar.
5. The music is compelling.
Rodrigo Amarante, best known for his work with the Brazilian band Los Hermanos, performs the theme song for Narcos, “Tuyo.” Between his work, Pedro Bromfman’s score and a smattering of other fantastic tracks used the show, the music enhances the retro-but-relevant vibe of the series. This series isn’t an ‘80s flashback, and neither is the soundtrack.
The second season is scheduled to be out on September 2nd on Netflix and the trailer already takes the anticipation up a notch. Fast paced and filled with heart-stopping moment, the trailer will really make you go “Oh my god, what is going to happen next?”.
Watch the trailer here and buckle down for what is sure going to be an adventurous ride!
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