Pablo Escobar didn’t exactly lead a quiet life. You hear that name and you instantly see dollar signs before your eyes, and more stacks of packaged white powder than the Morrison’s home baking aisle.
This series follows Escobar from his early days as a weed dealer, right up to his ongoing reputation as the biggest drug kingpin of all time. Along the way, we have some questionable 80s fashion, scandalous affairs, and enough marijuana to give you the munchies through the TV. Meanwhile DEA agents are flapping about in the background on a mad hunt for someone, anyone, who can help them stop Escobar. Unfortunately for them, it seems every Juan, Jose and Carlos is pals with him. Then, things get tricky. Escobar’s ego gets in the way and the wars start, both with the coppers and other cartels.
There have been articles recently about the rise of ‘ambient TV’, something you just stick on as background noise to your Twitter scrolling or meme sharing. This is the polar opposite of that. Narcos is an intense show, with one hundred things happening at once, and if you even think about opening your phone to reply to that text from Sarah down the road, then you’ll miss an entire plotline. But every second you watch will be worth it. Something that really makes the series stand out is that it’s peppered with archive clips from the real investigation, which makes it feel a bit like the most entertaining documentary you’ve ever watched.
Issy Sampson in The Guardian says with this one, “binge-watching is a bad idea,” agreeing with us in saying, “if you don’t concentrate, you’ll get left behind. This is full-immersion TV.” The Telegraph’s Patrick Smith calls it “devastatingly addictive,” and “succeeds where Escobar: Paradise Lost fails in that it has the scale to match its ambitions.” The New York Times’ Neil Genzlinger is also full of praise for the series, which he says is “built on sharp writing and equally sharp acting.”
First shown August 2015. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here: