If you want a gritty and dark drug trafficking drama but don’t have the time to sit through the 62 episodes of Breaking Bad, then this limited series is just the ticket.
Adapted from Roberto Saviano’s novel, this seriously cool show follows three separate groups from three very different locations, all united in their common mission: the delivery of $900 million worth of cocaine. They’re going to need more than an Amazon van for that shipment.
We’ve got the Italian Mafia who are after buying the coke, the Mexican cartels who are after selling it, and the middleman who’s making deals, in this case a family run American shipping company. Obviously, all of them are screwed up in their own ways – some with a bloodthirst and a desperate need for power, others with toxic sibling rivalry and a failing family business.
This show is hugely compelling, grim and gorgeous.
But does it stand up to the many other drug distribution dramas we already have? In some ways. There’s bucket loads of brutality, half a dozen deplorable yet fascinating characters, and a seriously good soundtrack. But where it does lack, slightly, is in the emotions department. If you ask us, the series would be better with a bit less bullets and blood and a deeper dive into the Byrne family.
The Telegraph’s Chris Bennion says “if you like your crime dramas to come with sweaty palms, this one is irresistible,” showing how a shipment of drugs “acts like a five-tonne bundle of shrapnel, ripping lives apart as it makes its way around the world.” Ed Cumming in the Independent says ZeroZeroZero “is a dark, exuberant cocaine opera,” which makes for “bleak escapism.”
And whilst Lucy Mangan of The Guardian enjoyed the series, saying “It is gorgeous to look at; it is brutal enough for a trafficking tale; and there is plenty going on,” she thinks “it is methadone to the heroin of, say, Narcos.”
First shown February 2021. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here: