Netflix, the uncontested kingpin of addictive serial television, has just done it again.
On Friday, the online streaming service released another of its wildly successful Netflix originals; Narcos, a fast-paced crime series, which chronicles the bloody escapades of cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar during the Colombian drug war of the 1970s and 80s.
The drama stars Wagner Moura as Escobar, alongside Pedro Pascal as Javier Pena, Escobar’s DEA Agent rival and pursuer. Their true-life story spans from the late 1970s to the early 80s, prime time for Escobar’s infamous Medellin Cartel. The saga of the cartel is laced in blood and money – the masterfully-orchestrated drug operation brought in over $420 million per week at its height, and many who were trapped by its allure paid with their lives.
Despite its requisite theatrical nature, Narcos does make a real bid for authenticity in portraying the Colombian drug war. Actual news footage of Pablo Escobar is often spliced in between scenes, an experiment in realism which is made even more believable thanks to Moura’s striking resemblance to Escobar. In addition, the show keeps a good portion of the dialogue between characters in their native Spanish, adding subtitles when necessary. The unique blend of historical authenticity and Hollywood drama makes Narcos an ambitious project that truly worked out.
Naturally, the fast-paced, heart-pounding nature of the material makes for fantastic television. Narcos looks poised to join the ranks of some of Netflix’s most lucrative ventures, including Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.
The first season of Narcos consists of 10 episodes, all currently available for streaming on Netflix.