All the Reasons You Should Be Watching ‘Narcos’ (If You Aren’t Already)
All the Reasons You Should Be Watching 'Narcos' (If You Aren't Already)
Netflix original series Narcos—which follows the rise and fall of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar—is sort of like Titanic: Before you watch a single episode, you already know what’s going to happen at the end. That is, Escobar will eventually get hunted down and shot to death. Specifically, at the end of Season 2. (The reason we didn’t insert a big spoiler alert? The show’s promotional posters for the latest season advertised his death in ’93.)
While you may still be in the process of binge-watching other Netflix originals like Stranger Things or oldies but goodies like Lost, Narcos is one of those shows that we feel you should drop everything else to watch immediately. Not only did it just recently get renewed for a third and fourth season, but it’s also still a relevant water-cooler conversation. Why? Find out in our list of eight reasons (four for each season) to watch Narcos right now.
Season One Will Be a Blast in Business Class – Say you haven’t caught up yet. No problem. Season 1, which takes you on a journey into the rise of Colombia’s most notorious drug kingpin, begins with a literal bang—a shootout in a karaoke bar—and keeps you on the edge of your seat for the entire 10-episode run. You’ll have no problem binge-watching it on a train-ride home from the office or a lengthy international business flight.
It’s All About the Unknowns – Not so surprisingly, Narcos has a particularly diverse cast of actors—many of whom you’ll probably be meeting for the first time. These include Wagner Moura, a huge star in Brazil, who had to gain 40 pounds to play Escobar (as well as learn Spanish, since the language of Brazil is Portuguese); Kentuckian Boyd Holbrook (Steve Murphy), whose swagger-drenched vocal delivery reminds of The Duke (a.k.a. John Wayne); and Pedro Pascal (Javier Peña), who you may recognize from his turn on HBO’s Game of Thrones.
The Show’s Creators Rebuild ‘La Catedral,’ One Brick at a Time – You probably saw RealClearLife‘s recent article on the jail the Colombian government put Escobar in the first time he was officially arrested. “La Catedral,” as it was known, was basically a luxury hotel for the drug lord and his sicarios. Narcos‘ creators do a spot on job of recreating the jail—so much so that you’ll find yourself actually wanting to get incarcerated there.
Luis Guzmán Turns Everything to Gold – Appearing in the first season only, Guzmán is a scene-stealer as José Rodríguez Gacha. You’ll recognize him from Grade-A television shows like Oz; and films like Boogie Nights, Carlito’s Way, and Traffic.
Season Two Can Be Easily Handled on the Return Ticket – The great thing about being a season behind on a Netflix series is that, when the shows are released, you get all the episodes instead of one at a time. It makes for a much more linear watching experience, and in this case, you have a clear endgame (Escobar’s death). What happens to get you there is action that will make you want to book an extra night on business—or take the route with the most connections home to maximize your viewing time.
Colonel Carrillo Comes Into His Own in a Big Way – Hired to head up the Search Bloc, a Colombian special ops division tasked with taking down Escobar, Colonel Horacio Carrillo (Maurice Compte) has his coming out party in Season 2. Without giving too much away, let’s just say he makes two bad guys “fly,” and offers the ultimate badass statement by literally sending Escobar a bullet via courier (note his reaction below).
Leynar Gomez’s Character Has an Amazing Mullet – Gomez plays a Escobar’s driver, Limon (pronounced LEE-mone), who is all about the “party in the front and business in the back.” It makes us pine for the days when MulletsGalore.com was up and running (sadly, it’s no longer updating).
Lost‘s Craziest Character Makes a Few Great Cameos – If you’re a fan of ABC’s sci-fi tour de force, Lost, you’ll remember Dharma Initiative member Stuart Radzinsky (Eric Lange), who made good use of his short time on camera (sort of like Luis Guzmán). Lange reappears in Narcos as shifty CIA agent Bill Stechner—whose role is to basically ruffle other characters’ feathers. And he does a damned good job of it. (In the photo below, Lange’s the guy in the foreground, with his back to you, chewing out Pedro Pascal’s character. Exactly how you’d “picture” a covert CIA operative, no?)
—Will Levith, RealClearLife
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