“Narcos – Season One” (2015-)
Drama, Television Series, Action, Thriller
Created by: Carlo Bernard, Doug Miro, Chris Brancato
Featuring: Wagner Moura, Boyd Holbrook, Pedro Pascal, Paulina Gaitan, Juan Murcia
Pablo Escobar: “Geniuses are always branded as crazy.”
Yet another excellent Netflix show makes it ways onto Blu-ray and DVD this month and like many of their offerings they hit it out of the park. And in early news the show has been renewed up to at least season 4, so you should really start now!
This first season chronicles the life of Pablo Escobar from 1970s, to the 1990s – during this time we witness the main events occurring in Colombia and Escobar’s relationship to them. It is told through the perspective of Steve Murphy, an American DEA agent working in Colombia.
The initial episodes show how Escobar first became involved in the cocaine trade in Colombia. He was an established black marketeer in Medellín, moving trucks worth of illegal goods (alcohol, cigarettes, and household appliances) into Colombia during a time when this was strictly forbidden, when introduced to Mateo “Cockroach” Moreno, a Chilean exile and underground chemist, who pitched the idea that they go into business together, with Moreno producing and Escobar distributing a new, profitable drug—cocaine. They expand beyond Moreno’s small cocaine processing lab by building additional, larger labs in the rainforest and, using the expertise of Carlos Lehder, transport their product in bulk to Miami, where it gains notoriety amongst the rich and famous. Soon enough, Pablo develops larger labs and more extensive distribution routes into the US to supply growing demand.
This first season is a must watch and after the first episode you will be absorbed into a world that will leave you wanting more. The entire season has an excellent arc that will have you asking many questions and some of these will eventually be answered in upcoming episodes. It is always a great vote od confidence when a show is renewed for not one nut two further seasons and is not shy about changing the direction of a show when it has to.
Audio Commentaries – Three episodes are given commentaries, Episode 1, with director Jose Padilha and star Wagner Moura, Episode 6, with showrunner Chris Brancato and Episode 10 with executive producer Eric Newman and director Andrés Baiz. All three commentaries contain good information about the production process, how the show came about, casting, location shooting and realism; none are really episode specific, rather they talk about the season as a whole.
The Colombian Collection – Brief 10 minute featurette containing interviews with cast and crew exhorting the values of shooting the whole series on location in Columbia and how that contributed to the project.
Establishing the Route – A lengthier 25 minute feature that discusses, with the same interviewees, how the series came about, why Netflix was chosen, how it was conceived for ‘binge-watching’ and the music for the show. A lot is covered in a short time.
The Language Barrier – Another 10 minute featurette, again with the same interviewees, about the bi-lingual nature of the series.
Deleted Scenes – Nine scenes in total that play as one 8 minute featurette, from various episodes running at the most 2 minutes, but normally less than one; the scenes are mostly character beats.
If you enjoyed this series, try these:
The Infiltrator (2016)
Breaking Bad (2008-2013)