A WEEKLY guide to the best TV boxset available to stream right now. This week, we put Netflix’s Narcos through its paces
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Narcos charts the rise and fall of Colombian druglord Pablo Escobar - the “King of Cocaine” - and his Medellin cartel. The outfit is believed to have controlled around 80 per cent of cocaine imported into America during the ‘70s and ‘80s as Escobar amassed a $30 billion fortune. The show’s tagline may be “there’s no business like blow business” but the drama is not just an easy hit of gangsters, drugs and guns – it’s as much about those who tried to stop Escobar and his inglorious reign.
WHO IS IN IT?
Escobar is played by Wagner Maniçoba de Moura, acclaimed in his homeland of Brazil and further afield for his portrayal of Rio police chief Captain Roberto Nascimento, protagonist of 2007 film Elite Squad and its sequel, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within.
Narcos is told largely through the perspective of Drugs Enforcement Agency agent Steve Murphy, played by Boyd Holbrook, last seen in gone Girl and Milk, with Yorkshire-born actress Joanna Christie playing his wife.
Pedro Pascal, who played the Red Viper in season four of Game of Thrones, stars as Mexican DEA agent Javier Peña.
IS IT WORTH WATCHING
Yes. The critics have gone wild and the viewers love it too. Some believe this is the show to secure Netflix’s place in the way we now consume television. Latest figures show it has taken up 25 per cent of its audience’s share.
Other say it is so intense that you just can’t binge on it the way a good boxset should be.
The show’s sunshine setting keeps scenes bright and crisp while the story lurches into documentary mode at points with the use of genuine news footage of Escobar’s exploits. It sometimes resembles a history lesson with its broad sweep of characters, power struggles and plot turns, but it’s one that’s thrillingly told.