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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Plata o plomo?

The latest Netflix original series to get buzzed about is obvious: "Narcos."

The series follows the true story of infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar and the Colombian cartels during the 1980s and ‘90s -- and the Drug Enforcement Administration agents that ended their little party.

With only one season consisting of 10 episodes released, the series has gained critical acclaim and a large fan base, receiving a 9.1/10 on IMDB and a 77 percent on Metacritic. The show released its first episodes on Aug. 28 and got renewed for a second season on Sept. 3, just a week later.

Rather than shining a negative light on Colombia, the series focuses on the extravagant and unbelievable antics of the man who was once known as the "King of Cocaine," along with all those who surrounded him.

Boyd Holbrook plays Steve Murphy, a DEA agent who narrates and guides the audience as he, along with his partner Javier Peña (Pedro Pascal from Game of Thrones), strives to take down Escobar, played by Brazilian actor Wagner Moura.

Although the viewer only hears Murphy narrating, this isn’t the heroic tale where America comes and saves the day. The story explores various points of view, including Escobar’s, his partners and even the Colombian government.

What’s surprising about the show is that while the story involves drugs, sex and violence, Brazilian director Jose Padilha didn’t rely on it for the ratings; his portrayal of the story is practically a dramatized documentary.

Padilha authentically constructed the tale using Colombian music, scenery and even sayings to make you feel like you’re in 1980s Colombia. There are even flashbacks using actual footage from the ‘80s and ‘90s to remind you that yes, it’s real.

Oh, and a good 70 percent of the show is in Spanish – relax, there are subtitles. If you can stomach the blood and drugs, you might even get to learn a new language.

You’ll start watching the series for the story, but you’ll stay because you can’t believe it’s true.

  • Whenever Pablo’s mustache gets on your nerves, because it happens
  • To get you through uncomfortable sex scenes
  • Whenever you Google something Pablo Escobar-related while watching the show
  • Whenever there’s "baking soda" on the screen
  • While subconsciously jamming to salsa or merengue classics placed throughout the show
  • When Pablo scares you
  • When there’s actual footage
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  • Whenever Pablo says, "Plata o plomo?"
  • Every time the narrator says, "And just like that..."
  • Whenever there’s a baby on the screen, because sometimes you need a cute baby to ease the tension
  • Whenever there’s a hooker party
  • Whenever there’s a cute moment between Pablo and la Tata
  • When a bad guy dies
  • Whenever Valeria Velez and la Tata meet face-to-face (#awkward)
  • Whenever you find yourself pausing the show and thinking, "What the heck is going on?"
  • When Pablo kills one of his own
  • Whenever one of the good guys dies
  • When you see where Pablo stayed for prison
  • When you find out how much money Pablo was making (Drugs are bad, OK?)
  • When DEA agent Murphy attempts to speak Spanish
  • When you finish the season and find yourself speaking with a Paisa accent
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