When “Narcos” released on Netflix back in 2015, it became an instant hit. With a compelling narrative, talented cast, and big budget, the show received rave reviews, outpacing many other productions in a market oversaturated with movies and TV series about drug trafficking and the infamous cartel leaders working behind the scenes.
The first two seasons of “Narcos” revolve around Pablo Escobar, a Colombian cocaine dealer who grew to international infamy back in the ’80s. The third season of “Narcos” follows the aftermath of Escobar’s downfall, when a rival cartel that operates by an entirely different set of rules steps up to fill the power vacuum he left behind. Combining the distinctive magical realism popularized by Colombian art with the grit of Escobar’s rise and fall, the show makes for a nail-biting binge-watch.
Two actual Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents involved in Escobar’s capture even consulted on the production, though the show still has several inaccuracies.
Apart from its glaring historical inaccuracies, the show was also receptive to a lot of criticism at the time of its release, particularly with its casting and message. Evidently, Netflix was aiming for a global production with “Narcos,” casting Latinx actors from countries all across Central and South America. As a result, there was much online discourse regarding the Spanish accents of many of those cast in the titular roles, most of whom were not Colombian. Pablo Escobar’s actor himself, Wagner Moura, is actually Brazilian and learned Spanish specifically for the role.
As for its message, many viewers were concerned the show glorified cartels and further rehashed the painful traumas of their legacy in Colombia, where people have worked hard to heal from the physical and emotional damage caused by Escobar’s notoriety. Moreover, audiences were concerned by how “Narcos” depicted Colombians and their country, accusing the show of playing heavily into stereotypes and centering the United States’ role in Escobar’s capture through its narration, which is provided by a DEA agent.
Despite its many flaws, the show was popular at the time of its release, even getting its own spinoff in the form of “Narcos: Mexico.” For many fans, it might be coming back into the spotlight, thanks to the increasing popularity of its main protagonists. If you’ve already seen all three seasons, though, and can’t get enough of the main actors, read on to see where the cast of “Narcos” is today.