Let’s talk about Narcos

Can we stop for a minute and talk about the demon telly box for just a goddamn hippo slinging second?

And by demon, I mean that in a good way.

Like sick.

Sick for great.

Sick for king.

Long live the sick.

‘Cause never let it be said that I am not DOWN WITH THE KIDS.

That’s down as in, really cool, chilling with the kids. Not slightly depressed and disappointed with the kids.

Because I’ve just finished watching Narcos which turns out to be probably one of the best series I have had the pleasure of goggling my eyes at for years.

Beautifully shot with colours and tones that make you want to lick the screen, it follows the story of Pablo Escobar of the Medellín drug cartel. I’m not going to say too much about the story, partly because you should all be watching it now anyway, and partly because if you don’t know the history then I don’t want to get all wrapped up in spoilers. Every time you hit a spoiler a fairy dies and you have to do twenty push-ups. Them’s the rules.

I didn’t know the history, and now I’m gonna have to dig me out a documentary to watch so I can see how closely the series followed the reality. But in some ways I’m glad I didn’t know the history. If I had I’d have been fact checking at every corner. ‘Cause some of that stuff is a veritable case of the strange and the crazy. If the thought of using acronyms didn’t fill me with a sort of bone shuddering dread I might even use the letters WTF.

Not only is it the visual equivalent of bathing in wine and eating grapes made of cheese, but it’s also mostly in Spanish. Which is great, because I’ve become a tad rusty – my main vocabulary reduced to swear words and how to ask for a beer. Now I could probably get into lengthy conversations about logistics and politics, although probably unwittingly cause many a diplomatic incident while I was at it (smiling and nodding can get you into a lot of trouble #TopTravellingTip). And as an added bonus there’s a few extra swear words thrown into the toolkit.

But the main thing that is so great about Narcos, the main thing that meant it hit the highly regarded ten out of ten on the Tam scale of oh-my-god-why-can’t-I-stop-watching-this-I-need-to-get-some-sleep-before-my-eyes-bleed, was the brilliant character development. Pablo, likeable, charming Pablo. Pablo, verging on crazy Pablo. Pablo, oh dear, that was, um, kinda violent Pablo. Pablo, family man Pablo. Tie that in with the cop side of the story (Steve Murphy and Javier Peña) – cops on the edge of the law, cops out to get someone, cops forgetting where the edge is and half way down the cliff already. There’s the core of a series which leaves you rooting for everybody, because everybody seems real and everybody is flawed.

There’s no shiny, happy heroes here.

And all of this – the stunning camera work, the inclusion of real film footage, the excellent acting – all of this, whether it’s completely true to life or not, hangs on the stunning storytelling. It’s a story that staples your soul to its shirt sleeves and then runs through the forest, waving its arms in the air to the rhythm of coked up drum beats and dancing horses. Or something like that.

So you should watch it.

It’s great.

Es el mejor.

Verlo ahora.

Quiero una cerveza.

*Insert your choice of Spanish expletive here*

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Longlisted for the Bath Novel Award 2014, Grind spark is a near-future dystopian novel about growing up in the years leading up to the end of the world. It’s about pretending to be the perfect family. It’s about whether you want to survive. Treat your eye portals. Pick up your copy here.

  5 comments for “Let’s talk about Narcos

  1. Jane Rogers
    October 14, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Don’t think we get that — but save it for later and get on with Nanowrimo!

    • October 14, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Ah yes, still lots of prep to do if I’m going to stand a chance of hitting the word count! You going to have a go? :)

  2. Chris Milam
    October 14, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    “Plata o Plomo.” Watched Narcos the first weekend it was available. A marathon session. Brutal, sexy, lush, and nuanced. A must watch.

    • October 14, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Definitely – absolutely gorgeous series, stunning all round

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