So 3 days ago, Netflix released the second season of their highly acclaimed Narcos series. The show is based on the Colombian Narcos i.e. drug traffickers. Season 2 of Narcos chronicles the bloody tale of the legendary drug lord, Pablo Escobar that was initiated in season 1. Directed by Jose Pidilha, Narcos is based on true events in Colombia during the 1980s and 1990s.
Season 2 of Narcos picks up immediately after the events of season 1. It showcases the aftermath of Escobar’s escape from La Catedral. The show showcases the events that followed leading up to his death. Season 1 had gotten rave reviews everywhere. So the expectations from season 2 were pretty high. Did it deliver on them? Let us have a look-
WHAT WAS GOOD-
The show is perfectly adapted from its source material that is the news and various biopics written on Escobar as well as his family members. The way the show is interlaced with actual news broadcasts of that time is extremely well done too. Watching it, you cannot distinguish between what is fictionalized and what is real. This is simply because of the sheer brilliance of which the show is adapted.
The show is extremely well directed and it never drags, not even for a second. All the shots are perfectly captured. The show is 9 hours of pure gangster drama. It is extremely well structured and the show is devoid of any plot holes. You can actually invest yourself in the characters and immerse in the world. Jose Pidilha has done some stellar work here.
The cast is, well perfectly cast. Wagner Moura nails his role as Pablo Escobar. He perfectly catalogues Escobar’s rise from a small time goods trafficker to the Drug Lord and his eventual descent into hysteria and terrorism. He gave a stand out performance here and has enhanced his reputation. Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal as the DEA agents were a perfect pair too. The rest of the cast is equally amazing and they all perfectly capture the duality of their characters. From a doting father and a loving husband to a crazed drug lord or vengeful cop, every emotion is perfectly portrayed. The cast raised the show to a whole new level.
One great thing about this show is that you feel for everyone present on-screen. You can see the emotional sides of all the characters. Escobar is not shown as just a drug trafficking terrorist. You see the emotional side of him too, the way he misses his dead brother and the importance of his family in his life. At the end, when the rest of Colombia rejoices on Escobar’s death, you can feel the pain of his mother and wife. the show really connects and pulls at your heartstrings.
The show is perfectly realistic. Not one fact is glossed over or sugarcoated. The gang wars, bombings and raids were not glorified or diluted. What happened back then is shown on-screen just the way it happened. Yes, at times it seems gruesome, but then the truth is always bitter. Also, the way Medellin and Bogota were showcased was a delight to watch too. Not one aspect of them was tweaked or misrepresented. The gang wars and people’s reaction or indifference to them was also perfectly represented. The way it was all shown, you may mistake it for a time travelling window to take you back in the 80s and 90s.
The show had a dry, sarcastic sense of humor present throughout it. It was extremely fun to watch as the character of Steve narrated events with his at times black humor. It all added to the element of realism to the show. This is how people on the front lines deal with continuous loss and damage. Narcos did a good job of showcasing it without making it sound forced or over the top. It was all extremely well crafted and used.
WHAT ISN’T GOOD
The political tension and the rivalry between the gangs is what made the show so good in its first season. However, this time around it is just not as thick as it used to be. For some reason, it just feels a bit diluted. You can sense that there was some tension between the President and his aides, but you just can’t see it happening on-screen. The tension is there, but it isn’t in the quantities you would like it to be. This acts as a let down at times.
While the show never dragged for a moment it however did feel a bit rushed at times. The show slowly builds up during the entire first half of the season. So when the pace and tone was set, it came as a bit of an anticlimax when it was all rushed forward to Escobar’s death. It seemed that the director and producers wanted to finish Escobar’s arc within this season. If that was the case, they could have just increased the pace from the start. It was a bit of anticlimax towards the end. You were just left wondering about what just happened. An episode or two more would have resolved the issue. All of it wouldn’t have felt so rushed in the end.
The show had quite a few continuity errors in it. Although this isn’t a major flaw, but it detracts you from the experience. It ruins the immersion it offered. Once you have noticed one such error, you cannot just unwatch it. It is not a major spoilsport, but it is a spoilsport nevertheless.
All in all, Narcos season 2 is an amazing TV show. It does have a few flaws to it, but they are minor and far too in between. The show perfectly concludes the Escobar arc and sets up a potential season 3. So my rating for the show is 8.9/10 as it is a great TV show.
Netflix has once again shown us that it really does create quality TV shows. So if you haven’t watched it, go watch it. What are you waiting for? For those of you who have watched the show, do let us know your thoughts on it in the comments section below.