Narcos Mexico: A Very Addictive Show

Diego Luna as cartel boss Felix Gallardo under the alias of El Padrino

Diego Luna as cartel boss Felix Gallardo under the alias of El Padrino

Gavin Clingham, Staff Writer

As are all tucked inside during quarantine, we all scramble to clear out our watchlists and watch as many shows as we can. On one night, my dad found Narcos: Mexico on Netflix. I was a bit confused as to why we weren’t starting at the original Narcos, but we still watched this one. And right away, I didn’t even care that the show was a spinoff; I only wanted to watch more. 

Narcos: Mexico starts off with two real life intertwining stories in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The first story follows Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo (Diego Luna). He is a man who has a small weed farm with his brother in his backyard. Soon, he begins to make negotiations to expand his farm and grow his business. They find the biggest field they can and they enter the world of blood and corruption with one of the biggest weed farms in history. The second story follows Kiki Camarena (Michael Pena), a DEA agent who’s always lost his cases to the cops. At the time, the DEA was up-and-coming so it never really had any monumental arrests. Camarena is then transferred to Mexico where he becomes an undercover agent. Slowly they begin to latch onto Miguel’s business to bring him to justice. 

I don’t want to give away too much, but right away, it’s so addictive that you can’t remember what happened at first. It’s one of those shows that you’re watching at 11:00 p.m., but you realize that it’s good enough to watch one more hour-long episode. I didn’t sleep very well when my family was binge-watching the show, but I think it was worth it. At first I was mad that I lost a lot of sleep, but then I realized that the show is so immersive that you just don’t want to leave. 

One of things that makes it so addictive is the writing. Half of it is in Spanish, but the writing is very solid. It’s got plenty of twists, plenty of thrills, and enough action to keep you on the very edge of your couch. The strong writing backs up the awesome visuals and extremely impressive cinematography. Also, it has an interesting use of incorporating real archive footage since the show is based on a true story. 

Now there is some debate about this show versus the original Narcos. Most people probably think this show is either insulting to the original Narcos or just isn’t as good, but Narcos: Mexico manages to excel by being its own thing. Of course, it doesn’t have Pablo Escobar, which is too bad because he was probably the most compelling character on the original show. While Miguel Gallardo isn’t really his replacement or as close to compelling as Escobar was, he is still a great character to follow. You like him, you hate him, you root for him, and then you want him to get arrested. 

Also, Narcos: Mexico is regarded as a spinoff. Even though it kind of is, I realized that it’s more of a prequel to Narcos. Even though this cartel is based in Mexico, it often manages to cross ties with Narcos at many different points. While on paper it sounds like it’s just completely obligated, it ends up being something that is an awesome perk of the show. 

This show is terrific and I absolutely love it, but there is one thing I must say. If you have children, or you are not in high school, do not watch this show. I don’t mean to sound like a parents’ guide, but it’s not for young children. It’s not even a show for parents to watch while their kids sneak out of bed to catch a bit of the show. While this was a show that everyone at my house watched as a family, it is definitely not a family show. It goes very deep into all the aspects of the Mexican cartel and while it is extraordinarily entertaining, it’s a bit inappropriate for people who can’t handle the material. 

So, in summary, it’s a fun show. While it shocks my teachers when I mention that I watch it, it’s still pretty great. It is the perfect crime show to binge-watch in this horrible time. Even if you’re turned off from the show at any point, it still finds a way to keep you watching it till you finish every last episode. In the end, no matter how much time you’ve missed watching the show and the things you put off to watch it, it’ll all be worth it in the end.