Netflix Crime Series Makes Narcos Look Tame

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

Are you in the mood for an excellent crime series? Netflix’s latest crime drama venture, Griselda, offers a high-octane narrative and powerhouse performances. Notably, Sofia Vergara steps into the formidable and infamous shoes of Griselda Blanco—the terrifying “Godmother of Cocaine,” who cut a bloody path through Miami and Medellin, Colombia, during the ’80s. For good reason, the series is stirring the pot, earning attention and accolades. 

For th0se who binged Narcos, Vergara’s new Netflix miniseries has to be seen. 

Griselda On Netflix

Andrés Baiz directed this project, while Doug Miro and Ingrid Escajeda joined forces to pen the script; Eric Newman produced it alongside Vergara herself. 

Griselda premiered on January 25 and consists of six hour-long episodes, quickly garnering  attention for its gripping storytelling and compelling character portrayals. 

Particularly, Vergara’s portrayal of Blanco has earned outsized admiration; it’s a wide-ranging performance, evidencing a versatility far beyond her known comedic talent.

Perhaps that’s why the show conquered Netflix’s Global Weekly Top 10 TV (English) ranking, zooming to number one in 89 countries. Obviously, this testifies to both its universal appeal and the intrigue surrounding Blanco’s life.

Real Life Blood Legacy

The series relates Blanco’s real life, career, and bloody legacy. It traces her meteoric (and violent) ascendancy in the drug-fueled underbelly of 1980s Miami, particularly her relentless pursuit of power alongside her ultimate downfall. 

Griselda’s saga is, as expected, characterized by drug use, paranoia, betrayal, and tragic violence—sparing no one, including the innocent.

To the series’ immense credit, Blanco’s journey is conveyed through grim realism—horrible occurrences, such as the loss of Blanco’s children, are documented thoroughly. 

Miami Drug Scene

The backdrop of the 1980s Miami drug scene provides a powerful locale for the series; on the one hand, it reminds viewers of ScarfaceMiami Vice, and even Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. On the other hand, though, through Griselda’s distinctly feminist lens, the time and place are effectively transformed and reworked.

At the bottom, the location ideally serves to chronicle Blanco’s meteoric rise from a modest beginning to emerging as one of the most powerful and feared of the era’s drug lords.

The series begins in Colombia, documenting Blancos early life, during which she first dipped her toes into the world of drug trafficking. Pushed by oppression and violence from her male counterparts, namely her husband—whose abuse is frankly shocking—and pulled by the prospect of affording a better life for herself, Griselda is soon off from Medellin to Miami. 

There, her cunning, ruthlessness, unparalleled vigor, and business acumen quickly set her apart in a male-dominated industry. 

Sofia Vergara Is Transformed

sofia vergara Griselda

The series meticulously showcases the complexities of Blanco’s operations in Miami, especially the innovative and deadly tactics she employed to maintain control over her vast drug trafficking network.

Of course, Blanco’s employment of murderous violence as a means to an end underscores the brutality of the drug trade. It also highlights the lengths to which Blanco would venture to protect her interests—and her family. 

Much of Griselda’s power stems from its impeccable casting, which combines established talents with promising newcomers. Vergara’s portrayal of Blanco is nothing short of transformative, and the actor deserves all the critical acclaim she’s reaped.

She showcases a striking combination of vulnerability and menace, motherly instincts, and murderous wrath. 

Not To Be Pitied


Griselda’s story never compels you to pity her nor, to be fair, condemn her. Whether she’s being victimized by her brutal husband and his drug kingpin brother, or victimizing others to advance her career and establish some protection as a woman in the machismo world of Colombian drug-running—Blanco, through Vergara, feels natural and actual.

Supporting Vergara in Griselda, Alberto Guerra plays Dario, a hitman (or sicario) who unpredictably ends up working with Blanco stupendously; he’s scary, commanding, relatable, and ultimately relatable.

The show also benefits from a convincing guest star in the form of Latin pop sensation Carol G, who compellingly portrays Carla, a sex worker-turned-associate of Blanco. 

Stream Griselda On Netflix


Understandably, the series has enjoyed generally positive reviews from critics and audiences alike. Experts and social media posters have particularly praised Vergara’s performance.

Vergara, after all, is Colombian, a person who grew up in a country and culture intimately familiar with the legacy of drug lords like Griselda Blanco and Pablo Escobar. Thus, she’s quite believable—even disturbingly so. 

That said, the streaming series has received some backlash regarding perceived historical inaccuracies. While counterbalancing historical fidelity and narrative drive is always tricky, a few critics feel the show could have done better. 

Regardless, for an excellent, uncommonly relatable journey into the drug-saturated, ultra-violent life of Griselda Blanco, stream Griselda now.