The series was created by Camilo Cano and Juana Uribe who are both closely tied with Pablo Escobar. Camilo Cano is the son of Guillermo Cano who was the publisher of newspaper El Espectador and who was murdered by Escobar in December 1986. Juana Uribe is the vice president of Caracol TV and also the series' producer. She is the daughter to Maruja Pachón who was kidnapped by Pablo Escobar on 7 November 1990 and later released. Juana is also the niece to presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galán who was killed by Escobar in August 1989. See more »
Several of the rifles used by the cartel members on this series are M4 carbines (the current version of the US military m16 rifle). The M4 carbine was not in use until 1994, the year after Escobar's death.
Furthemore, many of the military and cartel's guns in this series feature "picatinny rails" to mount accessories, such as flashlights, scopes, and laser aiming devices. This rail system was also not adopted until the mid '90s, and even then, not in full military use until years after Escobar was killed.
Finally, in several scenes the weapons are equipped with modern lighting systems and "quad rails," which were not developed until long after this story takes place.
The M16a1 and a2 rifles shown being used by the militants and police in this series are interspersed with the weapons mentioned above. Likely, the producers relied on whatever props they could acquire, and importing older, a1/a2 weapons was very cost prohibitive. See more »
As a fan of all the Narcos series I was happy to see this turn up on my stream, hungry for more of the intrigue and shoot em up action. But I soon realized this take on Escobar was a far cry from those glamorous romanticized versions with their Sopranos-like anti-heros - the main character of this show is an unrepentant scumbag, with more revolting warts than endearing dimples.
The early episodes had me questioning the casting of the lead. The character was a dumpy schlub, too stupid and crass to emerge as a powerful leader. But as the series unfolded the actor proved a superb choice, evolving seamlessly into a canny take-charge capo and eventually a cold-blooded sociopathic tyrant. It's a brilliant performance, of a character with very little charm who nevertheless commands your attention.
While there's plenty of violence throughout, it's rarely the exciting give-and-take gun battles of the Narcos shows, but rather savage murders and bombings aimed at defenseless politicians and journalists and other declared enemies of the Medellin cartel. And there's no clever adversary playing cat and mouse games with Escobar - the personal thorn in his side is his wife, a strong-willed character every bit as conflicted as Carmella Soprano, torn between her conscience and her lifestyle.
At times the series dips a toe into telenovela territory, with maudlin montages as characters reflect on memories of their recently assassinated loved ones, but these are few and far between (and easily zipped through on fast forward, without losing any of the story.)
There is also real news footage, generally of the aftermaths of bombings or assassinations, which is noticeable but works well in the context of the show.
Another big difference from the Narcos shows is the depiction of the Colombian law enforcement and political establishments, with much less focus on the corrupt officials in Escobar's pocket and more on the heroic idealists who opposed him. (Understandable, since some of the producers had personal ties to those opponents.)
Overall, the production values, like the casting, is excellent. The settings and costumes are somewhat more realistic and down-to-earth than those of the Narcos shows, reflecting Escober's lower class tastes.
Warning though, if you get hooked: with several dozen episodes, this will keep you binging for weeks.
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