Four-time Emmy nominee Sofia Vergara returns to the world of scripted television with Netflix’s miniseries Griselda. Based on the life of notorious drug lord Griselda Blanco, also known as the Cocaine Godmother, the show chronicles her rise to infamy during the 1980s and her pivotal role during the Miami drug war.
Griselda is one of Netflix’s most anticipated shows of 2024 and offers a worthy showcase for Vergara, who’s no stranger to receiving acclaim for her small-screen performances. Fans who enjoy the series’ gritty, tense tone will undoubtedly want to check out other similar projects tackling the same themes. Luckily, Netflix has its fair share of crime shows that share DNA similar to Griselda, presenting compelling takes on classic stories of crime, murder, betrayal, and corruption.
Netflix began exploring the violent world of drug cartels with their breakout 2015 series Narcos. Brazilian actor Wagner Moura stars as drug dealer and narcoterrorist Pablo Escobar, one of the most infamous and dangerous criminals from the late 20th century. The show follows his establishment of the Medellín Cartel, the rise of his empire, and his dealings with numerous other drug lords and DEA agents.
The show was an instant success for Netflix and spawned a spin-off focused on Miguel Ángel Felix Gallardo, “El Jefe de Jefes” or “The Boss of Bosses,” widely considered the godfather of the Mexican drug trade. Like Griselda, Narcos and Narcos: Mexico walk a fine line between glorifying their subjects and painting them at their most ruthless. All three shows offer soapy stories that play fast and loose with historical events. However, they remain addictive, largely thanks to the fascinating performances at their center.
Narcos is now streaming on Netflix.
Latinos love soap operas, and soap operas love melodrama. The world of drug dealing received a soapy adaptation with Telemundo’s 2011 telenovela La Reina del Sur, starring Mexican icon Kate del Castillo and based on the eponymous novel. The plot follows Teresa Mendoza, a young Mexican woman who becomes the most powerful drug lord in southern Spain.
La Reina del Sur premiered in 2011 to great success. However, season 2, co-produced by Netflix, would not arrive until 2019. The show won the International Emmy Award for Best Non-English Language U.S. Primetime Program in 2020, while del Castillo’s performance received consistently positive reviews throughout the series run. A third season premiered in late 2022, and while there’s no news about a potential fourth chapter, La Reina del Sur has defied the odds several times before. Griselda‘s success might prompt the streamer to revisit Teresa’s story, so never say never.
La Reina del Sur is now streaming on Netflix.
Ozark is among Netflix’s most critically acclaimed series. Anchored by Jason Bateman and the mighty Laura Linney, the show follows Marty and Wendy Byrde, a married couple who relocate their family to the Lake of Ozarks to set up a money laundering operation for a Mexican cartel.
Widely considered among Netflix’s strongest original efforts, Ozark is gritty, violent, ruthless, and enthralling. The show finds the perfect balance between high-stakes drama and visceral thrills to produce a riveting story where the lines of “right” and “wrong” are blurred to the point of non-existence. Linney is Ozark‘s black beating heart, delivering a tour de force that ranks among the finest in her esteemed career. Those looking for another story of a woman carving a wicked path in the unforgiving world of drug dealing should look no further than this rich, relentless series.
Ozark is now streaming on Netflix.