Narcos (season 1)

The first season of Narcos, an American crime thriller drama web television series produced and created by Chris Brancato, Carlo Bernard, and Doug Miro, follows the story of notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who became a billionaire through the production and distribution of cocaine, while also focusing on Escobar's interactions with other drug lords, DEA agents, and various opposition entities.[1][2]

Season 1
Narcos season 1.png
Blu-ray cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes10
Original networkNetflix
Original releaseAugust 28, 2015 (2015-08-28)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of episodes

It stars Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar – a Colombian drug lord and the leader of the Medellín Cartel, with Boyd Holbrook, Pedro Pascal, Joanna Christie, Juan Pablo Raba, Maurice Compte, Diego, Jorge A. Jimenez, Paulina Gaitán, Paulina García, Stephanie Sigman, Bruno Bichir, Raúl Méndez, Manolo Cardona, Cristina Umaña and Alberto Ammann playing various real life based characters. The season was estimated to cost about $25 million dollars, with $2.5 million per episode.[3]

All 10 episodes of the season became available for streaming on Netflix on August 28, 2015, and were met with generally favorable critical reception. Wagner Moura's portrayal of Pablo Escobar earned him widespread critical acclaim including a Best Actor – Television Series Drama nomination at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards, while the season itself was nominated for Best Television Series – Drama at the ceremony and received Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Drama, British Academy Television Award for Best International Programme and three Primetime Emmy Award nominations. The series was renewed for a second season, which premiered on September 2, 2016, with 10 episodes.[4]

Cast and charactersEdit



  • Luis Gnecco as "La Cucaracha" or Mateo 'Cockroach' Moreno – a Chilean drug chemist who flees Chile and join forces with Pablo Escobar before being executed by Escobar for selling information due to personal dispute.
  • Julián Díaz as El Negro or "Blackie" (né Nelson Hernández) – a member of the Medellín Cartel, who is frequently seen by Escobar's side (in real life, Escobar had a close friend named Jorge "El Negro" Pabón[12])
  • Juan Sebastián Calero as Navegante – a violent associate of the Cali Cartel who works as their top henchman
  • Jon-Michael Ecker as El León or "The Lion" – a childhood friend of Escobar's who becomes his first drug smuggler into Miami and subsequently runs Escobar's Miami operations
  • Alberto Ammann as Hélmer "Pacho" Herrera – a Colombian drug lord and high-ranking member of the Cali Cartel
  • Richard T. Jones as CIA Officer – a CIA officer, also on Murphy's task force
  • Cristina Umaña as Judy Moncada – a former leader in the Medellín Cartel who, after Escobar murdered her husband Kiko, led a breakaway cartel and allied with the Cali Cartel and Los Pepes; she is based on the real-life Dolly Moncada[13]
  • Christian Tappan as Gerardo 'Kiko' Moncada, Escobar's business partner
  • Orlando Valenzuela as Fernando Galeano, Escobar's business partner
  • Patrick St. Esprit as Colonel Lou Wysession – a Marine officer fighting against communism
  • Luis Guzmán as Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha – founding member and former leader of the Medellín Cartel
  • Juan Riedinger as Carlos Lehder – Lion's contact in the United States, tasked with distributing the cocaine
  • André Mattos as Jorge Ochoa – founding member and former leader of the Medellín Cartel
  • Roberto Urbina as Fabio Ochoa – a high-ranking member of the Medellín Cartel (Season 1)
  • Ana de la Reguera as Elisa Álvarez[11] – the co-leader of guerrilla faction 19th of April Movement (M-19)
  • Danielle Kennedy as Ambassador Noonan – a United States Ambassador deployed to Colombia under Ronald Reagan
  • Thaddeus Phillips as Agent Owen – a CIA agent on the Colombia task force
  • Ariel Sierra as Sureshot – one of Escobar's sicarios
  • Carolina Gaitán as Marta Ochoa – the Ochoas' sister, who is kidnapped by M-19
  • Laura Perico as Marina Ochoa – the Ochoas' sister, who has an affair with Escobar's cousin Gustavo
  • Vera Mercado as Ana Gaviria – the wife of César Gaviria and the First Lady of Colombia
  • Alejandro Buitrago as Velasco
  • Jorge Monterosa as Trujillo
  • Andres Felipe as General Jaramillo
  • Luis Miguel Hurtado as El Paisa, an Escobar employee and truck driver
  • Juan Pablo Espinosa as Luis Carlos Galán – a Colombian politician whom Gaviria works as a personal secretary, who runs for Presidency before getting assassinated.


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Descenso"José PadilhaChris Brancato and Carlo Bernard & Doug MiroAugust 28, 2015 (2015-08-28)
During the 1973 Chilean coup d'état several drug makers are lined up and shot; Chilean drug chemist Cockroach survives and brings his product to Colombian smuggler Pablo Escobar who later executes him. DEA agent Steve Murphy joins the war on drugs in Bogota.
22"The Sword of Simón Bolívar"José PadilhaChris BrancatoAugust 28, 2015 (2015-08-28)
Communist radical group M-19 makes a move against the narcos, while Murphy gets an education in Colombian law enforcement from his new partner Peña.
33"The Men of Always"Guillermo NavarroDana CalvoAugust 28, 2015 (2015-08-28)
Murphy encounters the depths of government corruption when he and Peña try to derail Escobar's political ambitions by proving he's a narco.
44"The Palace in Flames"Guillermo NavarroChris BrancatoAugust 28, 2015 (2015-08-28)
Despite a new extradition treaty, the U.S. puts more money into fighting communism, creating new challenges for Murphy and Peña in the hunt for Pablo.
55"There Will Be a Future"Andi BaizDana Ledoux MillerAugust 28, 2015 (2015-08-28)
Pablo's extreme methods put the narcos on the brink of war with Carillo and the government. Peña tries to protect his witness.
66"Explosivos"Andi BaizAndy BlackAugust 28, 2015 (2015-08-28)
Peña and Carillo close in on Gacha. Murphy tries to protect pro-extradition candidate Gaviria from a notorious assassin connected to Pablo. Carillo manages to find Gacha with the help of an informant who is later killed by "Poison" as Pena leads an attack on Gacha's hideout resulting in both sides suffering heavy casualties (including Gacha's own son) before Gacha himself is killed. Pablo manipulates a young man to be a suicide bomber under the guise of recording Gaviria. At an airport Gaviria plans to board a plane for his next campaign speech but Murphy convinces him to postpone it unknowingly saving his life as the bomber then boards Avianca Flight 203 and activates the bomb.
77"You Will Cry Tears of Blood"Fernando CoimbraDana Calvo & Zach CaligAugust 28, 2015 (2015-08-28)
Pablo goes into hiding as the political tide turns against him, but he finds a way to strike back. Murphy and Peña finally get the CIA to help them.
88"La Gran Mentira"Fernando CoimbraAllison AbnerAugust 28, 2015 (2015-08-28)
A tragic mistake forces the government to change tactics in the fight against Pablo. But Pablo faces bigger threats from inside his empire.
99"La Catedral"Andi BaizNick Schenk & Chris BrancatoAugust 28, 2015 (2015-08-28)
The hunt for Pablo seems to be over after he makes a deal with the government, but Murphy and Peña - and the Cali Cartel - have other plans.
1010"Despegue"Andi BaizNick Schenk & Chris BrancatoAugust 28, 2015 (2015-08-28)
Pablo's activities in prison provoke the government into taking extreme action. Murphy and Peña face a situation of their own.


Critical responseEdit

The first season received generally favorable reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes a review aggregator surveyed 45 reviews and judged 78% to be positive. The site reads, "Narcos lacks sympathetic characters, but pulls in the viewer with solid acting and a story that's fast-paced enough to distract from its familiar outline."[14] On Metacritic, Season 1 holds a score of 77 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "Generally favorable reviews".[15] IGN gave the first season a 7.8 out of 10 score calling it "Good" and reads "It's a true-to-life account, sometimes to a fault, of the rise of Pablo Escobar and the hunt that brought him down laced with stellar performances and tension-filled stand-offs. Its blend of archival footage reminds us that the horrors depicted really happened, but also manage to present an Escobar that is indefensible but frighteningly sympathetic."[16]

The season received generally positive reviews from many media outlets. Writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Tirdad Derakhshani reviewed the season positively, calling it "Intense, enlightening, brilliant, unnerving, and addictive, Narcos is high-concept drama at its finest."[17] The New York Post's, Robert Rorke said, "Catching Escobar then becomes an exciting and suspenseful story arc, and makes Narcos the first cool show of the new season."[18] Joshua Alston of The A.V. Club judged "Narcos is frequently funny and just stylized enough to amplify the entertainment value without minimizing the gravity of the subject matter. It’s an eminently bingeable show even as it makes a strong case for moderate consumption."[19] Television critic, Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter also reviewed the series positively saying, "The series begins to find its pacing not long after, and we see the strength of Moura’s acting, which to his credit never races, in the early going, toward over-the-top menace or the drug-lord cliches we're all used to at this point. Credit also the fact that Padilha brings a documentary feel to Narcos."[20]

Nancy deWolf Smith of The Wall Street Journal wrote, "The omniscient-narrator device works very well for a complex story spanning many years and varied sets of players."[21] Critic Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times said, "It’s built on sharp writing and equally sharp acting, as any good series needs to be."[22] The San Francisco Chronicle's David Wiegand wrote, "Virtually every performance is equal to the quality of the script, but Moura is especially compelling as he manipulates the seeming incongruities of Escobar’s character to heighten his aura of unpredictable menace.... Brancato does make one significant misstep by having the entire series heavily narrated by Murphy."[23] Chief TV critic Brian Lowry of Variety also lauded the series saying, "The sparely told project weaves together a taut, gripping narrative, in stark contrast with the flatness of its characters and color scheme. All told, this Gaumont production is the kind of binge-worthy TV addiction that Netflix was born to import."[24]

Some were more critical towards the show including chief television critic Mary McNamara of Los Angeles Times who wrote, "It's a grand if inconsistent experiment that, from the moment it opens with a definition of magic realism, wears its considerable ambitions on its sleeve."[25] New York Daily News's David Hinckley, moderately reviewed the season and said, "One of the strengths of Narcos is its refusal to paint anyone as purely good or bad."[26] Writing for IndieWire, Liz Shannon Miller said, "An unlikeable character, no matter the circumstances, remains unlikeable, but an unlikeable character trumps a bland blonde man whose position of authority appears to be his only really interesting character trait, no matter how much voice-over he utters."[27] Josh Bell of Las Vegas Weekly quipped, "Mostly the show is a breezy tour through history, sometimes informative but rarely affecting."[28]


Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2016 Writers Guild of America Awards Episodic Drama "Explosivos" Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Wagner Moura Nominated
Best Television Series – Drama Nominated
BAFTA TV Awards Best International Programme Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Television Series – Drama Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Main Title Design Nominated
Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Rodrigo Amarante Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series "Descenso" Nominated


  1. ^ "Netflix Plans To Create Original Series About Colombian Drug Lord Pablo Escobar". Fox News. April 2, 2014.
  2. ^ "Netflix's 'Narcos' Series On Pablo Escobar 'Will Be Like Nothing Ever Seen Before'". The Huffington Post. May 3, 2014.
  3. ^ "15 Most Expensive To Produce Netflix Original Series (& How Much They Cost To Make)". ScreenRant. 2020-09-01. Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  4. ^ "'Narcos' Sets Season 2 Premiere Date". Deadline Hollywood. June 13, 2016.
  5. ^ "Netflix's Pablo Escobar Drama Adds 'Hatfields' Alum (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. June 5, 2014.
  6. ^ Ge, Linda. "Netflix's 'Narcos' Casts Joanna Christie — Star of Tony-Winning 'Once' (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Harvey, Chris (August 1, 2015). "The terrible reign of cocaine king Pablo Escobar". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  8. ^ "Maurice Compte boards the Netflix series Narcos". Digital Spy. October 10, 2014.
  9. ^ "Entrevista exclusiva con la nueva chica Bond mexicana". Publimetro (in Spanish). Metro International. March 12, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2015. Hago a Valeria Velez, un personaje distinto basado en la amante de Pablo Escobar, Virginia Vallejo, un personaje importante en Colombia
  10. ^ "Stephanie Sigman Joins Netflix Series 'Narcos'". Variety. July 20, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "'Narcos' Netflix Casting: Ana De La Reguera, 'The Book Of Life' Actress, Joins Cast". Latin Times. October 9, 2014.
  12. ^ Guryney, Kyra (5 December 2014). "Top 10 Tales from Pablo Escobar's Son's Book". InsightCrime.
  13. ^ Bowden, Mark (November 26, 2000). "A Former Ally Offers A Profile Of Escobar". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  14. ^ "Narcos: Season 1 (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  15. ^ "Narcos". Metacritic. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  16. ^ Chris Wheatley (August 27, 2015). "Narcos: Season 1 Review". IGN. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  17. ^ Tirdad Derakhshani (August 27, 2015). "Narcos: Season 1 Review". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  18. ^ Robert Rorke (August 28, 2015). "Cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar laid bare in 'Narcos'". New York Post. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  19. ^ Joshua Alston (August 28, 2015). "Netflix's drug-war drama Narcos gives summer television a generous bump". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  20. ^ Tim Goodman (August 19, 2015). "'Narcos': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  21. ^ Nancy deWolf Smith (August 28, 2015). "Easy to get hooked on Netflix's drug drama 'Narcos'". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  22. ^ Neil Genzlinger (August 28, 2015). "Review: 'Narcos' Follows the Rise and Reign of Pablo Escobar". The New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  23. ^ David Wiegand (August 26, 2015). "Get hooked on Netflix's compelling drug war saga". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  24. ^ TV Review: ‘Narcos’ (August 18, 2015). "Get hooked on Netflix's compelling drug war saga". Variety. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  25. ^ Mary McNamara (August 26, 2015). "Netflix's 'Narcos' plays up Pablo Escobar's menace and magnetism". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  26. ^ David Hinckley (August 26, 2015). "'Narcos' review: Realistic look at 1990s drug lord Pablo Escobar and his pursuer on Netflix". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  27. ^ Josh Bell (August 26, 2015). "The Grug War gets a superficial dramatization in Narcos". IndieWire. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  28. ^ Josh Bell (August 26, 2015). "The Grug War gets a superficial dramatization in Narcos". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  29. ^ "2016 Writers Guild Awards Winners & Nominees". Writers Guild of America. Archived from the original on April 24, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  30. ^ Moraski, Lauren (December 10, 2015). "Golden Globe Awards 2016 nominees list". CBS News. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  31. ^ Lazarus, Susanna (8 May 2016). "BAFTA Television Awards 2016 – winners in full". Radio Times. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  32. ^ "Narcos - Awards - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  33. ^ Prudom, Laura (July 14, 2016). "Creative Arts Emmy Awards Winners: 'Game Of Thrones' Leads Way On Night 1". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.

External linksEdit