This is a 20 episode documentary of the downfall of Pablo Escobar, who was one of the world’s richest men and one of the originators of the Columbian drug cartels beginning in the 1970’s. The Netflix episodes don’t go into the beginnings, operations, and “good times” of Escobar’s operation, called the Medellin Cartel, but rather its downfall and the excruciating and treacherous operations by the Columbian government, aided by the American DEA, to capture and eventually kill him.
Subtitle haters, like I am, will probably find this series disconcerting, as a good portion of the dialog is in Spanish with English subtitles. But, be heartened by the fact that about a third of the dialog is in English when America’s DEA agents, ambassadors and others are involved. Once you’re acclimated to this, it flows nicely.
Netflix admits they may have embellished the true facts somewhat with their admission: “This dramatization is inspired by true events. However, certain scenes, characters, names, businesses, incidents, locations, and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes.” For instance, his wife’s real name was (and maybe still is) Maria Henao, but she’s depicted as “Tata” in the series. But, who cares. It’s entertainment, not academics, we’re after when spending 50 minutes per episode (about 17 hours) watching an enjoyable rendition of an amazing historical event. Definite “yes”.