Griselda | Show review
The team behind hit Netflix series Narcos turn their attention from Pablo Escobar to another formidable drug lord by the name of Griselda Blanco in the new six-part miniseries Griselda. Known as The Cocaine Godmother, Blanco established her own criminal empire in Miami in the late 1970s, cementing herself as one of the more infamous figures within the criminal underbelly. Although this series takes plenty of creative liberties when bringing Griselda’s story to life, the show is nevertheless an enthralling and stylish drama that will have viewers hooked from the start.
The first episode begins with Griselda (a flawless Sofia Vergara) hurriedly taking her children and fleeing Medellín, Columbia to start a new life in Florida where the family is taken in by Carmen (Vanessa Ferlito), one of Griselda’s old friends who fled the cartel years prior. However, Griselda has also taken a stolen kilo of cocaine with her, which she plans to sell to get the money to buy a place of her own. But things don’t go as simply as planned, and soon Griselda is carving out her own drug empire.
Vergara is nothing short of excellent as the eponymous character: she takes control of every scene, with her charismatic performance ensuring that viewers stay hooked on her every word. Equally as diverting as Vergara’s wonderful stint is the show’s pulpy action. Acting as a grizzly counterpoint to the sunshine, drug-fuelled parties and upbeat pop music that make up this series’ aesthetic, there’s plenty of bloody-drenched entertainment to be had from Griselda too. Especially with a tightly written plot that never goes too long without a flashy set piece, it’s difficult not to become swept up in the violence.
Griselda is more than another violent crime drama, it’s also a feminist underdog tale. Griselda is constantly underestimated by both the male criminals and police investigators, who all believe that she’s incapable of being anything other than a housewife. Likewise, June (Juliana Aidén Martinez), a police officer, is constantly the butt of sexist office jokes, with nobody taking her theories seriously. The script highlights the sexism of the time without overstating these themes to add some extra meat to proceedings.
Although events have been heavily fictionalised, Griselda is a gloriously entertaining watch that’s made all the better by Vergara’s powerhouse performance as the titular crime boss.
Griselda is released on Netflix on 26th January 2024.
Watch the trailer for Griselda here: