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Review: Griselda On Netflix

A Netflix poster of Sofia Vergara playing Griselda Blanco
Photo: Netflix
“The only man I was ever afraid of was a woman named Griselda Blanco.” - Pablo Escobar

Warning: contains spoilers!

That quote sums up the chokehold Griselda had on drug distribution in the 1970s from Colombia to Miami. Netflix knew what they were doing in sharing Grisleda’s life story, including her triumphant journey to becoming one of the biggest female drug lords as well as her life struggles: being in an abusive relationship, fleeing for her life with her sons, and starting a better life in Miami without any money or plans (well, maybe just one). It stars Sofía Vergara (who is also an executive producer) as the woman who would become the terrifying drug lord known as the Cocaine Godmother. It is the kind of bold, meaty, dramatic part that she has surely been craving after proving her comic chops in Modern Family. 

The first episode throws us in at the deep end. It shows Griselda being injured and gathering her three sons to flee her drug-dealing abusive husband in Medellin, Columbia, to move in with her trusted friend, Carmen, in Miami. Carmen made a similar desperate journey a few years ago. She takes them in and gives Griselda a job at her travel agency. However, Griselda flees with a kilo of cocaine to start her drug empire. 

The misogyny and sexism Grisedla endures as she tries to sell the kilo is not surprising, as the Colombian drug industry is dominated by powerful men who can kill any competition within seconds. There is a wholesome sense of sisterhood among the women she brings from Medellin who have stuffed three bras with cocaine to get through airport security. Griselda knows that she can trust and depend on these women by working alongside them in a brothel. Throughout this show, my jaw was on the ground. Sofia Vergara takes on the role of a powerful yet cunning woman who doesn’t take no for an answer; the result is simply a masterpiece.  

An interesting aspect of the show was the different types of sexism all of the women face once the business is up and running successfully. Griselda constantly gets her ideas shut down whenever she is in a male presence. The show paints her as a ‘loveless mother’ who completely neglects her children and only cares about becoming the biggest drug lord in Miami. How many times have you seen a drug-related TV series about a male whose only priority is also this yet he isn’t scrutinised the same way? You can clearly see she wants to give her children the best life possible and shut out the demons she has been traumatised by; making money by selling drugs is the only way she knows how to. 

Overall, the story of her rapid rise and fall was hugely enjoyable to watch, well-paced, and breathtaking to look at throughout. There isn't one weak performance in it and it functions as a well-deserved showcase for all that Sofia Vergara can do. 


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