BELASCOARÁN, PI on Netflix is a new crime-thriller-comedy hybrid series with three episodes. Each episode is feature film length and focuses on an independent detective solving crime in 1970s Mexico City. Read our Belascoarán, PI series review here!
BELASCOARÁN, PI is a new Netflix series from Mexico. The genres are crime, thriller, mystery, and comedy, so it’s quite the hybrid. Both in style and pace, it’s not unlike the Swedish Netflix series Clark or the German Netflix series Kleo. All while still being very much its own story!
There are three episodes in this season and every episode is more than one hour long. That means it is effectively feature film length, but the stories can carry this runtime, so it makes sense.
Continue reading our Belascoarán, PI series review below. All three episodes are on Netflix from October 12, 2022.
Crime in Mexico City in the 1970s
Each episode of Belascoarán, PI focuses on the title character trying to solve shocking and brutal criminal cases in 1970s Mexico City. Héctor Belascoarán is very unhappy in both his marriage and a corporate job when the story begins.
Fortunately, his smile appears the second he quits his job and decides to divorce his wife. He moves into a small and very crappy apartment (from having a nice house), but he is now clearly happy.
The next step is becoming an Independent Detective. Interestingly, he underlines this focus in episode 1 by saying “Not a Private Detective, an Independent Detective”. However, the PI in the title is usually short for “Private Investigator”, so that’s a little tongue-in-cheek detail.
A very likable main character
From the very beginning, we hear the detective himself narrating the story playing out in Belascoarán, PI. He is clumsy but tends to know (or talk to) the right people to keep moving forward in solving the criminal case, he’s delved into.
Also, he comments quite a lot about the police in Mexico City, which are clearly very corrupt.
While Belascoarán (his full name is Héctor Belascoarán Shayne) is trying to make a name for himself by solving these cases, he also believes himself to be a hero and a savior. However, he is always very aware that he isn’t alone. He works with those around him and asks for help when he needs it.
In the title role of Héctor Belascoarán, we see Luis Gerardo Méndez. An actor you might recognize from Narcos: México or even the very successful Netflix movie Murder Mystery (2019). Luis Gerardo Méndez also plays one of the lead roles in the Paramount+ series The Envoys which we’ve reviewed here >
Key supporting characters are portrayed by Paulina Gaitan (Diablo Guardián), Silverio Palacios, Irene Azuela, and Mildred Motta.
Watch all three episodes of Belascoarán, PI on Netflix now!
The directors of these three episodes are Gonzalo Amat (cinematographer on Under the Banner of Heaven),
Ernesto Contreras (the Netflix El Chapo series), and Hiromi Kamata (the Showtime series Let the Right One In, The Envoys). The writers are Aura García-Junco, Augusto Mendoza (Diablero), and Rodrigo Santos.
The Netflix series is based on detective novels by author Paco Ignacio Taibo II. Another, very informal, name for Paco Ignacio Taibo II is simply “PIT”. He is a Spanish-Mexican writer and political activist based in Mexico City. Both his Spanish origin and political focus are evident in this story, but entirely in a positive way!
If you’re looking for a crime-thriller series with both comedy and mystery, then this just might be one of the best new things on Netflix. Be sure to check it out!
Belascoarán, PI is out on Netflix from October 12, 2022.
Directors: Gonzalo Amat, Ernesto Contreras, Hiromi Kamata
Writers: Aura García-Junco, Augusto Mendoza, Rodrigo Santos
Cast: Luis Gerardo Méndez, Paulina Gaitán, Irene Azuela, Macarena García Romero, Francisco Calvillo, Silverio Palacios, Mildred Motta
Héctor leaves his corporate job and humdrum marriage to become a detective. His first case? Hunting down a serial killer in 1970s Mexico City.