GRISELDA on Netflix is a new true crime series focusing on a real person: Griselda Blanco. She’s portrayed with grit and passion by Sofía Vergara. Read our full Griselda series review here!
GRISELDA is a new Netflix series in the crime and biography genres as it’s all about a real person. A fictionalized version and dramatization of multiple events, but still very much inspired by real life.
This series is all about the life and actions of the ruthless woman narco: Griselda Blanco. She’s portrayed perfectly by Modern Family‘s Sofía Vergara, who undergoes a huge transformation over the six episodes in the series. We’ve watched them all for this review.
Continue reading our Griselda series review below. Find it on Netflix from January 25, 2024.
A Woman Narco ruled Miami
The fact that Griselda Blanco was a “Woman Narco” is a big deal. This was what allowed her to stay under the radar for a long time. Too long! Simply because no one in law enforcement could believe a woman was behind all the crime, violence, and death.
Or rather, anyone who dared even suggest that it could be a woman was ridiculed and shunned from investigations into these exact crimes.
In this Netflix crime series, the Woman Narco is, at first, played by Sofía Vergara as almost charming and likable. Even more than feels appropriate really, but it makes sense as she’s trying to win over people and ground.
Before we get to the last couple of episodes, her brutal and ruthless nature is obvious. Of course, she is also reacting to what has been done to her by the competition.
In that sense, it’s like The Godfather and she is appropriately called “The Godmother” or “La Madrina” in Spanish.
For your own sake, avoid spoilers
You may already know much about the history of drug cartels and the crimes around them in the 1970s and 1980s in Miami. However, if – like the vast majority – you do not, then avoid reading up on any of it until after you’ve watched all six episodes.
You’ll only be robbing yourself of truly getting the nuances of how some deaths and double-crossing happen in this fictionalized dramatization inspired by Griselda Blanco’s life.
And she was one amazing (in a scary and powerful way) woman, who created one of the most powerful cartels in history. The setting in Miami during the 70s and 80s makes for a perfect backdrop as it feels very organic and realistic.
Also, a lot of Spanish is spoken in Griselda and I love this series for that. It’s always so silly when two Spanish-speaking people are shown talking with one another in English.
Why would they?! Well, they wouldn’t, and in Griselda, they don’t.
SofíaVergara is Griselda Blanco
Not only does SofíaVergara star as the title character, but she is also an executive producer on Griselda. As she should be. Portraying a real-life person like Griselda Blanco, at this point in her career, it would be wrong if she wasn’t also producing.
As Griselda Blanco, Sofía Vergara is a force of nature. Sure, she is somewhat unrecognizable with prosthetics on her face and a very different set of teeth, but her star power shines through.
Much like I suspect the real person had presence and was a force of nature in her field.
Admittedly, I wasn’t always a fan of the make-up (or prosthetics, to be precise) as this would distract me when the color match or glue was a bit too obvious. Still, this takes nothing away from Sofía Vergara, who was stellar in every single episode!
Along with Sofía Vergara, there is an excellent supporting cast.
This includes Alberto Guerra (Ingobernable) as Dario, Christian Tappan (Primate) as Arturo, Maximiliano Hernández as Papo Mejia, Martín Rodríguez as Rivi, and Vanessa Ferlito (NCIS: New Orleans) as Carmen.
Also, I have to highlight Juliana Aidén Martinez as the police detective June Hawkins, who keeps trying to bring everyone’s attention to the possibility of a female narco. Juliana Aidén Martinez ensures that she carries herself with dignity.
Watch the Griselda series on Netflix!
The series is co-created by Doug Miro & Ingrid Escajeda (who also served as co-showrunners), and Carlo Bernard. Also, there are many writers on this Netflix series, but with a fictionalized true crime story, there is a lot to cover.
With six hour-long episodes, there is plenty of time to tell this story, but it never feels too slow or has a lull in the storytelling. I was intrigued and even enthralled. Sort of like watching a trainwreck evolve in slow motion.
Do not miss out on this one if you’re a fan of the Narcos series. Or if you enjoy true crime and biography stories. This one has it all… and then some with Sofía Vergara.
Griselda is on Netflix globally from January 25, 2024.
Creators: Eric Newman, Andrés Baiz
Director: Andrés Baiz
Stars: Sofía Vergara, Alberto Guerra, Juliana Aidén Martinez, Christian Tappan, Maximiliano Hernández, Martín Rodríguez, Vanessa Ferlito
Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatization shows Griselda Blanco’s journey from Medellín to becoming “the Godmother” of Miami’s drug empire.