Netflix Releases NARCOS Spin-Off GRISELDA

Netflix Releases NARCOS Spin-Off GRISELDA

Netflix recently released a spin-off of the company’s successful crime drama, Narcos— Griselda. Starring Modern Family alum Sofia Vergara, the series follows the life and deathly ambitions of Griselda Blanco, a drug lord reigning in 1970s Miami. Griselda coincides with a slew of new content on the streaming platform, including the return of franchises like John Wick and Mamma Mia! as well as new Netflix Original content, such as the eighth season of Queer Eye and Dan Levy’s dramedy film Good Grief.

While dubbed a Narcos spinoff, however, the series’ creators have noted that Griselda’s story takes place in a different universe. Narcos also has other spinoffs, including Narcos: Mexico, which is set in the 1980s and brings back characters from the original series. There is also a video game spinoff of the series called Narcos: Cartel Wars Unlimited, which is free to play and exclusively available to Netflix subscribers.

Griselda’s leading lady

When promotional material of the series first came out, what struck audiences was the surprising casting of comedy actress Sofia Vergara. Prior to taking on the role of the titular Colombian druglord, Vergara was most known for her role as the boisterous Gloria Delgado/Pritchett in the long-running ensemble comedy Modern Family — which Australian viewers can access on Foxtel, along with other new and old series, including Mrs America, The Great British Bake Off, and the latest seasons of The Walking Dead.

So far, Sofia Vergara has garnered praise and surprise from viewers and critics for her performance as the ruthless Griselda Blanco. Unlike her typically glamorous and modern look, Griselda’s dramatised take on the real drug lord sees Vergara wearing costume, hair, and makeup that make her unrecognisable. To add depth to her performance, Vergara wears a prosthetic nose and fake teeth throughout the series. The series also committed to the gritty 1970s Miami setting, giving Vergara the thin 70s eyebrows and her signature burgundy lip colours.

Griselda’s promotional campaigns

As is the case with most of Netflix’s offerings, Griselda saw its share of marketing hits and misses. Aside from Sofia Vergara’s visual transformation, acclaimed performance, and the gripping real-life story the series is based on, Griselda found different ways to market itself with varying degrees of success.

One of the better examples is a great partnership between leading lady Vergara and globally known eyewear brand Foster Grant. Together, the pair released a line of limited edition Foster Grant sunglasses that launched on the same day as the series. Staying true to its source material, the Sofia Vergara x Foster Grant collaboration introduced four limited edition shades inspired by 70s and 80s retro. This means oversized lenses and funky gradients, from the aviator-shaped New Navigator to the visor-like Serious Shield.

Fans of the show can also immerse themselves in the world of Griselda’s femme fatale, drugs, and 70s flair by streaming Griselda’s official playlist on Spotify — a three-hour-long curation of music from and inspired by the series, which includes Donna Summer, Gloria Estefan, and music from Miami Vice.

On the other hand, some of the show’s other promotional campaigns were met with less excitement. A video posted by Netflix France on social media platforms X and TikTok shows a truck driving around some Parisian streets, hoovering up big white lines. After reported user backlash, the video has since been removed from both platforms, with viewers mocking its not-very-subtle approach to marketing the series. To be fair, a few users did note its effectiveness.

Regardless, if the critics’ hype and appreciation for the show and Vergara’s performance so far is anything to go by, then any damage the French cocaine truck may have done may be overestimated.

AccessReel is the Western Australian movie-lovers website.