The critical analysis of a television series covered in this paper involves an American crime thriller drama television show – Narcos. In precise, the paper focuses more closely on Season 3 of the show that covers the encounters of the DEA Agent Javier Pena in pursuit of the Cali Cartel. The years preceding the demise of Pablo Escobar – a period in which all security agencies in Colombia and the U.S. State Department, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and the entire U.S. Government focused on capturing Escobar, the Cali Cartel “the Gentlemen of the Cali” expanded their ‘narco’ business exponentially. This shows the business transforms into a multinational business worth over a billion dollars making them profoundly wealthy, ruthless, and difficult to deter and eliminate as a target. Thus, the paper explores measures and mechanisms applied in putting a stop to the Cali Cartel.
Criteria Used in the Analysis of the Series
Gender Bias. The depiction of gender bias is enormous in the television series with the male being dominantly featured. In episode 2, Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela takes a young beautiful woman as his following the order to kill her husband. As a male figure, Miguel is presented to possess the power to dictate the life of a woman without the control or capacity to resist. The entire show is male-dominated with the DEA agents and the criminals being controlled by men as the optimum power holders. The Cali Cartel comprises of Gilberto Rodriguez, Miguel Rodriguez, Jose “Chepe” Santacruz-Londono, and Helmer “Pacho” Herrera as the highest-ranking members of the Cali Cartel. The presentation of women is only in the night clubs and stripper clubs with the exception of Manuel de Dios Unanue – a Cuban-American journalist working to expose the Cali Cartel.
According to Zafar (2019) “male characters are typically shown to be more dominant in male-female interactions and in the television shows.” This confirms the gender bias that prevails in the Narcos television series where the role of women has been diminished to that of serving and satisfying the needs of the male figures. Thus, Narcos shows extensive levels of gender bias with approximately 95 percent of the show being characterized by male individuals as opposed to women.
Simplicity of Life
Johnson (2005) notes that in today’s world, “people just want to accept some very simple things and don’t want to think too much.” The Narcos series is contrary to this argument by all means. The simplicity of life does not exist in the show with everyone required to make serious thinking and decisions on everything they pursue to ensure their safety. For example, Jorge Salcedo in every aspect of working for the Cali Cartel is forced to make cautious decisions to protect his family. Ultimately, he informs the DEA agents Chris Feistl and Daniel Van Ness of the locations of Miguel putting his family in danger. Episode 6 becomes the epitome of taking a riskier position by helping the DEA and standing at risk of being exposed.
In episode 7 Pena is forced to create a secret operation to deal with levels of corruption that eroded every law enforcement agency in Colombia and politicians that give orders. At some point, President Ernesto Samper is subject to taking bribes which were contributed illegally to fund his election campaigns. Similarly, the U.S. government takes a blind eye allowing corruption to manifest in the entire system (Boehm & Sierra, 2015). In episode 10, DEA Agent Pena takes a serious stand against the U.S. Ambassador Arthur Cosby and the CIA controlling the narrative. The explosion caused by the exposure of the truth prompts a wide-scale riot that topples the president elect’s victory. Thus, it shows failure in maintaining the need for a simplified life.
Adherence of Distortion to Reality
From the analysis criteria used, the analysis of the television shows a tendency of both adherence and distortion to take the course. Gender bias is vastly portrayed with the male counterparts taking control of every sphere in life. The inclusion of female complements the set objectives as set for a fresh start. Both male and female key members of society and integral to its development. To curb the high-end corruption and mistreatment of women – empowerment is crucial. The simplicity of life fails to meet the threshold of the characterization as illustrated in the television series. Narcos is characterized by a wave of violence, corruption, money laundering, poverty, and the rotting of the government from the top (Echazu 2010). Thus, opens a new world of new possibilities and relations.
Conclusion: How Should the Audience Approach the Series
In conclusion, the audience should be ready to learn various aspects of life that affect them. Guiding people to avoid violence to overcome their fears is paramount to society. The pursuit of peace and commitment to new practices are important to the long-term well being of the society. Thus, parental guidance is essential to spread the necessary information, culture, and future of all individuals.