Netflix has started 2024 with a string of new shows making significant waves. First up we had the twisting thriller Fool Me Once, which was followed by a shocking true crime docuseries called American Nightmare. Now the latest Netflix show to generate some serious social media buzz is Griselda starring Sofía Vergara.
This biographical crime drama has already rocketed into the streamer’s most-watched list and less than a week after its debut, Griselda has already claimed the No.1 spot. That puts it above the two Netflix shows mentioned above as well as subscriber favorites such as Love on the Spectrum, Queer Eye and Young Sheldon.
Griselda isn’t just drawing the interest of viewers. The six-episode season has earned plenty of critical praise as well. So, if you’re thinking of adding Griselda to your watchlist, here’s everything you need to know about this new Netflix show.
What is Griselda about?
Recounting the life of notorious drug lord, Griselda Blanco, Netflix’s new show is an engrossing examination of how an ambitious Colombian businesswoman built one of the most profitable cartels in history and became known as “The Godmother”.
Initially turning to crime to provide for her family, Griselda (Vergara) quickly discovers a flair for wrongdoing, and becomes involved in all manner of illicit activities from smuggling and extortion, to more ruthless crimes like kidnapping and even murder.
With the unwavering support of her trusted right-hand man, Rivi (Martin Rodriguez), Griselda becomes an infamous crime boss. But the consequences of her illegal actions are looming in the background, and just as La Jefa (“The Boss”) seems unstoppable personal tragedies and the eyes of the law ensure that Griselda pays a heavy price for gaining power.
Griselda reviews — what do the critics say?
Griselda reviews have dropped now that the show is available to stream on Netflix, and the critical consensus appears to be pretty positive. Griselda currently holds a very good 88% on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. However, its audience score is a little lower at 76%, which is less impressive as viewers are typically kinder than professional critics.
Most critics were full of praise for Vergara, an actress who is typically known for her comedic roles but gets the chance to showcase her dramatic acting chops here. Empire’s Barry Levitt said “Vergara is such a force, delivering a character that’s both a complete terror and someone who can nurture with motherly love” and labeled her onscreen presence as “striking.”
Lucy Mangan of the Guardian called the show “so much fun” noting that it’s a “pulpy, stylish ride” but also cautioned that it’s “almost too entertaining, given the real-life suffering [Griselda] caused.” Mangan concluded that even with this slight disconnect the Netflix show is “hugely enjoyable, well paced and gorgeous to look at throughout.”
Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter had similar concerns about the show’s attempts to soften many of the real Griselda’s criminal actions but did praise Vergara’s performance: “As dramatically shoddy as Griselda increasingly becomes, Vergara keeps it watchable.”
Should you stream Griselda on Netflix?
Griselda is co-created by Eric Newman, who serves as showrunner for both Narcos and Narcos: Mexico, and all six episodes were directed by Andrés Baiz, who has helmed more than 15 episodes across the two Narcos series. So, if you’re a fan of Narcos, then Griselda is a must-watch.
If you enjoyed Sofía Vergara’s portrayal of loveable housewife Gloria Delgado-Pritchett for more than 10 years in the juggernaut ABC sitcom Modern Family, then Griselda is also worth adding to your watchlist. Vergara takes on a very different role in this crime drama, but it’s great to see the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actress display her versatility here.
Even if you’re not familiar with Narcos or Vergara’s previous works, Griselda is still a great watch for anybody craving an underdog story with a slightly sinister edge. With solid reviews and plenty of online buzz, expect this one to stick around the Netflix top 10 for a good while.
Alternatively, if Griselda doesn’t quite match your tastes, be sure to check our roundup of the best new shows to watch this week across the best streaming services. Or if you’re looking for a movie instead, we’ve also got a rundown of all the best new movies to stream right now.
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Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.