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Luckily, there are plenty of thrilling Mexican cartels and crime to tide us over. Here are some series to watch while we recover from 'Narcos' withdrawal.

Love ‘Narcos’? Deepen the obsession with these Mexican cartel shows

Narcos is a fascinating, well-written series about the world of drugs and crime. Unfortunately for us, there are only three seasons. While there’s Narcos: Mexico to tide us over, what do we do after we’ve finished these bingeworthy series? 

Luckily, there are plenty of thrilling cartel and crime series to tide us over. Here are some series to watch while we recover from Narcos withdrawal. 


If you’re looking for a series with fantastic writing and a compelling story, look no further than Ozark. Critically acclaimed and immaculately created, this Netflix series is a nonstop thrill ride.

Arrested Development’s Jason Bateman plays Marty Byrde, a financial advisor forced to turn to a life of crime after being threatened by a drug lord. Marty is forced to move his family from the urban landscape of Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks in order to appease the Mexican cartel. 

Ozark covers a different aspect of the drug world: money laundering. This seemingly humdrum subject is brought to vibrant life by Ozark’s stellar cast and scenes filled to the brim with tension. Not only is Bateman fantastic in his radical turn from comedy, but incredible performances from the great Laura Linney and the underrated young Julia Garner delight as well.

Ozark’s incredible writing is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat, waiting to find out what happens to the Byrde family. 

Queen of the South

Women can be drug lords, too, and Teresa Mendoza is a prime example. Queen of the South follows Mendoza as she rises in the business by building and ruling her own drug empire. After her cartel pilot boyfriend is murdered, Mendoza flees to the United States – but when she runs into someone from her past, she falls into the drug world and eventually becomes a crime boss of her own. 

Queen of the South starts with a bang and leaves you wanting more from this drama-filled series. With so many twists & turns, the journey of this female crime boss portrays her rise to independence and all the struggles to forge her own path within the business along the way. 

If you like Queen of the South, check out the telenovela La Reina del Sur (also available on Netflix) and the original novel they were based on by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. 

Miami Vice

Craving a bit of 80s nostalgia? Miami Vice is the perfect choice for you. From its extravagant fashions and modes of transportation, there’s so much to love about this seminal throwback. 

Exploring the illicit drug industry from the perspective of the police, this classic series follows Miami detectives James Crockett (Don Johnson) & Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) as they roam the crime-filled streets in Florida in their Ferraris and Corvettes.

Miami Vice possesses a cult following and went on to inspire so many crime and investigative series we know today. Its groundbreaking New Wave music and fashion color palette made it especially unique. Miami Vice is also known for its noir-inspired car rides and melancholic tone (despite the sunshine & pastels), making it one of the prime examples of neo-noir on television. 

If you like Miami Vice, be sure to check out Michael Mann’s film version of the series starring Colin Ferrell & Jamie Foxx. 

Drugs Inc.

This docuseries features a detailed look at the entire world of drugs from all over the USA. Produced by National Geographic, Drugs Inc. is sure to settle some questions you may have about the real-life workings of the business. 

Informative and engrossing, the series gives you a first-hand look into drug operations in different areas of the U.S. Drugs Inc. is a fascinating series that introduces you to actual drug lords, though they always have masks and voice modifiers for their protection. Because of the secrecy around its subjects, it’s exhilarating to experience such an intimate look at the criminal world.

Sons of Anarchy & Mayans M.C.

These two FX shows are filled with action & drama. Sons of Anarchy follows the inner workings of a biker gang in California as they deal with both legal & illegal businesses in order to make a buck. While it’s not exclusively about drugs, Sons of Anarchy provides a fascinating look at a criminal family’s relationships and profession.

Mayans M.C. is Sons of Anarchy’s spinoff series about a gang featured in Sons of Anarchy. IEZ Reyes (JD Pardo) makes his way south to the California-Mexico border, trying to make a name for himself after getting out of prison. 

These two series complement each other well in their absorbingly immersive takes on the criminal world.

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  • Great recommendations! Mostly fictional characters. See for the real lifestyles of the underworld.

    May 13, 2020

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