Sofía Vergara Is a True Force to Be Reckoned with in Netflix’s ‘Griselda’

Here’s our honest review

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Many of us have gotten to know Sofía Vergara through the beloved sitcom Modern Family, where she brought the laughs as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, a confident, devoted housewife who is married to Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill) and the mother of two boys, Manny Delgado (Rico Rodriguez)​​ and Joe Pritchett (Jeremy Maguire). While the Colombian-born actress has been acting for decades, there's been one role in particular that she’s been dying to play: Griselda Blanco.

In a new interview with the LA Times, the 51-year-old actress discussed how she became fascinated with the female crime boss—who spearheaded her own cocaine trafficking business in Miami, Florida, from the late 1970s through the early 2000s—after watching the 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys and later reading an article detailing her rise to power. “I read every single book, every single article, every new note on the internet that came out. For many years, I read and read and read,” the actress shared with the publication.

And now, fans will get to see the Modern Family actress, best known for her comedic chops, portray the infamous drug lord. In the new Netflix limited series Griselda (which is now streaming), Vergara fully embodies the controversial figure and takes on a role unlike any she has played before in her career. 

Produced by Vergara and Eric Newman with Andrés Baiz serving as director (they were the brilliant minds behind Narcos and Narcos: Mexico), the six-episode series chronicles how the Colombian drug lord created one of the most infamous cartels in history. Though the miniseries features many new (and talented) faces, Vergara undoubtedly shines with her powerful, gripping performance as Blanco.

So, is the drama series worth the watch? Keep reading for an honest review.

What Is Griselda About?

The first episode takes viewers to Blanco’s residence in Medellín, Colombia, in 1978. With a stab wound to her stomach, she stumbles into her house and grabs a cloth to stop the bleeding. While there, she only has one thought on her mind: She must leave Colombia with her family.

So, in the middle of the night, she wakes up her three sons and tells them to pack their bags because they’re going to catch a one-way ticket to America (aka the “land of opportunities”). But when they finally land in Miami and head to stay with an old friend from Blanco’s past, she is ready to start over and leave the drug world behind her…or so we think. Stowed away in one of her son’s suitcases is a kilo of cocaine. And this is only the beginning of her story. The rest of the series centers around the making of her business and how she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make her dream a reality. Even if that means there is a slew of bodies in her wake. At the same time, the MPD (Miami Police Department) is hot on her trail with some incriminating evidence that even the “Cocaine Godmother” can’t escape.

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PureWow Review: 4.5 Out of 5 Stars

Griselda is such a gripping and entertaining watch from beginning to end. We know, we know, Blanco was a ruthless crime lord who committed horrific acts throughout her “drug reign.” But watching a female crime boss climb the ranks and create a successful drug business all on her own in a male-dominated world, especially in that line of work, is extremely interesting to watch. Even though the show is based on true events, nothing feels dry or slow. The series keeps a relatively good pace but also doesn’t feel rushed—a difficult feat with a one-season series featuring only a handful of 40-50 minute episodes.

Not only does Griselda show us the woman famously hailed as the “Black Widow” and “Cocaine Godmother,” but it also shows us the human behind the controversy. Yes, she was a terrifying drug lord who did some very, very bad things. But as the viewer, we get to know her beyond that, from being in an abusive relationship with her husband to when she works as a prostitute to make a living. 

With its talented cast and stellar writing, Blanco’s story is brought to life onscreen wonderfully in this retelling. But the real star of the show? It would obviously be Vergara. Sure, she’s made us laugh in movies like Chef and Hot Pursuit. But in this role, we truly get to see her show her range as an actress. 

Overall, Griselda will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time—yes, it’s that good. Even if you know very little about her, this series does an excellent job of telling her story. One note: This show does feature some gruesome and violent scenes, so it’s not an easy watch. But aside from that, it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re looking for an enticing drama series to add to your queue.

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Will There Be a Season 2 of Griselda?

Since this Netflix series is labeled as a limited series, we doubt that there will be a Griselda season 2. And the possibility of the show getting a future installment (or even a spinoff) is even less likely given that days before the series premiere on Netflix, TMZ reported that Griselda Blanco’s son, Michael, filed a lawsuit against the streaming service and Vergara, claiming that Netflix “[used] their images and likenesses without permission.” Controversial on and off screen it seems. We’ll be keeping an eye out for future updates.

Sofía Vergara Looks Completely Unrecognizable in Brand-New Photos for Netflix Series ‘Griselda’

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Assistant Editor, News And Entertainment

Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...