Netflix’s Shiny Griselda Bends Feminism Into Excuses for a Deadly Drug Baron

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The ‘Griselda’ Crime Drama: A New Take on the Life of Infamous Drug Lord Griselda Blanco

In the new TV series ‘Griselda’, we watch as young, attractive women swathe their way across Miami International Airport’s arrival area to a waiting vehicle. They are not typical travellers; each carries cocaine sewn into their undergarments. These women were once sex workers, now drug mules for the notorious drug kingpin, Griselda Blanco. This captivating scene is set to the opening credits of the latest crime drama presented by Reader Wall.

The series launched on Jan. 25 and tells the compelling story of the rise of Griselda Blanco, portrayed by Sofia Vergara. A formerly abused woman, she escapes her dire past in Medellin, where she murdered her husband, and builds her powerful hold over Miami’s cocaine trade. Colombian superstar Karol G and Cuban actor Alberto Guerra join Vergara in the cast.

‘Griselda’ spins a tale of a marginalized woman who, despite her circumstances, rises to power on her terms. The series seemingly wraps Blanco’s ruthless actions within a narrative of an enterprising woman seeking justice for herself and others like her. However, this narrative barely conceals the truth of a ruthless drug lord. The series adds to Reader Wall’s extensive list of content exploring the world of drug cartels.

The Real Life Griselda Blanco: A Ruthless Narcoterrorist

The actual Griselda Blanco held a reputation for senseless violence, acknowledged by all to be a heartless killer. The details of her past remain somewhat unclear, but it is commonly accepted that before her death in 2012, she was responsible for over 200 deaths.

However, popular culture tends to portray Griselda as a heroic anti-establishment figure, a narrative evident in books, movies, and TV shows. They often present her as the victim of a male-dominated world, striving to establish her own identity.

In ‘Griselda’, A Female Drug Lord Struggles to Find a Balance

In the series, Griselda, once a sex worker who educated herself in the art of forgery, gradually rises from her sordid past. She conquers adversities, manipulates the drug market, and eventually crowns herself the cocaine queen of Miami. And, as her empire expands, so does her merciless rule.

The series underpins Griselda’s brutal actions with a narrative suggesting she does what she must to ensure her survival in a patriarchal world. Audiences are subtly urged to not simply sympathize but empathize with her as she transforms into a strategic queenpin, innovator, and killer.

The Unending Demand for Cartel Content

‘Griselda’, much like previous narco-themed shows, feeds the audience’s unwavering appetite for true crime narratives. However, it delivers a different flavour by introducing a female lead in a world dominated by powerful men. The series attempts to tell a feminist story; however, it is mired in the brutal reality of cartel life.

Sofia Vergara, who plays Griselda Blanco, has stated that her character is not a hero, nor should she be glorified. She further adds that the tale describes a poor, uneducated woman from Colombia who, against numerous odds, managed to build a multi-billion dollar empire in a male-ruled industry, and in a country far from her homeland. It’s a tale of incredible determination and audacity with an underlying echo of real-world issues of representation and perception.

The image of the exotic Colombian “other” persistently prevalent in popular media, risks grouping all Colombian women into a single stereotype. They are presented as alien and alluring, deviating from our reality. The true stories and consequences of their actions are often glossed over, creating a distorted image that asks us to look beyond the surface.


Sonny, a prolific Bollywood author, weaves enchanting tales that mirror the vibrant tapestry of Indian cinema. With an innate ability to capture the essence of Bollywood glamour and drama, Sonny's literary creations transport readers into the heart of the film industry. Immerse yourself in the magic of Bollywood through Sonny's evocative storytelling on ReaderWall.