Pi News –
Motherhood is hard. Balancing work and childcare and the emotional and mental burden of running a household—a traditionally “feminine” job that often falls to women—can seem impossible.
As the leader of a drug cartel, these stressors are even greater because the stakes are much higher when your only option is to kill or be killed. At least that’s what Netflix’s new limited series Griselda backs up.
Gender is a central theme in the six-episode series, starring Sofia Vergara in the fictional dramatization of Griselda Blanco, the Colombian drug lord who created one of the most powerful drug cartels in history in Miami in the 1970s and ’80s. Motherhood is central to the series and attempts to add emotional complexity to Vergara’s character.
“Griselda” uses sexism and motherhood to make Griselda a more palatable anti-hero for the audience and an icon for her devotees – “protecting” vulnerable prostitutes and immigrants as a “godmother” by providing them with money and work. hope However, as the series progresses, the viewer finds the same pervert looking for a druggie to show the other drug lords that she is more than a “girlfriend”, “housewife” or “headache”. it is clear that he fell into a rabbit. Hole as Griselda’s assistants.
The first episode opens with Pablo Escobar saying – “The only man I was afraid of was a woman named Griselda Blanco” – before Griselda is seen stumbling into her dark home, dropping her purse on the front desk and limping away. climbing the stairs quickly. It’s clear from his heavy breathing and shaking and bloodied hands that he’s been through something traumatic.
After bandaging her bleeding stomach, she calls a woman named Carmen (Vanessa Ferlito) to tell her that something has happened to her husband Alberto (Alberto Ammann) and she needs a favor. Tomorrow he leaves Colombia with his three children and must stay in Carmen’s small living room until he figures out what to do next.
Griselda’s “courtesy” is really a request because she doesn’t give Carmen the chance to refuse. Within the first three minutes of the show, Griselda seems to be taking what she deems necessary to protect her children. As a viewer without context, not knowing what happened to Alberto and why he was running, I tried to escape.
But it’s a misrepresentation to portray Griselda as a single mother who turns to a life of crime to protect her children, even without knowledge of the horrific violence she commands and oversees in real life during Miami’s drug wars. it will quickly become clear that. He was already involved in the drug trade with Alberto in New York.
When Carmen offers Griselda a chance to start over, working at a travel agency, Griselda is reluctant. To paraphrase Carmen’s character, she “leaves a person, not a life.”
Griselda is not Nancy Botwin from Weeds, or Beth Boland, Ruby Hill, or Annie Marks from Good Girls. Crime is not a “last resort” or an alien world. This is the only life he knows. He has already indulged in the dangerous lifestyle that attracts those female leads.
He doesn’t want to answer the phones at the travel agency; he wants to find someone to buy the uncut kilos of cocaine he brought into the country in his son’s suitcase.
“As a woman, I was amazed at how he became more brutal and more terrifying than any man,” Vergara told CBS Sunday Morning.
This is the true story of Griselda.
The real Griselda is said to have ordered the killing of hundreds of people, and while the show doesn’t shy away from the gruesome power struggles, drive-bys, and paranoid murders of his reign, the body count is far lower than real-life estimates. (Blanco’s family is suing Vergara and Netflix for using their likeness without proper permission.)
For most Netflix series, these murders also come at a moral cost. They are necessary for Vergara to gain the respect and power she needs to protect her family – both her biological children and her employees.
And that protection comes at a price. This is highlighted through the correlation between parenting and violence. Griselda’s third son usually appears on screen holding a teddy bear or watching TV after ordering someone to die.
Vergara’s acting shines in this balancing act between mother and monster, but the character development itself is questionable. I will never believe that Griselda is anything but a terrible mother, or that her actions are anything but selfish for money and power.
Instead, I wish more time had been devoted to the dichotomy between Griselda and June (Juliana Aiden Martinez), one of the detectives investigating her case. Together, they are different sides of the same coin – worthless mothers fighting sexism at work – one simply fighting crime, the other promoting it.
But the show isn’t ready to give Griselda enough power to become a true cat-and-mouse tale, even if expanding that storyline would have added the necessary level of depth and emotional resonance. It would also have taken the burden off Vergara to carry the whole show, which she successfully does, but to the detriment of the series.
While Vergara’s performance steals the show, I wish the series had leaned more towards its fantastical dramatization. Adding depth depends on her femininity and motherhood, but doesn’t allow these elements to work well enough. It feels contrived, like that weird “Godmother” hand gesture that Vergara does over and over again with one of her many, many cigars.
Ultimately, being a mother and having children to support becomes a tired excuse, and by the end of six episodes, I was as tired of Griselda as her children.