Tweaked on blow: The most addictive cocaine-themed TV shows and movies
The new series from the team behind hit Euro crime-drama Gomorrah underway titled ZeroZeroZero stars Andrea Riseborough (Birdman), Dane DeHaan (A Cure for Wellness), and Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects). The project is nothing short of ambitious, filming for eight months in six different countries.
The story is based on Roberto Saviano’s book of the same name about international cocaine trafficking and its economic and political effects, charting family dynamics, corrupt businessmen, Mexican cartels, and the ‘Ndrangheta (Calabrian mafia).
Sounds like we could have another bingeworthy drug trade show on our hands (a la Narcos), although with eight months of filming, it’s gonna be a long old wait till it hits our screens. Until then, here’s a ranking of the most addictive TV shows and movies about the world’s most popular banned narcotic, cocaine.
El Chapo (2017 – )
The Netflix drama show explores the life story of one of the world’s most notorious criminals – Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman – over a span of three decades, from his early days working for the Guadalajara Cartel to his rise to the top, and (as is the case with all of these stories) his eventual downfall in 2016.
Snowfall (2017 – )
John Singleton’s show centers around the 80s African-American LA suburb of Compton as it’s about to be struck by a wave of violence and death in the form of a crack cocaine epidemic. The narrative might struggle a little with pacing, but those who stick with it are rewarded with a compelling, impactful drama.
Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd) and Penélope Cruz’s performances lift this true story about George Jung – the drug trafficker and smuggler who was a major player in the cocaine trade in 70s and 80s US and was a member of the Medellín Cartel, headed by Pablo Escobar. The story dramatizes his rise and fall, which is as dramatic as the ups and downs of a coke binge.
Narcos (2015 – )
As one of the most bingeworthy Netflix shows to have hit our screens in recent times, Narcos chronicles the criminal exploits of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, as well as the many other drug kingpins who terrorized the country over the years.
We love a bit of Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies, and Videotape). In his 2000 crime thriller, the innovative director perfectly highlighted the pointlessness of America’s drug debate, focusing on a conservative judge who is appointed by the President to spearhead America’s escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict.
Boogie Nights (1997)
Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic portrait of the adult film industry underbelly tells the story of a young man named Adam’s (a.k.a. Dirk Diggler) and his misadventures in the Californian pornography industry of the late 70s and early 80s – a time and place where sex was “safe”, pleasure was a booming business, and drugs and disco were in Vogue. However, the Diggler’s dreams of turning sex into stardom soon cross the white line.
There’s no denying Martin Scorsese‘s gangster crime film is a modern classic, telling the story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito. The film is a satire on the American dream and has snuck up over the years to be hailed as one of Scorsese’s best films.
We know hearing “say hello to my little friend” has been said more times than a coke addict’s uttered “I’ll quit tomorrow,” but there’s a reason for its widespread success – Brian De Palma’s defining gangster film is a timeless classic. The movie was and still is famed for Al Pacino’s over-the-top portrayal of Cuban-born kingpin Tony Montana, whose face has graced the walls of college dorm rooms for well over three decades now.
Bonus show: Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine (2017 – )
As much as the title would suggest, this show isn’t just footage of the screaming celebrity chef getting tweaked to fuck on cocaine. In fact, the unlikely documentary sees Ramsey delve into the global cocaine trade and visit Colombia to explore the world’s biggest producer of cocaine. Unexpected? Yes. But it’s weirdly entertaining and pretty damn informative – trust us.