I'd heard from reading on some streaming review sites that this show was great, or at least worth streaming, so imagine my surprise when I watched the first season and my mouth gaped wide open. Braga is good, but what a shame! The writing and production values are very USA cable channel. The stories are discombobulated messes. There is no cinematography to speak of, as sometimes it looks like a student did it. Braga is the ONLY reason I gave it the score I did, and I still feel like I lied on some of the individual episodes scores. The set design looks like they bought every tacky fuzzy picture and white leather sofa from wherever this is filmed. The weirdness doesn't stop. You see Braga in the future talking to Braga now as she's being raped. And the soundtrack makes me want to scream!
But here's what bothered me the most. I'm not of Mexican Heritage, but if I were I'd be pissed. Heck I'm still pissed. The writers use every bad, horrific trope possible about Mexicans and the cartel. I have a friend from Mexico who despises the show and I can fully understand why. It's INSULTING. I halfway expected Trump to come at the end and say,"See? Murderers, Rapists and Bad Hombres!" I'm not kidding. Not even. Except for Braga and Falcón, who I suppose you could say break the "glass ceiling" by representing women as leaders in a cartel, there is absolutely no redeeming character in this show. The writers haven't tried to make the audience care about a single one. Like every bad B movie, there is no caring about anyone so if they die they die. Who cares? I can see a bunch of white guy writers (I don't know if there's a woman writer but if so, for shame!) sitting around a table pulling every single bad Mexican trope out, swishing them around and trying to put filler in to create an episode. And if I were Mexican I'd be very disappointed. This is perfect for every racist person against Mexicans to watch. This is NOT the show to represent the beautiful Mexican culture at this time. At all. What further worries me is that a fine Mexican Actor, Alfonso Herrera, is joining the cast for Season 3. Herrera, of Sense 8 and recently in the wonderful series no one watched but SHOULD HAVE, The Exorcist, is a thoughtful, talented actor. As Fr Tomás Ortega in The Exorcist he brought the best of Mexican culture, as well as a heartfelt performance for which he won several awards. I'm praying that his presence will up the ante but with USA network and its limited budget, I don't know if he will help or, like Braga and Falcón, simply become one more bad hombre. I love television but this is why I don't usually like cable or even most network shows. Why Netflix picked this one to air, I have no idea. But I apologize to my Mexican friend. Now I wish I'd gone with my first instinct and given it a 1/10. It tries but not too hard to be something it's not. No Country for Old Men was a great movie but it had a meaningful point. This show does not. It falls flat and insults an entire country that has a longer history than ours.