Somos. season 1 review – a haunting story showing the human cost of a drug cartel war

By Daniel Hart
Published: June 30, 2021
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Netflix series Somos season 1


The series strips away the intricacies of drug supply routes and the makeup of cartel pyramids and aims for the heart of the issue.

This review of Netflix’s Somos. season 1 does not contain spoilers — the crime drama was released on the streaming service on June 30, 2021.

With plenty of storytelling that debates the true cost of a drug cartel war, Somos. isn’t unique, however, its approach is welcomed. The series strips away the intricacies of drug supply routes and the makeup of cartel pyramids and aims for the heart of the issue.

Based on a true story, Somos. divulges into the impacts of a community. When we watch the likes of Narcos: Mexico, and ZeroZeroZero we never truly feel how gang warfare, mixed with surrounding authorities (like the DEA), has a resounding effect on the innocent. Crime series that flirt with the Mexican border tend to inadvertently platform the villains and their extensive flaws coupled with short-term power.

Somos. is a welcome introduction to the genre. It follows different lives in Allende, a Mexican border town with peace and community, but a powerful cartel operation skirting on edge, under the prying eyes of the DEA. It’s less about the success and the entanglement between criminals and authorities (and where the line is drawn between good and bad) and more about the sense of tragedy.

The true story is a tragedy, and the Netflix series does marvelously well to ramp up the tension with each chapter. As we become accustomed to the characters, with some naively innocent, while others morally corrupt, we can feel that dread coming. It highlights how communities can be easily ripped apart and how criminals and police can quickly become merged entities.

Somos. is not designed to be a character study, though it might have benefitted from some development. It’s the experience of the characters that are important. The story strays away from extensive dialogue and allows the scenarios to play out. Like all drug cartel stories, it takes a while to understand the root of the issue and the complex DEA investigation behind it, but once the pawns are in place, it becomes a worthwhile story.

At six chapters, Somos. is worth the time and investment. It truly understands the pain a community can face just by existing. It highlights how the war on drugs has created more harm than good. It’s mobilized unnecessary factions and battles. We sensationalize the drug war in film and TV, yet we always forget that there’s a human cost under it all. This series is a good attempt at encapsulating all that.

What did you think of Netflix’s Somos. season 1? Comment below.

Netflix, TV Reviews
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