Queen of the South: 5 shows to watch if you like Queen of the South

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USA Network series Queen of the South tells the tale of Teresa Mendoza (played by Alice Braga), who is forced to go on the run from a Mexican drug cartel. However, Teresa moves from a survivor to a position of power as she starts up her own drug cartel and ensures she’s never attacked again. There is a plethora of programmes out there which are worth watching if you’re looking for something to fill the void until season five of Queen of the South.

5 shows to watch if you like Queen of the South

1. Narcos & Narcos: Mexico

Netflix’s Spanish-language series Narcos and its sister-show Narcos: Mexico are well worth the watch, depicting the real-life drugs wars south of the border between notorious cartels and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Narcos focuses on the rise of Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) and Colombia’s Cali Cartel, while its sister series explores the beginnings of the drugs war in Mexico with kingpin Félix Gallardo (Diego Luna) and the Sinaloa Cartel.

The critically acclaimed shows draw on real-life figures and events in the ofttimes bloody and brutal world of illicit drug trading and trafficking.

Interestingly, the real-life cartel leader Sandra Ávila Beltrán is thought to have inspired the character of Isabella Bautista (Teresa Ruiz) in Narcos: Mexico as well as La Reina del Sur author Arturo Pérez-Reverte, whose novel led to Queen of the South.

Where to watch: Netflix


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2. Peaky Blinders

Birmingham gangster show Peaky Blinders has won legions of fans around the globe thanks to its tightly woven plots and stellar cast led by Hollywood A-lister Cillian Murphy.

The series is based on the real-life Peaky Blinders gang but takes a fictional route via Brummie native Steven Knight’s brilliantly unpredictable scripts.

Peaky Blinders is going strong and sees the Shelby family rising out of its humble working-class roots to becoming major players and even entering the political sphere.

Interestingly, Queen of the South actress Braga has even drawn comparisons between Teresa and Murphy’s mob boss Tommy Shelby.

Where to watch: BBC iPlayer/Netflix

3. Ozark

A different sort of gangster show, Ozark focuses on the middle-class Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) embarking on a life of crime and laundering money for the Navarro Cartel after getting caught up in some dodgy dealings.

The show has been compared to Breaking Bad with the central couple stuck between the cartel and the FBI as they try to keep their family safe and play both sides.

The show has won multiple Emmys and had a different flavour to the organised crime genre with its tonally and aesthetically dark take.

Ozark also offers up some superb social commentary on the wealth disparity in the region, which is seen as the ideal destination for those on Spring Break in the US.

Netflix has confirmed Ozark will be concluding with season four, which promises to bring the Byrdes’ tale to a spectacular end.

Where to watch: Netflix

4. Power

Contemporary gangster drama Power is set in New York and follows James “Ghost” St Patrick (Omari Hardwick), who is trying to go down the straight and narrow with limited success.

The Starz series sees Ghost trying to become legitimate, only to have his old life coming back to haunt him as the lure of fast money from selling drugs takes him back under.

Power saw the action set in New York and ran for six seasons and was originally brought to screens thanks to the efforts of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

The show has proved so popular, US network Starz has greenlit four spin-shows shows which will build on the universe created in the original series.

Where to watch: Netflix


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5. Sacred Games

Netflix’s first Indian Original series Sacred Games was an adaptation of Vikram Chandra’s epic novel of the same name.

Part-thriller, part-gangster tale, Sacred Games concentrates on police detective Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) who is racing against time to stop a catastrophic nuclear explosion which threatens to wipe out Mumbai.

However, the attack is inexplicably linked to Gopalmath godfather Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) with viewers slowly learning how the mob boss’ rise to power is connected.

Sacred Games weaves in religion, politics and history into this sprawling and engaging story.

Where to watch: Netflix

Other shows worth giving a try include Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul and La Reina del Sur, the Spanish version of Queen of the South which is closer to the source material than the American remake.

Mirzapur from Amazon Prime Video is another gangster series featuring the production of illegal firearms in India with all the hallmarks of the genre including dodgy cops, mercurial godfathers and deadly shootouts.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Queen of the South co-showrunner Dailyn Rodriguez reflected on the appeal of the genre.

She said: “I think they all have something in common that I think people respond to. I think Peaky Blinders is also one of those shows, Gomorrah. I think it’s people who come from nothing, sort of have to work outside the system.

“Ozark is a little bit different because he’s an educated guy who sort of falls into it. I think the people that surround him come from nothing and have to resort to crime violence to get out of their circumstances. I think people respond to that part of it.

“There’s always been a fascination with the gangsters. In the 20s it was bootleggers and the mob, there’s always been this fascination about people who have to work outside the system to gain their fortunes.”

Queen of the South season 4 is streaming on Netflix now

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