Now, when Narcos: Mexico has reached its end, we have decided to make an article about the best TV shows like the original Narcos and Narcos: Mexico, to give you something new to watch.
Netflix really made an amazing work with both Narcos and its sequel (spin-off) show Narcos: Mexico. We still hope they will continue with the show, maybe in some other country next. Until then, check out the best crime shows like the Netflix hits.
Best TV Shows Like Narcos & Narcos: Mexico
There were a lot of crime shows in the past, but we have decided on these 21 as a replacement for Narcos and Narcos: Mexico. Some from this list you have certainly watched, while others will probably become your next binge-watch. Let’s check them out.
Peaky Blinders (2013– )
Thomas Shelby, a Birmingham gang leader named Peaky Blinders, gets a delivery of weapons from a local weapons factory. Aware that he will have trouble with the law if he keeps it, Thomas wants to use that weapon to increase the power of the gang. He ignores his aunt Polly’s pleas to get rid of the weapon.
At the same time, Thomas enrages his older brother, Arthur, when he sets up a horse race, without the permission of Billy Kimber, a man who runs horse races in central England. Thomas ’younger sister, Ada, is secretly dating Thomas’ former best friend, Freddie.
But the Shelbys will face new problems: with a Belfast police officer, Chief Inspector Campbell who must return the stolen weapon, so the media doesn’t find out about it. But what the family doesn’t know is that the new waitress, Grace, is actually a secret agent working for Campbell.
Gang wars in England during the beginning of the 20th century remind us a lot of Narcos.
Breaking Bad (2008–2013)
Walter (Bryan Cranston) is a 50-year-old who has a wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn), a housewife who enjoys buying and selling things through eBay, and a son, Walter (RJ Mitte), a determined 17-year-old with cerebral palsy. Walter has been diagnosed with end-stage cancer and learns from a doctor that he has only two years left to live.
Choosing not to share this news immediately with his wife and son, Walter vows to do whatever it takes to secure a better and more secure future for his family. The first opportunity arises when his brother-in-law, an agent in the narcotics department, Hank Weld (Dean Norris), tells him how much he is actually hiding behind the resale of a substance, which he would know how to make with a blindfold.
Inspired by the new information, Walt runs his own small mobile lab and hires former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) as a partner. Given Walter’s expertise in the field of chemistry, it won’t be long before word gets out that this duo produces the best drug.
They start as two guys building a home met lab, but become something much more, something more like bosses from Narcos.
A raw and authentic look at Los Angeles and the lives of LAPD officers trying to hold all the strings in their hands. Among the characters are rookie Ben Sherman and John Cooper who is in charge of his training who is an undercover homosexual, which his colleagues do not know.
Detective Lydia Adams tries to reconcile work with the responsibilities that life brings with her mother. Chickie Brown is a policewoman who aspires to become the first woman on the Los Angeles Police Special Forces team. Alongside them is Detective Sammy Bryant, whose private life is often mixed with that of business.
Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014)
America of the 1920s. The war is over, Wall Street is on the rise and everything is for sale, even the baseball championship. It is a time of change, women are getting the right to vote, radio broadcasts are starting and young people are ruling the world.
Close to the beaches of southern New Jersey lies Atlantic City, a spectacular resort known as the “world’s playground,” and a place where there are no rules. Massive hotels adorn its famous promenade – Boardwalk – as well as nightclubs, arcades and other entertainment facilities in an attempt to overshadow rivals Broadway.
For just a few dollars it is a place where a working man can escape from everyday life and live like a king, legally and illegally. The ruler of Atlantic City is the city’s treasurer – Enoch Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), an acquaintance in political circles, but also a shadow player who handles the role of a politician as well as a gangster.
Full of all time gansters from the start of the 20th century, Boardwalk Empire is pretty similar to Narcos in terms of organized crime.
The Story of James “Ghost” Patrick, a wealthy New York nightclub owner who cares for the needs of the city’s elite. He wants to create an empire, to turn his club into something more but he has one problem – he leads a double life. When not running the club, Ghost runs the most lucrative drug cartel in town.
Not so big as cartels in Narcos, but still one of the biggest drug cartels in town.
Queen Of The South (2016–2021)
The drama follows the powerful story of Teresa Mendoza who, after her boyfriend, a drug dealer, is unexpectedly killed in Mexico, is forced to flee and seek refuge in America.
There, she enters into a risky partnership with a person from her past in order to expose the leader of the very drug smuggling organization for which she had to flee. In the process, she learns the rules of the trade and strategically positions herself in order to become a cartel leader herself.
The Shield (2002–2008)
Vic (Michael Chiklis) is trying to bypass his early retirement by joining the Immigration Office to take part in a major operation. As part of the immunity deal, Vic admits all the crimes his team committed, thus ‘securing’ Shane (Walton Goggins) and Ronnie (David Rees Snell) to life in prison.
After the tragic events Vic, Corinne and the children become part of the witness protection program. Aceveda (Benito Martinez) is shortlisted for mayor, while Vic gets a job with his former colleagues and Olivia Murray (Laurie Holden). But they don’t want to deal with a police officer whose crimes have come to light.
Drug Lords (2018– )
Drug Lords explores real-life drug-dealing cartels and kingpins such as Pablo Escobar, the Cali Cartel, Frank Lucas and the Pettingill Clan through interviews from officers, gang members and journalists as well as dramatized re-enactments of certain events.
As you can see from its description, Drug Lords are directly connected to some of the major players in Narcos & Narcos: Mexico.
Top Boy (2011– )
Dushane (Ashley Walters) and his friend Sully (Kano) run a thriving but illegal drugs business to become the richest men in town. In order to live rich, Dushane and Sully partner with top don Bobby Raikes (‘Geoff Bell (I)’). As a result of a feud with Kamale (Scorcher) and his gang, Raikes’ loan is stolen, and they swear revenge.
As Ra’Nell (Malcolm Kamulete) becomes increasingly entangled in the drug trade, his mother Lisa (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) suffers a breakdown and is hospitalized – with devastating consequences.
In the affluent Los Angeles suburb of Agrestic, the Botwin family lives a happy life until the head of the family, Judah, dies suddenly while jogging. Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) finds herself in an unenviable situation as she has to become the head of the family.
She turns to the only logical solution – starts dealing marijuana! Nancy buys the drug from Haylie James (Tonye Patano), a big smuggler she met through her nephew Conrad (Romany Malco), and sells it, it seems, to everyone in the county because her supplies run out very quickly.
Realizing that she needs a home marijuana plantation and a good screen for the whole business, Nancy, with the help of her accountant and customer, as well as councilor, Doug Wilson (Kevin Nealon), opens a real bakery where she sells the right thing to knowledgeable customers.
At the same time, her son Silas (Hunter Parrish) starts dating deaf Megan (Shoshannah Stern), and the other son Shane (Alexander Gould), a witness to father’s death, starts behaving more and more strangely. The climax is when another child bites his leg during a martial arts tournament.
Trying to smooth things over, Nancy will meet the father of the injured child, Peter Scottson (Martin Donovan), with whom she will soon start dating, and who is not just what she pretends to be.
As a result of all the changes in her hitherto peaceful and boring life, Nancy befriends Celia Hodes (Elizabeth Perkins), a manic and manipulative woman obsessed with her appearance, who disagrees with her husband Dean (Andy Milder), as well as her daughter Quinn, ex-Silas. a girl, whom he sends to school in Mexico. Although completely different, Nancy and Celia will make a strong and lasting friendship.
The only thing that actually connects Weeds TV show with Narcos and Narcos: Mexico is the drug theme. Other than that, they are not even remotely close. Weeds is much more about comedy and family drama than about big cartels and huge drug empires.
Romanzo Criminale (2008–2010)
The criminal known as the “Lebanese” is determined to conquer the Roman underworld which is to say take control of life there beyond the law. The precondition is the gathering of an ambitious, superorganized and cold-blooded group of people who will operate on the rugged streets for more than a quarter of a century, from the 1970s to the 1990s.
As Narcos, it deals with real-life cases of organized crime. This time in Europe from the 1970s to the 1990s. It has a very similar thematic, with some less explored on TV at least, drug players.
The Wire (2002–2008)
The main characters of the first season are divided into those who are on this side of the law and criminals and offenders. The investigative team is led by Detective Jimmy McNulty. Disobedience to superiors and personal problems are obstacles to his investigative abilities.
There’s also Lieutenant Cedric Daniels balancing between a desire to create a career and settling the case fairly. Kima Greggs is a capable detective faced with the jealousy of colleagues. She is assisted in her work by an informant, the addict Bubbles. Like Greggs, Thomas Herc Hauk and Ellis Carver from the Narcotics Division joined the investigation team.
The last in that temporary team are Detectives Lester Freamon and Roland Prez Pryzbylewski. Although initially not important participants, the two later proved to be good and reliable investigators.
The team is overseen by two commanders more concerned about their careers than the success of subordinates. Major William Rawls and Deputy Chief Ervin Burrell. Deputy Prosecutor Rhonda Pearlman was a liaison between the investigative team and the court, and she was also in an intimate relationship with McNutty.
On the other side of the law is the drug empire of Avon Barksdale. The ruthless and cruel Barksdale is helped by the business-talented Stringer Bell. Avon’s nephew D’Angelo Barksdale manages part of his uncle’s territory. Faithful Wee-Bay Brice is responsible for many of Avon’s murders.
There are also street dealers Poot, Bodie and Wallace. Omar Little robs a dealer and thus earns a living and is a thorn in the side of the Barksdale clan.
Each season of the series focuses on one theme. The topic of the first is the illegal drug trade, so much of the action takes place in the hemisphere of addicts and dealers, spiced with vivid characters on both sides of the law as well as the equally vivid language and jargon of that hemisphere.
El Chapo (2017–2018)
He had a ‘killing room’, he buried enemies while they were alive, he had a man killed just because he didn’t want to shake hands with him, he had sex with girls and called them “vitamins”, he bribed politicians with hundreds of millions of dollars, beheaded, liquidated the judges …
These are just some of the hundreds of shocking facts about Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman. The first season follows El Chapo in his quest to succeed, survive and become the ruler of drugs on the relentless streets of Mexico. Through drama, violence and love life, El Chapo uncompromisingly breaks through with the goal of becoming the absolute ruler of the drug trade.
As we can see, the plot of El Chapo follows the dramatic and violent life of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, from the beginning of his infamous career in 1985, when he was a low-ranking cartel member in Guadalajara, his rise to Sinaloa cartel leader in the 90s until his downfall. That would be the same El Chapo from Narcos: Mexico.
Sons of Anarchy (2008–2014)
Charlie Hunnam plays Jackson ‘Jax’ Teller, a man whose love for the fraternity is put to the test due to his growing distance from the law. Katey Sagal plays Gemma Teller Morrow, Jax’s dominant mother who lives with Jax’s stepfather and motorcycle club president Clarence ‘Clay’ Morrow, played by Ron Pearlman. The triangle of mother, son and stepfather will give birth to the dark secrets of the family past and show what they are all willing to do to cover up their sins.
Maggie Stiff plays Tara Knowles, Jax’s love from high school who returned to Charming, where she works as a pediatrician. She comes into conflict with Gemma when we learn that Tara has a hidden and dark motive for gaining Jax’s love and trust, for which she takes advantage of the health of Jax’s son.
Unlike Narcos, Sons of Anarchy is more or less made up TV show. Also, the gang is not even close to being like big cartel-drug lords. But, they are much closer, loyal, and would do anything not to directly save themselves, but those that they love. An amazing crime show you just need to watch if you haven’t. Also, the songs!
Collateral (TV Mini Series 2018)
The plot follows the persistent British detective DI Kip Glaspie (Carrey Mulligan) who is working on the case of the murder of a guy who worked as a pizza delivery man. The murder that took place in the area of south London is in fact only the beginning of her unraveling of a complicated conspiracy that was initiated from the very centers of institutional power.
Not really the same as Narcos, but it is a crime TV show dealing with drugs, this time in London. If you haven’t watched it, it is an ok show and not that long, so you should give it a try.
Gangs of London (2020– )
The Gangs of London begins at the moment when the head of the crime family Finn Wallace (Colm Meaney) is killed. Until that moment, he kept all London gangs under his control – Irish, Russians, Albanians, Iranians and others. Everyone had good reasons to kill him, and now his son Sean Wallace (Joe Cole) has to find a way to deal with all of them and find out along the way who killed his father.
Another crime TV show set in London, this time much more like Narcos. It is a power struggle between different criminal gangs in London. Similar to Narcos, just in a much, much smaller degree.
Marty Byrde is a genius financial advisor who, in order to ensure a better life for his family, steps into the world of crime. Specifically, he decides to make his services available to the head of a powerful drug cartel.
Unfortunately, the reckless move of his partner and best friend will destroy all of Marty’s carefully crafted plans and force him to make a desperate move.
ZeroZeroZero (TV Mini Series 2019– )
From jungle to skyscrapers, from Mexico to Paris, passing through equatorial Africa, the Maghreb, Calabria, a world inhabited by criminals and businessmen, desperate and billionaires, all connected by an invisible and magical thread of cocaine.
In this relentless war of influence, from a small local merchant to the godfather of the most powerful criminal organization, everyone involved must fight and risk their lives.
ZeroZeroZero would probably be one of the closest TV shows on this list as Narcos and Narcos: Mexico. Still, even though there are drug wars, this show is more focused on the cocaine shipment and its travel through the world. It is also based on a lot of real-life material, similar to Narcos.
When Pietro Savastano, one of the most powerful and fearsome bosses of the Neapolitan Camorra, ends up in prison, his right-hand man, 30-year-old Ciro Di Marzio, sees an opportunity to finally become the new leader. But his time had not yet come. While Pietro is in prison, power is taken over by his wife Imma, while Pietro’s heir, son Genny, learns business in Honduras.
Just as Narcos, Gomorrah is based on a true story. The series is created by Roberto Saviano, an investigative journalist, who published the book ‘Gomorrah: Italy’s Other Mafia’ on which the series is based upon.
Surviving Escobar: Alias JJ (2017– )
After becoming the only survivor of the “Extraditables”, Alias “JJ” recounts his life in Surviving Escobar. All of this begins with Alias “JJ”‘s surrender to justice during Pablo Escobar’s decline. Once in prison, he must face his enemies and use all his skills to not only survive, but also establish himself once more as a great criminal inside the prison and invade the outside world, once again becoming a notorious drug trafficker.
It is not hard to see a connection to Narcos, especially with the first two seasons featuring the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar.
Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami (TV Mini-Series 2021)
Cocaine Cowboys is a six part docuseries chronicling the rise and fall of Miami drug kingpins Sal Magluta and Willy Falcon. The two were eventually indicted in one of the largest drug cases in United States history, accused of illegally smuggling 75 tons of cocaine into the country.
Cocaine Cowboys looks like another Narcos spin-off, Narcos: Miami (we wish). These guys were unbelievable, just like the Narcos gang. One more fascinating story you need to watch if you liked Narcos.