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Which Fictional Pablo Escobar Are You?

‘Narcos’ is back, so we’re asking: which ridiculous portrayal of the drug kingpin is right for you?

Ringer illustration
Ringer illustration

Narcos is a show where people ask, “What’s the plan?” a lot, and then other people explain the plan; it’s a really good show. One of the characters on Narcos is Pablo Escobar, a Colombian drug lord from real life. Like I said, it’s really good.

But on the occasion of Narcos’s second season — out Friday on Netflix — you might want to consider your other options. Benicio Del Toro’s 2015 flop Escobar: Paradise Lost; Vincent Chase’s 2007 flop Medellin; Johnny Depp’s 2001 (Cult-ish not-quite-hit? I don’t know, somewhere in there) Blow … there are a lot of Pablo Escobar–related film and TV projects out there.

Which Pablo Escobar is right for you? Take our short quiz and see how your tastes stack up:

1. Which of These Best Describes Your Ideal Protagonist in a Pablo Escobar Movie or TV Show?

(A) Pablo Escobar.

(B) “Pablo Escobar.”

(C) Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s 1976 no. 1 single “Blinded by the Light.”

(D) Literally a random Canadian person played by Josh Hutcherson.

The correct answer here is (A), Pablo Escobar. If you chose (A), then you chose the protagonist of Narcos.

If you chose (B), then you chose the protagonist of Medellin. This is an easy trap answer, as “Pablo Escobar” and Pablo Escobar are very similar sounding. But it isn’t correct. If you chose (C), then you chose the protagonist of Blow. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s 1976 no. 1 single “Blinded by the Light” is a pretty good song and also a pretty good song to watch people chop up premarket cocaine to and also a very relatable protagonist — I can see why you’d choose it. But it isn’t correct. And if you chose (D), then …

Look — Josh Hutcherson seems fine. If I were making an incoherently allegorical yet massively successful Y.A. trilogy (or scam quadrilogy) about how friend zones are the dystopia of the heart, then I would definitely think about casting Josh Hutcherson as The Cute Short Sensitive One — and feel great about that.

But imagine, for a second, another scenario. Imagine that you were approached about making a Pablo Escobar movie. And wait — not only that: Imagine that Benicio Del Toro — Benicio Del Toro! — had signed on to play Escobar. So, holy shit. To recap: You … are making a movie … about Pablo Escobar … starring Benicio Del Toro. That’s amazing. This could be an all-time classic. Now imagine that you decided to take that movie and —

[record scratch]

[freeze frame]

RADiUS-TWC
RADiUS-TWC

— make it about a boring Canadian surfer who marries Pablo Escobar’s niece.

And that’s what it feels like to watch Escobar: Paradise Lost. It’s like someone went ahead and greenlit a perfectly cast Michael Jordan biopic — and then decided to focus it on Will Perdue. Played by fucking Peeta. Choice (D) is the least correct choice, and if you chose it then you did a bad job.

2. Which of These Best Describes Your Ideal Pablo Escobar Body?

(A) Good bod.

(B) Dad bod.

(C) Benicio Del Toro’s body.

(D) Fat suit.

The correct answer here is (B), dad bod. If you chose (B), then you chose Wagner Moura’s body in Narcos. It’s a beautiful body that always looks happy in a sweater, which is a really nice perspective to have on life.

If you chose (A), then you chose Cliff Curtis’s body in Blow.

New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

Pablo Escobar should look like many things — but unfortunately one of those things is not “borderline iconic in bootcut jeans.” This is a good, fit body. It’s just an unfit body for Pablo Escobar. It has nothing to be ashamed of, other than being wrong. If you chose (C), then you chose Benicio Del Toro’s body. Out of all of the bodies here — and maybe, frankly, anywhere — it is the one that most belongs to Benicio Del Toro. But it is also wrong. And if you chose (D), then you chose Vincent Chase’s fat suit in Medellin. Choice (D) is the least correct choice, and if you chose it then you did a bad job.

3. Which of These Best Describes Your Ideal Pablo Escobar Moustache?

(A) Thin and capable.

(B) Thick and glued-on.

(C) Independent.

(D) Full beard.

The correct answer here is (C), independent. If you chose (C), then you chose Wagner Moura’s moustache in Narcos.

Netflix
Netflix

Saying that a non-character “is its own character” is an extremely tired critical device at this point — (“Music is its own character on Empire,” “Florida is its own character on Bloodline,” “The sinking feeling that death is upon us and that all we have to leverage against it is the numbing repetition of the familiar is its own character on Stranger Things,” etc.) — but Pablo’s moustache on Narcos really does feel like a character of its own. It is historical detail repurposed as … mystical creature? And it possesses a full scale of moods and emotions, seemingly independent from the life force of Pablo himself.

For example: Here, Pablo seems amused — while his moustache seems anxious. Here, Pablo seems hurt — while his moustache seems bored. Here, Pablo seems annoyed — while his moustache seems calm. Here, Pablo seems wistful — while his moustache seems forlorn. And then, finally, in our first look at Narcos’s second season:

Here, Pablo seems sickened …

Netflix
Netflix

… while his moustache seems resigned. It’s a tour de force — one of the most tenderly conceived and beautifully expressive moustache performances I’ve ever seen.

If you chose (D), then you chose Benicio Del Toro’s beard in Escobar: Paradise Lost. This is a beard that has a lot to be proud of; that won’t be forgotten when our history books remember Benicio Del Toro as one of the most stunningly versatile woulds of all time. But it isn’t correct. If you chose (A), then you chose Cliff Curtis’s moustache in Blow. It’s a nice moustache, and gets bonus points for syncing its performance to Cliff Curtis’s eyebrows’ performance. But it also isn’t correct. And if you chose (B), then you chose Vincent Chase’s moustache in Medellin — an awful moustache and an aesthetic affront. Choice (B) is the least correct choice, and if you chose it then you did a bad job.

4. Which of These Best Describes Your Ideal Pablo Escobar Accessory?

(A) Aviator sunglasses (semi-tinted).

(B) The gang from Entourage.

(C) Corduroy Boston Celtics hat.

(D) Russian hat situation.

The correct answer here is (D), Russian hat situation. If you chose (D), then you chose Pablo Escobar’s signature accessory from Narcos. Here is the single best shot in the history of Netflix:

Netflix
Netflix

If you chose (C), then you chose Benicio Del Toro’s corduroy Boston Celtics hat from Escobar: Paradise Lost.

RADiUS-TWC
RADiUS-TWC

It’s a perfect hat, maybe too perfect, maybe I’m now prepared to spend the rest of my life negotiating the sad, denuded paradox of “needing to know everything there is to know about this one green corduroy Boston Celtics hat that Benicio Del Toro wore in a movie where he tells Josh Hutcherson not to have sex until he’s in love” and “knowing nothing about it at all.” Benicio Del Toro’s corduroy Boston Celtics hat from Escobar: Paradise Lost is a great choice, but it isn’t correct.

If you chose (B), then you chose the gang from Entourage, Vincent Chase’s signature accessory in the making of Medellin. They’re just four authentic boys from Queens, trying to make it big in Hollywood while staying friends 4 lyfe. It’s like E always says in my Season 9 fan-fiction, “It’s not what’s [points at head] in here … it’s what’s [points at heart] Entourage.” If you chose (A), then you chose semi-tinted aviator sunglasses, Cliff Curtis’s signature accessory in Blow. I don’t trust or understand the endgame of anything semi-tinted. Also, I have that shirt. Choice (A) is the least correct choice, and if you chose it then you did a bad job.

5. ‘Narcos’?

(A) Narcos.

(B) Narcos.

(C) Narcos.

(D) Narcos.

The correct answer here is (B), Narcos.

Results

There are many Pablo Escobars, but there is only one Pablo Escobar. If you watch any movie or TV show with Pablo Escobar in it this weekend, it should be Narcos.