There’s a new elevated crime drama coming soon from a familiar pedigree. MGM+’s new crime drama, Hotel Cocaine, takes audiences into Miami’s tumultuous cocaine era of the 1970s and ’80s.

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From the creator of Narcos and Godfather of Harlem, the series is set in the luxurious Coconut Grove area of South Beach. The Mutiny Hotel—cool name—was a notorious hub for drug traffickers and FBI agents alike, who would momentarily put aside their differences to celebrate together. I learned something new today. The feds and cocaine cowboys used to turn up together.

Get this: the series follows Roman Compte, the Mutiny’s general manager and a Cuban exile, portrayed by Danny Pino. Compte tries to navigate American life while distancing himself from his cocaine kingpin brother, Nestor Cabal, played by Yul Vazquez. Pino explains, “One of the many themes of this show is to maintain this sort of hedonistic adult playground party where anything is possible, and it’s all pleasure. But we see to support the people who can actually afford the cocaine that there is an awful lot of other people who are paying the price for that.”

Roman’s boss, Burton Greenberg, is played by Mark Feuerstein, while Michael Chiklis portrays Agent Zulio, who seeks to bring down Compte’s brother. Despite being a symbol of justice, Chiklis’s character is also susceptible to corruption: “He will be tested, and things will change,” he says.


Created by Chris Brancato and Guillermo Navarro, “Hotel Cocaine” strives for authenticity and detail. Brancato, known for Narcos and Godfather of Harlem, emphasizes casting actors of the same nationality as their characters to ensure validity and honesty. He chose to film in Santo Domingo due to its resemblance to Miami during that era and noted, “I think it creates a validity to all the different characterizations. It’s honest to the historical background of the fictional characters we’ve created.”

The show also highlights diversity behind the camera, with Mexican director Sara Seligman making her episodic directorial debut with episodes 105 and 106. The series replicates the Mutiny’s extravagant rooms and captures the era’s music, featuring disco and ’70s soul. Rapper Swizz Beatz appears as DJ Kool Herc and comments on the duality of the era: “Every place has its underworld, and it’s amazing to see the underworld being celebrated so high, but it can get dark at the same time.” Brancato also discusses the stark contrast between the seemingly light-hearted cocaine use and its deadly consequences: “For every bit of cocaine on a table at the Mutiny, there would be three dead people left back in Colombia.” He adds, “We get a window into the dark, secretive world and the heightened stakes of drama. We learn the reality, and throughout the season, the characters do too.”

Hotel Cocaine is set to premiere on MGM+ soon, like June 16. Yes!