- 1 Season
Based on the best-selling book of the same name, Dopesick chronicles the epicenter of America's opioid epidemic, with a primary focus on how the drug OxyContin, and Purdue Pharma, the company that created it, ravaged the small town of Appalachia Virginia, leading to a nationwide crisis.
The series offers a stark yet necessary look at the far-reaching consequences of the opioid crisis in America, exploring how it has affected individuals, families, communities, and even the country's healthcare system. It goes beyond the surface-level understanding of addiction to tackle the root causes and corruption behind the drug's proliferation and marketing.
Michael Keaton leads the star-studded cast as Dr. Samuel Finnix, an empathetic physician who becomes increasingly disheartened by the ever-increasing number of opioid-addicted patients he sees in his small-town practice. Finnix is determined to help his patients, but his shock and frustration towards the chain of events that turned them into addicts overpowers him. In one scene, he explodes at an unrepentant patient who has been following his prescription like a script with a rather daring outburst.
Peter Sarsgaard adds to the ensemble cast by playing Rick Mountcastle, a meticulous DEA agent who works tirelessly to take down the corrupt pharmaceutical industry that got America into this mess. Mountcastle spearheads the DEA's efforts to investigate the opioid epidemic and bring the perpetrators to justice. He soon discovers that Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, is at the heart of the problem, and its executives, played by Michael Stuhlbarg, prioritize their own financial gains over public health.
As the story progresses, the audience gets an intimate look into the lives of people affected by the opioid epidemic. We see how it impacts Moriah, portrayed by Kaitlyn Dever, a young woman struggling with addiction, and her family, played by Rosario Dawson and Will Poulter. The viewer is forced to confront the many tragic stories of real people whose lives were destroyed by the opioid epidemic. The writers do a great job humanizing the characters involved in this catastrophe.
Despite the heavy theme, the show is well balanced with humor and uplifting moments. It dissects the key players that either contributed or tried to mitigate the opioid epidemic, opening up the necessary dialogues for further conversation. It also emphasizes the bravery of the individuals fighting for the cause, and how, despite little change today, their efforts eventually bore fruit. The series is as informative as it's entertaining, with all the critical issues within the drug crisis explained.
Dopesick is not for the faint of heart, but its painful yet hopeful narrative is a must-watch for everyone, regardless of whether they're directly or indirectly affected by the opioid epidemic. It highlights the state of a broken system that has failed to protect people from corporate greed, incompetence, and outright corruption, imparts significant lessons to learn from, and hopefully inspires meaningful change in the fight against addiction.
In summary, Dopesick is an absolute must-watch for anyone seeking insight into the American drug crisis. It is a harrowing true-life story with a purpose and a message that should resonate with everyone in America. With a phenomenal cast, solid direction, and excellent writing, it is indeed one of the most compelling limited series of 2021.
Dopesick is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (8 episodes). The series first aired on October 13, 2021.