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Title: Dopesick

Year: 2021

Genre:  Drama |

Seasons: 1 |

Runtime:  492 min

Creator:  Danny Strong

Starring:  Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard,  Michael Stuhlberg


The series takes viewers to the epicenter of America’s struggle with opioid addiction, from the boardrooms of Purdue Pharma, to a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA.


There are two ways to do a series about drug abuse and addiction. The wrong way and the right way. The producers behind Dopesick currently stream on Hulu/DisneyPlus. With a cast of Michael Keaton and Peter Saarsgard among the lead, the ensemble does a remarkable job in their performances. Selling that they’re transformed during this crucial period of time the OxyContin epidemic took place.

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It follows closely the Sackler family, the DEA, attorneys and a doctor who later become addicted and a girl who is that doctor’s patient. We also get some insight into a duo sale rep for Purdue Pharma. The series of 8 episodes goes to great length to show the effect long-due drug abuse does on people and the risk behind it. It depicts the side-effect of a political-run family like Sackler to earn money on the epidemic.

Michael Keaton is obviously a force to reckon with in this brilliant mini-series that’s non-linear. He’s the best part of the whole series and his transformation as a character is chilling as it’s surprising. Michael Stuhlbarg as Richard Sackler is another part of the cast that is a strong antagonistic character that’s not easy to place anywhere. As he’s obsessed with the drug OxyContin to reach the Global Market.

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Peter Saarsgard is a nice attachment who is playing one of the good guys. Rosario Dawson is decent in this work-obsessive role as a DEA agent and Will Poulter didn’t need to be in this one. Even if there’s a constant timeline shift, it’s not a distraction. It flows nicely with the plot. Kaitlyn Dever does an impressive performance as the young addict Betsy.

One of the best parts, it’s that the story is informative and easy to follow which is one of the reasons for its success. Even if there’s a certain range of ups and downs during the eight episodes run, its sources of distress or failure are barely an issue. It progresses to the series finale in a smooth even curve. It’s not a violent series but the subject it takes on is very serious and thus a 16+ age rating. People dies and the doses to lengths that could cause death. The editing is good, and they’ve done there it’s a job. The soundtrack is great and can be emotional at some times, working to enhance the drama in pivot scenes.

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It’s a series to recommend for the drama, the performance and the subliminal message of the danger of drugs.

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