When greed meets capitalism and a broken system, you get dopesick.
Produced as a mini-series (and hopefully it stays that way), Dopesick chronicles the creation of Oxycontin and its devastating effects from the point of view of both the Sacklers and its victims. The series takes you 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.
Thankfully, the show doesn’t hold off on showing the corruption in the US system. From FDA regulators turning Purdue Pharma employees, to the lack of treatment sites because constituents don’t want to see it. Starring the amazing Michael Keaton, with Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Will Poulter and a lot of amazing actors, we get to connect with the victims on multiple levels, and we get an inside scoop on how the pharmaceutical company managed to lie and bribe its way into the health of Americans, and almost the rest of the world.
Side note, Michael Stuhlbarg as Richard Sackler was horrific…in a fantastic way. He portrayed the perfect greedy and mentally unstable white rich guy whose mission in life is to overcompensate and achieve way more than his uncle. Throughout the show, you also get to see that his uncle wasn’t all innocent.
To be honest, this isn’t a fun ride. However, the performances are uniformly powerful, and the show’s meticulous production values create a powerful aura of verisimilitude. And the shifting timeline highlights the similarities between the old and the new Sacklers. Both are money thirsty rich people without any moral compass.
Should you watch it?
Corruption is everywhere and has multiple forms. Dopesick is a horrifying tale of how one company triggered one of the worst drug epidemics in American history, and it’s still selling. Like the drug at the centre of the drama, Dopesick is, in the most positive sense of the word, addictive.