In Hulu’s Dopesick, Michael Keaton plays Sam Phoenix as the kind of family doctor everyone wants to take care of.
Folk and intelligent, he cares enough to stop by an elderly patient’s home:
After work, to make sure he takes his medicine. She still treats the adults she gave birth to as babies in a small mining town in Virginia. But in the end, Finnix finds himself in front of the jury, pale and startled by the grenade. When a prosecutor asked how his patients reacted to OxyContin, he gave a terrifying answer.
Dopesick is an ambitious, emotional series about storytelling. He outlines the beginnings of OxyContin’s opioid addiction crisis from multiple angles: doctors and drug users, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies trying to hold OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and the drugmakers to account.
The Justice Department wants to block the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy deal, which protects sellers. Outstanding actor Michael Stulbarg plays former Purdue Pharma President Richard Sackler with impressive intensity as a Bond villain.
Ignored by his relatives and forced to surpass the achievements of his uncle Arthur Sackler, who shaped the marketing strategy for Valium, Richard Sackler von Stuhlbarg urged the family business to act tough at OxyContin.
As its character describes, OxyContin has a protective coating that releases the drug over time, allowing the company to claim that less than 1% of patients become addicted to opioids.
Some of Dopesick’s most potent scenes show how Sackler’s claim to be an order for an army of merchants intent on getting doctors to prescribe OxyContin instead of competing painkillers – creating a level of profit that makes Sackler one of the wealthiest families in America.
What one journalist learned while researching the causes of the opioid epidemic:
But the series shows how those who start substance abuse learn to crush tablets into a powder that can be inhaled and is highly addictive. Eventually, prosecutors found that small towns, where people had been locked up for decades, drowned in crime and despair.
Peter Sarsgaard and John Hugenakar draw as American assistant attorneys trying to gather enough evidence to charge Purdue’s pharmaceutical executives by gathering piles of paperwork and lobbying.
“A few months ago we caught a doctor selling pills to an 11-year-old girl from his car. And when we caught him, he thanked us,” prosecutor Hoogenakker told Drug Enforcement Administration agent Rosario Dawson.
“At the time, we knew what was happening at Coal Fields was similar to what happened in San Francisco. At the start of the AIDS crisis. Our community is not a breeding ground for a national disaster.”
Dopesick also offers an authentic portrayal of a small working-class, predominantly white community. That has been devastated by the opioid crisis. Recently, many television shows and movies have been shot in these cities. Including Netflix’s Maid and Hillbilly Elegy, HBO’s Mare of Easttown, and Showtime’s American Rust.
But often, the areas depicted in such shows can feel very oppressive and deprived.
Dopesick is characterized by a problematic community outline. But filled with proud and hardworking people who love their city. Who demonstrate the reality of their living conditions without succumbing to clichés.
Above all, Caitlin Dever shines like Betsy. A young, narrow-minded gay man who enjoys working in the mines. With his father and wants to live in a place Where he can be himself without fear of being kidnapped.
But while Betsy was in the mines with a back injury, Dr Finnix took the prescribed OxyContin. His condition changed dramatically.
Based on Danny Strong (writer of the hit drama “Empire” by Fox) from the non-fiction book by Beth Macy, Dopesick skips storylines and time segments in a way that, despite the on-screen graphics on display, can be a bit confusing in what year will take the scene.
But Dopesick distils a complex story into an engaging and heartbreaking series – calculating the human cost of a crisis that started in a corporate boardroom, made billions, and turned nations upside down.