Sunday, August 21, 2022

Emmy Catch-Up: Dopesick

Dopesick: Season 1, Episode 2 “Breakthrough Pain” (B+)

I only had time to watch one episode of this show way back in October while on the middle of a road trip so that I could speak to a few members of the cast and creator Danny Strong. I’ve heard only excellent things about it since then, and it received a number of Emmy nominations, so it’s good to dive back in. Like other limited series from this past season, including “The Dropout,” “Inventing Anna,” and “WeCrashed,” there are so many red flags where people just accepted information that was either completely fabricated or extremely manipulated. Samuel demonstrated a healthy skepticism about the effects of oxycontin at the start, but unfortunately that didn’t last long, and then he ended up becoming a paid speaker on a panel to recommend the benefits of a drug that it turned out was absolutely very addictive and highly dangerous. It’s interesting to see how Billy appears sincere and even cautious about overmarketing something that hasn’t been proven, but then he revealed to Amber that he made up a story about his dad getting sick, suggesting that he’s less trustworthy than he seems. Rick, Randy, and John are charging ahead with purpose, and the charge of criminal misbranding seems like the best avenue, one that may actually work now that their boss is aware that they’re not going after chicken farmers but pharmaceutical companies. Just as she’s starting to think about a life that could be fulfilling, Betsy is starting to truly suffer from the all-too-expected consequences of taking too much of a drug that doesn’t actually do what it’s been promised to do.

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