In Hulu’s harrowing Dopesick, we see just how insidious both addiction and big pharma can be, as the narrative bounces between three specific time periods.
Created by Buffy the Vampire Slayer baddie-turned-Emmy winning writer Danny Strong (Game Change), the eight-episode indictment is, at times, a legal thriller, a family drama, and a flat-out horror movie. Just when you think the corporate malfeasance has reached its peak, greed and governmental manipulation step in to push things even further. Even as the fatalities mount around their medication.
At the heart of the story are Michael Keaton‘s Western Virginia doctor Sam Finnix and Unbelievable standout Kaitlyn Dever‘s mining-town lost soul Betsy. Intersecting with this doctor-patient tale are two Purdue sales reps played by Hamilton‘s Phillipa Soo and The Maze Runner alum Will Poulter (who was also just announced as the newest cast member of Guardians of the Galaxy 3). Their hunger for success, at the expense of actual lives, is tied directly to the Sackler family that ran Purdue and who are shown as sort of the Addams Family-meets-Succession of pharmaceuticals.
And finally, there is the Federal case that was slowly, meticulously, and unrelentingly mounted against Purdue by a team of dogged agents from the DEA and the Justice Department (played by Rosario Dawson, Peter Sarsgaard, and John Hoogenakker).
Ahead of the premiere, which launches Wednesday, October 13 with a trio of episodes directed by Barry Levinson, we spoke with Strong, Poulter, Dever, and Soo about their roles in this tremendously important project, which should be considered essential viewing in high schools, law schools, and medical institutions. Here, they share their takes on what happened and what could be done to help matters going forward.
Dopesick, Wednesdays, Hulu