Dopesick (2021– )
|Company||20th Television, Fox 21 Television Studios, Littlefield Company|
Dopesick is an American drama miniseries created by Danny Strong based on the nonfiction book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy. The first three episodes of the eight-episode series were released on October 13, 2021, on Hulu.
Dopesick focuses on "the epicenter of America's struggle with opioid addiction" across the U.S., and specifically the drug OxyContin.
Cast and characters
- Michael Keaton as Dr. Samuel Finnix
- Peter Sarsgaard as Rick Mountcastle
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Richard Sackler
- Will Poulter as Billy Cutler
- John Hoogenakker as Randy Ramseyer
- Kaitlyn Dever as Betsy Mallum
- Rosario Dawson as Bridget Meyer
- Jake McDorman as John Brownlee
- Ray McKinnon as Jerry Mallum
- Cleopatra Coleman as Grace Pell
- Raúl Esparza as Paul Mendelson
- Will Chase as Michael Friedman
- Phillipa Soo as Amber Collins
- Mare Winningham as Diane Mallum
- Lawrence Arancio as Raymond Sackler
- Jaime Ray Newman as Kathe Sackler
- Arischa Conner as Leah Turner
- Ian Unterman as Jonathan Sackler
- Brendan Patrick Connor as Howard Udell
- Andrea Frankle as Beth Sackler
- Winsome Brown as Theresa Sackler
- Alan Campbell as Dr. Paul Goldenheim
- Rebecca Wisocky as Cynthia McCormick
- Meagen Fay as Sister Beth Davies
- Trevor Long as Rudy Giuliani
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date||Prod.|
|1||"First Bottle"||Barry Levinson||Danny Strong||October 13, 2021||1DJE01|
|2||"Breakthrough Pain"||Barry Levinson||Danny Strong||October 13, 2021||1DJE02|
|3||"The 5th Vital Sign"||Michael Cuesta||Danny Strong & Beth Macy||October 13, 2021||1DJE03|
|4||"Pseudo-Addiction"||Michael Cuesta||Jessica Mecklenburg||October 20, 2021||1DJE04|
|5||"The Whistleblower"||Patricia Riggen||Danny Strong & Benjamin Rubin||October 27, 2021||1DJE05|
|6||"Hammer the Abusers"||Patricia Riggen||Danny Strong & Eoghan O'Donnell||November 3, 2021||1DJE06|
|7||"Black Box Warning"||Danny Strong||Danny Strong & Beth Macy||November 10, 2021||1DJE07|
|8||"The People vs. Purdue Pharma"||Danny Strong||Danny Strong||November 17, 2021||1DJE08|
On June 17, 2020, it was announced that Hulu had given the production a limited series order consisting of eight episodes based on the book, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy. The series was created by Danny Strong who also serves as executive producer alongside Michael Keaton, Warren Littlefield, John Goldwyn, Beth Macy, Karen Rosenfelt, and Barry Levinson who directed the limited series. Production companies involved with the series are 20th Television (replacing the initially announced Fox 21 Television Studios), John Goldwyn Productions and The Littlefield Company.
Alongside the miniseries announcement, Michael Keaton was also cast in a starring role. In September 2020, Peter Sarsgaard, Kaitlyn Dever, Will Poulter, and John Hoogenakker joined the main cast, with Phillipa Soo and Jake McDorman joining in recurring roles. In October 2020, Rosario Dawson was cast as a series regular while Ray McKinnon was cast in a recurring role. In November 2020, Cleopatra Coleman joined the cast in a recurring role. In December 2020, Michael Stuhlbarg was cast as a series regular. In January 2021, Jaime Ray Newman, Andrea Frankle and Will Chase joined the cast in recurring roles. In March 2021, Rebecca Wisocky and Meagen Fay were cast in recurring capacities. In April 2021, Trevor Long joined the cast of the series in a recurring capacity.
Principal photography began in December 2020 in Richmond, Virginia and Clifton Forge, Virginia and continued through May 2021. North Carolina and Georgia were in contention, but Virginia was selected for its tax incentives and locations.
Dopesick was released on Hulu on October 13, 2021. The first episode screened at the Virginia Film Festival on October 30, 2021, followed by a discussion with Danny Strong and Beth Macy. Internationally, the series will premiere on the Star content hub of Disney+, Disney+ Hotstar and Star+ on November 12, 2021.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 84% approval rating with an average rating of 7.3/10, based on 51 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Dopesick at times sinks under the weight of its subject matter, but strong performances from Michael Keaton and Kaitlyn Dever and an empathetic approach to the very real people impacted by the opioid crisis make for harrowing drama." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 68 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Kristen Baldwin of Entertainment Weekly gave the series an A- and said, "Dopesick deftly corrals the vast addiction epidemic through intimate, deeply engrossing stories of human devastation." Reviewing the series for USA Today, Kelly Lawler gave a rating of 3 out of 4 stars and described the cast as "excellent and empathetic, helping ground the series. Keaton is at his best, mastering a character who's a mess of contradictions and transformation."