Painkiller 2023 / A rudimentary melodramatic attempt to dramatize the opioid crisis


Painkiller is a dramatized account of the opioid crisis that details how Purdue Pharmaceuticals manufactured and marketed the highly addictive pain medication OxyContin. Before each episode, the family member of an opioid victim recounts how the drug scarred their lives. Although the intentions seem righteous, the execution begs to differ. The drama leans heavily into crime thriller tropes, overproducing the events to a sensational degree with flat, cookie-cutter characters making it unwatchable at times.  

Two episodes in, the theatrics in the production choices feel dismissive of the severity of the opioid crisis, prioritizing eccentricities and a shallow textbook overview.

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