PAINKILLER was a limited series dealing with the opioid world…the founders, dealers, victims, and law enforcement. It was a very bumpy, confusing ride with a disappointing conclusion that offered little hope for our current system.   

Matthew Broderick portrayed the genius, crazed Richard Sackler. He is the one who created life and death surrounding the OxyContin industry. He was a brutal, damaged man who refused never to give up his pursuit of winning and making money. He drove his empire into the billions even still today.   

The story was told through the law and the victim’s eyes. Over-the-top moments were in abundance. The series was flawed, just like Oxy. There was too much to tell and share. At times viewers were being tossed back and forth between these viewpoints. It felt incomplete. I wanted to say out loud, either make a documentary or a dramatic depiction, but make up your mind. The truest, most honest seconds were the clips at the beginning of each episode from families who lost a loved one to this drug. Heart-breaking. The rest did not ever rise to that emotional level.  

PAINKILLER is not the Emmy award-winning series DOPESICK starring Michael Keaton. Now that was an incredibly well-written and produced show. My advice? If you want to learn about this drug and its repercussions, watch DOPESICK and skip PAINKILLER. You are welcome.   

PAINKILLER can be streamed on NETFLIX.   

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

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