In recent years, the opioid crisis has had a devastating impact on communities across America, leaving behind a trail of pain, suffering, and shattered lives. Shedding light on this concerning topic, the upcoming Netflix limited series Painkiller promises to delve deep into the origins and aftermath of this epidemic.
Premiering on August 10th on Netflix, the scripted drama aims to bring to the forefront the stories of the villains, victims, and truth-seekers whose lives were forever altered after the introduction of OxyContin in the market.
A potent prescription pain medication containing oxycodone, OxyContin is used widely for moderate to severe pain relief. Due to its high potency and addictive nature, it is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance.
Over the years, it has become a cause of major concern, and recently we had the Hulu miniseries by Danny Strong, Dopesick, that covered the opioid crisis in America. While the eight-episode Michael Keaton-starrer became a critical hit, we wonder how hard-hitting and engaging Painkiller would be.
Taylor Kitsch, who is about to play the role of an opioid addict in the limited series, is not fazed about any potential comparisons the two shows are bound to draw. In an interaction with The Hollywood Reporter, Kitsch mentioned, “We’re fucking pumped about it and not nervous after Dopesick, not at all. We’re a very different show, and when you’ve got Pete Berg at the helm, you know we’re not fucking around.”
What is Painkiller about?
Painkiller is a fictionalised retelling of events surrounding the opioid crisis in America, based on the book Pain Killer by Barry Meier and the New Yorker Magazine article titled ‘The Family That Built an Empire of Pain’ by Patrick Radden Keefe. The series aims to explore the skyrocketing business of Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin campaign, which turned into a devastating healthcare crisis, still wreaking havoc in America today.
The Netflix series, consisting of six one-hour episodes, offers an in-depth examination of crime, accountability, and the systems that have failed thousands of Americans.
At the heart of Painkiller lies a no-nonsense lawyer named Edie Flowers, portrayed by the talented Orange is the New Black star Uzo Aduba. Edie works for the US attorney’s office in Roanoke and is determined to hold Purdue Pharma accountable for their role in creating the opioid epidemic.
Painkiller cast and crew:
Aduba portrays Edie Flowers, a dedicated lawyer working for the US attorney’s office, leading the investigation against Purdue Pharma. As the anchor of the series, Aduba’s portrayal is expected to deliver a powerful performance. Matthew Broderick joins her as Richard Sackler, a senior executive at Purdue Pharma and the mastermind behind making opiates the company’s profit engine. Kitsch plays Glen Kryger, a family man and small business owner whose life takes a tragic turn after he is prescribed OxyContin for a work-related injury.
The series also features Dina Shihabi, West Duchovny, Carolina Bartczak, Jack Mulhern, and Clark Gregg.
Behind the scenes, Painkiller boasts a team that includes series creators Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster serve as co-showrunners. The executive producers include Eric Newman, Peter Berg (also series director), and Alex Gibney.
Painkiller promises to be more than just a scripted drama; it’s meant to be a poignant exploration of the opioid crisis that continues to impact countless lives in America while it has to battle comparisons with Dopesick, a series still fresh in the minds of fans. So, keep your calenders marked for August 10th to see how Painkiller fares.