Five essential series on addiction to watch this weekend on Netflix
(Credit: Netflix)


Five essential series on addiction to watch this weekend on Netflix

In theme with last week’s release on Netflix, Painkiller, a show that sheds light on the origins of the opioid crisis in America, we thought of curating five other shows that delve into the harrowing world of addiction.

With its raw portrayal of human struggles, self-destruction, and the bitter consequences of substance abuse, these shows can be hard watches but can help form a better understanding of how trauma leads to addiction and, in turn, how it ruins lives.

Netflix, the streaming giant known for its diverse content, offers a collection of series that dives into the depths of addiction, capturing both the despair and the hope that often accompany these narratives. 

Films like Trainspotting and Requiem for a Dream have some of the most horrifying portrayals of drug abuse and its consequences on the lives of all involved. In our ongoing series of essential binges, we bring you five series on addiction that you can catch up on this weekend.

Five essential series to watch on Netflix this weekend:


Shameless is about a family caught amid chaos and addiction. Created by Paul Abbott and adapted for the American audience by John Wells, this series portrays the Gallagher family’s turbulent life in a working-class neighbourhood.

Led by an extraordinary performance from William H. Macy as the patriarch struggling with alcoholism, the show humorously and heartbreakingly depicts how addiction can bind and tear apart a family.

The Queen’s Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit explores a different kind of dependency. Created by Scott Frank and Allan Scott, this series follows Beth Harmon, portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy, as she battles addiction to tranquillisers and alcohol while chasing her dream of becoming a chess champion.

The show highlights how brilliance and vulnerability can coexist within a complex character, shedding light on the more psychological aspects of addiction.

BoJack Horseman

An animated series with a deceptively lighthearted premise, BoJack Horseman delves into the dark side of generational trauma, fame, and the sinking aftereffects of addiction. Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, the show features the voice talents of Will Arnett as the titular character, a washed-up actor dealing with substance abuse and self-destructive behaviour.

Through its anthropomorphic characters and satirical narrative, the series offers a poignant commentary on the complexities of living on the edge in the land of Hollywood.

Breaking Bad

No discussion of addiction-themed series would be complete without mentioning Breaking Bad. Created by Vince Gilligan, this critically acclaimed show centres on Walter White, portrayed by Bryan Cranston, a high school chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine maker.

While exploring the transformation of a seemingly ordinary man into a drug lord, the series dissects the allure and destructiveness of power, money, and addiction.


Set against the backdrop of Venice, California, Flaked offers a nuanced portrayal of addiction and its aftermath. Created by Will Arnett, who also stars in the series, it follows the life of Chip, a self-help guru struggling with alcoholism and his own hypocrisy.

Through its introspective lens, the show delves into themes of redemption, self-discovery, and the challenges of maintaining sobriety. The second season gets better than the first one, so hang in there.