Wowed by Dopesick? Here are 6 meaty dramas for your next TV binge…

With so much great television constantly being presented to us, it’s impossible to keep up with everything that’s worth watching. 

Within that, sometimes a show can feel like something of a sleeper hit, a show that hasn’t arrived with massive fanfare or a huge marketing campaign, but slowly, through word of mouth and recommendations from critics and friends. Dopesick, Hulu’s 2021 feels very much like that. 

This isn’t some plucky drama with an unknown cast and a tiny budget, it has a starry array of actors and Danny Strong, one of the creators of mega-hit drama Empire, overseeing the show, but it has grown slowly, with people coming to the show well after it had finished its initial run. Whenever people have come to it though, they’ve left with the same feeling, one of anger at the subject matter, but real praise for the show itself. 

Dopesick unites Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Will Poulter, Kaitlyn Dever and Rosario Dawson and adapts Beth Macy’s book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America across eight episodes. 

Macy’s book and the show explores America’s struggle with OxyContin opioid addiction and the hold the drug would eventually take in some sections of society. 

The drama plays from multiple angles: we see doctors and patients using the drug, we watch on as prosecutors try desperately to hold OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma to account, and, how the drug itself was made and marketed.  

Dopesick is a harrowing watch at times, but also totally gripping, skilfully plotted and sensitively laid out. 

If you’ve not seen it yet, correct that immediately, it’s on Hulu in the US and Disney Plus in the UK and Australia right now. But, if you’ve already blitzed Dopesick, here are six alternatives for you to fill the void its end has left in your life. 

The Dropout

(Image credit: Hulu)

Another gripping drama based on real-life events and a great place to start seeing as it’s been made by Hulu too. 

Amanda Seyfried stars in this eight-parter, which retells the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of healthcare tech startup, Theranos. 

Theranos had set out to revolutionize US healthcare by creating a machine that could undertake bloodtests in a matter of minutes. Along the way, she secured deals to put her machines in major US supermarkets and saw Theranos valued at $9 billion with more than $400 million raised in venture capital. Sadly, the technology never worked and Holmes is now facing prison after being convicted of fraud. 

Seyfried delivers a stellar performance and just picked up an Emmy for her role as Holmes with Naveen Andrews, Stephen Fry and Laurie Metcalf among the supporting cast. 

A story that has been seen to be believed and one expertly and rivetingly retold here. 

Where can I stream it?

Hulu (US), Disney Plus (UK, AU)

WeCrashed

(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Another mind-boggling tale of ego and excess, and this time sparked by the revolutionary ideas of renting office space. 

Jared Leto stars as Adam Neumann, the founder of WeWork and the drama, which plays out over eight parts, chronicles his rise from struggling wannabe entrepreneur to CEO of a company with a valuation of $47 billion. 

As WeWork prepared to go public, a series of revelations sent the company into a tailspin and resulted in Neumann being unceremoniously dumped by board. 

Adapted for Apple TV Plus from the Wondery podcast of the same name by Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello and co-starring Kyle Marvin, Cricket Brown, Andrew Burnap, Anthony Edwards and O. T. Fagbenle, this is a searing tale and well worth your time. 

Where can I stream it?

Apple TV+ (Worldwide)

Halt and Catch Fire

(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

A cult drama which ran for four seasons from 2014 and 2017, Halt and Catch Fire isn’t spoke about in the same way as shows like Mad Men or Succession, but it should be. 

With a starry cast that included the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s Lee Pace, Black Mirror‘s Mackenzie Davis and Narcos: Mexico and True Detective‘s Scoot McNairy, Halt and Catch Fire followed depicted a fictionalized insider’s view of the personal computer revolution of the 1980s, something that would ultimately lead to the birth of the internet in the early 1990s. 

Pace plays Joe MacMillan, an entrepreneur who recruits an under-utilized computer engineer and a programming prodigy to help him establish a new company, one that could rival giants like IBM and Apple.

Created by Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers, the show never attracted huge numbers, but those did watch it adored it, including critics, who gave it a very good 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Where can I stream it?

AMC+ (US), SBS on Demand (AU), Premium Rental (UK)

Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber

(Image credit: Showtime)

The story of Uber’s creation, of corners cut and futures risked, was dramatized earlier in 2022 and makes for gripping viewing. 

Super Pumped, or, to give it its full title, Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber, charts the rise of the ride-hailing app and the fall of its CEO, Travis Kalanick. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Kalanick, with Friday Night Lights‘ Kyle Chandler as his mentor, Bill Gurley, and Uma Thurman on board as Arianna Huffington. 

The show documents Kalanick’s relentless drive to succeed, a drive which saw him alienate many of those who supported him and compromise everything to get what he wanted. 

Super Pumped is already on for a second run, with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook as the new focus.

Where can I stream it?

Paramount+/Showtime (US), Paramount+ (AU,UK)

Billions

(Image credit: Showtime)

Though it’s arguably past its sell-by date now, when it first launched, and certainly for its three seasons, Billions was a blistering piece of television. 

Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti are front and center here, with Giamatti playing US attorney Chuck Rhoades who is instructed to go after a powerful hedge fund king and multi-billionaire, Lewis’s Bobby Axelrod, a confrontation that Axelrod doesn’t take too kindly to. 

The dual between the men is made more complicated by the presence of Chuck’s wife Wendy, a psychiatrist and in-house performance coach at Axelrod’s company Axe Capital, a relationship deeply disapproved of by Axelrod’s wife Lara.

Where can I stream it?

Paramount+/Showtime (US), Paramount+/NOW (UK), Stan (AU)

Inventing Anna

(Image credit: Netflix)

Fraud makes for compelling television and for her second outing for Netflix, showrunner supreme Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Bridgerton, chose the saga of Anna Delvey. 

The series is based on Jessica Pressler’s 2019 article for New York magazine How Anna (Sorokin) Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People. Inventing Anna chronicles the journey of Delvey, supposedly a wealthy German heiress who bragged to friends that she was sitting on a fortune of over $60 million. 

Anna Delvey turned out to be Anna Sorokin. She had no fortune and didn’t stand to inherit a thing. Between 2013 and 2017, she fleeced her new friends for thousands of dollars. 

The story of how she did it is quite something. 

This has the same fizzy feel as Bridgerton and less weight than Dopesick or The Dropout, but it is just as compelling. 

Where can I stream it?

Netflix (Worldwide)

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