Ah, a long holiday weekend. The perfect time for picnics, hikes, and lots of outdoor fun. Just kidding, let’s all stay inside and watch TV!
Here are five drug-related films and shows to binge-watch this weekend (and two to skip.)
A new Netflix original series, starring comedian Maria Bamford and co-produced by Mitch Hurwitz, creator of Arrested Development. As New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum writes, the show itself takes place in “a far-out psychedelic dream world, where pugs speak and [Maria’s] house says ‘Maria’s House’ on the roof.”
Inspired by Bamford’s own life, the trippy show deals with mental illness and psychotropic medication. In her stand-up, Bamford has discussed dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder, suicidal ideation, being hospitalized, and receiving a diagnosis of bipolar II. In the pilot, we see her attend a treatment program at a psychiatric hospital and get berated by her childhood “frenemy” Sue, who tells Maria, “All the fame and fortune of Hollywood can’t save ya if your brain done broke.” Funny, sad, sweet and colorful.
Attacking the Devil: Harold Evans and the Last Nazi War Crime
It’s a good time to check out this documentary, recently added to Netflix, which tells the story of British newspaper editor Harold Evans’ legendary campaign to uncover the devastating truth about thalidomide, the drug given to pregnant women in the 1950s to relieve morning sickness. In his quest to get answers, and compensation for victims’ families, he was up against the powerful and wealthy Distillers company, which owned the drug.
Grace and Frankie
Watch this simply delightful Netflix original series, in which Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin play wives whose husbands have both left them because they’re in love with each other. Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin) move in together to weather the storm. Tomlin plays a lovable hippie stoner, who needs to get high to pass a (written) driving exam. For WASP-y Grace, on the other hand, it’s always 5:00 somewhere; she’s rarely seen without a drink. In the first episode of season one, the two women do peyote together (which they say they did in real life to prepare) and the show takes off from there as they support each other through their grief. Season two premiered this month.
Get pumped up for the Trainspotting sequel T2, supposedly coming out in 2017, by watching the original (now streaming on Netflix)—an iconic dark comedy about heroin users in Scotland.
Yesterday, HBO officially announced that they’ll premier new episodes of the best weed web series, High Maintenance, this coming fall. Get excited by watching the original episodes of the show, which range from six to 15 minutes, and are available to stream here. From the New Yorker: “the episodes are luxurious and twisty and humane, radiating new ideas about storytelling.”
While you’re browsing Netflix, there are two drug-related shows you should pass on. Love, a just plain bad Judd Apatow-produced Netflix original series that premiered this past February, brings us Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), a young woman coping with a variety of addictions. Here’s why it’s so bad.
And avoid Flaked, an also bad Will Arnett Netflix original series that premiered this past March, which depicts Will Arnett’s character running around Venice Beach in a fragile state of anxiety. This one’s not for you unless you crave faux-poignant moments about “the lies we tell ourselves,” and enjoy watching middle-aged men have sex with multitudes of bland, gorgeous 20-something women—which, who are we to judge, you might!