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6 Netflix Shows That Shine a Light on Addiction Recovery

We’re four months into the new decade, and things already seem bleak with the current state of the world. We’re living in the unpredictable times of COVID-19, new circuit breaker measures have just been implemented, the government has doubled down on us being socially responsible, and we as a nation can do nothing but our best by staying home.

It’s tough; it really is, we feel confined within the four walls of our homes, with nowhere to escape. This is why we have these recommendations, for you to escape reality just for a bit, and for your anxious mind to think about something else other than wonder when’s the next time you can dine in at your favourite dinner spot.

In this edition of Netflix Mondays, I bring you six shows with addiction recovery arcs—and not all of the drug and alcohol nature. Did you know that sex and love is considered an addiction too? The theme of this recommendation is to prove that no matter how many times you fall, you can always get back up and that there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

1. Love

Credit – Netflix

Set in Los Angeles, Love follows the lives of Mickey and Gus, a programme manager at a radio station and an on-set tutor. The duo meets unexpectedly at a coffee shop, unaware of the colour the presence of each other will add into their journeys as twenty-somethings in the city of angels.

Without spoiling it too much, at the end of season one, we see Mickey have a sudden realisation at the common denominator of all her toxic relationships—her addiction with sex and love. Watch on as Mickey tries to navigate healthier dating habits with a heightened awareness of her addiction.

Who should watch it: Perhaps your constant need to find love is a replacement behaviour of sorts. Not that you suffer from sex and love addiction, but you should watch this show to check, just in case.

Love | Watch Here

2. Flaked

Credit – Netflix

Starring Will Arnett, Flaked takes place in a beach town that is Venice, California. The show opens with Chip, a recovering alcoholic, advising fellow alcoholics in a support group of sorts. But is Chip, the self-proclaimed celebrity-guru-recovered-alcoholic who he seems? Is he an authoritarian figure to help others when he bakes himself in lies and half-truths? The beauty of this show lies in the accurate portrayal of recovery, on how recovery isn’t always a straight line, and, like any other journey, has its bumps and obstacles as well. Will Chip eventually live his actual truth?

Who should watch it: For those who want a better understanding of the journey towards recovery and knowing that going cold turkey isn’t as easy as it seems.

Flaked | Watch Here

3. Recovery Boys

Credit – Netflix

Directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Recovery Boys is a documentary that revolves around the lives of four men, Jeff, Rush, Adam, and Ryan and their time at Jacob’s Ladder, a long-term residential recovery program for men in a private farming community. Watch and be confronted by the harsh reality of recovering addicts and their efforts on staying on track for the sake of the betterment of their lives. Self-medicating to soothe our pain is valid, but sometimes we lose ourselves to these vices that comfort us.

Who should watch it: Watch if you’re curious to see how those affected by the opioid crisis in the US retake control of their lives and have always wondered how holistic rehabilitation centres work in the US.

Recovery Boys | Watch Here 

4. Feel Good

Credit – Netflix

Feel Good starts as a sweet ‘girl meets girl, and they instantly fall in love’ type of show. And yes, while that is the central premise of the show, follow Mae and George as the duo deal with the wrench thrown into their relationship—Mae’s past as a cocaine addict.

This comedy romance explores themes of confidence, sexuality, and recovery, quite the trio of what makes a compelling series. Will Mae and George make it through their hardships? Will George finally leave her group of toxic friends?

Who should watch it: If you’re a lover of English and Canadian accents and if you’re a fan of the brilliance that is British comedies.

Feel Good | Watch Here

5. White Girl

While not technically an addiction recovery arc, White Girl does tell the horrors of everything that can go wrong while selling drugs. Written and directed by Elizabeth Wood, we follow the story of Leah and Blue as they experience the high of being successful drug dealers and the lows of Blue being caught and incarcerated.

More than just a film experiencing Murphy’s law—everything that can go wrong will—be enraptured by captivating performances and an explosive portrayal of New York City. Don’t deal with drugs, kids.

Who should watch it: If you’re one to enjoy a good ol’ film on the ‘reality’ of nitty, gritty NYC.

White Girl | Watch Here 

6. 28 Days

28 Days is a film about Gwen Cummings and her time at a rehabilitation centre. Played by Sandra Bullock, we see Gwen go through the throes of confronting her addiction. The pain of denial, withdrawal, and jarring childhood trauma are prevalent topics in this film.

There are many teachable moments in this film, from learning how to walk away from partners who don’t take sobriety seriously to reconciliation with family members. 28 Days is a must-watch for those who want to have a better understanding of what a recovering addict goes through and how they can better support them.

Who should watch it: If you’re a fan of Sandra Bullock and want to know when your drinking problem is an actual problem.

28 Days | Watch Here 

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