The Pharmacist is worth watching if:
- You’re a fan of good true crime docs.
- Watching driven people with a purpose inspires you.
- You could be more familiar with America’s opioid epidemic.
The Pharmacist is not worth watching if:
- You’re looking for a gore-filled serial killer doc.
- You’re a proud opioid dealer.
- You don’t care about the ‘bigger picture’.
- Insane amount of original film and recordings from the early 2000s.
- Expertly weaves together two true crime narratives in just four episodes.
- Very likeable ‘characters’ you want to root for.
- Netflix can’t just hire this guy to go investigate other crimes.
- Hard to fit all that original footage in just four episodes.
- Some viewers might demand a mindblowing twist.
score: 80% CHILLIN
One sentence story summary: After his son’s tragic death, a Louisiana pharmacist goes to extremes to expose the rampant corruption behind the opioid addiction crisis.
Four episodes, two true crime stories, one relentlessly inspiring good guy pharmacist. That’s what you have to look forward to if you watch Netflix’s new docu-series, The Pharmacist.
Dan Schneider, the titular Pharmacist of this true crime series, was a grief stricken father when he learned his son had been murdered while trying to buy drugs in New Orleans one night in 1999.
When he realized the police showed little concern in solving the case, he took matters into his own hands, and set off on a quest to find his son’s killer.
Not only does Schneider’s diligent investigating lead him to answers about his son, it eventually clues him down an equally horrifying path, one that teaches him the full extent of America’s systemic opioid epidemic, 10 full years before it was ever officially recognized as such in America and in the mainstream.
Schneider doesn’t just make the perfect ‘hero’ of this show because of his good natured devotion to justice, he was also relentless in the manner he documented his investigation, a godsend for the film’s producers.
The sheer amount of raw video footage and audio recordings Schneider made during his investigations, a fortunate spinoff from his time making family home videos, is completely insane, especially for a time where people didn’t have cell phones let alone smartphones.
While much of Schneider’s story is told via modern day interviews with the film crew, even more is told via original footage he recorded well over a decade ago.
When he’s cold calling forty homes a night back in 1999 looking for more information regarding his son, his phone machine was rigged to record it all. As he goes door-to-door through poverty stricken streets in search of clues, he’s got a camera with him.
Averaging 55 minutes an episode over its four parts, The Pharmacist is rich with information without overstaying its welcome. It may not have all the bombshell twists to match certain true crime series (although it has some), this is a series that has enough to stand on that such moments are not a requirement.
If you’re truly a fan of true crime, we’re recommending you a prescription of The Pharmacist on Netflix.
Consume as often as needed, until thoroughly impressed.