Some topics, while important ones to address, can be hard to translate to the small screen correctly. That’s why when basing an entire series around these kinds of topics, you have to be very careful. But that’s what one of this season’s new shows hopes to do when Recovery Road episode 1, the premiere, airs tonight.
Recovery Road is based on a novel for teens by author Blake Nelson, released in 2011. It tells the story of Maddie, played by Jessica Sula in the live-action series, a teen with drug and alcohol addiction issues who attends rehab on weeknights and weekends in order to avoid expulsion after being caught with booze at school. Initially blowing off the idea that she even needs to be in rehab and teasing the idea of relapsing due to her dislike of the facility, she soon comes to realize that her being there may actually be valid.
Recovery Road episode 1 has a lot of hurdles to clear if it is to become successful, as well as avoid being a topic of controversy. For one, it needs to successfully present addiction as a problem and rehab facilities as a solution. Being a drama, there’s sure to be a lot going on at the facility, including secrets about other attendees and more than a fair share of romance (they’re teens, after all), but at the same time, they run the risk of making addiction and/or rehab look “cool,” which probably won’t sit well with viewers who have a personal connection with the issue. Several critics have already pointed out this issue with the show, so it’ll be interesting to see if viewers share those same concerns.
Also, unlike other TV shows and movies based on books, such as Harry Potter or The Mortal Instruments, the Recovery Road novel is a single book, which means far more limited material to base a show around. Assuming this series gets additional seasons, it’s going to mean stretching out the source material they have or will have to make up original content, which doesn’t always go well (just ask Game of Thrones fans).
Recovery Road episode 1, titled Blackout, airs tonight on Freeform (formerly ABC Family) at 9 p.m. EST. Watch and find out if you’ll get addicted!
Video Credits: Instagram/recoveryroadseries
Video Credits: Youtube/Magalie Auger-Aubin