Or Nah? is a new feature where we watch and review the first episode of a new TV show. We’ll let you know if it’s worth checking out. As always, these reviews are the opinion of the reviewer, but we’ll try to adequately explain why you should or shouldn’t give the show a chance and provide shows for comparison.
Season 1, Episode 1 – Blackout | Starring: Jessica Sula, Sebastian De Souza, Alexis Carra, David Witts, Sharon Leal, Daniel Franzese, Kyla Pratt, Emma Fassler, Paula Jai Parker | Director: Lawrence Trilling
What’s It About?
17-year-old Maddie Graham is placed into a 30-day recovery house for addicts after alcohol is found in her locker at school.
The first episode immediately dives into how bad Maddie’s drinking problem is: She wakes up on a lawn when the sprinklers come on, stumbles home, and climbs into bed mere moments before her alarm clock rings for school.
Her day goes from bad to worse when vodka is found in her locker, and she reluctantly accepts the school counselor’s offer of a 30-day treatment program instead of being expelled.
From there Recovery Road hits the usual notes as Maddie refuses to accept she belongs in a house filled with addicted misfits because she’s not like them. Except, of course, she is exactly like them.
She’s a hot-ass mess, she’s a smartass, but you will root for Maddie. Early in the episode she opens up about the death of her father in a somewhat offhanded way, so I was ready to write her off as a spoiled, let-me-see-how-much-of-an-asshole-I-can-be brat. And she can be that way, but when she confesses to one of the house members she has no memory of her recent night of drinking, it’s heartbreaking. Sula brings a vulnerability and likability to Maddie and you can’t help but want her to succeed.
The supporting characters are well done. Some a touch cliched, but the acting is solid and the dialogue has a wit that helped me overlook that.
Honestly, I think the only way you wouldn’t enjoy this show is if you simply don’t like these types of shows: teen dramas that are only slightly more provocative than an after-school special from back in the day.
I’ll continue to watch. I won’t be covering it in a weekly review – contributors may choose to continue reviewing the show based on their Or Nah? review, but that’s not the case here. You may hear me mention it on an upcoming podcast, though.
Recovery Road airs Mondays at 9pm on Freeform (formerly ABC Family)
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