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A New Web Series Takes a Brutal And Funny Look At Addiction

Movies and cable specials can be brutal and unflinching to hammer the message home against addiction. But a new web series, Cleaner Daze, is taking a wilder, crazier look at the disease, and it’s been getting strong reviews for its honest portrayal of addiction and recovery. *Tess Sweet is the creator of Cleaner Daze, which takes place in a youth rehab, and she recruited real young people in recovery to star on the show. The show went over like gangbusters at the Tribeca Film Festival, and one cast member who in recovery told, “it’s very dynamic” working with Sweet. *While some critics weren’t thrilled that the show had real people in recovery, as Ozy reports, the filmmaker “tries to be cautious and is careful to exclude major triggers, like images of users shooting up. But she isn’t filming an anti-drug PSA; she wants to show the genuine highs and lows of addiction.” *One cast member had never acted before, and she basically put her real persona on the screen. This cast member adds that working on Cleaner Daze has helped keep her sober as well. Another cast member said, “Being in Cleaner Daze was a very uplifting experience. I am an ex-con and that’s the life I come from. I was never given an opportunity to do anything like this before.” *The show also doesn’t shy away from dark humor, and Sweet said, “I dance a fine line between honest, authentic representation – and hope.” Sweet herself had been a heroin addict and cleaned up in 2001. She went back to school to get an MFA in directing at USC, and if Cleaner Daze goes on to major success, it could be a great culmination of her 17 years of sobriety.

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