Year in Review: The 23 Best Druggy TV Series of 2023

The opioids crisis continued to dominate the stoner television landscape in 2023 with two more series to rival Dopesick. Comedies were common in a year that saw prominent CelebStoners like Seth Rogen, Pete Davidson and Harrison Ford take the leads in streaming series. Here are our Top 20 of 2023, from A-Z.

Agent Elvis: This 10-episode animated Neflix series co-produced by Priscilla Presley features Matthew McConaughey in the starring role. The cast also includes Priscilla (herself), Commander (Don Cheadle) who functions as a sort of Col. Tom Parker, CeCe (Kaitlin Olson), Berte (Niecy Nash), Elvis sidekicks Billy Ray (Johnny Knoxville), Scatter (his chimp) and oddball characters like Howard Hughes (Jason Mantzoukas) and Timothy Leary (Chris Elliott) and more.

Awkwafina Is Nora from QueensAwkwafina starts a weed business with her "Bad Grandma" (Lori Tan Chinn) in Season 3, Episode 6 on Comedy Central. "You want to sniff a nub?" Grandma asks. "Nug," Awkwafina corrects her. Grandma hires seniors to help her sell "Grandma's Jazz Cabbage."

And Just Like That: Che (Sara Ramirez) continued to smoke up a storm in Season 2 of this HBO sequel to Sex in the City. She and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) break up. Meanwhile, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) has a bad reaction to an infused brownie that sends her to the hospital. What's next, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) tries ketamine? The series will be back for another season in 2025.

Sara Ramirez as Che smokes a preroll in "And Just Like That" on HBO. (CelebStoner image)

Beef: A road-rage incident is the basis for this 10-episode series on Netflix. Ali Wong and Steven Yeun play the ragers whose lives get intertwined. In the final episode, lost in a canyon, Amy and Danny pick and eat berries that send them on a trip. What begins as a confrontation between two angry people turns into an unexpected love story.

Bupkis: Paralleling his real life, Davidson lets it's all hang out in this ficticious series on Peacock. Like in The King of Staten Island, he lives at home with his mom (Eddie Falco) and sister (Oona Roche). Chase Sui Wonders (Nikki), his actual girlfriend at the time of the series, co-stars. But mostly Pete gets stoned with his buds and acts out in outrageous ways - huffing nitrous in his agent's office, taking ketamine in Canada while he's on an acting job. Pete's a trainwreck waiting for the next bad thing to happen.

Daisy Jones & the Six: This rock & roll series on Prime reminded viewers of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. It's a rise and fall story of a band that just can't keep it together due to the yin and yang leads played by Presley's grandaughter Riley Keough and Sam Claflin. There's a major attraction between the two that's the key tension in the series: Will they or won't they? (Well. they sort of.) But it's also cliche-ridden (drinking, drugtaking, groupies backstage) with Billy (Claflin) juggling his marriage amidst Daisy's tempatations.

Dave: One of TV's wackier shows starring wannabe rapper Dave Burd had a killer Season 3 finale on Hulu. Brad Pitt shows up at Dave's house; he's there to make a cameo in Dave's latest video. But Dave also has a stalker who arrives after Pitt with a crossbow. She wants to smoke a joint with Dave, so Brad rolls up "a couple of fires," his term for joints. Bella the stalker (Jenea Intriago) lights one and coughs. "The cheeba will get you, girl," Brad says. Then she shoots him.

Depp v. Heard: The tawdry spectacle of the former celebrity couple torn apart by a trial played out on Netflix for all to see. Did Johnny Depp beat Amber Heard? Was he abusive? As Heard drips tears, Depp smugly sits back and watches. The court crowd and public sentiment is on his side. Heard's sordid tales falls on deaf ears as the court rules in Depp's favor. 

via Netflix

Ginny and Georgia: In Season 2 on Netflix, Georgia's life eventually implodes but not before Ginny (Antonia Gentry) has a full year of school and teenage activities that includes pepping up here depressed boyfiend (Felix Mallard) and getting stoned with her girlfriends. Ginny (Brianne Howey) remains a force to be reckoned with, breaking rules wherever she goes until the law finally catches up with her. There will be a Season 3.

Growing Belushi: Jim Belushi is in a class by himself. The former SNL cast member and fill-in for his brother John in the Blues Brothers bought a property in Southern Oregon a few years ago and converted it for legal cannabis cultivation and now produces numerous products under the Belushi's Farm name. The farm is the setting for this Discovery series. In Season 3, Belushi and his cousin/business partner Chris Karakosa hit the road to drum up new business around the country and world; the final episode finds them in Albania (Belushi's home country) where they meet with the Prime Minister. Meanwhile, their incompetent manager Larry Joe Campbell attempts to solve a myriad of problems at the farm. Season 4 is TBD. 

History of the World, Part II: The followup to Mel Brooks' History of the World, Part 1, this Hulu series begins with a funny pot joke. Cave women roll joints and sticks together to start fire and get the weed going (also a Bic lighter helps). One says: "It's so funny they call us cave people. I've never been in a cave. I don't even know where there is one."

I'm a Virgo: A giant of a man who's just a teenager, Cootie (Jharrel Jerome) becomes a viral sensation when he escape from his home. In the first episode, Felix (Brett Gray) and a few friends spy Cootie fenced in the backyard. They're smoking a joint. "Hey, you want to hit this?" he asks. A huge arm comes through the fence and Felix passes the joint to Cootie. Emancipated, he breaks out and hits the streets with Flora (Olivia Washington) and other Oakland protestors.

Thirteen-foot Cootie reaches for a joint in "I’m a Virgo" on Prime. (CelebStoner photo)

Painkiller: This copycat series on Netflix follows the lead of Dopesick on Hulu; both are about the now bankrupt opioids company Purdue Pharma. In this version, Matthew Broderick plays Richard Sackler, the myopic executive who drove Purdue to increase sales at all costs, despite knowing the addictive properties of OxyContin (they lied and called it non-addictive). A sales force of mostly attractive women target male doctors willing to take gifts and kickbacks in exchange for writing scripts. Sadly, all the Sacklers have avoided jail as they continue to negotiate a massive settlement. 

Platonic: Bring Neighbors stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne back togeher and you'll have a successful series on Apple TV+, right? Not so much. Sparks never fly between the two because their friendship is "platonic," despite spending an inordinate amount of time with each other. Sylvia (Byrne) is married; Will (Rogen) is recently divorced. While Sylvia, who's a lawyer, is restless after years of raising kids at home, Will co-owns a brewpub in Los Angeles. He's not a happy guy. Will routinely kicks over electric skateboards that line L.A. streets like Citi bikes in New York. He's angry about a lot of things, mosly related to his business partners and another relationship that falls apart. So Will returns to his awkward friendship with Sylvia. They take gummies in one scene and Sylvia is dosed on ketamine in anoher. But not one joint is smoked in this disappointing effort from Rogen.

Shrinking: Halfway through the first season of this affable series about SoCal therapists on Apple TV+, Paul (Harrison Ford) eats some gummies given to him by Liz (Christa Miller). At a party, he's a little too high. "I can't believe I used to do this for fun," Paul gripes. "I'm too high for this shit." Next scene he's asleep on the couch with an open bag of Doritos on his chest. Both Ford and Jessica Williams (Gaby) have been nominated for Critics' Choice Awards; the generally annoying lead actor Jason Segel (Jimmy) received a Golden Globe nom. The show has been renewed for Season 2.

Survival of the Thickest: In this Netflix series starring Michelle Bateau and Tasha Smith, Mavis (Bateau) welcomes Khalil (Tone Bell) to "the 5k Bong Hit Run" by offering him a vape pen before they take off on a jog in NYC. Marley (Smith) notes: "That's a special strain for atheletes and business executives." A second season has not been confirmed.

That '90s Show: This That '70s Show offshoot, set in 1995, is about the kids. Eric and Donna's daughter Leia (Callie Haverda) visits the grandparents and decides to stay in Point Place for the summer. She pines for Jay (Mace Coronel), Michael and Jackie's son, but it takes all season for them to kiss. The famous basement smokeouts resume and, in one episode, Red (Kirkwood Smith) busts Leia, Jay and others who sneak off to a rave. Tommy Chong as stoner-dude Leo shows up too. The only original cast menber to be excluded is Danny Masterson (Hyde), who's presently in jail. There will be a Season 2 in 2024 on Netflix.

The Fall of the House of Usher: Combine opioids with Edgar Allen Poe and you end up with a really creepy series that has all sorts of literary illusions to the dark, 19th-Century American short story writer and poet. Black cats abound and there's a constant beating in the walls of Fortunato Pharma's crumbling enterprise. They sell a powerful painkiller called Ligadone. But due to the addictive damage the drug causes, a ghostly spirit (Carla Gugino) creates havoc until all of the Fortunatos are dispensed with, one episode at a time. Bruce Greenwood stars as Roderick Usher in this eerie Netflix masterpiece.

The Freak Brothers and Seth "Rogaine" at the Cannabis Carnival

The Freaks Brothers: For Season 2, Tubi broke the eight-episode series up into two sections; the second, released in the fall, was sponsored by Weedmaps. Based on the '60s and '70s stoner comic strip The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, this animated show brings Freewheelin' Franklin Freak Woody Harrelson), Phineas T. Phreakers, Pete Davidson), Fat Freddie Freekowski John Goodman) and Kitty (Tiffany Haddish) to life. Having arrived from the '60s, the quartet are like fish out of water in the 21st Century. But it doesn't take long for them to adapt to legalization. In one of the later episodes, they attend the Cannabis Carnival where Seth Rogen has a booth for his Houseplant brand. "It's pot and pottery," he explains. "Freaking brilliant, right?" Rogen gives them brownies: "Be prepared to be knocked up by my super pot." Freddie replies, "That's a fine edible, Mr. Rogaine." "It's Rogen," the ganjapreneur says. "Rogaine is one of my sponsors."

The Idol: This sleazy HBO series featuring Lily-Rose Depp and Abel Tesfaye (a.k.a The Weeknd) went off the rails from the start. Pop singer Jocelyh (Depp) is taken under the wing of Tedros (Tesfaye), an record producer with a major chip on his shoulder. He manipulates Jocelyn and everyone around them with cultish leadership skills. Tedros is a terror and even moves into Jocelyn's spawling L.A. house uninvited with his acolytes. He plays sexual games with her head while shoving coke in his nose. The series was so bad and reviled HBO did not pick it up for a second season.

The Last of Us: A fungus is among us in this runaway hit on HBO starrng Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as two of he last uninfected people left on Earth. They cross the country in hopes of finding an antidote and safe harbor from the deranged cordeceps zombies who've taken over cities and areas where people can manage to live. It's a hellscape you can't stop watching. The show received three Golden Globe noms for Best TV Drama, Pascal and Ramsey.

Luke Kirby (Lenny Bruce) and Rachel Brosnahan (Midge) in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on Prime

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: The comedy series about a Jewish family in late-'50s/early-'60s New York won its share of awards in the first few years but lost a bit of steam as the show rolled on. Season 4 with Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) and Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby) expanding their relationship proved to be a series highlight. But Season 5 was kind of an epilogue, knowing in advance it was the final one. Midge skips into the future on several occasions, projecting her rise as a comedic star into the '70s and beyond. At one point, she reflects on taking acid with Timothy Leary (in a previous episode Midge said she went to Woodstock). At a roast, her agent Susie (Alex Bortstein) is described as "smelling like Cheech & Chong." Maisel will be missed.

Weed 7: CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta continues to push the envelope with this series that began 10 years ago. His latest program deals with seniors and their surprising use of cannabis as a medicine. Gupta travels to Florida, California and Israel to find out why septuagenarians and older are embracing weed and tossing away their pills. Can it help with dementia and Alzheimer's? Apparently so. Even the hardline head of NIDA, Dr. Nora Volkow, tells Gupta Israel's advances in cannabis research is "a good model." Now, that's progress.


More 2023 Year-in-Review

CelebStoner Awards

 Stoner Movies

 Counterculture/Drug Books

Musicians Who Passed Away

Celebrity Drug Busts


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.