Recovery Road Freeform

Recovery Road Star: Freeform Drama Will Change the Way You See Addiction

Freeform tackles teenage addiction in its new series Recovery Road — premiering Monday at 9/8c — but don’t feel bad if you find yourself asking: Is the show’s main character, high school party girl Maddie Graham, even an addict?

“When I first started reading the script, I thought, ‘Come on, she’s just a kid. All kids go out and drink and party, that’s just what they do,'” star Jessica Sula, who plays Maddie, tells TVLine. “But the dangerous thing about it — and the scary thing, once you read about the statistics of teen addiction — is the normality of that, which leads to abuse, which leads to addiction.”

Of course, accepting her addiction is only the first step (no pun intended) on Maddie’s road to recovery (again, no pun intended). In order to keep herself on the straight and narrow, she’ll need to avoid temptations — including Wes Stewart, one of her new sober housemates at Springtime Meadows.

“She doesn’t want to be there, so a boy being there is a nice distraction,” Sula notes. “Until she realizes it goes deeper than that, and it could even affect Wes’ sobriety. … That’s really, really, really bad. They shouldn’t go out whatsoever.”

And that’s not even taking into account that Maddie already has a boyfriend, one with absolutely no clue that she’s currently fulfilling a school-mandated 90-day stay at a sober living facility. Having to keep her recovery a secret from her friends at school adds an extra layer of complication to Maddie’s life, especially when all she really needs is their support.

Recovery Road FreeformFortunately, she finds ample — though somewhat rotating — shoulders to lean on within Springtime Meadows, including a bubbly roommate named Trish (The Proud Family‘s Kyla Pratt), a robe-clad snack lover named Vern (Looking‘s Daniel Franzese) and even someone with an uneasy connection to Maddie’s past (Glee‘s Lindsay Pearce).

“Ultimately, it’s about Maddie figuring out herself,” Sula concedes. “She has to figure out whether or not she has an addiction, and I think the show encourages people to think about that.”

Will you tune into Recovery Road tonight? Drop a comment with your thoughts on the new Freeform drama below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Kam says:

    I saw the first 3 episodes when they were pre-released and was very impressed with it.

  2. MissEllys says:

    “All kids go out and drink and party, that’s just what they do,’”
    Uh, there are actually kids out there who don’t do that….sounds like the lead actress might need some rehab.

    • Eran says:

      Get off your holier than thou high horse…she was making a fairly reasonable generalisation as far as teens always have been concerned, especially in this day and age.

    • Amanda says:

      Jessica Sula was also a lead in the last 2 seasons of Skins (UK), which is about teens going out and drinking and partying…So it’s what she’s been exposed to most.

      • Patrick says:

        In the US, a “binge” drinker is someone who has 5 drinks in one sitting/trip to a bar/party. I remember telling that stat to a Scottish friend of mine, and responded by saying that everyone in his family, and all his friends from Scotland, were binge drinkers. Drinking is more accepted overseas than in the US. Largely due to the much better systems of mass transit in Europe, negating the dangers of Drunk Driving. But there is a great talking point here. Is she an addict, or did she do something stupid at a party? If you’d judged me based on my drinking in college, you’d have thought I was a full blown alcoholic. But I didn’t drink during the week (occasional beer/wine with food once I was of age), and I radically curtailed it after college.

  3. Jason. P says:

    This show could have been better if that go down the same route every other Freeform show triangle set up all ready in the first episode.

    • johnhelvete says:

      The boyfriend might break up with Maddie long before any potential love triangle happens, she is lying to him big time in the first three episodes. I think it might be Maddie and Wes with sobriety in the way of a relationship and not a love triangle but I could be wrong.

  4. Yoko says:

    Saw the first three episodes. I am hooked!

  5. Ashbash says:

    I saw the first 3 episodes through the early preview and overall I was impressed. The first episode definitely doesn’t do the show as much justice as episodes 2 and 3. And I’m still on the fence whether or not the main character even belongs in rehab

    • Lisa says:

      Completely agree..the whole entire time I was thinking..”does she really belong in rehab?” We shall see!

    • johnhelvete says:

      I guess that is open to interpretation but at the end of the first episode there is that big scene in the bathroom and Maddie realizes she did not remember a pretty big detail about a night in question (she had a blackout due to drugs or alcohol). Being vague about what she can or can not remember because I dont want to spoil the “big detail” but she seems to at least have a problem if she is blacking out.

    • Cobalt says:

      I hope this is a topic the show goes into more, the debate over what constitutes an addiction, and whether rehab/12 steps is always the right treatment for addiction. I think that would be way more interesting than just following a “she hates it but then comes around and finds her ‘higher power’ and follows all the steps and gets better!” storyline.

  6. Jaclyn says:

    Already watched the first 3 episodes on the Freeform app. I loved it..can’t wait until the TV catches up with me lol

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I’m in love with the show and have already watched the first three episodes so now I’m patiently re watching and waiting for a new episode. It does a great job at showing how a teen sees addiction and how it can be simply brushed off. Every teen must drink and party, right? Well Recovery Road does a great job at showing how it can get out of hand and become more than just teens partying and where it can become a big problem. It’s realistic and relatable and I’m definitely sticking around to see what happens next.

  8. liame says:

    Watch the first 3 episodes on demand and I will watch each episode again. Excellent casting and acting.

  9. Clv says:

    Love this show. It’s getting better as it goes. Hope it’s renewed for a second season. It certainly has messages for families and the problems of drug and alcohol abuse