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Joanna Weiss Boston Globe

"…This then isn't an expose so much as a primer on the problem. Still, it's compelling, largely because of the 'Frontline' hallmarks: This hourlong show isn't flashy or fancy, but it's incredibly comprehensive. …

"Most effectively, 'Frontline' shifts from talking heads enough to show real people, their bodies ravaged by the drug, their families torn apart. They look ghostly and morose, decades older than they should, and they seem hard pressed to find a way out. Those images along are enough to scare anyone straight."

 

Virginia Heffernan The New York Times

"…illuminating…a streamlined account of the rise of methamphetamines in the United States. …

"The picture the program presents of these notoriously adaptable [international] networks - using interviews, narration, verite reportage and graphics - is fascinating. …"

 

Amy Finnerty The Wall Street Journal

"…While exploring meth's ruinous grip on users, the documentary goes further - employing the type of meticulous forensic analysis at which 'Frontline' excels, and in which it surpasses not only most TV but most contemporary print journalism. …

"All the while, it remains aloof from ugly politics, focusing, as it must, on the innocent human toll."

 

Kay McFadden Seattle Times

"…Not enough of [The Oregonian]'s nuance makes it into 'The Meth Epidemic,' despite the presence of Oregonian staff writer Steve Suo. Instead, the show moves in predictable fashion from the big-scare come-on to the unified theory of explanation to that currently popular villain, the pharmaceutical industry. …

"While 'Frontline' was considering the history of meth, it might have looked up Prohibition and human nature.

"At the risk of sounding like William Bennett, I also was puzzled by the glossing-over of personal accountability. Or to put it in less loaded terms, who's shooting up and why? If the drug is spreading from the Northwest and West to the Midwest, South and perhaps the Northeast, shouldn't we know something about the people taking it?

 

Dusty Saunders Rocky Mountain News

"…Tonight's subject is 'The Meth Epidemic,' a problem that 'Frontline,' with sledgehammer force, depicts as hurtling toward becoming a national crisis. …

"Like most 'Frontline' productions, 'The Meth Epidemic' is anything but escapist television. But again, 'Frontline' dispels the ongoing criticism that the medium never comes to grips with major problems."

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posted feb. 14, 2006

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