Single, Drunk, Female shows alcoholism in a whole new light

By Farah Bassyouni Feb 25, 2022
Graphic by Liam Killian
Graphic by Liam Killian

Freeform’s comedy series, Single, Drunk, Female provides viewers with episodes that are incredibly entertaining and touch on important topics involving alcohol and substance abuse. Intended for young adult audiences, the show effectively provides mature comedy while also displaying the dangers of alcohol addiction. 

Though some of the topics in the show can be heavy, the series proves to be an effective illustration of how an unhealthy relationship with alcohol can appear in characters that are the same age group as its target audience. 

Single, Drunk, Female is framed around Samantha Frink, a now sober 28-year-old who has to move back into her childhood home with her overbearing mother when her addiction gets the best of her. 

Within the span of the first few episodes, audiences are given more details of Samantha’s struggles with attempting to recover from her addiction. Scenes of her being released from rehab, attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, meeting with her parole officer and eventually relapsing all occur within the first episode. The extreme pace of the show helps depict the extent of the brutal realities of addiction that it aims to warn its viewers about. 

This series succeeds where other shows directed towards young adults fail as it emphasizes the fact that alcohol addiction can occur at any point in one’s life, a warning to the young adult audience that the show is directed towards. 

Though alcoholics are typically depicted in the media as middle aged men, this series counters that assumption, allowing younger viewers  to understand that they are just as susceptible to addiction to anyone else. 

In environments where heavy drinking is normalized, developing alcoholic tendencies is far more common than one may think. Single, Drunk, Female defeats the sense of normalcy surrounding alcohol and the assumption that alcoholic tendencies are simply a part of healthy socialization that other shows often display. 

While this show may not be the first of its kind, especially with HBOMax’s Euphoria trending every Sunday, Single, Drunk, Female portrays alcohol in a way that wasn’t evident prior to the show’s release. 

In Euphoria, viewers witness the repercussions of drug abuse, but not alcohol abuse. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 50 percent of teenagers in grade 12 have misused a drug at least once, while 62 percent of teenagers in grade 12 have abused alcohol. 

Alcohol abuse is far more prominent in teenagers and young adults than drug abuse, making the depiction of drug addiction in Euphoria not nearly as relatable to audiences as Samantha’s experiences in Single, Drunk, Female. 

Though both series are entertaining, Single, Drunk, Female tends to include situations that are more commonly experienced by its intended audience. This makes it more effective in making those viewers aware of the harmful effects that come from abusing alcohol. 

Another benefit of young adults watching Single, Drunk, Female is that the content of the series refutes the debilitating normalization of alcohol use that is implemented in the media and in our society. Casual drinking is highly prominent, and the nature of this show spreads awareness of how norms involving alcohol similar to casual drinking can actually be harmful to those that are in denial of their addiction as well as former addicts. 

The series involves scenes of alcohol-free parties, as well as characters ordering non-alcoholic beverages at restaurants or bars, which effectively portray how to stray from alcoholic tendencies and remind viewers that addiction is far more common than one may think. 

Single, Drunk, Female is available to watch on Hulu, Freeform and ABC. It is a must-watch in spreading awareness for alcohol abuse, while informing viewers of the possible signs of addiction. The attitude of the show has the potential to make waves in preventing drug abuse in younger generations, and other shows should follow in Single, Drunk, Female’s footsteps. 

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