The Business of Drugs: Why Amaryllis Fox Is The Perfect Host – Screen Rant

Posted: July 21, 2020 at 12:28 pm

The Business of Drugs features the ideal host to deliver a crucial message about the war on drugs. Here's what you need to know about Amaryllis Fox.

Now streaming on Netflix, The Business of Drugs features the ideal host to communicate the show's important message about the relationship between moderneconomics and the war on drugs. Raised in various international locations,Amaryllis Fox studied international law at Oxford University, and later became a CIA analyst upon creating a historical data algorithm that was used to predict terrorist attacks. However, it'snot just Fox's experiences and knowledge that benefit the Netflix docuseries, but rather, the way she chooses to deliver her ideas to a world of curious streamers.

The Business of Drugs opens with a breakdown of Fox's credentials. The host discusses her10 years working with the CIA as a field operative and how she helped track down weapons of mass destruction. With the appropriate context established, Fox looks straight into the camera and explains why it's so crucial to think deeper about international drug production and distribution. In theNetflix docuseries, Fox is blunt when addressingthe economics of cocaine, synthetics, heroin, meth, cannabis, and opioids, but personablewhen interviewing people with insiderinformation.

Related: How To Fix A Drug Scandal: Biggest Reveals From Netflix's Documentary

In pop culture, Fox is perhaps best known for appearing in American Ripper, a 2017 investigative docuseries about serial killer H.H. Holmes. WithThe Business of Drugs, she's front and center as the featured commentator;she doesn't try to scareher audience like so many American politicians from the 1980s, a time when the war on drugs was reduced to convenient talking points and cultural cliches. Instead, Fox tries to show the human side of the illegal narcotics industry.

Fox never boasts about her professional accomplishments, but instead recalls her childhood experiences in Africa and Southeast Asia, and what she learned as the daughter ofan economist who helped developing countries. It's this personal background that makes Fox so well-suited to host this series: While investigating the rise of heroin distribution inAfrica most notably inKenya Fox offers cultural insightabout her formative years in the continent, and how she looks back on thoseexperiences differently as an adult. During an episode about meth arguably the most revelatory episode of the Netflix docuseries Fox states thatSoutheast Asia is in my blood...Southeast Asia made me who I am.There's a sense of world culture that grounds the host's opinions, as she clearly valuesthe importance of understanding how drug economics correlate with cultural shifts, and vice versa.

Because Foxhas a deepunderstanding and curiosity of differentcultures, she's more effective as an interviewer. In The Business of Drugs, the host casually converses with a masked cocaine dealer from Compton, California, and smiles when discussing sociopolitical conflict withMyanmar politician Yawd Serk, only to then explain to the audience that his anti-meth campaign is merely a "propaganda exercise." Fox opens each episode by describing what she wants to learn, and concludes by reinforcing the fact that the complex business of drugs continues to rapidly change.During the Netflix docuseries, Fox'snuanced approach stands out most when speaking with an American drug dealer about the consequences of his product. First, she's able to get an honest answer, and then acknowledges to the audience that the dealer is "spouting evil." But then Fox circles back to the premiseabout unregulated capitalism and middle-level criminals whodeflect attention from the biggerpicture.

In The Business of Drugs, Fox enters dangerous territory while traveling and speaks candidly with her overall assessments. Do Americans really know that the United States funds "a chain of human suffering"? And do people in general know that Myanmar produces more meth pills in a single year than McDonald's produces hamburgers? Fox is admittedly nostalgic for the past, but recognizes that being willfully naiveaboutdrug economics is part of the problem. As she puts it, "there's a terrible collisions of circumstances." The Netflix docuseries shows that Fox isn't a typical host who merely poses questions for the audience to consider. Instead, she reassesses her own perspectives and identifiescultural talking points thatneed to be part of the conversationmoving forward.

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Q.V. Hough is a Screen Rant staff writer. He's also the founding editor at Vague Visages, and has contributed to RogerEbert.com and Fandor.

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