Turning into a giant kelp monster, talking to acorns and watching the floor turn into water. These are just some of the experiences one would have on a trip, the psychedelic kind. Back in the day, hard drugs were directly linked to insanity. There were cautionary video clips of how one trip could send you into a downward spiral of deteriorating mental health and it would be a while before the world got a clearer picture of thee drugs and their use. But people were trying out substances anyway. It is from their experiences and research that we now have an understanding of a whole culture that led to informed stoners and even psychedelic investigators. Luckily curious minds needn’t look further than a google search or a Reddit thread but you know what’s better than a bunch of studies? A celebrity-featured explainer of what it’s like to trip on psychedelics. That’s exactly what Netflix’s Have a Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics is.
Have a Good Trip: Adventures In Psychedelics has Carrie Fischer, ASAP Rocky, Ben Stiller, Sting and a massive line-up of random celebrities recounting their psychedelic experiences. The Netflix documentary is divided into a bunch of segments that are a combination of warnings, what to expect and hilarious anecdotes from their trips. Through the 1 hour 25 minutes long docu-movie, you’ll find accounts of LSD, magic mushrooms, MDMA, Peyote, DMT and with their scientific and street names making their way into stories backed by the trippiest visuals. So while it should be pretty obvious, we’re here to help you decide if you should watch it if you haven’t already. So why is everybody watching Have a Good Trip on Netflix?
Have a Good Trip is like a gateway drug into psychedelics.
The first thing that comes to mind going into the documentary is that it might just give you celebrity validation of your own trips. This might as well be the hook but you really do get hooked in as the segments advance. Starting with Sting, Sarah Silverman and Steve Agee, the film goes into segments like ‘The More You Trip’: ‘Don’t Drive’, ‘Don’t Look In the Mirror’, ‘Control Your Set and Setting’, ‘Do Look in the Mirror’ and so on, chronicling important tips for occasional stoners and wannabe stoners. Have a Good Trip does a deep-dive into hallucinogenic drugs specifically. Of course, it has a visual narration that matches the dialogue on screen. This comes in the form of immersive landscapes, kaleidoscopic imagery and animated wonderlands. The scenes are as mind-altering as the stories are. All of that talk has substance (get it?). If you’re looking for fresh proof that hallucinogens are pivotal to art, you won’t find that here. What you’re looking at is a mixed bag of outcomes, good trips, bad trips, scary trips and reflections over the number of ways things could go terribly wrong. Most of all, the featured line-up is full of philosophical angles, profound revelations and the idea of having an important takeaway from something as mindless as an acid trip. Things you learn while you’re having a good trip are apparently, very useful in life as you will find out through their accounts. If nothing, you have lessons from their bad trips.
Have a Good Trip is so much more than good trips, bad trips, it’s filled with precious celebrity revelations.
Watching the documentary is an insightful learning experience. It was, after all, compiled over a decade. Director Donick Cary shot the documentary as and when celebrity schedules align, between his own work on Parks and Recreation, The Simpsons and Silicon Valley. Featured are comedians, musicians and Hollywood A-listers. Between the many names, you’ll have plenty newfound revelations going around to keep you intrigued. For Carrie Fischer, an acid trip was like a ritual. She used it to almost feel normal during the heights of her fame when the Star Wars movies released. There was a time when she was tripping at a beach in Seychelles where she felt a “disturbance in the Force” and realised she was topless as a bus full of Japanese tourists looked on.
ASAP Rocky chronicled his first acid trip and talked about how he’s pretty sure he saw a rainbow shoot out of his penis. Weirdly, he also remembers that it sounded like piano keys. Now, this isn’t the kind of stuff you would see on a newspaper headline. Celebrities who signed up for Have a Good Trip, haven’t held back at all in describing their ‘adventures in psychedelics’. Its too much fun to be missed out on.
Have a Good Trip has some well-researched explainers.
While hearing celeb accounts are great and their individual histories of substance use are eye-opening, they are in no way experts in the field of study. Have a Good Trip balances all those hilarious stories and animations with a good amount of scientific decodes. The documentary has some wonderful lab coat-clad Nick Offerman commentaries between segments. Dr Charles Grob, a UCLA professor of Psychiatry takes to the frame to explain common phenomena accompanying drug use. These are expert decodes of how the brain really functions on drugs. His breakdowns are followed by celebrity anecdotes. Did I mention Adam Scott pops up on the screen (literally on old TV screen) as the host of a retro ‘Afterschool Special’. Each short clip is a warning against drugs through cliches meant to discourage teenagers from taking them. It’s filled with ideas from a more innocent time where drugs were thought to make people jump out windows and ruin lives. The idea is to siphon off some of the cliches to reveal the stigmas that came to be attached with psychedelics over the years.
Have a Good Trip manages to destigmatize the use of psychedelics which in my opinion is an important step towards making the information around them more accessible. There is some pretty solid myth-busting going around with stories told in the most descriptive manner. It also opens viewers up to deep questions like, can the drug-infused era of the late 60s also be seen as a consciousness revolution? And leads into an understanding of being responsible with hard drugs, doing all your research before heading into a good trip. Have a Good Trip is basically a celebrity-guided exploration of psychedelics and that’s why everyone is watching it on Netflix.
Cover image: Netflix