Demi Lovato’s ‘Dancing With the Devil’ uncovers heartbreaking truths

Docuseries delves deep into reality of addiction


Fair use from SB Films.

Johanna Kaplan

Superstar singer Demi Lovato released her album “Dancing With The Devil … The Art of Starting Over” with an accompanying docuseries April 2. In four parts, Lovato gives fans an inside look at her struggles with addiction, fame and family. 

The series is centered around Lovato’s near-fatal drug overdose in 2018. Lovato, as well as her friends and family, gives insight into what it was like at the time and what led up to it. The series is emotional and challenges viewers to sympathize with Lovato’s experience. I can’t speak for everyone, but I definitely felt for her. 

Addiction doesn’t just appear out of the blue; it is accompanied by years of unreconciled trauma. Lovato makes this clear by sharing the stories of her traumatic past as a child actor. Being in the limelight 24/7, Lovato had impossible expectations placed on her at a young age. Her fans looked up to her and disappointing them was never a feasible option. 

Lovato had to be the perfect role model so her fans could continue to see her as their hero. In the end, working so hard to be this unflawed, unbroken version of herself only isolated her further. Drugs became her only solace.

Spiraling into a world of self-medicated chaos, Lovato’s addiction consumed her. She eventually overdosed in July 2018. The docuseries described just how close she came to death. If she was found just 10 minutes later, she would not have woken up. Now, she lives every day as if it’s her last, cherishing the time that she is so lucky to have.

This is where I’d usually pull apart the documentary and write about its pros and cons, but I don’t feel it’s fair to critique something like this. Sure, this wasn’t perfect, but Lovato’s courage to speak up is something that overrides any technical errors.

“Dancing with The Devil”: ★★★★★