Unprisoned is awkward, and not in a clever way. I really wanted to like the show, but other than the random quotes made for memes, it felt like a huge and boring TED talk.
Kerry Washington is great. But somewhere during production, this show lost its direction and soul. Marketed as a comedy show, UnPrisoned has few and rare laughs, you’d think you’re in the early days of How To Get Away with Murder. Even The Bear had more laughs than this show.
Everything about UnPrisoned admittedly feels a bit off. The series lacks the sort of refined, concerted aesthetic (aside from a lot of earth tones) that one would expect from a streaming program in 2023. I didn’t laugh, I didn’t connect, and I certainly didn’t cry.
If you want to hide a message behind a light comedy streaming show, this is not the way to do it.
The real revelation here is Washington, who is looser than ever. It’s a performance that’s just this side of screwball and it makes me want to see what Washington could do with a role that’s full-on comedic. We’ve seen her in enough dramas. Time to see the comedy.
Should you watch it?
I didn’t like it, but I didn’t hate it. If you want some background noise on a rainy Sunday, it works fine. But it’s nothing interesting enough for me to want a second season.