“How you get parented is how you get partnered,” Kerry Washington’s character declares in the series premiere of Hulu’s new comedy UnPrisoned, and there’s a lot of truth to that statement.
Inspired by the life of creator Tracy McMillan and showrun by TV vet Yvette Lee Bowser (Living Single, Dear White People), UnPrisoned centers around the complicated relationship between family and marriage therapist Paige (played by Scandal‘s Kerry Washington) and her father Edwin (The Good Fight‘s Delroy Lindo) following his release from prison. Dad is getting out after 17 years behind bars, and although Edwin’s parole officer Mal (Dear White People‘s Marque Richardson) urges Paige to do more than just put up a Black Lives Matter sign to support her father’s reentry into society, she refuses to let Edwin live with her because she has an impressionable teenage son, Finn (Raven’s Home‘s Faly Rakotohavana). Plus, it’s not the first time that he’s claimed to turn his life around, she points out. Instead, Paige hands Edwin an iPhone and takes him shopping for underwear.
Everything from the fancy phone technology to the way a barista shouts his coffee order is jarring for Edwin. But there’s one thing he’s still comfortable with: hitting on a woman at the store and hooking up with his former girlfriend Nadine (Supergirl‘s Brenda Strong). Paige is angry at Edwin for leaving her in Nadine’s care when he went to prison, and walking in now to the sounds of their sex noises doesn’t help matters. Paige reverts to her childhood self (Jordyn McIntosh) to explain to the camera how this is all related to repetition compulsion. Just like her dad wasn’t there for her, Paige has picked a boyfriend, almost-divorced Bill (Private Practice‘s Tim Daly), who is also emotionally unavailable to her. (When Edwin comments on Paige’s pattern of falling for white men, she notes that he’s the one who moved them to Minneapolis.)
While Paige meets up with her foster sister (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist‘s Jee Young Han), she leaves Edwin at her home, where Finn unexpectedly shows up after ditching class and starts chatting with the grandfather he’s never met before. Paige wasn’t sure she wanted to introduce the two, so she’s not thrilled by the sight. She drives Edwin to his new living situation, which is highly questionable, and almost goes back for him several times. In the end, though, it’s Edwin who shows up at her door, explaining that he really wants things to be different this time, so he’s being different.
What did you think of UnPrisoned? Grade it below, then hit the comments!