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Unstable

Unstable season 1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Kennedy Unthank

TV Series Review

Ellis Dragon is a gift to the world. He’s a genius with the charisma to back it up, making the world a better place every day.

He’s the CEO of a major biotech company that has created some remarkable things—such as an enzyme that turns sugar cane into a completely biodegradable plastic-like material, for instance. And his latest idea is even more impressive.

“It’s a way of drawing carbon out of the atmosphere and then using that to manufacture concrete,” Ellis’ CFO, Anna, says. “It’ll lock up climate-changing gases for over a thousand years and will literally save the world.”

Of course, that idea is great in theory, but what really matters is actually proving that it’s possible. And therein lies the issue, as it’s been weeks since Ellis has set foot in the lab. He’s always been narcissistic and eccentric. But after his wife died, it seems that he’s gone somewhat crazy.

Well, the board of directors’ patience is running thin, and if Ellis doesn’t get a prototype out soon, it won’t be long before he gets the boot. That’s why Anna reaches out to Ellis’ estranged son, Jackson, in the hopes that his presence can get Ellis back on track.

Jackson, however, is estranged for a reason.

“All my dad ever does is try to change me into being more like him, and the rest of the world cheers him on,” Jackson says.

If the two ever hope to make some atmospheric concrete, well, they’ll need to build a firm foundation for themselves first. And as it stands, pulling concrete out of thin air just might be the easier task.

A Crumbling Foundation

While Ellis and Jackson (played by Rob Lowe and his real-life son, John Owen Lowe, respectively) might be working toward building that foundation, Unstable has some foundational issues that make it a hard watch.

The primary issue is the series’ dependence on sexual references. The jokes are often simply references to genitalia, sex or otherwise sensual activities. We also see a man’s naked rear, and the characters within the show often promote the consistently harmful hook-up culture. We’ll also be introduced to a couple LGBT characters.

Parents should also note that Unstable contains a significant amount of swearing, with the s-word and misuses of God’s name being frequent. Some characters drink until they’re intoxicated. And overall, they’re quite rude to one another, leaving the actual heartfelt moments too few and far between.

We’ll always appreciate a plot about a family attempting to reconcile despite difficult circumstances and differing personalities. But Unstable doesn’t just describe the central character’s mental state—it also describes the foundation upon which the show is built.

Episode Reviews

Mar. 30, 2023 – S1, Ep1: “Unstable”

It’s been weeks since Ellis has returned to work, causing his company’s CFO Anna to bring Ellis’ son, Jackson, back to try to coax him back into his job.

We see Ellis’ naked rear, and we also see him in tight underwear from the front. Ellis talks about his genitals. We hear a reference to Ellis allegedly having sex with a tree. A scientist named Ruby references a professor who, using biotech, made male genitals. Another scientist, Luna, tells a story of when she wet herself as a child.

People drink beer and take shots. Ellis discusses when he tested hallucinogens via microdosing. We’re told that Ellis has locked a man in his basement for attempting to blackmail him.

The f-word is seen once, written on a magazine. The s-word is used three times. We also hear other swears occasionally, like “a–,” “h—” and “p-ss.” Someone says, “suck on that.” God’s name is used in vain five times, including once in the form of “g-dd–n.” The name of Jesus is abused once.

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Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He thinks the ending of Lost “wasn’t that bad.”

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