Unprisoned 2023 / A broken family tries to start anew in this joyful and heartwarming story about healing


Growing up in multiple foster homes to an absentee mother and imprisoned father, Paige Alexander (Kerry Washington) has had a tough life, but you wouldn’t know from the way she carries herself. She’s bright, cheerful, and constantly buoyed by her ambitious hopes for upward mobility. But there are cracks to her facade, and all the trauma she’s been keeping in spills over one day when her recently released father decides to move in with Paige and her teenage son.

Trust and abandonment issues start to emerge. Resentment bubbles over. Despite being a relationship therapist, Paige cannot stabilize her love life. A viewer might expect a self-serious dramedy at this point, but Unprisoned refuses to be pigeonholed in this category. Instead, the show extracts unexpected joy from its bleak premise. Paige and her father Edwin (the perfectly cast Delroy Lindo) riff off each other with sparkling dialogue. They deploy endless jokes sometimes to hide their pain, but mostly to connect in that unique father-daughter way. After years of mistrust and negligence, they’re understandably broken but not, as it turns out, irredeemable. Relatable, sympathetic, and big-hearted, Unprisoned is a welcome show about the unexpected ways we heal (and the detours we take along the way). 

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