UnPrisoned’s logline screams “drama”: a therapist and single mother’s (Kerry Washington) life is thrown upside down when her father (Delroy Lindo) is released from prison and comes in with her and her teenage son. With the exception of Orange Is the New Black, most Hollywood productions dealing with the jail system (see: Just Mercy, The Unforgiven), or in this case reintegration, are handled in a serious, if not dismal, tone.
UnPrisoned, on the other hand, aspires for both laughs and seriousness. Tonally, it is far more Modern Family than Oz. Yet, as the show’s opening credits state, it is all “inspired by some pretty insane things,” occurrences from creator Tracy McMillan’s real life.
UnPrisoned Is Worth The Watch
“I think it is crucial to portray this narrative through a comedy-drama lens since this narrative revolves around a very true family, or it is inspired by a very true family, and that relatives is full of amusing individuals,” Washington says in a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment. “Her father spent her entire life in and out of prison, and he is also charming, witty, and wonderful.
So we wanted to develop UnPrisoned that honored the core of who they genuinely are as well as what their lives were like together. “But you do not want to be impolite. You do not want to mock it. Well, I suppose we all agreed to try to be as truthful as we can because the reality about people is often rather amusing. It is also frequently very challenging and poignant.”
The Scandal actress, 46, says she was terrified meeting screen veteran Lindo, but she could not imagine anyone else playing her damaged yet charismatic father. Washington portrays a marital and family therapist in the show, which hits close to heart for the actress, who frequently discusses her personal mental health issues. Acting, according to Washington, can help.