Unstable (TV series)

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Unstable
GenreWorkplace comedy
Created byRob Lowe & John Owen Lowe & Victor Fresco
Starring
  • Rob Lowe
  • John Owen Lowe
  • Sian Clifford
  • Aaron Branch
  • Rachel Marsh
  • Emma Ferreira
Music by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes8
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Hailey Chavez
  • Missy Mansour
  • Lisa Iannone
CinematographyClark Mathis
Editors
  • Andrew Doerfer
  • Lawrence Maddox
Running time20–26 minutes
Production companies
  • Garfield Grove
  • LoweProfile
Original release
NetworkNetflix
ReleaseMarch 30, 2023 (2023-03-30) –
present (present)

Unstable is an American workplace comedy series made by the streaming service Netflix starring Rob Lowe and his son John Owen Lowe, with both also acting as executive producers on the series, along with Victor Fresco. The series premiered on Netflix on March 30, 2023. In November 2023, the series was renewed for a second season.

Synopsis[edit]

A father-son comedy in which socially shy son Jackson (John Owen Lowe) begins working for his successful and admired, but eccentric and narcissistic-adjacent, father Ellis (Rob Lowe) at his high-tech bio research facility in order to help save him from spiraling further following the death of his wife.[1]

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Rob Lowe as Ellis Dragon, the CEO and founder of a biotechnology company called Dragon
  • John Owen Lowe as Jackson Dragon, Ellis's son who is a flautist
  • Sian Clifford as Anna, the CFO of Dragon
  • Aaron Branch as Malcolm, Jackson's friend from childhood who previously worked as Ellis' assistant, but now works as program manager at Dragon's Red Lab
  • Rachel Marsh as Luna, a scientist working at Dragon's Red Lab
  • Emma Ferreira as Ruby, another scientist working at Dragon's Red Lab and Luna's best friend

Recurring[edit]

  • Fred Armisen as Leslie, a therapist that the board of Dragon brought in to work with Ellis
  • Tom Allen as TJ, a board member of Dragon who sits on the board alongside his twin, Chaz
  • JT Parr as Chaz, TJ's twin who sits on the board with him
  • Christina Chang as Jean, the best friend of Ellis' late wife who sits on the board of Dragon
  • Merrick McCartha as Ted, a board member

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Unstable"Marc BucklandTeleplay by : Victor Fresco
Story by : Rob Lowe & John Owen Lowe & Victor Fresco
March 30, 2023 (2023-03-30)
Eccentric Los Angeles biotech CEO Ellis Dragon suffers a mental decline following the death of his wife. His CFO Anna Bennet worries that his erratic behavior and loss of focus at work jeopardizes the company. She has Ellis' estranged son Jackson, an aspiring flautist living in New York, come to Los Angeles to help Ellis recover from his downward spiral. Jackson resents his father for disregarding his ambitions and pressuring his son to be more like him. The two briefly reconcile during a company karaoke event, after which Jackson plans to return to New York, but he is forced to stay when Anna and Ellis reveal that Ellis has held his company-issued therapist captive in his basement for attempting to extort him.
2"Engaged, Focused and Ridiculously Sane"Marc BucklandMichael ShipleyMarch 30, 2023 (2023-03-30)
3"The Wizard of Odd"Marc BucklandSean ClementsMarch 30, 2023 (2023-03-30)
4"Pilgrims and Sex Parties"Jay ChandrasekharJohn Owen LoweMarch 30, 2023 (2023-03-30)
5"Beautiful Birthday Bastards"Jay ChandrasekharHailey ChavezMarch 30, 2023 (2023-03-30)
6"The Ballad of Eduardo"Marc BucklandSam ShankerMarch 30, 2023 (2023-03-30)
7"Roasting For Beginners"Marc BucklandBente EngelstoftMarch 30, 2023 (2023-03-30)
8"A Dragon's Fire"Marc BucklandMichael A. RossMarch 30, 2023 (2023-03-30)

Production[edit]

The show was picked up straight-to-series by Netflix and the formation of the show was reportedly inspired by John Owen Lowe's social media trolling of his father Rob Lowe.[2] John Owen Lowe described the series as "about a father-son dynamic that's very relatable but under a really specific lens, which is a father who loves being the center of attention and his son, who feels the exact opposite."[3]

It was announced in April 2022 that Rob Lowe and his son John Owen Lowe would both act as executive producers on the show along with Victor Fresco, with production being handled by the Netflix studio.[4] In June 2022 the series added Sian Clifford to the cast alongside Rachel Marsh, Emma Ferreira and Aaron Branch in series regular roles. Additionally, Fred Armisen, Tom Allen and JT Parr were announced in recurring roles.[5] On May 4, 2023, it was reported that the second season (yet to officially renew) of production has been shut down due to the writers strike.[6] On November 16, 2023 the series was officially renewed for a second season with Andrew Gurland taking over as showrunner for the eight-part second series with production scheduled to begin in Los Angeles later that month.[7]

Release[edit]

The eight episodes of Unstable were released on March 30, 2023.[8][9]

Reception[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 67% approval rating with an average rating of 6.3/10, based on 18 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Unstable is a little wobbly as it veers between sincere family affair and scathing satire, but Rob Lowe's reliable comedic chops provide the necessary ballast."[10] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 68 out of 100 based on 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11]

Robert Lloyd of Los Angeles Times described the show as an "adorable workplace comedy that's odd enough to feel fresh and traditional enough to feel good."[12] Angie Han for The Hollywood Reporter said "it's very, very funny, thanks to a crackling combination of sharp writing, lovably eccentric characters and snappy comedic timing."[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Darwish, Meaghan (February 3, 2023). "Unstable': Rob Lowe Teams With Real-Life Son in Netflix Comedy First Look (VIDEO)". TV Insider. Archived from the original on February 5, 2023. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  2. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (April 6, 2022). "Rob Lowe — and His Son — to Star in Netflix Comedy 'Unstable'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 14, 2023. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  3. ^ Thomas, Carly (February 3, 2023). "Rob Lowe and His Son Discuss Taking Father-Son Dynamics to the Small Screen in 'Unstable': "Not a Whole Lot of Acting"". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 14, 2023. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  4. ^ White, Peter (April 6, 2022). "Rob Lowe & Son John Owen Lowe To Star In Netflix Comedy Series 'Unstable' From Victor Fresco". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 30, 2023. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  5. ^ Otterson, Joe (June 15, 2022). "Rob Lowe, John Owen Lowe Netflix Comedy Series 'Unstable' Adds Six to Cast". Variety. Archived from the original on March 15, 2023. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  6. ^ White, Peter (May 4, 2023). "'Unstable': Season 2 Of Rob Lowe & John Owen Lowe's Netflix Comedy Series Shut Down Due To Writers Strike". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 4, 2023. Retrieved May 4, 2023.
  7. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (November 16, 2023). "Rob Lowe's 'Unstable' Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 16, 2023.
  8. ^ Petski, Denise (February 3, 2023). "'Unstable': Rob Lowe & John Owen Lowe Netflix Comedy Gets Premiere Date – Watch The Teaser". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 3, 2023. Retrieved February 4, 2023.
  9. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (February 3, 2023). "Rob Lowe Is an Unstable Tech Titan in Teaser for Netflix Comedy With Son John Owen Lowe — Get Release Date". TVLine. Archived from the original on March 6, 2023. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  10. ^ "Unstable: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 30, 2023.
  11. ^ "Unstable: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved June 30, 2023.
  12. ^ Lloyd, Robert (March 29, 2023). "'Unstable' review: Rob and John Owen Lowe team up in this charming workplace comedy". LA Times. Archived from the original on March 29, 2023. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  13. ^ Han, Angie (March 30, 2023). "'Unstable' Review: Rob Lowe and Son John Owen Lowe Make a Winning Pair in a Netflix Comedy That Keeps the Focus on Fun". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 30, 2023. Retrieved March 30, 2023.

External links[edit]