Mar 27, 2023

Unprisoned: Heterosexual Ex-Con Moves in with his Heterosexual Daughter and Possibly Gay Grandson


Hulu has been pushing Unprisoned, a sitcom about a ex-con (Delroy Lindo) who must re-adjust to life on the outside while living with his adult daughter and teenage grandson.  Doesn't sound promising, but the teenage grandson is played by 19-year old Faly Rakotohavana, as dreamy as a pop star (except for the gross feminine rings). If I was in high school, I'd be writing his name amid little hearts in my chemistry notebook.   It wouldn't hurt to check to for gay subtexts.

Scene 1:
Marriage counselor Paige and her boyfriend/husband Mal (Marque Richardson, left) are flirting, kissing, and discussing her upcoming TED Talk, "How to Fix Your Picker."  She has fixed her own picker, and since he is incredibly wonderful, she has picked him.  Psych!  She's not proposing marriage, she just wants them to become an official couple on her social media. 

Scene 2: Grandpa Edwin (Delroy Lindo, below) and his buddy Fox (Edwin Lee Gibson) discussing the trip to Alabama he took with the family last episode.  Apparently Fox hired him to "move the car from Point A to Point B."  Maybe some nefarious doings are in the works.  He needed the money to fix daughter Paige's roof, but it was a one time thing: he refuses t continue the nefariousness.

Teenage Finn (Faly Rakotohavana, top photo) comes downstairs on his way to school, and asks Grandpa Edwin to take him to the card store later.  Edwin: "Finn has been driving Miss Daisy, 'cause Miss Daisy doesn't have a driver's license."  Wait, I thought randpa Edwin just drove all the way up from Alabama.

Scene 4:  Grandpa Edwin napping on the couch.  Daughter Paige enters.  They discuss the trip to Alabama. She's home early to prepare for the Ted talk; he offers to help her pick out a "fresh" outfit.  

Cut to her bedroom, and 11 shopping bags full of clothes, while Grandpa Edwin gives his advice: "Wear a dress, so you look friendlier.  And yellow, so you look happy."  

Scene 5:
Grandpa Edwin and his girlfriend Nadine smooching, ear-nibbling, and nose-rubbing. Is that a thing now?  I've kissed a lot of guys, but I have never rubbed someone's nose.  He tries to tone down her horniness: he wants to talk about the crimes his buddy Fox from Scene 2 wants him to get involved in: he could make a lot of money for daughter Paige and grandson Finn, and to start his food truck business.  The Girlfriend advises him to stay clean. 

Scene 6: Daughter Paige in the bathtub, look over the comments to her social media relationship announcement.  A lot of them ask about their future wedding and kids, which disturbs Paige.   Suddenly she gets a text from a hot white guy: "I've been thinking about you.  Can we talk?"  Uh-oh, competition!

That's two smooching scenes with the two main cast members and their heterosexual partners.  The only one left is teenage Finn.  He'd better get a boyfriend, or at least display no heterosexual interest, pronto!

Scene 7: Grandpa Edwin helps Paige memorize her TED talk.  Bombshell: he gets her to admit that she's not actually in love with boyfriend Mal; he just "checks all the boxes."  So, who cares?  Lots of gay guys marry women that they're not in love with and not attracted to in any way, to get all of the rewards that come with heterosexual identity (like being able to mention your partner without awkward silences and assurance that "I don't have a problem with")

Scene 8: Grandson Finn's room.  He's got paintings of African masks, a Ninja master, and a side of beef on his wall: no bikini babes, a good sign.  Grandpa Edwin wants to buy him a birthday present, even though it's nowhere near his birthday, to make up for the ones he missed in prison.  Finn wants a "magic card" for his collection.  

He must mean Magic: The Gathering, a tabletop card game with a sort of heroic fantasy motif.  It has 35 million players, with over 3 billion cards in circulation!

Scene 9: Grandpa Edwin's Girlfriend visits Daughter Paige.  Plot Dump: the Girlfriend is apparently Paige's estranged stepmother (not mother, since they are on a first name basis).  Also, it sounds like she is not interested in Grandpa Edwin, anymore, even though they were smooching in Scene 6.  Is this another person?  No, there's only one blond-haired woman in the main cast.  They just have a very confusing back story.

Scene 10:  Daughter Paige's feet as she slowly gets dressed. She tells the guy she just screwed (maybe Bill, played by Tim Daly) that she's not in love with him.  "But I told Jean about you."  So you're both cheating on your respective heterosexual life partners?  "I don't care.  I can't fall in love with someone who is unavailable."  

Scene 11: Dark Lotus, a comic book and gaming store.  Full of teenage and young adult boys playing -- in the middle of the day?   While they are waiting in line, Grandpa Edwin tries to get Finn to talk about his feelings about his Dad being gone.  Not the right time, Dude.  

"So, which card will make your deck baller?" Grandpa asks. Increase the size of his testicles? "Collected Company: you can put down six mana worth of creatures for only four mana."  Sounds like a good deal.  

Finn only plays the game online, but Grandpa Edwin insists that he wants to watch, so play it at the card store!  

Tony (Collin Lee Turner), a long-haired redhead, not a teenager, is staring intently at Finn -- he looks exactly like he is cruising the boy.  Grandpa Edwin notices and says "That boy needs an ass-whomping."  Wait -- should he ass-whopped because he is cruising a minor, or because he may be gay?  

Scene 12: Neither. Tony just wanted to play the game, and Grandpa Edwin wanted to "ass-whomp him" as in win.  Finn and Tony play by themselves, with Grandpa kibbutzing. 

 Whoops, Finn plays the wrong card and loses!  "Then why did you play it" Grandpa asks.  "I never played it before, and I wanted to see what would happen.  I like to do things that I've never done before."  Well, exchange phone numbers with the guy!

Scene 13: Some stuff with Paige and her boyfriend Mal.

Scene 14: Finn and Grandpa Edwin are driving home, when they are stopped by the police.  Uh-oh, Finn knows enough about driving while black to realize that they are in danger of being killed.  Grandpa Edwin instructs him on how to maximize their chances of survival: keep your hands on the dashboard, look down, do not speak unless spoken to, and say "sir."  The, I mean cop...approaches. The end.  Wow, what a cliffhanger!  But I doubt that two of the three regulars will actually die.

Beefcake:  None.

Heterosexism:  I got really tired of the endless smooching, nose-rubbing, and ear-nibbling.

Gay Characters:  Finn displays no heterosexual interest, and his card game with Tony seems to have a deliberate gay subtext.  But I doubt that he is canonically gay.  Cute as a bug's ear, though.

  I've gone through three episodes on fast-forward, and Finn never expresses any interest in girls, nor does anyone ever ask about an interest in girls.  

Update 2: In the entire series, Finn never expresses any interest in girls, nor does anyone ever ask.

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