Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers
Unstable – Netflix Original Series
“Unstable” stars Rob Lowe as Ellis Dragon, a biotech engineering genius known throughout the world for his inventions that battle climate change and other scientific challenges. Ellis is very charismatic and has a childlike joyfulness in the way he goes about doing his work and dealing with issues in his extraordinary life. Due to the untimely death of his wife of 30 years, we find Ellis in the midst of what most around him consider a breakdown and his son Jackson (John Owen Lowe, who is his actual son in real life) is called away from his life in New York as a talented flutist to support his dad emotionally.
Ellis’ main ally in the company is CEO Anna Bennet (Sian Clifford) who constantly finds herself in unusual and at times embarrassing situations supporting and protecting Elis from the press, his board of directors and at times himself. Even prior to Ellis losing his wife Anna dealt with these challenges, though now a step up with things like finding him completely naked in his office and wanting to have the board of directors to join him to ending up on the cover of Time magazine as “The Wizard of Odd” in a photo with a metal bowl on his head wearing a translucent cape and with a live hawk perched on top.
When Anna questioned Ellis as to the disappearance of the psychologist the board hired to evaluate him, she discovered that Ellis had kidnapped him and locked him in the basement of his luxury mansion due to discovering the psychologist was going to write an unflattering report and then attempted to blackmail Ellis. In a very bizarre twist of fate, the psychologist actually befriended and sought life advice from Ellis regarding his own recent breakup, and when allowed to leave, returned saying he had missed their friendship and begged to return.
Elis would constantly belittle Jackson’s career as a flutist, wanting him to instead be more like him and follow a career in science at his dad’s company. Jackson took the opportunity at a staff karaoke night to share his flute skills, which completely floored Ellis who made an immediate switch to saying Jackson truly had a gift and he should pursue it. Jackson himself was quite the science genius, but had no interest in following in his father’s footprints until he saw Ellis’ latest saving invention “the biomass”, which is 10,000 more dense than a plant, and like plants sucks carbon dioxide out of the air and 100,000 would be the equivalent of planting a trillion trees and would pull 40 billion tons of climate-changing carbon gases from the air every year.
The Red Team was responsible for the biomass project and included Luna Castillo (Rachel Marsh) and Ruby Rosario (Emma Ferreira) who are both quirky geniuses that play well off each other. After sharing the details of the biomass science, Jackson became interested in working on the project as well as getting to know Ruby better after she showed some obvious advances. The main staff is rounded out by office assistant Malcolm Drummond (Aaron Branch), who is often working behind the scenes for Ellis with his crazy plans, and with Anna to help her manage Ellis’ escentric ways.
It’s unclear if this crazy crew of misfit geniuses can save the world with their revolutionary science or if Ellis will be ousted from his own company by a controlling board of directors, but for certain viewers will enjoy clever dialog with witty exchanges and loads of laughs in every episode. Rob has a charming charisma and the father/son bond between Rob and John Owen is genuine and endearing.
Season 1: 8 – 30min Episodes