Production Company: Recursor
Cast: Lana McKissack, Hayes Hargrove, Michelle Hayden, Braden Lynch
Writer: E.J. Kavounas
Director: Martin Hall
Producers: E.J. Kavounas, Edouard de Lachomette, Stephen Tao & Lana McKissack
Genre: vlog, sci-fi

Nina Unlocked is an interview-style vlog exploring a sentient cyborg’s mysterious past. After discovering her self-awareness, Nina, the charmingly confused, socially-struggling cyborg, embarks on a mission to interview real-life individuals who work with artificial intelligence in order to learn more about her origins.

These interviews feature everyone from a robotics engineer to a sci-fi filmmaker to a NASA scientist. Some of the interviewees are actors, but others are the real deal (which is confusing, but check the credits below every video to tell which is which).

Each episode lasts about 3-6 minutes and packs a whole lot of technical information into a user-friendly, conversational format. The first two seasons consist of five episodes, which you can watch here.

Nina Unlocked‘s format isn’t anything I’ve seen since I’ve been reviewing webseries. The interview style/mystery combination is fresh and well-executed, and the production value is fabulous. Visuals and audio are crisp, the lead’s acting is magnetically bizarre to suit her character, and the well-placed use of CGI showcasing Nina’s abilities is executed masterfully.

The only downside is that the series doesn’t tend to focus on Nina and her history as much as it highlights its interviewees, and because of that, its narrative structure suffers. The series reads more of a one-off set of individual interviews and sidelines what has the potential to be a cohesive mystery narrative about a compelling female/cyborg protagonist.

Despite its narrative shortcoming, whether you’re already an expert in the world of artificial intelligence or an armchair tech enthusiast, Nina Unlocked is a refreshing, informative delight.

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