Unlicensed

Podcast Trailer

Publisher:
Audible

Unlicensed

4.5/5

Critic Rating

From Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, creators of the genre defining fiction podcast Welcome to Night Vale, comes the new LA noir Unlicensed, starring Molly Quinn, Lusia Strus and T.L. Thompson. Unlicensed follows Molly Hatch (Quinn), recently divorced, two years sober, and completely lost on where to go next in her life. On a whim she answers an ad for an assistant to a PI, traveling to an unpromising strip mall on Citrus Avenue in Azusa, CA, where she meets Lou Rosen (Strus). Lou is a brilliant detective, but she’s also a completely disorganized mess, both in her physical space and within her own mind. She loses evidence, forgets what she’s already figured out, and she hasn’t even gotten it together to get her PI license. Working illegally in the outskirts of Los Angeles, where the cul-de-sacs and strip malls sprawl into the desert, the only clients she can get are those who either can't afford anyone else or have cases that are too marginal for licensed PIs or the police to bother with. When a teenage girl pleads for Lou and Molly to take the strangest case of their career, they find themselves involved in something much bigger than they were prepared for. This unlikely pair, with no resources and no back-up, follow a trail of seemingly unconnected cases, which leads them to a ransom, a murder, a mysterious wellness center, and a conspiracy that might go all the way to the governor. Featuring guest appearances by Jason Segel, Janet Varney, James Urbaniak, Cecil Baldwin, Jasika Nicole, Mara Wilson, and more, Unlicensed is a deeply-human, captivating thriller set in the most uncool neighborhoods of America’s coolest city. Only on Audible


Critic Reviews

Score: 5

Miranda Sawyer • The Guardian Nov 12, 2022

"Unlicensed appears to be channelling a different detective, as our brilliant but eccentric sleuth gains a more sensible sidekick. In common with Welcome to Night Vale, there’s an all-seeing narrator, who paints a beautiful picture of LA in every episode, zooming in and out of the story like a camera on a drone. Themes and phrases emerge and are repeated, but slightly differently. And the story, which starts out fairly conventionally, begins to spin into weird noir in episode two. Suddenly we’ve got replicant siblings, freed lions, mysterious deaths and California wildfires, and you find yourself gripped. Excellent."

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Score: 4

Michael Bergonzi • Audio Drama Reviews Nov 10, 2022

"Rather than going with the typical buddy-cop tropes with a hardened investigator who’s ready to retire and the young newbie who’s looking for glory, Unlicensed inverts it. Their dynamic is depicted by the completion of a complete thought. By episode 10- of the 12-episode first season, the pieces start falling into place. A lot of the complaints about a lack of progression in the plot resolve themselves in the last three episodes, but that might be too late for some listeners."

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