Elon Musk and the fictional tech titan Ellis Dragon in the new Netflix comedy “Unstable” are different -- but also the same in many respects.
Of course, a TV blogger has only Elon Musk’s public-facing persona to judge him by, but based on that, most people would agree that the man is eccentric to say the least.
Here is a guy who bought Twitter for $44 billion -- comprising his own money and the money of others -- and then saw it lose its value by $24 billion in the five months that he has owned it.
Despite this, you get the feeling that he is not particularly bothered by this, since he has other things on his mind -- such as some day colonizing Mars.
Ellis Dragon is cut from the same cloth. He is not in the EV business, but he is one of these guys who is not satisfied with developing and guiding any business that does not have the potential to change the world.
Musk has already done so by ushering in the new age of electric vehicles and creating a company from the ground up that is now among the most valuable on the planet Earth -- Tesla, not Twitter.
One big difference between Elon and Ellis: Musk does his thing in the real world.
In “Unstable,” Ellis heads a company involved in biotechnology. Specifically, his current obsession is with the creation of a “plastic-like” (his words) material that will have all the strengths of plastic, but will produce no harmful effects on the world, its climate, its air or its oceans.
Another project in the works is the development of a new super-fauna that is so dense that just a basketball-sized assemblage of the new plant can produce the same amount of carbon dioxide as a trillion trees. This would be great, but obviously, this is fictional.
The show, previewed by the TV Blog on Wednesday, is a hilarious, top-drawer comedy. Ellis Duncan is played by Rob Lowe (above photo), ageless at 59, who sometimes gives the impression that he never takes a day off. In addition to“Unstable,” he also appears currently in “911: Lone Star” on Fox.
“Unstable” is a family affair. Lowe is the show’s star and one of its executive producers. Another executive producer is his son, John Owen Lowe, 28, who also stars in it.
He plays Jackson Dragon, a young man who is nothing like his dad. He is a trained flutist, a title that his father cannot seem to pronounce correctly as “flautist.”
Jackson lives in New York, where he struggles to make ends meet giving flute lessons. In the first episode of “Unstable,” he reluctantly agrees to come out to California at the request of one of Ellis’ top lieutenants because Ellis seems to be losing touch with reality.
Ellis is not focusing on the company and its prospective wonder-products, and the board is on the verge of voting him out of his own company. And yet, he rolls merrily along as if he has not a care in the world.
His perceived instability is another similarity he shares with Musk. But with Ellis Dragon -- as with Elon Musk -- as unstable as they may seem, somehow they get the job done.
“Unstable” starts streaming on Friday (March 30) on Netflix.