Free Meek isn't a congratulatory epic detailing how he came to be released from jail in April 2018 and drop the biggest album of his career. It's an infuriating and at times bleak account because, as the series is quick to establish, Meek Mill is not free. Like countless others out on probation or parole, he is subject to court supervision and can be sent back to prison at any moment for violating the terms of his probation. The incredible highs of Meek's meteoric rise from a battle rapper to a household name are swallowed and shat out every episode as viewers witness the snares of America's post-conviction system, from unrealistic travel restrictions to harsh sentencing for nonviolent acts. Only through callbacks of familiar tunes and the landmark events of his career does it avoid becoming altogether too dismal.
From behind-the-scenes looks at the making of 2014's Wins & Losses to his past relationship with Nicki Minaj, these inclusions serve as a backdrop for his legal struggles. This is the story of Robert Rihmeek Williams' fight for freedom, but it enjoys the spoils of the fact that he's a multi-platinum recording artist who makes for a compelling screening. This approach makes the three-hour endeavor much easier to stomach but all the more visceral. His journey benefits from luxuries not afforded to the average person, yet the system fails him nevertheless. Free Meek nails that concept to brandish one of its central arguments: No one is free until Meek is free.
Over five installments, the docuseries achieves its effectiveness through talking-head interviews, real-life footage such as Meek recording "1942 Flows," and reenactments of events not caught on camera. The interviews guide the discussion and feature commentary from Meek's family, industry professionals, and other celebrities. His family's cross-generational perspective -- from his mother, grandmother, son, or sister -- especially is the soul of the series, their compassion oozing through every anecdote. Eye-opening analyses from legal experts such as REFORM Alliance CEO (and CNN commentator) Van Jones and tenured investigative journalist Paul Solotaroff bring clarity to Meeks's case and reveal its inextricable ties to the corruption of law enforcement and the loopholes of court supervision.