"Part of the difficulty is that Briarpatch wants to be a deeper show than it is," says Alex McLevy of the Sam Esmail-produced drama starring Rosario Dawson and written by Andy Greenwald. "There are several moments of eerie, almost supernatural portentousness that slot in awkwardly alongside the affable Southern-fried dramedy. And the show continually tries to drop in quirky symbolism and load meaning onto clunkily staged imagery that comes across more forced than fanciful or effective. It ends up being several shows in one—gumshoe mystery, political intrigue potboiler, and small-town soap. Each one has its pleasures, but sit together uneasily, like the series couldn’t bear to not be all things to all people. Still, when it calms down and manages to settle in to a single story for sufficient lengths of time, Briarpatch is alive with wit and style."
Rosario Dawson joined Briarpatch because she got to play the lead role for a change: "I’ve never done anything like this," she says. "So often I’ve played the girlfriend or some story line device kind of character, and not that main protagonist in this way. This woman has made some very clear choices about who she thinks she is and what her ambitions are, and to see it all kind of deconstruct and being able to explore that was very exciting, challenging, and intriguing. It was really good for me and my spirit to know that I could take advantage of an opportunity like this and rise to the occasion."