I have almost no idea how to review the Amazon show, Undone. I predicted cancellation, but I’m going to wait a minute to tell you why. Let’s look at the show first.
The premise of the show is a young woman, Alma, whose life is a bit disappointing to her. She lives with her boyfriend, Sam, and she wakes up every morning next to the same man, has a shower, brushes her teeth, eats the same cereal, takes the same commute, and she’s terrified this is all there is for the rest of her life. She also has a lot of complicated baggage from her past — her father died when she was young (car crash, apparently), and his mother was schizophrenic. So Alma is afraid that getting married and having kids is too big a risk in case she either dies on them or becomes like her grandmother. When her sister gets engaged, Alma is confused about why Becca would take such a risk. It ends up in some self-destructive behaviour, lots of dysfunctional family stuff, and eventually a sister fight. Driving away, Alma is in a car crash of her own and sees her father.
So here’s the issue. First, the show is sitcom-length, but definitely not a sitcom. No real jokes, more drama, or more pointedly, more dysfunctional interactions without the 22-minute “everything is resolved” ending. Second, while it isn’t described in the first episode, I’ve seen some of the descriptions of the later episodes, and there’s a weird sci-fi / fantasy element. Yep, she really saw Dad, or a ghost, or something. But the final point is the real question mark…it’s an animated show.
No, go ahead, take a minute to let that percolate in your brain. We’re not talking Family Guy or the Simpson’s, or Futurama, or pretty much any other animated show out there. This is a full-on half-hour drama show about Alma’s life spinning out of control (literally, her car crash involves a car spin!), and it just happens to be animated.
I would be hard-pressed to predict renewal for the show, simply based on the writing or plot. There are too many gaps in the first episode to hook the right audience (Dr. Who or Star Trek watchers perhaps). And the animation was not even the typical cartoon animation you see. It was more like Sim Life turned into a TV show.
And so I have to predict cancellation. I just don’t see how it can succeed. Yet there’s a time travel concept buried in it, so I will likely watch to see what happens. I don’t know why. But I will. I just don’t think anyone else will stick around to the end.