So, we’re thinking: Hugh Grant – tick; Nicole Kidman – tick; David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies, writer-producer) – tick. The Undoing has to be a hit – tick?
With Nicole Kidman in an auburn wig, with her mega rich mates, and some big drama throwing everything off balance, Kelley is seemingly on a tour of America’s social elite, and having ticked the SoCal box, he’s moved to the chauffer driven mothers of the Upper East Side. Naturally, they love nothing more than arguing over a fund raiser, and judging any parent who dare stray from their unwritten handbook.
Our leading couple are Grace (Kidman) and Jonathan (Grant), a therapist and doctor duo with a pre-teen son who looks alarmingly like Dustin from Stranger Things. And for most of the first episode, this is all we know – you may even suspect that Richard Curtis had secretly got hold of the script, unable to resist Hugh Grant’s charm, and banged out another rom com. But eventually, something happens – one of the mothers is found dead, and Grace can’t get hold of Jonathan. Here launches The Undoing of their marriage, with Kidman in her natural state, playing a woman on the brink. Is it in the same league as Big Little Lies? No, we fear not. However, the shots of New York are beautiful as expected, and you’ll finish the first episode just about wanting more.
Mike Hale in The New York Times says the series should be “sexily entertaining,” but “the fun lasts a little way into the second episode” and “dissipates pretty quickly after that.” In Variety, Caroline Framke said the show “comes so close to commenting on privilege and injustice with something like awareness, but all too quickly devolves into the very stereotypes it purports to understand.” Robert Lloyd of The Los Angeles Times agrees that it “does not offer much in the way of social commentary or satire,” and complains that “the drama can be become tiresome.”
More average than we hoped? Tick.
First shown October 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.