REVIEWED: SEASON 1 (ALL EPISODES) | WHERE TO WATCH: AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
Alma Winograd-Diaz (Rosa Salazar), a normal 28-year-old woman, is sick of living the same old life. She wakes up in the same bed, she gets ready and goes to the same job, she comes home and eats the same food and goes to sleep - day after day. After an argument with her family, Alma rushes off in her car only to catch a glimpse of her deceased father (Bob Odenkirk) and ends up in a car accident that will change her life forever.
From the creators of BoJack Horseman, Undone is an incredibly heartbreaking and relatable sci-fi show about mental health, dealing with grief, and the importance of family. The first aspect that shines is its visual presentation - the show was filmed entirely traditionally before creators Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy used rotoscoping to create a beautifully sculpted oil painting come to life. It's a perfect fit for the more trippy elements that occur once Alma awakes and begins to communicate with her father Jacob who tragically passed away almost 20 years prior.
Even though the show is only eight episodes long, which run at approximately twenty-three minutes each (a total of around three hours), so much is achieved thanks to some breathtaking writing and character development. From the beginning, audiences can see that Alma's relationship with her mother Camila (Constance Marie) and her sister Becca (Angelique Cabral) is fractured and has been distant since their tragic loss - the only semblance of something keeping Alma going is her charming and down-to-earth boyfriend Sam (Siddharth Dhananjay). Her connection to the world is explored through the use of her speech processor, because of her cochlear implant, that she removes whenever she wants to escape from this reality into her own world - a theme that is explored further when Jacob helps Alma realise her heritage and that she has abilities to explore and manipulate time and space.
With the visuals and writing alone, Undone has to be witnessed without much prior knowledge other than the concept - the wonderfully sensitive approach to analysing a broken family who are all dealing with their issues in different ways make the show utterly compelling. Alma's journey is relatable while also being fantastical and it ends perfectly with the right balance of ambiguity and transparency.
Undone is an absolute masterclass in short, sharp, and precise storytelling with its well-realised characters, incredibly engaging arcs, and stunning visual presentation. It easily sits high on our Best TV of 2019 list, but it must remain as a one-and-done show to maintain the integrity of its tragic and gut-punching impact.