Intrigue and mystery are some of the best words to use when describing The Undoing, a new mini-series from HBO starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant. Set to premiere on Monday, 30 November at 21:30 on M-Net, we were offered the opportunity to checkout the first 5 episodes by the M-Net team and aren’t we glad we took them up on that. Like numerous other HBO produced series, The Undoing is one that will easily lend itself well to audiences and continues in the mold and tradition of a typical HBO series, most if not all carry a different tone that makes for gripping watching.
The series follows Grace Fraser (Nicole Kidman), who is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. She’s a successful therapist on the brink of publishing her first book, has a devoted husband and a young son who attends an elite private school in New York City. Things aren’t as easy flowing and straightforward as the plot makes it seem though with things quickly unraveling towards the latter parts of the first episode with more details revealed in the subsequent episodes. Adding to its prestige is legendary actor Donald Sutherland who plays Grace’s father Franklin Reinhardt: a retired financier and loving grandfather, tasked with protecting his family when turbulent revelations come to light.
Created and written by David E. Kelley and starring Nicole Kidman, the six-episode series is, like their previous HBO collaboration, Big Little Lies (another one we’re huge fans of). It’s based on Jean Hanff Korelitz’s 2014 novel “You Should Have Known,” whose title referred to a self-help book Grace had written and, more obliquely, to her failure to see the truth about that charming husband.
Judging by the above you would swear that we were painting a perfect picture but that’s not entirely true especially since we feel more could have been done with the story line, the fact that just after episode 2 the plot becomes clearer, works both in its favor (it gets to the point quickly) and against it (the initial intrigue around it lessens). Having said that there’s plenty more to keep audiences watching especially when trying to figure out what really transpired. This is so much so that we can’t wait to see the remaining episode and the fact that we have to wait that long doesn’t put us at ease.
The strength of its cast plays a huge part in carrying the entire series especially Kidman who the series heavily revolves around and as expected, she delivers a great performance throughout. Hugh Grant also adds star power with the legendary Donald Sutherland adding his usual flair to proceedings. A special mention also goes out to the gorgeous Matilda De Angelis who the story line is mainly based on.
It being a 6-part miniseries makes it a short and sharp affair meaning if you had access to the entire thing you could easily consume and binge in a day. It’s a solid addition to HBO’s rich library which lately has consisted of once off series that don’t have a second season worked into them, a good example of this in action and done better than most was Watchmen, a resounding success that hit all the right cords with most who (including us) wish there was more. An interesting approach but one that’s seemingly working and sets the company apart. The Undoing doesn’t quite do enough to reach ‘Watchmen like’ heights but that’s not the point behind it. What it is instead is a solidly put series that most will enjoy.
Thank you to the team at M-Net for indulging us and the opportunity to look into their latest exciting piece of work.