This story touches on topics of self-harm, suicide, the loss of a parent, and mental illness. If any of these are difficult for you, you might want to avoid watching.
Creators: Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Kate Purdy
Director: Hisko Hulsing
Starring: Rosa Salazar, Angelique Cabral, Constance Marie, Siddharth Dhananjay, Daveed Diggs, Bob Odenkirk
Country of origin: United States
Genre: Adult Animation, Comedy-Drama, Psychological Thriller, Mystery
I'm so bored of living. I wake up every morning in the same bed with the same person. I shower, brush my teeth, I get dressed, and I eat the same breakfast and then take the same commute to work. I'm 28 years old, and I'm terrified this is all there is.
Sometimes, I'll be in the store, and I'll be looking at two different cans of beans, and I'll think "These beans are better." "No, these beans are better." and then I'll think, "That's the most boring thought anyone's ever had.
Meet Alma, 28 years old and bored with her life. She has a family that drives her crazy. The newest annoyance, her little sister getting engaged. Alma is dismissive and insulting about it, resulting in a fight. Unpleasant words are exchanged and Alma drives away. As she's driving, everything in her life finally boils over. She speeds through intersections and stop signs... until her father materializes on a sidewalk.
She wakes up in a hospital, out of a coma, being told she was in a horrific car accident. Her father is there sitting in a chair next to her, talking to her. Wait—That’s not right. He's been dead for 20 years. Something's wrong. He keeps talking to Alma. Trying to explain things she doesn't understand, emphasizing he needs her help.
From there Alma begins to slip. In and out of time. Reliving events over and over. Stuck in a loop until she's suddenly pushed out somewhere in time. Things begin to blend together and just as quickly fall apart again. Lost in the stream of time and thought, we're jolted back and forth with Alma as she struggles to pick up pieces of the truth and her life. Watching as Alma and her world become undone.
You find yourself questioning if she has found a way to bend time or is the reality less science fiction and more family history... And if she has found a way around time, can she change things?
Watch and decide for yourself.
Undone is an American comedy drama animated web series released as an Amazon Prime original. The series originally premiered on September 13, 2019 and as of November 2019, has been renewed for a second season.
There are a few things that make it stand out, the most notable being its art style, called rotoscoping. It's a technique where animators trace over motion picture footage frame by frame, in order to produce a semi realistic yet animated appearance. This technique has been used as far back as 1915. Some examples, and personal favorites, include Disney's Snow White (1937), The Lord of the Rings (1978), A-ha's music video "Take On Me" (1985), and Titan A.E. (2000). Just to name a few.
I found Undone incredibly enjoyable and highly recommend it to any science fiction fan. But with that comes a couples of warnings, it's quirky and while in my wheelhouse, might not be for everyone. It's short enough to watch in a sitting or two while compelling enough to leave you wanting more and questioning the truths and reality of Alma's world. There are hints of science, enough to cover the main topics without weighing you down if you're not an expert on time travel.
I find the unraveling of a person and the journey of their struggles interesting. Both in the sense of coming together but also falling apart. This story in particular, there's an undecidedness for which sides of "truth" I'm rooting for, because each has a different kind of hurt.
I also feel it's important to note Alma is hearing impaired. There are times when she takes off her hearing aid for escape and it's small moments like this that add realism. It definitely made me feel things when there's the realization she's in total silence as life continues to play on, without her.
"UNDONE is a half-hour, genre-bending, animated dramedy that explores the elastic nature of reality through its central character, Alma, a twenty-eight-year-old living in San Antonio, Texas. After getting into a car accident and nearly dying, Alma finds she has a new relationship to time. She develops this new ability in order to find out the truth about her father's death."