The show from BoJack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and BoJack vet Kate Purdy is not made for mass-market audiences. "Way back in 2017, Jeff Bezos ordered the original series team at Amazon to find him his own Game of Thrones-style tentpole—a massive, blockbuster show with global appeal," says River Donaghey. "But in the years since then, Amazon Prime Video has gone, uh, a very different direction. Sure, the streaming service has dumped a huge amount of money into a Lord of the Rings series and an adaptation of Obama's favorite sci-fi book, but the shows that Amazon has produced lately have been way weirder (and better) than anything that could be considered Game of Thrones-y. Forever was bizarre but compelling. Homecoming was low-key brilliant. Comrade Detective was a glorious fever dream. Even the ones that crash and burn, like Nicolas Winding Refn's Too Old to Die Young, are worth watching, just to marvel at the fact that they can exist in 2019. But now, finally, Amazon's willingness to take wild swings on creator-driven shows has given birth to Undone, one of the best shows of the current streaming era—and it could never get made on network TV. Even the show's sell alone is enough to send any self-respecting NBC exec running for the safety of a police procedural. Undone is a psychedelic sci-fi series following an aimless twenty-something named Alma who, after a bad car accident, wakes up in the hospital to find herself unstuck in time."
Undone is the perfect sci-fi series for 2019: "A stab at diagnosing the various psychic maladies that come with life in 2019, Undone embraces a form of speculative storytelling that’s closer to mythology," says Judy Berman. "Its rotoscoped world might be merely a fun-house mirror of reality, but if you’re brave enough to gaze into it, a mind-expanding adventure awaits."
Rotoscoping makes it stand out as different and more ambitious than usual: "Even when watching Undone is a deeply unnerving experience," says Caroline Framke, "it usually finds a way to twist its narrative, let its actors lean into their characters’ flaws, and reap unexpected rewards from often shattering revelations. There’s certainly no other show like it, which at this point is truly no small feat."
It's eye-popping and captivating, even if the mystery is thin: "Undone is so consistently and intriguingly eye-popping as an advanced sensory experience that it's remarkably easy to forgive its failings on more simple narrative levels," says Daniel Fienberg. "Normally it would be hard to imagine endorsing an ostensible murder mystery in which I had zero investment in the mystery, but this series has so many things going on and offers so many other ways to become invested that caring about the literal plot hardly matters. Is it fair to even describe Undone as a murder mystery? Sure, because it's pretty hard to describe it otherwise."
Undone could be the start of something truly amazing: "Undone’s rotoscoped style can be off-putting and startling, thanks to the shifting spaces and breaks with reality," says Samantha Nelson. "The nonlinear storytelling and unreliable protagonist add to the sense that there’s no solid narrative ground to stand on here, which can be disconcerting. But the show’s combination of old animated technology and its fresh approach to serialized science fiction is appealingly ambitious and powerful. If this series helps mark a new wave of American adult animation, it could be the start of something truly amazing."
Salazar has become the queen of motion capture: "Her performance of Alma is soulful, complex, and funny. She has a mischievous quality — a bleating laugh here, a playful comment there — that makes Alma fun to hang out with even when she's being selfish or insolent or cruel," says Liam Mathews.
Co-creator Kate Purdy on BoJack Horseman vs. Undone: "BoJack is a spectrum — we can go as wacky as animal jokes and as deep as a history of family trauma, and I think (Undone) skews toward the deeper end and maybe off that scale a bit, because you don’t have the counter balance of a giraffe whose neck rolls up so that he can get in his car."