The HBO series from David E. Kelley starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant "leans into the opulence that makes it so compulsively (and frustratingly) watchable," says Hannah Giorgis. "The series seems to be under the spell of the alluring world it depicts. Even the sites where its characters agonize are beautiful: Early on, Grace seeks refuge at her family’s beach house; later, she weeps in her father’s marble-studded Upper East Side castle. These settings are immaculate, the details a baroque feast. Father and daughter meet in museum halls; they strategize over intricate chessboards. But as the show unravels, the threat the Frasers pose to others becomes starker. Directed by Bird Box’s Susanne Bier, The Undoing is visually jittery when the camera moves from the pristine scenery to the characters themselves; blurred shots and repeated close-ups convey a sense of unease. That impending horror never fully destabilizes the Frasers themselves, though, or their affluent peers. Indeed, the show seems to relish the disorder that the Frasers cause in other people’s lives, the pain they mete out. Throughout it all, the family remains static: glamorous, somehow still in control. In this, The Undoing deviates from—and falls short of—productions such as HBO’s Succession and Rian Johnson’s whodunit, Knives Out, which don’t spare the prosperous families at their center from shame and degradation. These works skewer the uber-wealthy, in part, by subjecting the rich to indiscriminate terrors, including insects and lesions and reflexive vomiting." ALSO: Nicole Kidman wears fabulous coats on The Undoing.
TOPICS: The Undoing, HBO, Nicole Kidman