The Undoing is an HBO mini series starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, based on a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz called You Should Have Known. The show peels back the layers upon layers of privilege, putting the concept of the wealthy New York City family under the microscope. The characters on the show have attended elite universities, their children attend private school, and each one of the adults seems to have connections resulting in great careers. In other words, they have it all, so much that their cups are overflowing. This show demonstrates however, that having a lot of money doesn’t necessarily save a family from falling to pieces.
The story centers around a husband and wife Jonathan Fraser (Hugh Grant), and Grace Fraser, portrayed by Nicole Kidman. Jonathan is accused of murdering a woman named Elena, (Matilda De Angelis). Jonathan isn’t just accused of murdering Elena, he’s also discovered to be an adulterer who cheats on his wife. This tale of toxic masculinity unravels by the episode. Jonathan stays with his wife as he pleases, his mistress is someone else’s wife, and he gets to be a “good dad” when he sees fit. Only Don Draper from Mad Men could compete with Jonathan’s audacity.
This show plays a continuous roulette game of “Who did it?” for the viewer. Without spoiling it, I as well as many others were a tiny bit dissatisfied with the ending. But after letting it settle like a fine glass of wine, I feel that the rollercoaster psychological thriller The Undoing makes the show worth it. Next up? Reading the novel.
Chris L. Butler is an Afro-Dutch poet and essayist from Philadelphia, PA. His debut micro chapbook BLERD: ’80s BABY, ’90s KID was selected as one of the winners of the 2020 Daily Drunk Mag micro chapbook contest. It is set to be published in summer 2021, by Daily Drunk Chaps.