TV Review: The Undoing

30 November 2020

By Lauren E. White


Think top actors meet trash-ish TV. That’s The Undoing – but it’s great. A simple murder mystery about some seriously rich New Yorkers and an English child oncologist Jonathan Fraser, who apparently mysteriously finds himself accused of murdering his secret lover, played by Hugh Grant.

Though the first couple of episodes have enough Americanisms in it to make you want to throw up, The Undoing gets away with it as Grant’s Englishness is not diminished. Neither is his charm and wit – and that’s why for the whole six episodes, we refuse to believe that he could have brutally bludgeoned the mother of one of his patients to death. Especially since he had been sleeping with her and lying to his wife for the whole time. Yes – it’s that kind of TV show. But it’s incredibly addictive.

Part of the allure is Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of Grant’s therapist wife, Grace. She is consistently relied upon by every single character for everything, even when she finds out her husband has fathered an illegitimate child and has been secretly lying about being employed at the children’s hospital. It’s all a hot mess, but, as the title suggests, it’s an undoing. An undoing of lives and how they’re all somehow tangled.

And the series finishes in court, like all good dramas do. It’s Broadchurch-esque in that sense, only the lawyers are far more shocking and abrasive. Hayley Fitzgerald, played by Norma Dumezweni, is an incredible defence lawyer for Grant’s character. At every turn, she is ruthless and apparently lacking any morals, but in the land of fiction, it’s all OK. And you kind of feel yourself rooting for her case – she’s good. Even if it is totally unrealistic.

The Undoing, then, is your typical ‘who murdered this woman?’ kind of trope. But I don’t think it’s the terrible, usual kind – there are plenty of strong women in it, and this is shown quite clearly in the final episode. After the year we’ve had, if you want to unwind with some classic TV binge-worthy drama, The Undoing is for you. And what’s more, Hugh Grant’s in it. You can’t complain.

The Undoing is available to watch now on Sky Atlantic.

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