While the Times offers David Kelley and Hugh Grant a chance to slap each other on the backs for the finale of “The Undoing,” word of mouth offers an abundance of disgruntled watchers who sat through the multiple inaccuracies of life on the upper east side expecting something unexpected as a payoff. Not only did we find out that the obvious was the right answer all along, but we learned that there were hidden references in this mediocre melodrama. Turns out that “The Undoing” was really about Trump, another narcissistic man who of course can be compared to a psychopathic killer because in the words of Hugh Grant, “he knows intellectually that he lost the election, but when he’s arguing that it was fixed, he believes every word of it.” (NYTimes 12/2/2020) Other deep thoughts are offered by screenwriter Kelley, ” Power and money accomplish results that are not available to ordinary people.” And this “He (actor Hugh Grant) really wanted him to be a monster….He really wanted to go for it. He urged us to make him a monster.”
Perhaps Trump Derangement Syndrome may explain some of the other inscrutable plot points that occur throughout, particularly Nicole Kidman’s somnambulistic walks through Harlem and Central Park at night, once in her bathrobe; Hugh Grant’s “doctor” appearing at school next to his paramour and their baby while the children are being dismissed; the lovely Elena coming to the benefit committee meeting after all its preparations have been completed; the young son choosing to protect his father - not by throwing the bloody hammer in the CEntral Park reservoir across the street, but by giving it two runs in the dishwasher; and perhaps most peculiarly, Nicole Kidman’s flaming hairstyle worn by this Harvard educated doctor of psychology as she counsels her troubled patients. Never mind penis envy - here’s something female patients can really lash into.
“The Undoing” lived up to its title by shooting itself in the foot progressively as the series unfolded. Among other things, it teaches us that small details count, particularly accuracy in the mise en scene and in the fashion and habits of its residents. Something that might not have occurred to them was that the show was ultimately a victim of terminal Trump hatred, an affliction just as contagious as the Covid Virus , particularly in the populations of La La Land and NYC. Who knew this would be another sin we could blame on that easiest and most popular target ?
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