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Undone on Amazon Prime Video is a masterpiece, both visually and as literature

[SPOILER ALERT] I believe I discovered the new series on Amazon Video Prime on the day it launched. I finished it on the first day.
Undone on Amazon Prime Video is a masterpiece, both visually and as literature

Undone Series on Amazon Video Prime

Undone starts off slow self-indulgent, making you wonder why it needed to be beautifully rotoscoped after all. Then, all of a sudden, it becomes a masterclass in magical realism. The series is reminiscent of the novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. The veil between the other and this material world dissolves and the story evolves from being just a story of a cute, edgy, Latinx, mestiza, Alma, who says awesome things like "broken people break people" and who can seriously put down a lot of tequila into the story of the blossoming of a Priestess, the most powerful shaman that her dead theoretical physicist dad has ever seen. I don't want to go too deeply into the plot or the storyline because there are so many twists and turns; I also don't want to remotely address the end of the series except I was extremely disappointed⁠—if only because I am a true believer. This is how it is described over on IMDB:

"A woman discovers she has a new relationship with time after surviving a car accident that almost killed her."

Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy ("BoJack Horseman"), "Undone" is a half-hour drama, a magical realist story of an aimless 20-something named Alma (Rose Salazar) and her search for answers about her past.

I plan make a much deeper dive into this beautiful, deep, complex, honest, and smart series. The series would have been perfectly wonderful were it only an exploration of the surface issues: the mom's connection to the church, the girl's connection to her indigenous roots, the loss of a white dad, Jacob, the sister's engagement to a man more out of a desire for stability and prestige over deep love, the relationship between the girl and her boyfriend Sam. Their life living in San Antonio, Texas, and, of course, issues of mental illness, brokenness, relationships, addiction, feminism, race, gender, and even what it's like to be a woman of color, a South Asian Indian immigrant, and all of those things.

Even without the magical realism, the exploration into the confluence of theoretical physics with shamanism and witchcraft and what's defined as schizophrenia, this is a brilliant series.  Most of the main characters are deep and fully-crafted, fully-realized—except maybe Alma's sister Becca's fiancé Reed, who plays it as a bro, and his mom Beth, who plays it like a rich, entitled, bro's mom. They're both played for comedic effect. 

I'm mad about Rosa Salazar, who stars as Alma Winograd-Diaz, who also played Alita in Alita: Battle Angel. She nails both a lightness of being as well as suffering under the weight of the world. I thought she was going to only be a social justice warrior-type at first but her pathos is deep and her intelligence, creativity, and spirit shines through, both from the actress and the character that was written on the page as Alma. Bob Odenkirk plays her dad, Jacob Winograd, and doesn't just play another version of Emmett Lathrop "Doc" Brown, Ph.D., which is good. Very quickly, the entire dad-as-Yoda façade starts breaking away almost immediately and you can quickly tell that dad's selfish, exploitive, and extremely narcissistic.

I want to give Constance Marie, who played Alda's mom, Camila Diaz; Siddharth Dhananjay, who played the live-in boyfriend Sam; and Angelique Cabral, who played Alma's engaged sister Becca Winograd-Diaz, all the kudos in the world as they weren't just foils or archetypes or tropes that Alma Winograd-Diaz could play off of, they were all real, fully-fleshed-out characters, with all their flaws and admirable traits. Even Saint Camila, Alda's mom, wasn't played at all as perfect.

I guess that's all I have to say about this series without doing too much harm to all the fun you're going to have with the timespace and time-travel stuff. The fun you'll have seeing the world through the eyes of a baby shaman as she becomes an ascended master—if that's what's actually happening. Enjoy! You only get to see a series like this for the first time once.  I will watch it—and read about it—again before posting another blog about the series.