Reality is twisted, shifted, fractured and propelled into another dimension in Amazon Prime’s new series Undone – the first TV show to use rotoscope animation reminiscent of Oscar-nominated writer/director Richard Linklater’s films Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. The series was created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy, the team behind the animated sitcom BoJack Horseman.
As the trailer reveals in beautifully artistic and distorted visuals, Undone, which debuts on Prime on September 13, is a trippy dramatic fantasy that looks as unique as anything the video-on-demand platform has released since it started producing original programming six years ago.
Set in San Antonio, Texas, a city with a Latino population that is 64 percent, Undone tells the story of Alma Winograd-Diaz (Rosa Salazar), a day care worker who begins to see visions of her dead father, Jacob (Bob Odenkirk), after being involved in a car accident. With help from her dad, she sets out to time travel and solve the mystery of his murder.
In the trailer, Alma is portrayed as an emotionally catatonic, 28-year-old woman who is bored with her mundane life. “I’m terrified this is all there is,” she narrates during one scene just before her father materializes in front of her eyes as she’s driving. In turn, she loses concentration on the road, is broadsided by a pickup truck and wakes up in the hospital with a sort of metaphysical perception of the world around her.
“Is this a dream?” she asks her father. When she looks out the hospital window, she sees things whoosh by like she was the passenger of a vehicle speeding down the highway. A quick shot of Alma’s sister, Becca (played by Mexican-American actress Angelique Cabral), teases some other Latina characters on the show. Her concerned mother, Camila (played by Mexican-American actress Constance Marie), tells her she is “acting even stranger than usual.” Then, Alma watches as her mom decomposes into a skeleton.
Alma’s visions get weirder – almost like hallucinations. She teleports. She relives the car crash in different forms. She imagines the setting around her disassembling and rearranging itself like something out Christopher Nolan’s 2010 sci-fi film Inception.
If the series packs in as much creativity as it does in a two-minute trailer, fans of high-concept storytelling should be in for a thought-provoking experience.