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Series / The Undoing

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An HBO 2020 miniseries, based on You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz. A well-respected psychiatrist, Grace (Nicole Kidman) learns that her much-loved paediatrician husband Jonathan (Hugh Grant) had secrets after he is accused of the murder of a woman at their son Henry's (Noah Jupe) school.


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  • Adaptation Expansion: The show focuses more on the mystery than the book (which reveals Elena's killer fairly early, at least to everyone but Grace, and is mostly about the aftereffects of the murder). It also features Jonathan more prominently, as well as adding courtroom scenes and Jonathan kidnapping Henry and almost jumping off a bridge.
  • Affably Evil: Jonathan is never anything less than totally polite and genial, even when he's lying to Grace's face, convincing her that his son could have committed the murder, and lying about letting his sister die.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Henry's violin. Or rather, the case. He has the hammer in it.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: A psychologist, who's supposed to be an expert on human thought and behavior (and in the book, wrote a book called You Should Have Known about how women should recognize red flags in their partners), doesn't realize her own husband is cheating on her.
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  • Contrived Coincidence: It's a total Red Herring that Grace was walking near Elena's studio and wasn't linked to her death.
  • Dashing Hispanic: Elena's hotheaded husband, with whom she had aggressive fights.
  • Extremely Protective Child: Henry is so intensely protective of Grace and Jonathan that he keeps it secret that he found the murder weapon, the hammer, and keeps it in his violin case.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Elena gets naked a lot, and she is shown this way both before and after her death.
  • Never the Obvious Suspect: Since Elena was cheating on her hot-tempered husband with a married man, those two are, of course, the front-runners to be the murderer, particularly since one of them just skipped town. But obviously, it's not that simple. The husband has an alibi, which leaves Jonathan as the clear choice. Despite several twists that briefly implicate other characters, this trope is subverted: it was him after all.
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  • Police Are Useless: The police ostensibly tell Grace to stay back when Jonathan is threatening to jump off the bridge, but nobody actually stops her.
  • Race Lift: Grace is Jewish in the book, and her reaching for touchstones of Jewish culture for comfort is a minor plot point; in the show she is not. Elena, while still Latina, is played by a light-skinned actress when in the book she has brown skin.
  • Riddle for the Ages: It's never confirmed whether Jonathan deliberately killed his sister or simply had no reaction when she accidentally died.
  • Spicy Latina: Elena is a mentally unbalanced Ms. Fanservice Latina character who is sleeping with Jonathan and very aggressive about it.
  • Unconfessed Unemployment: Jonathan lied to Grace about losing his job at the hospital because of sleeping with Elena.

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