Writer-director-producer David Ash’s Incompleteness is a twisty show that revolves around a handful of interconnected people and their sometimes messy personal lives. The series begins with Alex (Matt Bailey) discovering he has cancer. This news pushes him to accomplish his dreams of making a feature film, a scene from which is the first thing on screen. At the same time, the dying news producer is making a documentary for his soon-to-be-born child, as his wife Jodi (Bethany Ford) is pregnant.
The movie’s screenwriter is Alex’s nemesis turned friend Paul (Clarence Wethren), whose anxiety always seems to get the best of him. This becomes a concern when he starts seeing barista/aspiring musician Kayla (Katie Willer). The film’s two leads, Chelsea (Christine Weber) and Michael (Juan Rivera LeBron), discover they have real chemistry and try dating off the set. From here, the series follows their ups and downs and sees what makes each character tick. For example, anytime Paul and Kayla try to get intimate, things don’t work out well, partially due to his extreme nerves over his day job catching up to him. Alex begins suspecting Jodi of an affair, while Chelsea is changing Michael to be more like his fictional persona.
Incompleteness would be a totally fine collection of episodes if Ash told things straightforwardly. The dialogue crackles with intelligence while still sounding like real life, and these three couples are all easy to invest in. The best of the bunch is Paul and Kayla, as Wethren and Willer’s chemistry is off the charts. But each actor works well off everyone else, and they all inhabit their roles believably.
“…Alex begins suspecting Jodi of an affair, while Chelsea is changing Michael to be more like his fictional persona.”
Admittedly, it takes until episode four of the eight-episode first season for Alex’s arc to really come into focus. This is especially true with the introduction of his father. But the way it ends is spectacularly gratifying, as the implications for him and his wife are left for next season.
Again, all this would be decent stuff if the story were linear. But the showrunner has very specific points he wants to make with Incompleteness, and central to that idea is jumping across different realities. Maybe it is more like branching off to a new timeline from a fixed point. Either way, scenes repeat with minor but obvious differences. Characters will have conversations only for it to end with a different couple having a very similar talk. The direction leans into the dream-like nature of everything well while still giving the drama precedence.
It is best to binge all 6 hours of Incompleteness, as the peculiar but engaging presentation means not everything clicks right away (see Incompleteness, Part 1 review). The cast is remarkable, the story compelling, and the dialogue very smart. Season two cannot get here soon enough.
"…season two cannot get here soon enough."