Incompleteness is a show about life, love, and the enigmatic mathematical concept of Gödel’s Incompleteness theorem. The central narrative follows Alex (played by Matt Bailey), a news producer who, upon learning he has aggressive cancer, quits his job to fulfill his dream of directing a movie. As he exhausts his savings, his pregnant wife Jodi (played by Bethany Ford Binkley) grapples with the financial strain. Alex focuses on editing his film and filming a vlog-style documentary for his unborn son above all else, delving into the intricate emotions surrounding creation and mortality. While he shows a great desire to connect with his unborn child, Jodi goes unseen, feeling unwanted.
The series introduces a second narrative strand involving the lead actors of Alex’s film, Emily (played by Christine Weber) and John (played by Juan Rivera Lebron), whose on-screen chemistry spills into real life as they navigate the challenges of dating. They struggle, but their honesty in the situation is refreshing, a more realistic take on modern dating than one usually sees on television. In a parallel story, Paul (played by Clarence Wethern), the movie’s screenwriter, struggles with anxiety and finds unexpected love with Kayla (played by Katie Willer), an aspiring musician and a barista at the café he uses as his “office”. A strange secret from his last job makes Paul hesitant to begin a relationship, but he finds Kayla so charming he can’t help but try to talk to her.
The series explores the inherent incompleteness of human relationships and endeavors, mirroring Gödel’s mathematical theorem: All things require an outside observer to explain them, making multiple truths possible simultaneously. Incompleteness’ characters struggle to find the meaning they want in the entropy of existence. Paul’s journey to understand the characters he creates mirrors the challenges in unraveling life’s meaning. The show unfolds with twists and turns, revealing the intricacies of each character’s struggles, desires, and some surprisingly deep secrets.
Incompleteness tricks you at first, making you think this is just a show about filmmaking, but it becomes philosophical very quickly. I could not stop watching, binging the first four episodes in one sitting. While it’s obvious from the sets and the sound capture that this is an independent production, Dave Ash has spent his money in all the right places, delivering a fantastic, well-shot series that thoughtful viewers will be instantaneously drawn to. There are great artistic moments and many outstanding performances from the actors. Incompleteness doesn’t aspire to be a brainy show, it is. Cerebral philosophizing works its way into every episode, driving the plot with ideas almost as much as it does action.
The cinematography in this show is frequently beautiful and always well-conceived. By using some more experimental sequences, Incompleteness breaks up the monotony of the typical drama by utilizing noir-esque staging to keep the viewer entranced. Moments like Kayla discussing her dream with Paul play out in ways that remind me of Twin Peaks without the supernatural edge. There’s also an element of cosmic horror that adds a wonderful nihilistic tinge to the show: “The chance of you existing as yourself is so infinitesimally small that you cannot conceive the number,” says the show, “and this is how you want to spend it?”
Those looking for a dark and cerebral drama with indie-film flair should look no further than Incompleteness.
4.5* (Out of 5)