What is Unseen about? Netflix series explained

Cameron Frew
A still from Unseen on Netflix

Unseen, a new South African crime series, dropped on Netflix earlier this year – here’s what it’s about, who’s in the cast, and if it’s worth watching.

2023 has already been a big year for Netflix: we’ve had You Season 4, Physical 100, Kaleidoscope, The Night Agent, Lockwood and Co., Full Swing, and Drive to Survive Season 5.

This week, the streaming platform is primed to dominate your telly-watching, whether it’s Wellmania, the newest season of Love is Blind, Kill Boksoon, or the long-awaited Murder Mystery 2.

A new thriller series arrived on Netflix in March: Unseen, so here’s everything you need to know.

What is Unseen about?

Unseen is a six-part thriller, telling the story of a “nondescript domestic worker who goes in search of her missing husband and comes up against powerful and violent criminals.”

Check out the trailer for Unseen below:

It’s a new adaptation of Fatma, a Turkish Netflix series released in 2021 and created by Özgür Önurme which received rave reviews. This version comes from Travis Taute and Daryne Joshua and is produced by Gambit Films, the company behind Blood & Water.

The official synopsis reads: “Zenzi Mwale hides behind her identity as an unremarkable cleaning lady while desperately searching for her husband after he is released from prison.”

While Zenzi doesn’t seem like someone who’d be capable of harm, the series charts her descent from “cleaner to killer” as she heads down a “dangerous and destructive path littered with sinister characters who want to exploit her for their nefarious schemes,” as per a press release.

Unseen cast: Who’s in it?

The Unseen cast includes:

  • Gail Mabalane
  • Vuyo Dabula
  • Brendon Daniels
  • Hein de Vries
  • Ilse Klink
  • Mothusi Magano
  • Waldemar Schultz
  • Dineo Langa
  • Abduragman Adams
  • Shimmy Isaacs
  • Rapulana Seiphemo
  • Colin Moss
  • Shamilla Ismail Miller
  • Clifford Young

Mabalane, who earlier appeared in The Road, The Wild, and Blood & Water, plays the lead role of Zenzi. In an interview with News 24, the actress praised Unseen’s “very local feel.”

“I think what’s very different is that Unseen is told through a very South African lens. We get to see a lot more and a different side of Cape Town. We get to see it very much within the South African context with the languages and the characters,” she said.

Gail Mabalane in Unseen on Netflix

Zenzi goes up against some really nasty people in the show, and given the subject matter, “the whole show was hard to film… emotionally, some of the scenes were the hardest.”

“It was hard because it’s a reality for many. It was challenging; it forced me to put myself in the shoes of women who have been taken advantage of and the work they needed to do post that. The trauma and all the emotions that you go through. And we fight that daily as women. It was very real, and it was tough. If I had to think about it, that was one of the hardest scenes I had to film,” she added.

Is Unseen worth watching?

While Unseen doesn’t have a Rotten Tomatoes score yet, its reviews have all been positive.

News 24 wrote: “Unseen is a thrilling ride driven by an outstanding performance by Gail Mabalane. If you like crime thrillers with an unlikely serial killer, you should add this to your watchlist. It’s a great local production that can stand tall on the global platform.”

Heaven of Horror also wrote: “This South African remake did not disappoint. Whether you’ve watched the Turkish original or not, I would highly recommend watching this one!”

Unseen is streaming on Netflix now.