Discovering a fate even worse than endless death, this season finds Nadia and Alan delving deeper into their pasts through an unexpected time portal located in one of Manhattan’s most notorious locations. At first, they experience this as an ever-expanding, era-spanning, intergenerational adventure, but they soon discover this extraordinary event might be more than they bargained for and, together, must search for a way out. (synopsis courtesy Web News Observer)
Russian Doll, starring the breathtakingly brilliant Natasha Lyonne as ballsy New Yorker Nadia Vulvokov, was hands down one of the best streaming shows of 2019.
Sporting a beguilingly clever time-loop premise in which Nadia finds herself reliving her riotous, drug-fuelled birthday over and over and over again, Russian Doll season 1 had memorable characters, an inventive narrative structure, snappy dialogue and a some real, earthy humanity rooted in the sage observation that life is a s**tshow and then you die … repeatedly.
It was finding a way to escape this time loop that gave the show its narrative momentum, and a tremendous amount of heart as Nadia learnt some salient, necessary lessons about life that refreshingly did not go the way you might expect, as my review of season 1 noted:
“Unlike 1993’s Groundhog Day, starring the superlative Bill Murray, Nadia doesn’t undergo any great epiphany as a result of her live-die-live-die-live-etc time loop; there is a resolution of sorts, and a reasonably life-affirming one at that, but essentially Nadia’s endless do-over, which sees her vaulting between gung-ho, helpless, euphorically-resigned and pretty much everything in-between, is more of a coming to terms with the shitty life that brought her to this point (and endlessly trying to find her beloved cat, Oatmeal, who is one of the undisputed stars of the show).”
To be honest, the show’s producers could’ve easily stopped at the end of a near-perfect first season but they have clearly found a way to add to Nadia’s existential journey of quirky discovery and so we have a second season on the way with a date announcement trailer that is all the Russian atmosphere you could want and need, whetting the appetite for the chronologically unique tales to come …
Russian Doll season 2 premieres on Netflix on 20 April 2022.