TV Review: Russian Doll

  • Originally posted on February 2, 2019

No spoilers about what actually happens in ‘Russian Doll’, the newest show to arrive on Netflix, which began airing on 1 February. Not beyond what you already know, anyway.

Nadia, the main character from the trailers, dies. Not just once, but over and over and over (….) and over again. In different ways. In more spectacular ways. In funnier ways. She’s pretty funny as well; a multidimensional character, living in a multidimensional world. And she’s the only one who knows about it. When she tries to explain that she’s dying over and over to her ex, or to Maxine and Lizzie (who can I just say are a wonderful double act and deserve loads of praise to), naturally, they don’t get it, and they think she’s going insane.

And who can blame her? But as the trailers showed, she isn’t the only one…

For five, maybe six episodes, this show was really good. Natasha Lyonne and Charlie Barnett play their roles brilliantly, making you feel for both Nadia and Alan as they try and make their ways out of the time loop they are trapped within. You have no idea how it’s going to end, but it’s all starting to make sense.

And then ‘The Way Out’ happens. Episode 7 elevates Russian Doll to a whole new level of craziness, while maintaining the same plot depth and still, somehow, having zero plot holes despite the fact that you spend most of the time completely stunned by the twists and turns it takes. You start realising that… Life isn’t what it seems…. what is the point of it all?…. (you think I’m joking or being sarcastic? I had a full on existential crisis during ‘The Way Out’). The finale is even wilder, with an ending which ties up all loose ends following a truly wild 20 minute spell which also, unsurprisingly, fucks with your head. Like, I really did not know what was going on, but it made sense? But HOW was it going to end?

Thankfully, it was brilliant.

The screenwriters are impeccable, as are the cast. It is just as funny as it is dark and twisted. Watch ‘Russian Doll’ NOW. Some shows get huge billing and instant success… this one will grow and become one of Netflix’s biggest achievements.

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