This article contains spoilers
The plotline where the main character of a story dies and continues to relive the previous day or the day of their death has been done many times. The story is overused, to say the least. However, Netflix’s “Russian Doll” takes this overused and unexciting plotline and puts a new spin on it.
Nadia Vulvokov, played by actress Natasha Lyonne, relives her 36th birthday over and over again after repeatedly “dying.” The twist is that Nadia is not alone. A stranger named Alan Zaveri (Charlie Barnett) is stuck in the same loop reliving the worst night of his life. The two coincidentally find each other and try to figure the way out of the loop together.
Other aspects that keep the plotline entertaining, new and exciting is the fact that they “die” in numerous unexpected ways. The show plays upon the idea of different time dimensions which adds to the suspense and interest, making the viewer consider this possibility. The show also explores the spiritual and emotional side to life and death.
“Russian Doll” is rated a 7.9/10 on IMDB and has gotten a 100 percent “ripe tomato” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. These ratings set expectations high and the show does not disappoint. The episodes successfully combine drama, suspense
The storyline is amazing but so is the acting and continuity. The characters are multidimensional and relatable. They experience real life problems, such as addiction and depression, which the show explores throughout its eight episodes.
The show plays upon the idea of different time dimensions which adds to the suspense and interest.
While some aspects of certain scenes purposely change for the sake of the plot, many things also remain exactly the same from costumes to set, which is crucial because Nadia is reliving the same day on replay.
The younger versions of Nadia and her mother figure, Ruth (Elizabeth Ashley), both appear frequently throughout the season. Normally, the actors who play younger or older versions of a character look similar enough to pass but “Russian Doll” did an exceptionally great job with casting, especially with Nadia’s character. Brooke Timber, who plays Nadia’s childhood self, actually looks like she could be Lyonne’s real-life daughter.
Something many people don’t take into consideration when rating a movie or TV show is the title. Even the title to the show is clever.
“Russian Doll” is a metaphor for the dimensions of time. Time is a Russian doll; it has many dimensions and versions of events inside of it, much like a Russian nesting doll that has many dolls of different sizes inside of it.
“Russian Doll” is a metaphor for the dimensions of time.
The show itself is also a Russian doll with many layers, meanings and themes. It can also be interpreted differently by each viewer based on their personal life experiences.
The first and only season released this year is eight episodes long. The episodes are 25 to 30 minutes long, which is short enough to keep the audience’s attention— especially for those who can’t sit for the normal duration of a TV episode of 45 minutes.
The only negative side to the show is that it takes two episodes for the plot to really get going. Once the third episode is reached though, the plot is a race car that never stops or slows down.
While it may start off slow, the ending is brilliant and thought-provoking, all tying back into the idea of there being multiple time dimensions with different versions of the same events.
“Russian Doll” is definitely worth the watch. It is rated TV-MA and contains mature themes and language which may not be appropriate for younger audiences. There are also some graphic scenes involving death, which may not be good for one who is looking for a happier program.
- New and exciting plot
- Successfully combines many genres
- Takes two episodes for the plot to really get going
- May not be appropriate for younger audiences
Photo courtesy of Netflix