Rating 5/5: How the hell did I miss Russian Doll? No, seriously. I’m connected with as many of the geek channels and social media. They go on and on about finance wars between Sony and Disney. I know when all my favorite shows are coming back on because YouTube and Twitter can’t stop going on and on about them. I know what underwear Mark Ruffalo is going to wear in the next Hulk appearance. But Russian Doll, a show that was air all the way back in February, I don’t get a peep. And it annoys me because this show is bloody fantastic. Yeah sure, I know the whole Groundhog Day premise has been done to death. Hell, there’s both a Stargate and a Farscape episode that totally rips it off. It’s a trope that Groundhog Day started and everyone else said “FUCK, I wish I thought of that one.”
Has the Groundhog Day premise been done to death? It’s hard to say. It’s a trope. That much is true. But there hasn’t be a slew of shows and movies using it or based on it. Granted, it’s become a go-to filler idea like “a very special episode” and the like. It hasn’t reached “jump the shark” territory. And when done right it can be imaginative. Until Russian Doll, it’s basically been an obvious imitation of one of Bill Murray’s best movies. Russian Doll puts a huge spin on the idea with a perfect main character to carry the show.
Russian Doll Natasha Lyonne
Like a lot of the best fast-talking dramedies the world, the plot or the theme does not work without great characters played by really good actors. Who would remember West Wing or Gilmore girls without the main characters? Russian Doll works because Natasha Lyonne (Nadia Vulvokov) is perfect in this role. If you remember her as Nicki in Orange is the New Black, then you know she was one of the highlights of that show. She is awesome as Nadia in Russian Doll carrying the show with her straightforward but non-committal personality.
Russian Doll – On Death and Dying
In Russian Doll Nadia is celebrating her 36th birthday when during the night she dies while search for her cat, Oatmeal. She wakes up back at the party and after the course of the night dies again. At first, she thinks she got bad (or really good drugs), then she thinks it’s something she didn’t do during the course of the night. You’d think with eight episodes Russian Doll would get old fast. That is until episode 3 when everything gets turned on it head in a big way. That’s when we first me Alan Zaveri and that’s when thing take a turn for the even stranger.
Russian Doll and Groundhog Day
The one thing that made Groundhog Day the instant classic it became – I mean beside Bill Murray – was it was an entirely new premise. In Groundhog Day we watch Bill Murry repeat the same day repeatedly until he gets it right. In Russian Doll as Nadia wakes up and experiences the same day her reactions completely change with her reactions. Then in the third episodes everything changes to such a degree it will shock you.
Russian Doll is quick, imaginative, funny and pointed. The ending is now what you think or what you will expect, and there might be more to it then I initially thought. The ending leaves me of two minds. If this show is a done-in-one, then that great. If this show gets a second season, I will tune in to see where they take things. (You’ll seriously have to watch it yourself to see what I’m talking about. If you think there’s nothing new or interesting on TV these days, then this is the show for you. Russian Doll is totally worth the binged.