TV Series Review: The Russian Doll

russian doll netflix

“The Russian Doll” has caught my eye on Netflix because:
1) I love Russian dolls/matrioshkas, meaning the dolls with a number of smaller versions of themselves inside
2) It has Natasha Lyonne in it, who I haven’t seen since “American Pie” but whose character Jessica is my favourite one in the movie

Instinctual series choice, in my experience, has almost the same success rate in not being shit as the choice made after an extensive research. Besides, what better to do after walking over 20,000 steps up and down on your holiday than binge on a TV series? (Pssst some self-promotion here. Read my first post about my holiday in Baku, Azerbaijan on my new blog). Brief, we decided to watch “The Russian Doll” and I didn’t regret it.

The series starts in a way that seems to be suggesting a typical comedy series. The twist is that the almost 40 year-old protagonist who’s a commitment phoebe and a casual sex enthusiast is a woman. Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) swears, smokes, drinks and in general doesn’t give a f**k. Nothing new under the sun, you’re thinking? Well, you’re up for a surprise because Nadia dies after her birthday party and then comes back to life. Is the Universe punishing her for something? Does she have a mission to complete? What??? You’ll find out when watching this sweet and short series. It’s really worth it!

The show doesn’t follow a predictable script. It’s also funny but there are elements to it, which feel very raw. I really enjoyed this emotional roller-coaster as well as the acting. Natasha Lyonne and Charlie Barnett stand out but other cast members have also been carefully chosen, which adds up to the general pleasure of the watching experience. The series has a very nice pacing, surprising you just when you think you know what’s going to happen next. You’re also given clues to the mystery throughout the series so you can see for yourself whether you’ll figure out the solution before the protagonist…

Does the series have any drawbacks? Duh. Nothing and nobody’s perfect. I think that the ending should have been a bit more dragged out to match the pacing of the rest of the series. I also think that the makers certainly haven’t done any favour to Harry Nilsson whose catchy song “Gotta Get Up” appears in the series so many times that anyone who has watched it would refuse to listen to it ever again. Still, the repetitiveness adds up to the audience being able to relate to the characters so sorry, but no sorry, Harry. Otherwise, the series is a strong 8/10 for me. There are rumours of season 2 but I think that it isn’t necessary as the series has a nice ending and it would be better of without a sequel.

The series is definitely worth watching but if you don’t believe me, have a look at the trailer:

Have you heard about “The Russian Doll”? What do you think about time loop stories? Last but not least, does a bit of fantasy ruin a story for you or do you think it can still make for a compelling narrative? Let me know in the comments’ section. If you’ve watched the series, I’m also curious to hear what you think about it.

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