Russian Doll

Russian Doll

Netflix Series
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Uber modern, almost bordering on hipster, Russian Doll is the story of Nadia who dies on her 36th birthday but soon finds herself in a never-ending loop of dying and waking up at the same birthday party.

Russian Doll introduces us to Nadia, a young woman living in New York City, played by the talented Natasha Lyonne.

With her quick wit and sharp tongue, Nadia navigates through her chaotic life, only to find herself stuck in a mysterious loop, reliving the same day over and over again.

As she tries to make sense of this baffling situation, the show takes us on a wild ride filled with dark humour, unexpected twists, and heartfelt moments.

With its unique storyline and compelling characters, Russian Doll keeps viewers hooked from the very first episode.

The first season dropped in February 2019, and after much acclaim, the second began airing in April 2020.

But what is the show all about, and is it worth watching?

What Is Russian Doll About?

Starring Natasha Lyonne (Poker Face) and Charlie Barnett, it follows the life of Nadia on her 36th birthday.

Her friend Maxine is throwing her a very cool party and that's where we meet our main character.

She has some drinks, hooks up with a random guy and basically enjoys herself. Birthday party over, she heads home, stopping at her local deli.

She has a small run-in with a bunch of drunks, spots a guy in a bit of distress, doesn't think much about it, and heads back to hers.

Then Nadia goes in search of her missing cat and boom gets hit by a car and dies.

Instantly she's back in the same bathroom, at the same party and her life, from that point, starts all over again.

The twist is that Nadia remembers it all. She remembers dying when all around her are completely oblivious to the time loop. Particularly as it keeps happening.

No matter what Nadia does, no matter how she changes the way the night plays out, she still dies. And she still wakes up in the bathroom at the party.

Getting increasingly frustrated by the never-ending loop she seems to be in, a chance meeting with Alan (Charlie Barnett) may hold the key to her problem.

Because Alan also keeps dying and waking up at the exact same point every day. Initially, the two want nothing to do with each other but when Alan shows up at Nadia's birthday party, the two work together to figure out what is happening to them.

Things are made more difficult by the fact that they have nothing in common. Alan worries a lot and is meticulous in everything he does. He is the quintessential good guy.

Nadia, for her part, can at times be incredibly unlikeable. She simply doesn't give a damn about anything or anyone. She lives life to the full and, due to a rather unorthodox upbringing, refuses to have any ties to most people in her life.

Despite the obvious clash in personalities, the duo must get on and work out how to solve this huge problem.

Russian Doll Official Trailer

Is Russian Doll Worth Watching?

Russian Doll is incredibly addictive. Nadia is a dream character and the astonishing Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is The New Black), who co-created the show with Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland, is simply flawless.

Everything from the setting, the dialogue, the storyline is thoroughly engaging. At times, it is fatally funny, and thankfully, it is not just rinse and repeat as far as the story goes.

It does move along after Nadia befriends Alan. Together they work on figuring out the origin of Alan's first death and his untimely end, sorting out Nadia's troubled past and even discovering an unexpected time portal located in Manhattan.

But Nadia's latest discovery sends the duo off in different directions so what happens to them? Will Nadia and Alan finally cross paths again?

Russian Doll does have a satisfying ending, but it's more implied than anything else. Which is why you will be desperate to move on to the second season.

Russian Doll Season 2

Russian Doll season 2 premiered on April 20th 2022 where Nadia finds herself on a time-traveling adventure just days before her 40th birthday.

She discovers a wormhole on the 6 Train that takes her back to 1982, where she is trapped in the body of her pregnant mother, Nora (Chloë Sevigny).

In the past, she unintentionally assists a conman, Chez, in stealing her grandmother Vera's valuable gold coins.

Back in the present, she learns more about Chez and his connection to her mother. Nadia also warns her friend Alan about the wormhole, before returning to 1982 to confront Chez and retrieve the coins, only to lose them again.

As Nadia navigates between 1982 and the present, she uncovers family secrets and grapples with her own personal issues.

She learns about a Gold Train from Budapest linked to the coins and her family's history, which adds layers to her journey.

Meanwhile, Alan finds himself on his own time-traveling journey, experiencing life in East Berlin in 1962 through his grandmother's body.

Nadia and Alan both face moral dilemmas and the challenge of setting things right in their tangled timelines.

So can they find a resolution and bring a sense of closure to Nadia's journey? Watch Russian Doll season 2 to find out.

Russian Doll Cast

Despite the premise of the show, the cast is quite limited, at least in season 1. Natasha Lyonne and Charlie Barnett carry the bulk of the show but that doesn't mean the supporting actors aren't excellent in their roles – they are!

Natasha Lyonne as Nadia Vulvokov who finds herself in an ongoing time loop

Charlie Barnett as Alan Zaveri, a man who is also stuck in a time loop like Nadia

Greta Lee as Maxine, Nadia's friend, who throws her a party

Yul Vazquez as John Reyes, a real estate agent and Nadia's ex-boyfriend

Elizabeth Ashley as Ruth Brenner, a therapist and close family friend of Nadia and her mother

New Season 2 Cast Members:

Joining Natasha Lyonne for season 2 were a few new but familiar faces.

In March 2021, Annie Murphy (Schitt's Creek and Kevin Can F Himself) was cast for the second season as young Ruth.

She was followed by Carolyn Michelle Smith who joined the cast in a recurring role.

Sharlto Copley and Ephraim Sykes also joined in undisclosed roles.


  • Compelling Storyline
  • Natasha Lyonne


  • The Fixation On Oatmeal, The Missing Cat
  • Some Characters Seem Pointless


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