Find out the high and low points, cast updates and more in this complete review
This is a particularly tricky review to write. This not because all the high points of “Russian Doll” are at all equivocal. The story of the show is quite attracting and striking. This impressed me in such a way that it almost becomes one of the favorite show of 2019.
Although there are many reasons which make the series so impeccable. But according to me, the best part is the meticulous framework throughout the series. This until the bittersweet end. Digging too deep into what makes this show great would mean betraying too many of its secrets. Also, the joy of discovering them is just too much fun to ruin here.
Moreover, the series is created by Natasha Lyonne, writer/director Leslye Headland, and producer Amy Poehler. The “Russian Doll” is spiky, funny, devastating, and downright bizarre. It follows simmering New York City misanthrope Nadia (Lyonne) through the most horrific. Also the life-changing, a revelatory night of her life — over, and over, and over, and over again.
However, Stuck in her 36th birthday party for seemingly the rest of the time. Nadia cycles through her life, related trauma, and as many drugs as she can get her hands on. At first, her unraveling doesn’t quite register for her hard-partying friends (Greta Lee and Rebecca Henderson). Nor her mooning ex-boyfriend (Yul Vasquez), nor even Ruth (Elizabeth Ashley).
It is a therapist who’s acted as Nadia’s surrogate mother for as long as she can remember. After all, Nadia greeted 36 with open disbelief that she even lived to see it. Her mother, an almost mythic figure who looms over Nadia’s psyche and the series alike, never did.
Though the blend of genres is where “Russian Doll” thrives. Often, when it seems like the show has leaned fully into its comedy. Not to mention Lyonne’s particularly sharp comic timing, it effortlessly shifts gears into pure drama.
It chases punchlines with stark revelations, blends jokes with twists so dark. It is in such a way that watching it often becomes a practice in laughing through startled tears.
So, yes: the less you know about “Russian Doll” going into it, the better. But once you’re out, good luck fighting the temptation to dive right back into its calculated chaos all over again.
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