Questus Reviewus

Questus Reviewus

Russian Doll

Russian Doll is a new tv series which debuted on Netflix.  The premise is that a woman named Nadia repeatedly dies after attending her birthday party, and eventually she realizes that someone else is dying with her, and they begin trying to escape this reality together by stopping the loop.  Nadia is a bumbling, grouchy, macho woman.  Many of her deaths are feeble attempts at slapstick comedy, as the writers of this series decided it would be funny to show her snap her neck about seven times due to her inability to walk down stairs, which somewhat clashed with the fact that they were attempting to write her as some sort of badass female character.  Unfortunately this was also undermined by the fact that she fell into the same drain two or three different times because she was dumb and clumsy.  Her constant inability to walk somewhere simple without dying, combined with her brusque personality, and possibly some bad acting make her a very annoying and irritating character.  Many of the characters in the series seem to either be poorly written or acted out, as their personalities change greatly in each episode with little clear progression.  For example, Nadia acts rude for the first two episodes, and then acts very odd and standoffish until the end of the series.  Alan on the other hand (the man she is stuck in the loop with), seems very odd when in scenes with his girlfriend, very awkward around people he doesn’t know, and cool around people he is familiar with.  This happens in nearly every episode until the last two, where he begins acting confident out of nowhere.  This character development seems very choppy to me, and made for an unenjoyable viewing experience.  While the rest of the characters were oddly developed, that is to be expected as they are meant to be slightly effected by our protagonists strange behavior each time they go through the loop.   Overall, the idea behind the series seems like it could be fun, and similar movies such as Live, Die, Repeat with Tom Cruise, and Groundhog Day with Bill Murray carried them out much better than this TV series did, which is unfortunate.  I would think that with the ability and time to flesh out more of the story, a TV series would do a much better job portraying these ideas, not worse.  I believe that the acting and writing killed this TV series for me, but I could understand why someone else may find appeal in a series such as this.