Review of “Russian Doll”

Russian Doll is a Netflix original that aired in 2019. The story begins with a girl named Nadia who is the victim of a fatal car accident. Rather than just dying however, Nadia is forced to relive the same night over and over as she keeps dying at the end of the night. While living in this cycle of dying and reliving the same life Nadia meets Allen. Allen is a man who is suffering the same problem as Nadia as he keeps dying and coming back to relive the same day as well. The premise of the story was intriguing, but I did not find Russian Doll to be an outstanding show.

Both Nadia and Allen had troubled pasts that haunted them in their lives. Allen was rejected by the love of his life, while Nadia had a mother who was not suited to be around children.  Nadia and Allen carried the weight of these issues more than anything else in their life. Allen had the idea that these weights were holding them in purgatory and that they needed to make things right. This leads too Nadia admitting her guilt about her mothers death, and Allen having a conversation with his girlfriend  making a peace between them. This become a major plot point in the story and I thought it was lazy. Many stories use the same premise of forgiving your past mistakes to be able to move on. Although this is true and a good lesson for life I thought the plot line of Russian Doll could have been pulled in much more interesting directions. It seemed to me as if they were trying to cut the season off and end the story rather than really developing the plot.

One thing I did like about the Russian Doll was the connection created between Nadia and Allen. As they get to know each other they begin to rely on one another and trust on another. Nadia is a very independent character who does not tell people about her past. Allen gets her to make peace with the things that happened with her mother and helps her forgive herself for saying she did not want to live with her. Allen on the other hand is someone who does not want to accept the help of others. Nadia gets Allen to talk about his problem and helps him get over his issues. The connection gets so deep that at the end they save each others lives in different dimensions.

Many shows struggle to find a good ending but I thought Russian Doll actually did alright. It connected the story well and showed how deeply the main characters cared for one another. I liked how the show connected the characters from two different dimensions to show that even different worlds could not weaken their connection. The characters changed each others lives for the better, and the ending really demonstrated that.

Overall I thought Russian Doll was a very average show. There has been much better stories about a friendship devolving between characters. There has also been much better stories about fictional, sci-fi type worlds. It did have some redeeming qualities however, such as the depth of Allen and Nadia’s connection, and its overall statement about random people being able to have a big effect on your life. I give Russian Doll 3 out of 5 stars. Worth the watch if you have some extra time, but not exactly binge worthy either.