Netflix Original series Russian Doll is a fun and dark series about an extreme case of déjà vu involving dying, again and again. In this comedy-drama series, Nadia (Natasha Lyonne), while celebrating her birthday, has the bizarre experience of dying, before she abruptly returns to the start of her own birthday party, repeatedly. Not only does this premise leads to great comedy, but it also has various twists and turns in an effort not to be repetitive, which hint at hidden depths in the story.
Co-created, and written by Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler and Lyonne herself, the series is produced by Universal Television, Paper Kite Productions, along with JAX Media and 3 Arts Entertainment. The show first premiered on Netflix on February 1, 2019.
Russian Doll Cast: Who’s in it?
‘Russian Doll’ revolves around Nadia (Natasha Lyonne), a video game designer in her 30s. The show also stars Greta Lee (Maxine; Nadia’s friend at the helm of the birthday party), Charlie Barnett (Alan Zaveri; a man seemingly undergoing the same experience as Nadia), Yul Vazquez (John Reyes; Nadia’s ex), and Elizabeth Ashley (Ruth Brenner, a friend of Nadia’s family), who form the primary cast of the series.
The show also has a number of recurring and guest actors, some of whom are Waris Ahluwalia (the drug dealer Wardog), Lillias White (Dr Zaveri; Alan’s mom), Dascha Polanco (Beatrice; the woman Alan loves and is going to propose), Jeremy Bobb (Mike Kershaw; the man Beatrice is involved with) and Ritesh Rajan (Ferran; Alan’s friend), among others.
Russian Doll Plot: What is it about?
The series begins with a disinterested Nadia at her 36th birthday party where she resorts to smoking Israeli joints. The show reveals its main twist in a very matter-of-fact way, midway through the first episode. We see Nadia run out into a busy street without looking both ways. We cringe as she gets struck by a taxi. We watch her as she lies there, bleeding out into the street, obviously dying. And then, suddenly, she is back at the bathroom mirror, in her best friend’s house, with someone pounding at the door, and it’s Nadia’s birthday party all over again.
There seems to be no escaping this New York party, even in death, and although she dies, again and again, she always manages to find herself back at the exact same moment every single time. Sometimes she manages to last as long as a whole day after the party, but she always dies again eventually, and the whole thing resets. Initially, she believes it to be the effect of the drug, causing hallucinations but as she tracks down the drug dealer, she realizes later that she is in it for an indefinite time. The audience comes along for the ride as she tries to figure out this bizarre thing that is happening to her, and how to stop it.