Binge or Bust: Russian Doll
As I’m sure most of you know, Netflix has been directing movies and shows of their own in hopes of broadening their franchise.
If you’ve been keeping up with the latest of their productions, you have probably noticed that these Netflix Originals have been consistently hit or miss. One of the most recent of this collection takes an almost grungy and modern take on the well-known classic movie, Groundhog Day.
Russian Doll is a comedic drama that stars Natasha Lyonne as Nadia, a feisty redhead living life in New York and flourishes in women’s empowerment like there is no tomorrow. This Netflix Original contains only eight episodes that never exceed 30 minutes in length. And for those of you wondering… yes, you can definitely binge this in one night if you are feeling daring enough.
The opening scene is one that you will find yourself familiar with very quickly and may even cause slight irritation as the season progresses. Nadia is at her wild 36th birthday party, which has been thrown by her friends that are living life to the fullest, to say the least. If you are someone who is squeamish about drugs, alcohol, or sex, this show is definitely not for you.
As Nadia’s night progresses she realizes that she wasn’t experiencing déjà vu, but has been dying and coming back to life on the same night of her life. This theme has quite honestly been overused in the entertainment industry over the past few years, but the actors and direction this show takes, makes the plot satisfyingly unique. The series repeats this cycle of death until Nadia eventually discovers the reason for her cycle of repetitive days.
This being said, I may have been extremely tired as I finished watching this show, but I found the ending a bit hard to understand. Without spoiling the ending, Nadia does discover why she keeps reliving the same points in time, but the finale leaves the watcher curious as to what the big picture may look like. Other than this, I thought the show was much more attention-grabbing and entertaining than the homework I chose to pretend wasn’t there and was worth the post-Netflix binge stress that one often feels after finishing a good series. Ed Gaffney, the director of Russian Doll, does an astonishing job of making the viewers just as engaged in the plot as Nadia is and drawing your attention to new questions only when he feels the timing is right.
Netflix has once again managed to slap together a production that exceeds the already high expectations of its viewers. If you are craving a thriller that can not only entertain but can also give you a taste of sassiness and empowerment like no other, Russian Doll is the show for you.