Created by Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Leslye Headland, Russian Doll promised a crazy Groundhog Day mental craziness that would entice and astound a post-Bandersnatch audience. Did it deliver?
Lyonne’s (Pee-wee’s Playhouse, American Pie, Orange is the New Black) Nadia is a thirty-something emotionally scarred woman who enjoys a smoke and a drink. Her raspy philosophising give insight to a bigger backstory that will hopefully play out further as the series develops. Nadia has a bit of a problem though- she keeps dying! The only problem is when she does die she appears back in the bathroom at a party and relives everything that happens from that point on.
At 30 minutes long, Episode 1 has a lot to pack in to set up the series but it does it well. We are introduced to a range of characters and a lot of threads are left to be picked up each time Nadia has to relive them. Like Bandersnatch it would seem that choices is a big theme and through those choices we will get to explore Nadia’s philosophy on life as she keeps dying.
Verdict: 8/10. Provided this does not get padded out as an excuse for more episodes, Russian Doll has the promise to become something special with Nadia soon becoming everyone’s favourite female anti-hero.