The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Netflix Original’s “Russian Doll”: Review

On Feb. 1, Netflix released an exciting new miniseries, “Russian Doll”, created by Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Leslye Headland. 

At a glance it may seem as though it’s premise has been done to death, but a closer look reveals a surprisingly interesting story that takes a unique spin on the concept of time and emotional growth.

The show follows protagonist Nadia Vulvokov, played by Natasha Lyonne, as she navigates her way through her 36th birthday party, only to die and begin to repeat the night over again.

 As this process of dying and starting over continues, clues as to what exactly is going on come to light and more of Nadia’s personal life is revealed. The more questions that are answered the more that seem to appear.

With a 5/5 rating on Vox, a 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 89 percent on Metatronic, it’s clear that the comedy drama has impressed critics.

The show perfectly balances humorous moments with darker scenes in order to keep the audience surprised and interested. 

The miniseries, “turns from comic to mournful and back again, but at at no point does the show lose it’s soul,” according to Esquire. 

Its writing is well done which brings a high level of depth to its characters and an interesting story to follow. 

“Russian Doll” uses its plot almost as a backdrop to Nadia’s development as a character. 

While certain things are happening in the plot, often times, they are metaphorical for what is happening in Nadia’s own mind.

 Of course, the wittiness of the story is nothing if not backed up by a powerful performance. 

Luckily Natasha Lyonne’s portrayal of Nadia is marvelous and she delivers an outstanding performance. She really captures the character’s emotional growth well, while also managing to be hilarious at the same time. 

“Lyonne, in a powerhouse performance, upstages her own series by managing to be even more memorable than its unique central conceit,” says Film School Rejects. 

One gripe some people may have with the series is while “Russian Doll’s” ending explains a lot of the mysteries of the show, some small things are left unexplained.

While this may be frustrating for those who are nitpicky, the finale uses the time it could have spent on tying up loose ends on completing each character’s development and telling a rather symbolic story. 

It gives you just enough things left unexplained that you can interpret them however you’d like.

The show has great replay value. After watching the end it is fun to go back and see all the things you missed the first time. 

“Russian Doll” does an excellent job of leaving subtle hints without giving away the ending, so when watching the second time you will wonder how you didn’t realize what was going on sooner. 

At a little under 30 minutes per episode, it only takes around four hours to get through all eight episodes. This makes it a great show to binge watch.

Overall, “Russian Doll” has a surprisingly unique plot with well written characters and superb acting. 

It is a story with many different interpretations and one that makes you think about life and morality. 

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