Yesterday, we binged the entirety of the new Netflix show Russian Doll, starring Natasha Lyonne and Charlie Barnett. Lyonne plays a thirty-six-year-old, cantankerous, damn-the-world woman who dies on her birthday – and then dies again. And again. And again. This simple conceit, which is similar to Groundhog Day1, is the source of a lot of gallows humor in the beginning episodes, but quickly becomes a much more important metaphor for self-care, compassion, and helping each other.
I don’t want to say too much more2, but I will say this: the performances are great, especially from Barnett, who I haven’t seen before. The show takes a few episodes to get going, and the pacing is off in the first episode and a half, enough to where I almost didn’t watch the rest of it. But the story, once it gets going, is an insightful exploration of how we deal with trauma, how we can heal, and how we can help each other through it. And the twist of the last episode is killer.
One last thing: I need the soundtrack to this show. It ends with Love’s Alone Again Or, which I just discovered in the past month and was a wonderful piece of serendipity for me, and a great song for you.
And it is what Russian Doll is being compared to all over the Internet, with one article even going so far as to compare the rules of each scenario.↩︎
Partly for spoilers reasons, but mostly because I realized I don’t need to give a full write-up for every thing I write about in this blog. They don’t have to be full reviews; they can just be my thoughts on things I consume culturally. Maybe I’ll devote a whole post to my thoughts sometime about it.↩︎