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Russian Doll - Season One - Advance Preview: Sweet Birthday Baby



Time loops have been a beloved trope in television and film for a long time now. Groundhog's Day is probably one of the most famous examples of the scenario where someone is forced to relive a day in their life over and over again until they can figure out how to break the cycle.

Russian Doll has a similar concept concept but it gives us a refreshing new take on a tired set-up. Natasha Lyonne stars as Nadia, a woman desperately trying to escape a seemingly inescapable night that begins at her very own birthday party. Except not long after leaving the party she gets hit by a car and dies. When she wakes up, she's back where she began, staring into a mirror in her friend Maxine's apartment. And thus the pattern begins.

If you noticed the promotional material for the series then you've realized the Russian Nesting Doll is a key symbol and it's easy to see how it relates to the premise of the show. We're not really here to unravel the mystery of a time loop, we're here to watch the character journey of Nadia and Alan (played by Chicago Fire's Charlie Barnett) and their relationship together.

Pictured: Charlie Barnett as Alan -- Courtesy of Netflix
I admit, I found the first two episodes a little aimless and plodding, but once we get introduced to Alan's character in episode three, things really pick up. The second half of the season is brilliant television. It's all at once a unique and spell-binding creation from the minds of Amy Poehler, Natasha Lyonne, and Leslye Headland.

There is a cosmic energy to Russian Doll, one that complements its emotional integrity and also keeps the show full of surprises and easter eggs as you embark on Nadia's journey with her.

I've never seen a time-loop tale told quite like this one and I believe it sets a new bar for this type of storytelling.

Pictured: Natasha Lyonne as Nadia -- Courtesy of Netflix

The entire first season of Russian Doll will be available to stream on Netflix this Friday, February 1st.

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