Russian Doll is like Groundhog Day, but a lot more personal with a focus on the trauma that’s haunting the show’s main characters. The beginning, first half or so of this latest Netflix original is fun,
But the more you peel back the layers the more you begin to realize what is really going on here. The whole point of Russian Doll, and that’s to say we, as people, really need each other. So we got Natasha Lyonne starring as main character Nadia whose best friend is throwing this weird but kinda lavish birthday party in some NYC apartment. She smokes some weed, goes looking for her lost cat, and gets hit by a cab and presumably dies.
But then the Groundhog Day element comes into play and she wakes up in that same bathroom at her birthday party. She’s weirded out and needs to figure out what the heck is happening. Nadia then meets Alan, who happens to be going through the same stuff like Nadia. He dies and comes back to life. The duo meets up and tries to find out how to stop this whole craziness.
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But what’s really going on here. Is that both characters must face the most traumatic moments from their pasts in order to be able to move forward.
Basically, facing and overcoming your inner demons, to further better yourself. So you’re not stuck in the same endless loop of existence. Both figuratively and literally. By the end, Nadia and Alan realize this.
With Alan, he accepts his relationship with Beatrice ain’t going nowhere.
He accepts he needs to grow as a person, mature, and gain some self-confidence before he commits any further to any type of relationship.
With Nadia, it’s a bit more complicated and tangible. Her deep-rooted problem lies in her childhood and her mother. Her relationship with her mother is certainly not an abusive one, but it’s still a terrible one.
We get flashbacks of when Nadia was just a kid, being dragged around by her mother to buy an endless supply of watermelons. So they can watch over their figures. Her mother has always been a lost soul, someone looking for a way out but not knowing where to begin and what to do.
And as a kid, Nadia felt this guilt of not wanting to live with her mom. Admitting to herself that she kinda hates her for all the messed up things her mom keeps doing. Once Nadia is able to admit this guilt all seems well.
She wakes up in the bathroom once again, everyone is at the party again, everyone’s happy. Nadia isn’t dead just yet and it seems like her planned work well. But in the final episode, we get one final twist in Russian doll. One that cements that whole point of this series is to highlight the importance of positive human interactions and being there for one another during any situation, messed up or positive.
Turns out, both Alan and Nadia end up in two separate timelines, one in which they don’t know one another. And it’s up to them to help each other by helping them not be dead. With Nadia, Alan has to convince her she knows him and save her from that fateful cab. And with Alan, Nadia has to stay up all night with him so he doesn’t jump off his roof. Of course for a second there you’re thinking, wait a minute, are they going to make it out alive?
Is Russian Doll going to have a happy ending? The series throws enough twists your way that you can’t help but doubt a happy ever after will
Both Alan and Nadia save each other and are able to reunite their timeliness as they march towards a better and happier future, one in which they’re best friends. Throughout the story, Nadia and Alan are lost and feel alone. They have immense pride but the resolution here is them admitting to themselves they need support and that they messed up.
It might come off as a bit corny and too sappy. But it’s pulled off in such a brilliant way that it works. We all need each other, our best friends, family members, pets like Oatmeal, and even strangers. All looking out for another, all looking out for crazy cab drivers.