Russian Doll – NY Angry Groundhog

Rating (3 out of 5)

Summary: A Netflix Original 8 episode series jumps into the do-over genre. The short 30-minute episodes keep “Russian Doll” humming along, and the show adds a nice wrinkle half-way through maintaining your interest. If you can overlook the pretentious New York people then “Russian Doll” is an entertaining and quick series to watch.

Plot: Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) dies on the night of her birthday party, and restarts her day at her birthday party, over and over again. She chain smokes around town solving the mystery of her time loop.

Detail: There are some humorous moments in the series, many which come from dying in new and unique ways. A gag about Nadia avoiding the stairs humors the audience through multiple episodes. Some of the initial investigations take oddly interesting turns, such as finding the source of the drugs she smoked her first night.

The story starts dries up after a while. Really, how many times can you watch someone start over? Fortunately, they introduce another person who dies every day as well, Alan (Charles Barnett). The fact Alan is the exact opposite type of person to Nadia added the right element to reinvigorate the show. I particularly enjoyed when he questioned her overall goodness.

People start disappearing from their world. When the people disappeared, the show lost me a little. The disappearances push our main characters to resolve the time loop, Both characters had guilt they buried in their lives and they had to confront the issues head-on. The tone of the guilt resolution phase changed from all the other episodes, which was disconcerting. I enjoyed how they broke the cycle at the end.