Russian Doll–Stranger Things meets the time loop in second season of hit Netflix series

Is the second season of the hit Netflix sci-fi comedy Russian Doll heading the way of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes?  Just check out the trailer below for the second season, arriving in only two weeks.  The first season introduced chapter one in the story of Natasha Lyonne′s vulgar, angst-plagued New Yorker Nadia, an emotional, more accessible Jessica Jones, a superpowered heroine with a unique gift (like Deadpool 2’s Domino), the power of the do-over.  But the trailer appears like Lyonne, as star, writer, director, and showrunner, is pulling out all the stops this time, taking the series to an incredibly realistic New York of the past.  The time jump made the irreverent comedy a science fiction genre bender.  It’s now getting a Stranger Things-esque retro fix that looks to be even more layered than its first season.

If you missed it, check out our review of the first season here (Not up to speed on time loops?  Start here, then check out all we’ve covered at borg about ’em here).  The title is perfect, Russian Doll–the traditional Eastern European nesting doll toy is a metaphor for the repetitive nature of the heroine’s life.  Lyonne plays her accent like Lorraine Bracco, or a brash Rhoda Morgenstern (or Rhoda’s mom?) impersonating Billy Crystal or Don Rickles stand-up routines, with a 1980s hair band orange wig that makes her look, as suggested on the show, like “Andrew Dice Clay and the girl from Brave had a baby.”  Lyonne somehow makes it work for her.  Charlie Barnett (Men in Black 3, Chicago Fire) returns as the troubled New Yorker with much in common with Nadia, and Greta Lee is back as friend Maxine.

The first season of Russian Doll was a fresh surprise, providing no linear pathway for anyone to predict what will happen in season two, and the trailer only suggests the story could go anywhere–beginning with the 1980s.  The first season’s editing of the splices–the weaving of the scenes shot in the same place but at subtly different times–were deftly worked into the story, numbering many more than you’ve probably seen before in a time loop tale.  Unfortunately we get one fewer episode this season, with only seven episodes coming your way this round.

Wait no longer–here’s the trailer for Season 2 of Russian Doll:

A strange, funny story and unusual take on the time loop trope full of funny dialogue, Russian Doll was engrossing and engaging.  The new trailer leads us to think the next season could be even better.  The series returns April 20 exclusively on Netflix.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg

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