Russian Doll: Season 1 (2019)

SEASON:

Season 1
Russian Doll

Critics Consensus

Russian Doll may be stuck in a time loop, but this endlessly inventive series never repeats itself as it teeters on a seesaw of shifting tones -- from fatally funny to mournfully sad -- that is balanced with exhilarating moxie by an astonishing Natasha Lyonne.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 97

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1739

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Episodes

Air date: Feb 1, 2019

On the night of her 36th birthday, Nadia meets an untimely end... then suddenly finds herself back at the party her friends threw for her.

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Air date: Feb 1, 2019

Confused and hung over, Nadia tries to piece together what happened the night before. She tracks down Wardog, the drug dealer with the Israeli joints.

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Air date: Feb 1, 2019

Nadia's hunt for clues leads her to a Yeshiva school -- but she needs John's help. Out searching for Oatmeal, Nadia befriends a homeless man.

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Air date: Feb 1, 2019

Meticulous as always, Alan steadies himself for a rendez-vous with his girlfriend. Meanwhile, Nadia's latest discovery sends her reeling.

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Air date: Feb 1, 2019

Perturbed by the changes in his routine, Alan shows up at Nadia's birthday party. Nadia tries to make amends to John, and Alan confronts Mike.

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Air date: Feb 1, 2019

Nadia and Alan try to figure out how they're connected. Alan can't remember his first death, so Nadia follows him over the course of his night.

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Air date: Feb 1, 2019

As the present begins to unravel, Nadia's troubled past comes back to haunt her, and Alan worries they're running out of time.

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Air date: Feb 1, 2019

Nadia and Alan look for each other and finally cross paths at the deli. Something's not right -- but they're not giving up on each other.

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Russian Doll: Season 1 Videos

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News & Interviews for Russian Doll: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Russian Doll Season 1

All Critics (97) | Top Critics (32)

There's much more to appreciate about this quick hit of brilliance, from the leads' soulful performances to the edgy, adventurous direction.

Dec 2, 2019 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's directed with some flair by Headland, who bathes Nadia's New York in a kind of nicotine haze and who manages the crowd scenes with nice comic facility.

Mar 15, 2019 | Full Review…

With the same humanity and attention to detail that it vests in all its intricacies, Russian Doll unwinds how the incoherent, shame-laden cultural image of mental illness diverges from -- and worsens -- the real thing.

Feb 19, 2019 | Full Review…

Its eight tightly scripted 20-minute episodes are funny, moving, and sometimes existentially terrifying.

Feb 13, 2019 | Full Review…

There are a whole lot of ideas here -- a few thrown against the wall to see if they'll stick -- but the real pleasure of this four-hour head trip are the performances. Lyonne is outstanding.

Feb 1, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's a performance where the actor understands the character so well, down to every little gesture she makes, every twitch of her face, that it's startling, at times, to remember she's fictional.

Feb 1, 2019 | Full Review…
NPR
Top Critic

The best part of the show is that it manages to keep us chortling, even as they address serious issues of death and mental illness.

Jul 17, 2020 | Full Review…

Lyonne leads an absolutely captivating charge into the frustrations of the unknown...

Dec 16, 2019 | Full Review…

This series is a positively fresh entry thanks to a cracking ensemble cast - led by an inimitable Lyonne, of course - sharp writing and great production values throughout.

Dec 3, 2019 | Full Review…

Natasha Lyonne gives a terrifically layered performance that ranges from hilariously funny in the early episodes to brutally emotional.

Dec 3, 2019 | Full Review…

It offers philosophy, humor, a strong cast, and sci-fi-esque twists and turns that feel intentional rather than hokey.

Dec 2, 2019 | Full Review…

The series' second half is deeper, darker, and more surprising than its first, and several key details are left up for interpretation by an ending that's powerful but leaves a lot hanging.

Dec 2, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Russian Doll: Season 1

  • Aug 02, 2020
    Russian doll is a very creative and well put together show that takes the idea of the "groundhog day structure" and uses it to create a brilliant work in character development. We watch Nadia and Alan, our protagonists face their demons as well as each other in gripping 20 minute episodes. The ending is unpredictable and yet somehow makes just so much sense. The way the show faces depression, addiction and processing grief is absolutely brilliant. I was worried it would become boring or repetitive at one point seeing how the loop worked, but there was not a moment where I wasnt gripped on what could happen next. While there were alot of dark elements the show maintained almost a light sense of comedy underneath it. From "Harry Nilsson's gotta get up" playing constantly to the battle with the stairs. This show was fantastic, and I would absolutely watch it again. The way the lighting and the shots are framed for each character really says a lot about who they are— for example, Nadia's opening bathroom scene you can see her almost glaring at the camera, challenging it, which if you watched the show makes a lot of sense. While when you first meet Alan he seems zombie esque, just going through the motions afraid of doing anything differently. There are no words spoken when you first meet the characters, but because of the brilliant cinematography as well as the acting you get a sense of just who you are dealing with.
  • Jul 26, 2020
    It's actually mind-boggling how exceptional this season was considering the plotline is meant to be Nadia repeating the same day over and over again. One of those shows you couldn't think would be that good from initial impression but turns out to be brilliant. Natasha Lyonne is perfect for this role
  • Jul 24, 2020
    I took a while to get around to this, but it was well worth it. A surreal, comic, existential look at the human condition... subverting the goofy groundhog day aspect to explore grief and self-worth and and appreciation for being. Hilarious at time, to boot. Watch this. (I'll be very interested to see where they go with a second season, since the first was fully self-contained.)
  • Jul 20, 2020
    It was a fun and thought provoking story with lots of layers and angles to consider.
  • Jul 18, 2020
    Loved it! When is season 2 coming out?
  • Jul 11, 2020
    very enjoyable watch. i was intrigued right off, but then spent a few weeks watching other Netflix offerings, so maybe not really blown away. returned to the fourth episode and finished up in a couple days time. had to really dig to find something small i didn't like; the NY entertainment elite, whether straight, gay, or bi (usually the latter 2) seem to have a fascination with how many layers of clothing they can fit on an actor before they can no longer move.
  • Jun 22, 2020
    Engaging and fun, Russian doll pays attention to the character development in a specific way, making this an perfect one-day-binge
  • Jun 10, 2020
    Smart. Well-plotted. Charming. Great performances. Always fresh and intriguing.
  • Jun 04, 2020
    Entretenida y bien actuada.
  • May 28, 2020
    Another great series with the combination of both laugh out load moments and serious cliff hangers. Incredible acting from all sides and an entertaining storyline that uses a similar premise to Ground Hog day but in the first five minutes shows that it's very much original.

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