The second season of Russian Doll drops on Netflix this Wednesday, April 20.
It’s a trippy prepare experience by time as Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) and her counterpart Alan (Charlie Barnett) discover their lives upended but once more by a rift within the space-time continuum.
Whereas it could not reside as much as the tightly-wound brilliance of its freshman season, there’s nonetheless quite a bit to like.
After the success of Russian Doll Season 1, followers questioned whether or not a second season would even be crucial. Nadia and Alan’s story resolved so completely. What extra might there be left to inform?
Lyonne’s Nadia is as vulgar and laissez-faire as ever. Our anti-heroine goes on one other wild journey, each internally and externally. Are issues radically completely different by the top? Possibly sure, perhaps no, however her notion definitely shifts.
It’s about Nadia's progress as an individual, a craving for connection to her previous, and acceptance of what made her who she is. It begins gradual after which goes in locations you wouldn't count on.
That is time journey at its messiest. The principles of this universe are chaotic sufficient to maintain the viewers on their toes.
Nadia just isn't your common time traveler, however her atypicality is a part of what makes Russian Doll so interesting. It’s fascinating to see how she approaches these distinctive circumstances and what she makes of her state of affairs.
It helps that Lyonne is charismatic as hell and has implausible chemistry with nearly anybody with whom she shares the display — be it her beloved godmother Ruth (the all the time dependable Elizabeth Ashley), quirky Maxine (the bubbling Greta Lee), or her beleaguered partner-in-time, Alan.
Barnett does properly as Lyonne’s foil/tether. He finds a number of moments of pure pleasure, which is a welcome shift for his character, who continues to be neurotic and paranoid.
Alan approaches his “present” with extra warning than Nadia for worry of dropping one thing valuable to him.
The cinematography and the manufacturing design are as soon as once more impeccably realized.
The primary season received Emmys for each, and this season isn't any completely different. It’s so inventively and gorgeously shot, from the time-traveling sequences to the vastly completely different eras and areas.
The eye to element is charming and all-consuming.
Highlights embrace an especially messy, hallucinogenic drug journey; and the ultimate episode, wherein Nadia has to cope with the ramifications of a gutsy and probably universe-altering resolution.
Lyonne (who additionally serves as showrunner) is aware of methods to direct herself as properly, leading to a heart-breaking, harrowing, disassociative knockout of a efficiency. Using weird digicam angles heightens the stress and uneasiness.
Lots of the results all through the season are sensible, selecting to make use of digicam methods and film magic slightly than relying too closely on CGI.
It’s a smart alternative that pays off. The Michel Gondry-like surrealism makes the wacky proceedings really feel extra visceral and gritty.
What’s really shocking about this season is that it matches the theme of the Russian nesting doll (or “Matryoshka,” not coincidentally the title of the ultimate episode) much more acutely than the primary season.
It’s exhausting to clarify with out giving an excessive amount of away. The character of the journey, the inner layers, and the solutions that in some way concurrently develop and contract are all brilliantly realized.
All of it finally ends up tying again to household and the way the individuals we love (and who love us) form our identities.
Make no mistake, this Russian Doll just isn't a comedy sequence, although Lyonne and Nadia are gifted at discovering the humor in each state of affairs. It's solidly a darkish, sci-fi drama.
It displays once more on what it means for a human to be immortal, however this time in a way more empathetic, heart-aching method.
Whereas the storytelling is compelling and dense, it’s not as tight as Season 1, which was unattainable to not binge.
Season 2 deserves a extra measured method. It must be chewed and digested as an alternative of scarfed down.
Take your time with these seven episodes to completely take in the wealthy layers of the story — you’ll be glad you probably did.
Attempt to keep away from spoilers, too, to deal with your self to the various “A-ha!” moments that the writers have dished out.
All seven episodes drop this Wednesday. Till then, you may watch the trailer right here:
Mary Littlejohn is a workers author for TV Fanatic. Observe her on Twitter.