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Indy Suggests: "Russian Doll"

On Feb. 1, Netflix released “Russian Doll,” starring “Orange is the New Black” star Natasha Lyonne as Nadia, a 36-year-old, fast-talking New Yorker and the Bill Murray of this most recent Groundhog Day-style show. “Russian Doll” is a sensation, exploring the existential effects of living the same day over and over again; it offers eight episodes to explore Nadia’s story, allowing the show to relax into itself as it develops. Lyonne’s Nadia is endearing, witty, and refreshingly frank. This is no whitewashed heroine, and her range allows the show to be at once amusing and revealing. The reason I am still thinking about “Russian Doll” a month after its release—and the three days during which I devoured all eight thirty-minute episodes—is just this balance of light and dark, funny yet deeply emotional, that Natasha Lyonne maintains effortlessly throughout the show, from the top of her impossibly curly head to the tips of her toes. Much of the show’s comedy comes from Nadia’s sense of humor, and the general exasperation with which she approaches the insanity of living the day of her birthday party over and over again. But alongside the humor, and sometimes directly linked to it, there are more serious details, emphasizing the creepiness of Nadia’s situation (slowly molding fruits, disappearing fish...) and the fact that even impossible scenarios can have a serious impact on your psyche. Watch “Russian Doll” if you are a fan of Groundhog Day, Natasha Lyonne, dramadeys, sci-fi, Brooklyn accents, female protagonists, or just good television.

Emma Cooney

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