Netflix, Season 1
Gotta get up, gotta get out until the morning comes! I loved the first season of this show for many reasons. Not least of which is the catchy song played whenever the main character comes back from the dead (and they pulled a happy death day because it isn’t the same song as the one played in the trailer). “Russian Doll” created by and starring Natasha Lyonne of “Orange is The New Black” is in my opinion, one of the best original series to come from Netflix in the past year.
The show opens with Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) attending the birthday party that her best friend threw for her where she laments over her missing cat, Oatmeal. Which, first of all… Okay most television shows that take place in New York City show a very glamorous and shiny/sanitized view of NYC. What I really like about this show is it did a really good job of being a realistic NYC experience. Sure, not everyone has a huge apartment with an island in the kitchen but I think it was obvious that Nadia ran with a very privileged crowd.
Anyway, back to the story.
During the party Nadia has a few drinks, smokes a bit, and meets a guy with whom ends up leaving the party early. After a quick rendezvous (love this word) at her apartment, she politely calls his Uber (#BDE) and heads to the local bodega to grab a snack.
On her way back home she is shockingly hit by a car and dies.
What’s more shocking than our main character being killed dead within 5 minutes of season 1, episode 1 is that 2 seconds later Nadia is staring at herself in the bathroom mirror back at her party.
Sweet birthday baby, indeed.
I’d say this show is “Groundhogs day” meets “Happy Death Day” meets “Broad City”.
Nadia is doomed to die and relive the same night over and over until she can figure a way out of the loop. Luckily for her, she’s not the only one in the universe stuck in the circle of life and death. A few episodes into the season we’re introduced to Alan. He too, has been dying and reliving the same night over and over again.
It’s super fun to watch Nadia and Alan’s friendship evolve throughout the season. When they first meet Alan wants nothing to do with Nadia because once they come in contact with each other small details start changing for Alan in the time warp. He and Nadia are also polar opposites.
While Nadia has been driving herself crazy trying to figure out why this is happening and how she can stop it, Alan enjoys reliving the same night because he knows exactly what’s going to happen. He thoroughly enjoys having full control over the situation. If Alan is type A, then Nadia is type Z. She is a wild woman who has beneath the surface actually been chasing death down at every corner prior to it calling her bluff.
Alan and Nadia have WONDERFUL chemistry and reminds us why it’s important to have friends that can balance you out. What made this show great is it explores heavy topics like death, suicide, homelessness, and mental illness with characters that I think we all can relate to.
Eventually Nadia and Alan (really just Nadia) figure out that there are multiple timelines. Each time they die, another timeline is branched off. The only way they can get out of this is to confront their own demons.
The nerd in me would absolutely love some fanfiction that explores each of these timelines. At this point I’ve re-watched the first season of this show multiple times and have somehow not grown tired of it. It’s one of those shows where you’ll pick up new details with every watch and it’s easy to binge because it’s a short season with 30 minute episodes!
When Alan and Nadia first meet in the doomed elevator.
Nadia saving the shoes of her homeless friend.
Nadia and Alan being allergic to bees
“SWEET BIRTHDAY BABY.”