Russian Doll season 2 is still better than 95 percent of what’s on stream

It’s always going to be hard to keep up with an almost perfect first season, but it’s still better than pretty much anything else out there.

When Russian Doll premiered in early 2019, it instantly became one of the best shows of the year. In the next 11 months, few could overtake him for originality, ambition or spark.

The story of a prickly New Yorker trapped in a time loop is a very funny and very thoughtful miniseries. It invites laughter for its inventive death scenes (each loop ends with Nadia’s death) while also keeping you captivated with its insights into life.

That repeating day-The loop of time not only serves as a hook in a sea of ​​streaming options, but also drives Russian dollrhythm. The long-awaited second season doesn’t have the same tempo, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching.

Seven new episodes were released this week and it’s a much looser and less focused installment, but one that still has something to say and something to add to the world created by Natasha Lyonne and Leslye Headland.

Lyonne returns as Nadia, who, after breaking out of the time loop of death on her 36th birthday, is now 10 days away from turning 40. But being trapped in a time loop is nothing compared to the cycle of generational trauma.

When Nadia finds herself transported by subway back to the 1980s, when her mother Nora (Chloe Sevigny) is heavily pregnant, she sees an opportunity to change things, to rewrite her past.

Her scheme involves her family’s lost krugerrand fortune – Nadia thinks that if she can recover what was lost then her life, and that of her mother and grandmother Vera (Elizabeth Ashley/Annie Murphy), will be for the better.

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Luck is basically MacGuffin working his way through a different kind of time loop because while it involves time travel, it’s more about emotional scars.

The final episode of the season is called “Matryoshka”, a type of Russian nesting doll, and it is a powerful symbol of how we carry the lives of our ancestors, weighed down and uplifted by their experiences. We inherit their trauma but we also inherit their resilience, and it’s all inside us like a matryoshka doll.

Meanwhile, Alan (Charlie Barnett), Nadia’s companion in time loop, has his own journey to go, and this is the most unsatisfactory part of the season as charismatic Barnett gets too little screen time.

It’s as if the writers don’t know what to do with the characters or even how the arc relates to Nadia this time around.

Russian doll works so well as a miniseries, it’s truly one of those shows that didn’t need a second season. Of course, “necessity” is a loaded word because while the series could easily serve as one-and-done, season two doesn’t detract from it.

Ironically, given Russian dollThe creed that what came before is intrinsically linked to now, two seasons working well as they are. The first season didn’t need the second to build on it and the second season barely needed the first as its predecessor.

It’s always going to be hard for any follow-up to have the same impact given that the first season was so sharp and witty, but even the dim second season is better than 95 percent of what you’ll find on any streaming platform.

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Russian Doll season 2 is streaming now on Netflix

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