‘Russian Doll’ Season 2 Is the Perfect Mindf*ck for 4/20

Time travel? Russian dolls‘S The anti-smoking chain, Nadia, has a different title. In the three-time second season of the Netflix series (which premieres, aptly enough, on April 20), a burnout Natasha Lyonne told a bar patron, “I prefer the term ‘timeless prisoner’.”

It might be hard for you to remember exactly how Season 1 ended, since it came out in February 2019. So, a little reminder: Nadia Vulvokov is a software engineer who had to find figure out a way to stop dying and wake up in her bathroom 36th birthday party. Along the way, she meets her more reserved friend Alan (Charlie Barnett), who is trying to escape the time loop. own (suicide) time.

Season 2 reunites with the characters four years on from where we left off — just as they begin to realize that there is, in fact, a worse fate than dying over and over again. Have you ever tried time travel?

Russian dolls came out with the confidence it could take years to build another series, and Season 2 brought the show’s original lofty concept into focus. When we first met Nadia, she was struggling to find her lost cat and escape a time loop that made her birthday her personal. Groundhog’s Day. Now, she’s taking the subway at Astor Place and getting off in the 80s.

Whether we like to call ourselves a “cock-a-roach,” a time traveler, or a prisoner, Nadia’s time war takes the form of something between a spy thriller and a crime drama. thieves. Russian dolls Season 2 expands across the generations as Nadia explores the trauma in her family — and the story of the gold bar her mother sold — in greater depth.

Oh, and did I mention Nadia manages time off completely? Let’s just say there’s a lot more to where those two doppelgängers characters from last season’s finale came from.

The less you know about the specifics of Nadia’s time travel, the better. But suffice it to say that this time the change was bigger. The results may have been less consistent in Season 2, but the finished product is even better than its predecessor.

The less you know about the specifics of Nadia’s time travel, the better. But suffice it to say that this time the change was bigger.

Nadia’s partner in the crime of time, Alan, is on an intergenerational journey of her own. Gone are the days of crying over your ex, Beatrice; Today he is wandering through his own family history with a mustache. His story may seem like an afterthought at times, but Barnett is still incredibly endearing, and his light-hearted stage presence is the perfect backdrop for unbridled swagger. by Lyonne.

Although their classes may be slightly different, the core of Russian dollsThe two seasons remain the same: an exploration of existential grief through science fiction. And just like the first season of the show feels like the right time in a full year Time loop TVIts second season focuses on themes that seem to weigh heavily on many people.

As delightful as the songs of Nadia’s subway ride through the decades, an insidious tone pervades the air. Nadia seemed a little sadder; The further she gets away from her timeline, the more crazed her friends seem to get. If Nadia can only keep herself in that timeline, she can come to terms with the fact that her surrogate mother, Ruth, is very ill. At some point, Nadia realized, she had lost her vision – the ability to appreciate and honor the people sitting right in front of her.

Many times while watching Russian dolls, I find myself thinking about the smashing of South by Southwest Anything, Anywhere, Anytime—a tripartite, existing that has captivated viewers across the country for weeks. There, Michelle Yeoh plays a woman who is frustrated with her life and can’t help but focus on the inflection points that got her there. She finds the strength to use her alternative sense of self but finds herself losing time on important daily tasks — like fixing the family’s taxes — the more she uses those gifts. more than.

The danger of losing touch with the present instead of living on the past is clear now Russian dolls Part 2, as well as the pitfalls of obsession with the future may have happened. Its final shot feels a little less creative than the red and black parade that signaled the end of Season 1, but its message rings out as loud as a subway scream.

Although, speaking of sound, maybe it’s time to admit that I’ve been in this season all the time. Any program that finds a way to use Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” not once but twice, will make me distrustful.

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