“Russian Doll: 5 Things We Want To See In Season 2 (& 5 We Don’t)”
Last year Russian Doll took all of us by surprise when it debuted on Netflix in February. What may have seemed like another riff on Groundhog Day proved to be a quirky and heartfelt dramedy all of its own. It begins with a woman getting killed on the eve of her 36th birthday, but it quickly evolves into something entirely different than what you expect.
Although an official release date has not been set, a second season of the show is on its way. We haven’t gotten many details of what to expect, but here are a few things we are hoping to see and some we don’t.
10 Do: Nadia Saying “Cockaroach”
Honestly, we would be fine if the next season consisted of Natasha Lyonne just repeating different variations of “cockaroach”. OK, maybe not the entire season. But Lyonne’s raspy, hard-edged New Yorker voice, along with her offbeat wardrobe choices, made Nadia an unforgettable character.
It could have very easily turned into an SNL-caricature, but Lyonne brought a lot of heart and vulnerability to the role. Whatever dialogue she has in the coming season, we want it to be as memorable as this past season.
9 Don’t: Distracting Cameos
It is not uncommon for TV shows to give cameos to makers of the show during the course of the show’s run. One of the most prominent executive producers of Russian Doll is Amy Poehler. While Poehler is a fantastic actor in her own right, we don’t want her showing up just for the sake of having a walk-on scene.
Russian Doll has created a very unique universe of its own, and it this point, we’re not sure that it’s the universe we inhabit anymore. Wherever next season leads us, we don’t want any cameos jarring us to the point of being unable to suspend our imaginations anymore.
8 Do: Strong Female Characters
One of the best and most fascinating creative choices of Russian Doll is the eventual team-up with Nadia, a 36-year-old Jewish woman, and Alan, a twenty-something black man. In so many other TV shows, this pair simply wouldn’t have come together. And while Alan does help Nadia in their journey to figure out how they keep dying over and over, it primarily remains Nadia‘s journey, not Alan’s. Nadia propels most of the action, not Alan.
Nadia is anything but a perfect individual and her path to individuation is also not guided by a male character. Perhaps her greatest help is her stand-in mother, Ruth Brenner, who aids her in navigating through her troubled and tragic past. Please bring Ruth and Nadia back and keep more like them coming.
7 Don’t: Return Of John And/Or Mike
John and Mike both proved to be interesting in their own right. Mike, in particular, proved to be helpful to both Alan and Nadia in exploring parts of themselves they didn’t like. However, by the end of the season, both John and Mike seem to have run their course.
If for some reason John and/or Mike were to return, we’re hoping they stick to the background. We don’t need to revisit them to continue to explore Nadia or Alan. We’re positive other characters can help them in that process.
6 Do: Alternate Timeline Alan
The finale of Russian Doll finds Alan and Nadia encountering alternate versions of the person they knew, rather than the ones they came to know by dying over and over again. Seemingly, they have been removed from the loop they were stuck in where they never managed to get more than 24 hours from the first time they died before they died again.
One of the most powerful moments of the finale was Nadia’s promise to the alternate timeline Alan that he wouldn’t necessarily be happy if he didn’t commit suicide, but that he also wouldn’t be alone. It was a strong note to end on and we wouldn’t mind seeing Nadia spend some more time with this Alan and help him sort through his breakup with Beatrice.
5 Don’t: Make Nadia Relearn The Same Things About Herself
One of the reasons we love Nadia is that she is a complicated, imperfect individual. You may not always want to be around her, but we love her for just being herself. Through Alan and the process of dying many times, we came to understand the trauma that she experienced and how it made her who she is.
Knowing this about Nadia, it wouldn’t be too surprising to learn she had more than just mommy issues. There are so many different things we could learn about her or an alternate version of herself. Sorry Chloe Sevigny, but we’re hoping that we don’t see too much of you next season. Nadia deserves better.
4 Do: Funny Ways To Die
Natasha Lyonne owned this show in so many ways. One that we didn’t entirely expect was her knack for physical comedy. While some of her deaths are gruesome, several of them are just plain funny. From falling down a set of stairs to falling into a trapdoor, Lyonne totally sold these moments as well as the more emotionally gut-wrenching ones.
Assuming that we haven’t seen Nadia die for the last time, we’re hoping that Lyonne gets to show off more of her physical comedy chops in the coming season.
3 Don’t: Sophomore Slump
If Russian Doll hadn’t been renewed by Netflix for another season, it wouldn’t have been surprising given the streaming giant’s new penchant for killing off beloved but lower-rated series. It was happy news for everyone when the series got renewed in June 2019. But no show is immune to the sophomore slump.
It can be easy for showrunners to coast on the highs of the first season and assume that the audience is built-in and will return no matter what. We’re hoping that Natasha Lyonne and Leslye Headland don’t rest on their laurels and that they give us another great season of one of the most unique streaming shows.
2 Do: Nadia’s Coding Skills
To be clear, we don’t need to see Nadia actually code. But we would love to see her put that part of her brain to more use. We caught just glimpses of it during the show with her attending a work meeting and fixing a bug on the spot. Her mindset also helped her come up with the idea that she and Alan were possibly in a loop because of some “bug” in their time loops.
It doesn’t need to be a huge part, but we’d like to see what else that brain can do. As she explains to Alan in one scene, she does “have the capacity to think like a computer” so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this gets more exploration in the coming season.
1 Don’t: Perfect Ending
One of the best things about the series so far was its finale. It was ambiguous enough to serve as a series capper, but it also left plenty to be explored. If there’s one thing that gets hammered over and over throughout the series, it is that life is messy and people are messier. It may well be that Russian Doll doesn’t get renewed after this season, but we don’t need an ending that wraps everything up neatly.
There are plenty of shows that go on for many seasons, but that has never been the plan for Russian Doll. We would rather Russian Doll have an ending that feels authentic to the tone of the show rather than one that’s looking to tie up every loose end.
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