RUSSIAN DOLL ★★★★
In a dreamy, almost hallucinatory New York City, Nadia is celebrating her 36th birthday and worrying about her missing cat, Oatmeal. She hooks up with a vaguely unattractive bloke at the party, takes him back to hers, and before the night is over she’s been hit by a car and killed, only to discover herself right back at the party.
A little bit Bored to Death, a little bit Groundhog Day and, in the end, a little bit Portnoy’s Complaint, Russian Doll is a gorgeous, blackly funny, wonderfully humane and totally out-there exploration of the big lessons we need to learn – and how tough it is, sometimes, to learn them. Co-created by Natasha Lyonne (who stars as Nadia), Amy Poehler and playwright and screenwriter Leslye Headland (Bachelorette), it’s a kooky and utterly addictive look at the struggle to form meaningful human connections.
Lyonne is perfect – and almost unrecognisable – but as Nadia dies and returns, her world also becomes crowded with fabulous characters, all of whom have a part to play in helping her let go of the past – and all of whom it’s a delight to spend time with. Although Russian Doll partakes of a bunch of other stories, the end result really is something out of the box, and at just eight 25-minute episodes, it’s deliciously bingeable.