A year before the pandemic, Nadia (Natasha Lyonne), a lifelong New Yorker, was caught in a time loop the night of her 36th birthday in the first season of the Netflix show Russian Doll.
The show shows Nadia being stuck in a time loop that always restarts in her friend’s super cool cosmic bathroom during her birthday party, with Harry Nilsson’s soundtrack “Gotta Get Up” playing. That time loop would always end with Nadia’s death; it made her wonder if she was really dead and how can she get out of this loop.
Staying stuck in the time loop, Nadia revisits a lot of her unresolved traumas. From trying to find her lost cat, being friends with a homeless guy, and resolving her upbringing trauma that has to do with her mom.
It was a lonely experience until she found Alan (Charlie Barnett), a stranger who was also traversing the same time loop. He was dealing with his own issues as well.
Alan’s loop was stuck on the night his girlfriend of 9 years broke up with him. The constant daily rejection got Alan into a depressing cycle and, of course, took a toll on his self-esteem.
The show carries on with Nadia and Alan trying to figure out the reason why they are connected or why they are in this together. While resolving their own struggles and traumas, they also helped each other go through them.
Many of the audience relate to this time loop, especially during the pandemic lockdown when every day was the same.
Facing struggles in not only the premise of the show but the people you love is also highlighted in this show. Nadia was constantly worried about her loved ones getting affected by whatever she was in; she was afraid to lose them.
At the end of the season, we see both Nadia and Alan rescue each other from dying as if they went back to their first death. When they were rescued from their first death, the loop ended.
Nadia and Alan became close friends and spent Nadia’s birthday together every year in case something cosmic happened to them again. The show came out with a second season to see what will happen to Nadia and Alan on Nadia’s 40th birthday!