The Groundhog Day effect is alive and well in the first trailer for Netflix’s new comedy Russian Doll. The new series is a dark comedy that takes the idea of having to relive a single day from your life over and over again, often dying in some horrifying or even deliberate manner, only to find yourself stuck in the very same situation. It’s a premise that has been (ironically) used over and over again, in films like Edge of Tomorrow, and most recently with the Blumhouse horror comedy Happy Death Day and its upcoming sequel, Happy Death Day 2U.
While it may be headed down a very similar path, Russian Doll has a lot going for it; namely, the cast, which, in addition to Lyonne, includes Greta Lee (The Good Fight), Jeremy Bobb (The Knick), Brendan Sexton III (The Kiling), Chloë Sevigny (Bloodline), Dascha Planco (Orange Is The New Black), and more. The series is also the brainchild of Lyonne, Leslye Headland (Sleeping With Other People), and the Great and Honorable Amy Poehler. So while there are some surface-level similarities to other films, Russian Doll has enough talent behind it to deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Concern over its surface-level sameness is further assuaged after viewing the delightfully filthy first trailer, which not only lets the expletives fly, but also makes excellent use of the inadvertently creepy Tommy James & The Shondells song, ‘Crimson and Clover.’ The rest is pretty much watching Lyonne struggle to come to grips with the horrible deaths she much repeatedly endure, while trying to figure why she’s being forced to relive the same evening over and over again. Check out the trailer for Russian Doll below:
“Russian Doll follows a young woman named Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) on her journey as the guest of honor at a seemingly inescapable party one night in New York City.”
Russian Doll is primarily interested in watching its main character repeatedly experience her own demise, furthering the new series’ similarity to Edge of Tomorrow and Happy Death Day. But that angle is also an interesting divergence from Groundhog Day. Though the Bill Murray comedy had its dalliance with a wide variety of deaths for its main character, it was not required that he die in order to reset the day. That seems to be the case here, though from the look of it, there’s more going on than meets the eye, as a character played by Charlie Barnett appears to be going through the same scenario as Nadia.
At any rate, Russian Doll looks to be a worthwhile binge-watch this February, and at just eight episodes, it won’t overstay its welcome or begin to fee too repetitive.
Russian Doll premieres Friday, February 1 on Netflix.