Typically our genre television podcast, Sci Fi Fidelity, takes on just a few episodes of a new or returning series that deserves viewer attention, but with Russian Doll, the complexity and literary aspects of the show demanded a full discussion of all eight half-hour episodes. With Natasha Lyonne lending her brash comedy to a metaphysical death loop storyline that goes way beyond the self-reflection of Groundhog Day, this series invites viewers to draw their own conclusions about a whole host of metaphorical interactions and moral quandaries.
The podcast begins with an appreciation for Nadia’s logical progression of investigation into the strange circumstances of her repeated deaths after which she awakens back in the bathroom during her 36th birthday party. From the possible influence of a ketamine-laced joint to the haunting of the old, converted yeshiva in which her party takes place, Nadia does exactly what we might do if we found ourselves in her situation.
Then it’s time to dive deep into the parallels and differences between Nadia’s situation and that of Alan, another troubled person caught in a death loop. As the pair works on uncovering the rules of their new existence, the back stories reveal plenty of reason why the two of them find themselves working together. Everything from the strange characters Nadia and Alan encounter along the way to the opposite nature of our protagonists’ personalities is up for discussion. And of course there’s that amazing ending!
Spoilers are obviously throughout this episode of the podcast, so make sure you’ve seen the whole season of Russian Doll before diving in — a spoiler-free look is available here. Do you agree with some of the interpretations our hosts came up with? Feel free to chime in with your own theories on the podcast Facebook group or via Twitter. In the meantime, subscribe to Sci Fi Fidelity so that you never miss a single episode of this weekly podcast each Sunday, or simply listen below.
Michael Ahr is a writer, reviewer, and podcaster here at Den of Geek; you can check out his work here or follow him on Twitter (@mikescifi). Dave Vitagliano has been writing and podcasting about science fiction television since 2012. You can read more of his work here.