The premise of new Netflix series Russian Doll is hardly original – software designer Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) dies after leaving a party thrown in her honour, only to find herself back at the bash, reliving events over and over.
As she experiences her own groundhog night, Nadia tries to work out what the f--k (she swears a lot) is going on, all the while avoiding another of the fatal accidents that seem to lurk waiting for her at every corner. But while the idea of a never-ending day has been seen on screen before, this spiky, snarky series co-created by Lyonne with Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland has enough new ideas to avoid feeling, in its own way, like something you’ve seen before.
For one thing, it’s refreshing to see character actress Lyonne in a lead role, with Nadia a mix of walking disaster and can-do go-getter. As is often the case with this type of story, Russian Doll may yet become annoying as the narrative is constantly reset, but it might just be fresh enough to get away with it. (On Netflix from Fri., Feb. 1) 3.5 stars
For more on Russian Doll, listen to this week's episode of TV podcast Binge List (below).