CONNER’S CRITIQUES: Russian Doll

Hello and welcome to Conner’s Critiques. My name is Conner Sharp and today we are going to be talking about another Netflix show. We’ve been doing a lot of these so far. That being said, it’s not like they are paying me. This time we are talking Russian Doll.

So sit down, strap in, and try to avoid a time loop as we make our way through the same day over and over again.

STORY: 5/10
Lets be honest, these Groundhog Day themed movies do not on their face immediately bring a loss going into them. It was an interesting concept that was made perfect by Bill Murray’s performance in that early 90s film. However, in my opinion for a film to borrow the concept and apply it to their story, they have to do more then just play with the idea.

Primer did an amazing job showcasing what humanity could do with a time loop. Happy Death Day created a fun, light horror theme, with a unique comedy aspect. Even DC’s Legends of Tomorrow did a Groundhog Day themed episode.

If you are going to use the concept, you have to create a unique story, aspect, and a solid play through as to why or how it is happening. But that was the problem with this show. While the actors where amazing, and the supporting cast works very hard to pull you through a repetitive world, the concept and explanation is lost in the humor of “What can we do with this”. That’s not specifically a deal breaker, but if you are going to play the the world, you shouldn’t leave lacking the explanation or understanding of how as you get lost in the what.

An interesting issue with this show is that it is lost and it isn’t until 4 episodes in that it’s salvation is found in Alan. This small factor is what saves the story from ruin, and pulls it up to where it is.

STORY: 5/10
Lets be honest, these Groundhog Day themed movies do not on their face immediately bring a loss going into them. It was an interesting concept that was made perfect by Bill Murray’s performance in that early 90s film. However, in my opinion for a film to borrow the concept and apply it to their story, they have to do more then just play with the idea.

Primer did an amazing job showcasing what humanity could do with a time loop. Happy Death Day created a fun, light horror theme, with a unique comedy aspect. Even DC’s Legends of Tomorrow did a Groundhog Day themed episode.

If you are going to use the concept, you have to create a unique story, aspect, and a solid play through as to why or how it is happening. But that was the problem with this show. While the actors where amazing, and the supporting cast works very hard to pull you through a repetitive world, the concept and explanation is lost in the humor of “What can we do with this”. That’s not specifically a deal breaker, but if you are going to play the the world, you shouldn’t leave lacking the explanation or understanding of how as you get lost in the what.

An interesting issue with this show is that it is lost and it isn’t until 4 episodes in that it’s salvation is found in Alan. This small factor is what saves the story from ruin, and pulls it up to where it is.

STORY: 5/10
Lets be honest, these Groundhog Day themed movies do not on their face immediately bring a loss going into them. It was an interesting concept that was made perfect by Bill Murray’s performance in that early 90s film. However, in my opinion for a film to borrow the concept and apply it to their story, they have to do more then just play with the idea.

Primer did an amazing job showcasing what humanity could do with a time loop. Happy Death Day created a fun, light horror theme, with a unique comedy aspect. Even DC’s Legends of Tomorrow did a Groundhog Day themed episode.

If you are going to use the concept, you have to create a unique story, aspect, and a solid play through as to why or how it is happening. But that was the problem with this show. While the actors where amazing, and the supporting cast works very hard to pull you through a repetitive world, the concept and explanation is lost in the humor of “What can we do with this”. That’s not specifically a deal breaker, but if you are going to play the the world, you shouldn’t leave lacking the explanation or understanding of how as you get lost in the what.

An interesting issue with this show is that it is lost and it isn’t until 4 episodes in that it’s salvation is found in Alan. This small factor is what saves the story from ruin, and pulls it up to where it is.

… Sorry I think we got stuck in a time loop there.

ACTING: 7/10
So I feel bad about this. I’m dinging the acting category because while I love the actors, the character is literally nails on a chalkboard. Alan is like-able, and once he arrives on the scene it causes a complete shift in the shows dynamic.

The harshness of Nadia is softened by Alan, the fact of having someone to run the scenario through breathed a watchable level into the show. A friend of mine was watching the episodes with me, and he said that he was messing around on his phone throughout the episodes, but once Alan showed up, he was finally interested.

Lastly the supporting characters of Maxine and Lizzy, played by Greta Lee, and Rebecca Henderson, were amazing with Ruth Brenner delivering a much needed heart at the core of Nadia’s character.

OVERALL: 6/10
All things considered, if you can make it past the first three episodes, then the show will take a turn that will be much more enjoyable.

Lastly I will say that this show may have suffered for having too few episodes, which is a very weird thing to say about a Netflix show. The end of the series/season was far to fast, and left a lot to the viewers interpretation.

Conner’s Final Thought(s):
If you are looking for an interesting show, that is enjoyable and interesting. Then watch through the first three episodes, it’s needed for comprehension. The first three episodes are like the rise of the roller-coaster before it descends.

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