Russian doll is ready for its next existential ride.
After a long wait, the second season of Natasha Lyonne’s time-loop genre comedy has revealed its launch date. After debuting in the pre-pandemic, Emmy-winning first season in February 2019, Russian doll will be back on April 20.
The second season will up the ante, as it’s set four years after Lyonne’s protagonist Nadia and her friend Alan (Charlie Barnett) thwart their fates from a time loop of mortality. This time around, their journey through a Manhattan time portal will take them on a universe-bending adventure.
The teaser (below) shows Nadia traversing time and space through a trippy subway ride, eventually bringing her to the recognizable bathroom door that started it all (hint: “Gotta Get Up” by Harry Nilsson, playing on loop). “When the universe is kidding you? Leave it,” Nadia says, before taking a drink.
According to Netflix’s Hookup Line, season two will “continue to explore existential thematics through an often humorous, sci-fi lens. Uncovering a fate even worse than endless death, this season Nadia and Alan delve deeper into their past through an unexpected time portal set in one of Manhattan’s most notorious locations. At first, they experience this as an ever-expanding, era-crossing, intergenerational adventure, but they soon discover that this extraordinary event might be more than they bargained for, and together they must search for a way out.
Lyonne, Amy Poehler and writer/director Leslye Headland worked on the concept of Russian doll for two and a half years before pitching it to Netflix as a three-season series. After the first season, they planned to keep Nadia for many more seasons. (The series was renewed for season two in June 2019.)
“When it was first launched, Nadia was there for all three. But it wasn’t in a very conventional way, if that makes sense. She was always there, because we knew Lyonne would always be the beating heart and soul of this show. Whether she was haunted or haunted the narrative, she would be there,” Headland said when she and Lyonne spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on how the season one finale might set up the second season.
Lyonne, who says Russian doll is autobiographical in many ways, later expanded on Nadia’s return in season two. “There’s a very clear sense of character about Nadia, so very conceptual things can happen to her, but they always feel earned,” she said. THR after the release of Season 1. “They’re backed by some sort of lived experience, so they don’t feel like they’re floating in space or completely sci-fi realm. this point of view, I have big ideas, and I think this show will continue to work as long as this journey continues to be interesting and worth watching and new. I want to learn in real time with it and with our public.
Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek and Kevin can fuck himself) joined the cast for season two. Glimpses of Lyonne, Barnett, Murphy and returning star Greta Lee can be seen in the first photos below. Chloë Sevigny, Elizabeth Ashley and Rebecca Henderson also return for season two.
Lyonne is showrunner, as well as executive producer, on season two. The season is also produced by Alex Buono, Poehler and Kate Arend for Paper Kite Productions, Headland, Lilly Burns and Tony Hernandez for Jax Media, Dave Becky for 3 Arts, Regina Corrado and Allison Silverman.