It's (Probably) Not Over Yet: Russian Doll Season 2 Is Actually Pretty Likely

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Warning: This article includes Russian Doll spoilers. Netflix’s latest original series, Russian Doll, is the easiest television binge you will do this month. It’s only eight episodes, and each episode sits right in the 20-minute mark, which means you can do the whole thing, beginning to end, in about three hours. Right around the two hour mark, you’re going to start wishing the episodes could be a little bit longer because you’ll be so engrossed in the world the show’s created. By the time you get to Episode 8, you’re not going to want the show to end, and you’ll probably find yourself wishing there were eight more episodes. It’s then that you’re going to start hoping and praying for a Russian Doll Season 2 — so could it actually happen, and if it does, how would it even work?
If you’ve made it all the way to the end of the series, you know that everything is, for better or worse, neatly wrapped up. It appears as if Nadia and Alan have finally stopped their cycle of death for good, and have course corrected their universes. However, it’s a damn shame that they ended up in different universes (or do they?), but life’s not perfect.
Both of their “real” selves know what they did wrong, and they know what they have to fix, and seem bent on helping the other get on the right track. They might not be together in the same world, but at least they’re still together. Now that we’ve got our mostly happy ending for these two, what’s next?
Does Russian Doll Even Need A Second Season?
Season 1 ends with both versions of themselves joining Horse’s parade and it certainly seems like everything is finally back to normal. We have no reason to believe things are not back to normal. This could easily be the end of Russian Doll, and it certainly feels that way. There’s something absolutely beautiful about a perfectly executed, one-season show that takes the time it has to create characters and the world they live in, knowing that nothing will continue on after the final credits roll. Russian Doll is able to do that, and we’re left feeling satisfied with the conclusion of Nadia and Alan’s story. If this is the only season we’re getting, at least it’s a damn good one. They’ve both managed to find some happiness, and Netflix has put out eight amazing episodes.
Then Again, What About The Rotting Fruits, The Dying Plants, And The Missing Fish?
On the surface, Russian Doll has answered all our questions, the big one just being why Nadia and Alan were dying in the first place (it’s so they can fix each other!). But in getting to this conclusion, the show brings up a lot of interesting theories, and only one of them is really fleshed out. Grabbing a rotted orange, Nadia cuts it in half to show that it’s still ripe on the inside, explaining that in some versions of this universe the fruits and vegetables haven’t rotted. We’re all on different planes in different timelines, and in one of these worlds, the fruit is still fine.
...but why are they rotting in the first place? The show plays with the space time continuum as if it were Lost, meaning that there are other avenues to explore. This passage of time via rotted fruit is never fully explained, leaving us some tiny breadcrumbs that could easily be picked up and fleshed out in Season 2. There are also the wilting plants at Maxine’s party, and the fact that people — along with fish and diamond rings — can completely disappear is never explained. Sure looks like Russian Doll is saving something for a potential Season 2.
Nadia and Alan’s Story Might Be Over, But There Could Be Others
The concept of Russian Doll — two people fixing themselves again and again to help someone else — could easily be adapted for other pairs. In the same vein as American Horror Story, this format could easily be adapted for other Nadias and Alans out there. Tell me you wouldn’t watch eight seasons of two people dying again and again as they try to fix their problems. An anthology series could build upon what we already know, and take the show in so many new directions.
The Most Promising News: The Show Was Envisioned As Three Seasons
Netflix is notoriously cagey when it comes to why they renew shows and cancel others, and sometimes the streaming site's execs drag their feet for so long before actually announcing it. While it could be days — or even months — before we hear news of a Russian Doll Season 2, when the show was first pitched to Netflix, it was actually envisioned as three seasons.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, writer and director director Leslye Headland explained that she, star Natasha Lyonne, and executive producer Amy Poehler, “pitched Netflix three seasons of the most bonkers, heartfelt, passionate, this-is-what-we-truly-feel-like-is-our-story-to-tell idea. And they said: ‘Great, the more of that the better. The more you guys this can be the better. Here are the resources and the support — take off.’"
Time will only tell if it actually becomes a three season show, but it sounds like there’s still more to discover when it comes to Nadia. Here’s to two more seasons of... deaths! And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

More from TV

R29 Original Series