Friday, March 1, 2019

An Old Nerd Watched Russian Doll And Promises Not To Spoil It For You

An intence four hours.
  bIt’s difficult to talk about Netflix’s series, Russian Doll without talking about Russian Doll, because it’s a good idea to know as little as possible about Russian Doll before you watch it. And I’m going to be the latest person to try and convince you to watch it. But here goes.

New things are rare in the entertainment industry. New things that are also good things are even rarer. Russian Doll is a new thing, and it’s a good thing, but most importantly, it has a unique energy that makes it different from other new things that are generally perceived as good things.

It’s remarkably free of the “Prestige TV” tropes that have developed and evolved and grown stale at a startling rate of speed over the last 5-6 years. Tropes that drove me screaming away from Westworld and kept me from fully embracing American Gods. It’s gritty without being dark, real without being hopeless, and emotional without being melodramatic.

It seems free of ulterior motives. It’s not capitalizing on a trend or a craze. It’s not looking to make more of itself. It exists solely and almost purely to tell a specific story in a specific way, and we all get to reap the benefits.

I’m not even going to talk about the premise, which, at this point, with a good half dozen iterations at least over the years, is essentially it’s own subgenre of sci-fi/fantasy. Suffice it to say, Russian Doll’s take on it is its own unique thing.

Note that there is one subset of people for whom Russian Doll may be a bad fit. And I’m going to phrase this as carefully as I can. There is a certain type of nerd that gets angry when key questions of “why” and “how” aren’t answered with the level of specificity and detail that they demand. Those nerds should probably avoid Russian Doll. Everyone else should. Oh, unless they’re prudish. It’s also not for prudes. But I dobut any prudes would be up on this site.

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