Monday, September 9, 2019

Emmy Episodes: Russian Doll

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. For the fourth year in a row, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

Russian Doll: Season 1, Episode 4 “Alan’s Routine” (B)

I liked this episode, the fourth of six submitted for Best Comedy Series consideration, more than I liked the first three, partly because Alan is a solid addition and because Nadia’s interactions with him and others felt more entertaining. Alan goes about his routine differently because he’s not the same kind of person as Nadia, though the day he has to keep experiencing is far from pleasant. I recognized Dascha Polano from “Orange is the New Black” as Beatrice, Alan’s girlfriend who didn’t seem particularly emotional about breaking up with him, a sadder fact since he was going to propose and now has to relive the disappointment over and over again. It’s interesting to see that Nadia showing up changed his experience, finding out that Beatrice was sleeping with someone else (who Nadia met in episode one) and telling his mom that she said yes since he wanted to see her happy for once. I really enjoyed Nadia’s search for the man she met in the elevator, asking the jewelry store clerk what her boyfriend’s name was and then interacting with Alan’s neighbor who didn’t trust her because a murderer would of course say that he hadn’t murdered any people. He didn’t seem happy to meet her at all, and her suggestion that they might be the same person made absolutely no sense despite her repeated assertions. Ultimately, how good this show is doesn’t depend entirely on the “science” or explanation that might eventually be discovered about why this is all happening, but rather on how watchable each episode is. For the next of this show’s submitted episodes, I’ll be skipping to episode seven, which is an acceleration with which I feel totally comfortable.

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