When the first season of Russian Doll hit Netflix in 2019, it quickly took to the top of Netflix’s charts as the Groundhog Day-esque series proved to be incredibly popular. With Natasha Lyonne on board as Nadia, a tough, wisecracking leading woman, the series had a star that could carry its – at times – insane material. So, it wasn’t entirely surprising that a second season was quickly announced with fans more than ready to return to the lives of Nadia and Alan (Charlie Bennet). Unfortunately, though, the wait would be a long one with Season 2 not hitting the streaming service until April 2022.
While Lyonne continues to shine as Nadia in Season 2, it’s hard to deny that it doesn’t quite ever reach the heights of Season 1. Sure, the story of this season is still one worth telling, as Lyonne continues to act her butt off. However, it’s so chaotic and at times hard to follow, that it can become hard to care about what is taking place. Which brings us to the question: Does Russian Doll need a Season 3?
As it stands, Season 2 of Russian Doll is a rather complete story. While the first season focused on Nadia and Alan dying repeatedly, the season ultimately ended with them in parallel universes with a few loose ends. It was a fitting ending and one that could’ve simply ended there. Then again, because of how it ended, there were countless possibilities of what still could happen with a second installment. Enter Season 2.
The latest season of Russian Doll sees the duo back together as though nothing happened. Nadia is still chaotic and messy, while Alan is still her clean-cut counterpart. Their chemistry this season was rather lacking, as was their screen time together, although the choices in their stories eventually do come to make sense by the season’s end. It’s just a lot of murky water getting there and maintaining a cohesive story.
When Season 2 does things right, it does them right. The emotional beats are excellent and if Lyonne doesn’t get an Emmy nomination for her work, it’ll be a crime. The issue, however, is that by the end, it’s hard to imagine the story truly needs a third outing. That isn’t to say a third season wouldn’t be enjoyable. I have faith that it would, but it doesn’t make it necessary. The issue here is that we’ve become so accustomed to wanting to drag out stories longer than necessary and eventually force an ending that will (hopefully) satisfy viewers. But is it the right thing to do? A series can produce a single season with a tight story that ends with things mostly tied up neatly, and yet, it won’t be enough – fans will still demand more. And while that is understandable, to an extent, sometimes more is too much.
The ending of Russian Doll Season 2 ends with our characters in a good place. So, yes, while a third season could take things further, it doesn’t really need to because there is an ending of sorts. Nadia is in a good place – she’s come to terms with Ruth’s passing, as well as her mother’s past crimes. More importantly, she’s come to find a sense of peace, something we’ve never truly seen her have.
As of this writing, a third season has not yet been announced for Russian Doll. However, Lyonne has previously suggested the team is already considering some ideas. In an interview with Variety, the actress/director/writer suggested a third season could see the duo time travel to the future. For some, the idea of seeing Nadia and Alan in the future could prove exciting, but it’s hard to imagine the series will be able to tell nearly as cohesive a story as Season 2 did.