Everything We Know About Netflix's 'Russian Doll' Season 2
Will we experience Nadia's madcap Manhattan time-loop again?
This story contains spoilers for Russian Doll Season 1.
With every death, more and more people fell in love with the first season of Natasha Lyonne’s twisted time-loop comedy Russian Doll. The Netflix original centers on Nadia (Lyonne), a hard-partying New Yorker whose 36th birthday turns fatal, throwing her into a Groundhog Day-like scenario in which she must die repeatedly to solve the mystery of what killed her in the first place. Midway through the season, Nadia meets Alan (Charlie Barnett), who's trapped in a similar loop. Together, the two of them form a time-bending odd couple trying to get unstuck, and the result was a wildly popular show that garnered a great deal of critical acclaim and Emmy nominations.
While many laud the series for being perfectly self-contained, Russian Doll co-creators Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Leslye Headland indicated that the door was always been open on doing more seasons of the dark comedy. Here's a rundown of everything we know about what they're planning, and what Season 2 might have in store for fans.
Will there be a Season 2 of Russian Doll?It's official! The series was renewed for an additional season in June 2019, several months after it premiered in February 2019. While we don't want to get ahead of ourselves, showrunner Leslye Headland did confirm that the trio behind the series initially pitched the show as a three-season arc—so hopefully there's even more Russian Doll down the line.
When will Season 2 of Russian Doll be released?
For fans who watched the show when it first premiered in winter 2019, it feels like forever since we saw Nadia's horrified reflection in that bathroom mirror (over and over again). Production on the series was put on hold when the coronavirus pandemic hit, which halted spring 2020 plans to film. The wait shouldn't be too much longer, though, as Deadline reported Netflix is aiming for a summer 2021 release date for Season 2. Late summer does seem feasible, considering the series began production in March 2021 and filming is still underway, as of April. So, get excited, Nadia and all of her Lower East Side cohorts will be returning to our screens very soon.
How many episodes are in Russian Doll Season 2?Although no official episode count has been announced, it looks like eight new installments are on the way, according to IMDb—that's the same number of episodes that were in Season 1.
Who in the cast will be back for Russian Doll Season 2?Spoiler alert: The ending of the first season, where Nadia and Alan (Charlie Barnett) finally escape their time loop and have a little parade in lower Manhattan, does work as a proper resolution. However, Headland noted in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that no matter the direction the show goes, Nadia will always be a part of it in some way. "When initially pitched, Nadia was a presence throughout all three of [the proposed seasons]. But it was not in a very conventional way, if that makes sense. She was always a presence, as we knew Lyonne would always be the beating heart and soul of this show. Whether she was being haunted or she was haunting the narrative, she would be there."
Headland's answer doesn't give an indication of the fate of the recurring characters played by Greta Lee, Rebecca Henderson, Yul Vasquez, and Elizabeth Ashley, but given their importance to Nadia, there's a chance they’ll stick around—and maybe become the show's focal point. No word yet as to whether or not we’ll be seeing more of Charlie Barnett as Alan or Chloë Sevigny as Nadia's mother in flashbacks, but it's definitely a possibility.
Are there any new cast members?
It seems like the long wait for more Russian Doll is definitely going to pay off based on the exciting names joining the cast. In early March 2021, Variety reported that Schitt's Creek breakout Annie Murphy (aka Alexis Rose) will appear in Season 2. It's not been revealed who she'll be playing, but given her outlandish, Emmy-winning performance on the sitcom and Russian Doll's style, her role should be fun. Could she be playing another socialite? TBD, but we could see it!
Carolyn Michelle Smith (Colony, House of Cards) is another newbie to the cast, which Deadline reported in mid-March. It's also unclear who she'll be playing, but she's been tapped to reoccur in the new season. Sharlto Copley (Chappie, District 9) is another actor who's been cast in a recurring role. Like everybody else, who the South African actor is playing is being kept under wraps, but in April, Deadline confirmed he's set to appear. Since it's such a secret who all of the new characters are, you can bet they'll likely be some eccentric personalities.
Will Nadia at least be able to stay alive for a little bit?Who knows! There have been literally zero details about the plot of Season 2 that have been announced! Lyonne told IndieWire, "The show certainly has some legs for more bizarre scenarios." With the somewhat autobiographical show reflecting Lyonne’s past issues issues with addiction, the actress also indicated that the next step of the show could reflect what it's like to be years out of the struggle, feeling like there is more life to live. For a character that died so many times over the course of one season, living certainly seems well-earned.
In a postmortem about the ambiguous ending of the first season, Lyonne also hinted that there could be multiple versions of the characters walking around, depending on how successful they were at escaping their loops: "It raises the question of how many versions [of the characters] are there all together? That's certainly something that was considered. In this video game sense, it presents a question of do they in fact just enter a whole new sort of scenario in that moment, that they kind of completed that round?" Sounds like plenty of material for about 50 more seasons.