Netflix's best show of 2019 is returning next month with a time-hopping twist

Russian Doll
(Image credit: Netflix)

The likes of Chernobyl, Succession and Fleabag may have dominated the TV conversation in 2019, but it was Russian Doll that proved the best Netflix series in a jam-packed year for the streaming service (one headlined by new Stranger Things and The Umbrella Academy).

Now, the hit show is back for a long-overdue second season – and it’s arriving on April 20.

Netflix revealed the date in a cryptic teaser trailer for Russian Doll season 2, which suggests more temporal trouble (and carefree profanity) is on the horizon for Natasha Lyonne’s wisecracking New Yorker, Nadia. Check it out below:

Created by Lyonne alongside co-writers Leslye Headland and Amy Poehler, the series’ first season followed Nadia’s quest to free herself from a Deathloop-style time loop that saw her reliving her 36th birthday over and over again. 

Without wishing to stray too heavily into spoiler territory, Russian Doll’s eight-episode debut season at least seemed like it ended with a resolution to Nadia’s Groundhog Day situation. But, judging by the trailer for the show’s sophomore outing, the life of its foul-mouthed protagonist will be taking another turn for the metaphysical. 

This time, though, Nadia and fellow season 1 loop prisoner Alan (Charlie Barnett) won’t be stuck in a cycle of repetition – instead, they’ll be faced with a portal capable of propelling them through time (which looks like it’ll have something to do with New York City’s subway system). 

Naturally, then, normality won’t be on the agenda. We don’t know too much more about the plot of Russian Doll’s new episodes, though it’s been confirmed that Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek), Sharlto Copley (District 9) and Carolyn Michelle Smith (House of Cards) will be joining in the fun.

Analysis: a year of big competition for Netflix 

Inventing Anna and the first half of Ozark’s fourth season have proven big hits for Netflix at the start of 2022, though there’s plenty more small screen offerings heading to the streamer over the next 12 months. 

On top of Russian Doll season 2 in April, Stranger Things 4 is due to arrive in two instalments this year – volume 1 on May 27, followed by volume 2 on July 1 – while The Umbrella Academy's third season is also guaranteed to land sometime in 2022 (though we’re still waiting on a concrete release date). 

More immediately, Top Boy season 4 is coming to Netflix on March 18, before Bridgerton season 2 drops to much fanfare on March 25. The Crown season 5 is also scheduled to arrive in November this year, though don’t expect Squid Game season 2 to hit the streamer’s library until 2023. 

It’s a good thing that Netflix has such an impressive slate of TV content in the pipeline for 2022, too, given the equally confident offerings on the way from rivals HBO Max and Disney Plus

The former, in particular, has proven a force to be reckoned with after the recent success of Euphoria season 2. And, with the likes of House of the Dragon and The Last of Us TV show also in the calendar for 2022, Netflix will hope shows like Russian Doll repeat the surprising success of their excellent debut seasons. 

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.