Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / Russian Doll

Go To

WARNING: Spoilers will not be tagged due to the show's nature.

    open/close all folders 

People Stuck in Time

    Both 
Alan: I die all the time.
Nadia: Me too.

Two people who were stuck in time by a strange cosmical event, repeating the same period of time over and over.


  • The Chew Toy: Both Nadia and Alan suffer multiple amusing deaths, particularly Nadia frequently falling down the stairs as well as tripping into sidewalk cellar doors. As the series goes on though, their deaths become much heavier and darker.
  • Cosmic Plaything: What with Nadia and Alan forced to relive the same day on loop that always ends in their death. Lampshaded by Nadia when she says, "The universe is trying to fuck with me. And I refuse to engage." If both are in the same place for too long, expect something considerably unlikely to happen that kills them both at the same time.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The loop started because both could have saved each other's lives. If Alan wasn't drunk, he could have stopped Nadia from getting hit by a car and if Nadia wasn't pestering drunks, she could have stopped Alan from killing himself.
Advertisement:

    Nadia 

Nadia Vulvokov

Played by: Natasha Lyonne, Brooke Timber (young)

"I'm sorry for yelling, but I'm having a very difficult, never ending night!"
A female software engineer who just turned 36. She is a snarker with a dark and hedonistic personality. Her sudden death traps her in a time loop at the time of her birthday.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Grew up with a mother with an unspecified mental illness who died sometime after she was taken into CPS care.
  • Death Seeker: She isn't consciously trying to get killed, but she takes a lot of drugs, has no problems with unprotected sex, doesn't particularly look where she's going and notes that she'll be impressed if she makes it to her low 70s. Turns out she will not make it a day past 36 unless she changes a few things about herself.
  • Epic Fail: Dies literally every time she tries to walk down the stairs to her own apartment, that she has presumably walked up and down every day for several years, that several other people are navigating perfectly fine.
  • Guttural Growler: Has a very deep, gravelly voice for a woman her age.
  • Immune to Drugs: Only Keith Richards has taken more drugs than she has. At one point, she freaks out that a joint laced with ketamine rather than cocaine might be causing the loop, but she's reminded that she has taken that drug before.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Searching for her missing cat kicks off the death loop.
  • Passed In Her Sleep: In the timeline where she gets drunk and befriends Horse, they sleep on the street and end up freezing to death. When she wakes up, she is in front of the mirror and realizes that this happens.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold : A very small one but it is there, she ends up befriending Alan and she cares in her way of her friends.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine Girl to Alan's Feminine Boy.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside

    Alan 

Alan Zaveri

Played by: Charlie Barnett

A man with a compulsory need to control everything in his life. Recently dumped by his girlfriend, he has also died and was trapped into a continual loop together with Nadia.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Beatrice has referred to Alan as having some sort of mental problem, due to his desperate need for cleanliness, control and organization.He has symptoms of OCD and Aspergers. The exact nature of it is never clarified, in part due to his fear of therapists confirming he is crazy.
  • Control Freak: For the first ten loops, he's actually happy with things as he feels like he can actually control his world, which he appreciates.
  • Cuckold: Twice over. First, his girlfriend Beatrice has been sleeping with another man for months. Secondly, he watches as Nadia sleeps around, and preventing her from sleeping with Mike (again) is the crux of his final loop.
  • Driven to Suicide: Alan's first death was suicide. After getting extremely drunk and dumped by his girlfriend, he threw himself out of the top of his building.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine Boy to Nadia's Masculine Girl.
  • Walking Spoiler: The fact that there is a second person stuck in the time loop together with Nadia is a major spoiler and completely changes the series and Nadia's goal.

Nadia's Circle

    Maxine 

Maxine

Played by: Greta Lee

"I like that you're a cunt, makes me feel morally superior."
Nadia's flighty friend who hosted the part for her. Despite their friendship, she and Nadia fight sometimes, but often make up as well.
  • Brutal Honesty: She appears to genuinely care for Nadia, but that doesn't mean she won't insult Nadia to her face. There's no ill-intent behind her words, and they're not wrong per se, but they can sting.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: At the start of the party she's cooking one chicken for dozens of people for no apparent reason, and she's surprised that her apartment has a fire escape.
  • It's All About Me: Throws Nadia a birthday party but is more concerned with the fact that no one is eating her chicken than the fact that something is clearly going on with Nadia.
  • Running Gag: She introduces herself in each loop with "Sweet Birthday Baby"

    Lizzie 

Lizzie

Played by: Rebecca Henderson

One of Nadia's closest friends. An older indie artist who is dating a much younger woman.
  • Call to Agriculture: Despite her hedonistic lifestyle, she laments that she didn't go raise puppies upstate with an ex-girlfriend.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: In multiple loops, Nadia wakes up to see Lizzie in a pile of a half-dozen sleeping men and women, all of them half-naked and some of them with sex toys, uh, attached to them.
Advertisement:

    Ruth 

Ruth Brenner

Played by: Elizabeth Ashley

"We do not use the word crazy in this house!"
A level headed therapist that raised Nadia when her mother was deemed unfit to do so. She serves as Nadia's mother figure and they have perhaps her healthiest relationship.
  • Accidental Murder: Accidentally shoots Nadia in one loop after mistaking her for a burglar.
  • Ambiguously Gay: It's unclear what Ruth and Lanora's relationship was, and Nadia wanting to stay with Ruth is implicitly framed like a child choosing between two parents in a divorce. She has no explicit love interests.
  • Morality Pet: Nadia sees her as the stable mother figure her biological mother never was.
  • Parental Substitute: Became Nadia's legal guardian after her mother's mental illness made living with her untenable.
  • There Are No Therapists: Played with. She is a therapist and even explains why she believes that her profession is so important, but neither Nadia nor Alan are interested in therapy, despite clearly needing it.

    Lanora 

Lanora Vulvokov

Played by: Chloë Sevigny

Nadia's birth mother. A woman that Ruth described as brilliant but had a sickness in her mind. Her mental issues pushed her daughter away and caused her to be taken away by the government before being taken in by Ruth. Lanora died some time after Nadia stopped living with her.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: She suffered from an unspecified mental disorder. Her behavior, which includes irritability, buying large quantities of watermelons, and angrily smashing objects is suggestive of bipolar disorder.
  • Parents as People: It seemed that Lanora truly loved Nadia, and invested on her future with everything she had, but her mental illness eventually took the best of her.
  • Posthumous Character: Died sometime after Ruth became Nadia's legal guardian.

    Oatmeal 
Nadia's cat, from the beginning of the series has been missing for three days. A combination of Nadia suddenly seeing him across the street, and not looking where she's going caused her first death.____
  • Living MacGuffin: At the start of the series, finding and caring for Oatmeal seems to be Nadia's only long-term goal in life. As with most cats, it's not entirely clear that he needs the help.

    John 

John Reyes

Played by: Yul Vazquez

A real estate agent and Nadia's ex-boyfriend. After their romance caused him to divorce his wife she broke up with him fearing things were getting too serious. He comes to the party trying to get back together with her.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cheated on his wife and wanted to leave her for Nadia. Nadia wanted none of that, and he wound up destroying his life for a woman who didn't want him.

Advertisement:

Alan's Circle

    Beatrice 

Beatrice

Played by: Dascha Polanco

Alan's long time girlfriend, however, she fell out of love with him a long time ago and dumps him on the same night the loop starts.

    Ferran 

Ferran

Played by: Ritesh Rajan

The owner of a grocery store that knows Nadia and is a close friend of Alan.
  • Foil: To Alan, in regards to relationships. In one timeline, he admits to also have dealt with infidelity in his current relationship, but he and his girlfriend worked through it and even went to couple's therapy and are still together after that. Alan and his girlfriend have broken up once and it was a total disaster because of the infidelity and he refuses to seek therapy.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Subverted. He tried to keep Nadia away from a drunken Alan in the final timeline, unaware that she was the only one capable of stopping him from committing suicide, but once he leaves Alan in his apartment, Nadia is free from his interference and is capable of interacting with Alan freely.

Others

    Horse 

Horse

Played by:Brendan Sexton III

A strange homeless man that Nadia believes to have met before and has a strong desire to cut Nadia's hair, strangely holding very good hairdresser's tools.

    Mike 

Michael "Mike"

Played by: Jeremy Lowell Bobb

A literature professor with whom Beatrice cheated on Alan with. He is a sleazy man who made a habit out of sleeping with his students.
  • Jerkass: Shamelessly sleeps with his students, even if they're in committed relationships.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: On the final timeline, Alan sends Beatrice a picture of Mike making out with Nadia, causing her to break up with him and tell his son what a Jerkass he is, after Alan had, in many timelines, mentioned how he never got any comeuppance for sleeping with his students and stealing his girlfriends.
  • May–December Romance: Spends much of his time getting into the pants of his students, including Alan's girlfriend Beatrice.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Beatrice seems to be his only actual relationship, and he'll still sleep with anything in a skirt.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report