The second season of Russian Doll on Netflix is back after a three-year hiatus. The series is produced by and stars Natasha Lyonne and we simply loved the first season, which was nominated for 13 Emmy awards. There are many things to love about Russian Doll: The first season was set and filmed almost entirely in the East Village and Lower East Side (as is the second season, although part of it was also filmed abroad). It’s definitely a show that takes a concept many of us have thought about — what if we lived in multiple realities and died in some of them, and didn’t in others? But Russian Doll does it creatively and intelligently.
The new season explores an analogous question about going back and forth in time. In the first season, we were laughing literally out loud and impressed by how well the show’s writers have captured New York City and its quirky denizens. Plus, you have to respect a show that manages to weave in the main storyline about bodega cats. The second season is equally committed to showing New York City as it really is.
Russian Doll also stars Chloë Sevigny as Lyonne’s mom, Greta Lee from High Maintenance, Dasha Polanco from When They See Us and Orange is the New Black (in season one), Charlie Barnett, and more. The premise of the first season: Repeatedly, we see Lyonne as Nadia, staring in the bathroom mirror at her 36th birthday party, hosted by Maxine (played by Lee). She turns off the water while there are repeated knocks on the door. The door itself is a trippy art piece made by Nadia and Maxine’s friend Lizzy. Maxine clicks a revolver which is actually the door handle and opens the door as the song “Gotta Get Up” by Harry Nilsson starts playing. She walks through the party saying hello to friends and ends at the kitchen island, where Maxine says “Hey Birthday Baby!” and offers her a joint she says is “laced with cocaine like the Israelis do it.” But strange things happen — and not only because of the drugs — and this scene which repeats becomes more of a horror each time it takes place. A lot of other odd things happen, which may make you watch your step as you walk through the East Village.
In the second season, Nadia enters a subway train and is immediately transported back to 1982. So without further ado, here are some of the really unique film locations featured in Russian Doll:
1. Astor Place Subway
In both seasons of Russian Doll, there are core locations where the strangest things happen. In the first season, it was St. Nicholas Carpatho Church and also a bodega on Avenue A. In the second season, it’s the 6 train station. After walking over from Alphabet City and passing by Cooper Union, Nadia enters the Astor Place subway under the vintage-looking canopied glass and cast-iron entrance (a reproduction of an IRT subway entrance that was installed here during the 1986 station renovation).
She takes the 6 train up to 77th Street. She’s going to visit Ruth (also a character in season one) up at Lenox Hill Hospital after Ruth has an accident. In the subway, you’ll see some familiar ads, like one for Dr. Zizmor and Casper mattresses.