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Russian Doll Underwent Drastic Changes From Pitch To Screen

2022 is finally bringing long-awaited television shows back to screens after the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on production timelines over the last two years. Netflix's "Russian Doll" is a perfect example of this. The series' second season arrived on April 20, just over three years since it first premiered back in February 2019.

Season 2 of "Russian Doll" brings back Natasha Lyonne's Nadia Vulvokov for seven new episodes of the time-warping drama. In the second season, Nadia discovers a portal to the year 1982 on the subway in New York City, creating a season focused on more traditional time travel rather than the near-endless time loop she and Alan (Charlie Barnett) find themselves trapped within in the show's first season. Nadia wastes no time entering the past in Season 2, and the series jumps right into exploring the relationship between Nadia and her mother Lenora (Chloƫ Sevigny) as well as questioning the actual ethics behind time travel.

The second season, still brought to fans via Netflix from the minds of Lyonne and co-creators Leslye Headland and Amy Poehler, has quite the legacy to live up to. The series' first season received 13 Emmy nominations and three wins, including wins for its costuming, single-camera cinematography, and production design (via Emmys). "Russian Doll" has not yet been greenlit for a third season, but based on the way Lyonne has spoken about her original plans for the series, time-travel fans can hope for more to come from Nadia in the future.

Natasha Lyonne said Russian Doll originally featured Jordan Peele and Alfred Molina

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly to promote Season 2 of "Russian Doll," Natasha Lyonne said the original pitch document for the series proved wildly different from what she and the show's creative team put to screen. Originally, Lyonne said, Jordan Peele had a significant part in Season 1 as a love interest for Lyonne's character, Nadia. According to Lyonne, Peele's involvement pre-dated his rise to significant Hollywood success as the writer-director of critically acclaimed movies like "Get Out" and "Us."

"[The pitch document presents] such a pre-Jordan Peele, Oscar-winning auteur era, where we're just like, 'Okay, great. So he plays the boyfriend,'" Lyonne told EW.

Lyonne said that a year passed between when Netflix first ordered a script for "Russian Doll" and when the streaming greenlit the full series order, resulting in a significant amount of changes for the show's story in that time. She also said Alfred Molina had a small role in the original pitch document, which pitched three seasons for the time-warping comedy-drama series. She added that she likes to share the pitch document with first-time showrunners and emphasized that the pitch shows her and her collaborators' commitment to their story from the start.

"You can tell that our hearts are in it all the way, and it's also really interesting to see how much it's sort of deviated from itself, even in season 1," she told EW.