RUSSIAN DOLL FOR ASTROLOGY LOVERS
I hope by now you have seen the fabulous Netflix show Russian Doll. It stars Natasha Lyonne as Nadia Vulvokov, a New York game designer who begins, for reasons unclear, to loop Groundhog Day Style during her thirty-sixth birthday party. Each loop ends with her death, and she finds herself back in the ultra chic and vaginal bathroom of her friend Maxine’s loft. If you haven’t watched it, go ahead and take four hours to do so, then come back and read this for two reasons: 1) spoilers abound and 2) this is a great fucking show.
As Heauxs’ resident semi-professional astrologer, I am compelled to discuss the characters on my now favorite show and their relationship with the celestial bodies that govern our personalities. All of this is informed conjecture, so indulge me here.
Nadia has a winter birthday, so she must be a Sagittarius. Sag loves to party, and indeed, we can see, especially in the first loop, Nadia’s enjoyment of mixing, mingling, drugs, drink, and casual sex. Sagittarius is also philosophical, and the teacher of the zodiac, and we can see those properties on display when Nadia schools Alan on the fourth dimension using the rotten orange. Sag is also blunt, and as one myself, I can totally see a Sag asking her party guests to tell her the worst things she’s done, with as little care as Nadia evidences. Also, Nadia gives no fucks and is willing to say the first exceedingly clever thing that comes to mind, and that is trademark Sagittarius. Sometimes that is not nice. A lot of the times that is not all the way nice, maybe. My final piece of evidence: her love of Oatmeal, the itinerant bodega cat. Sags love animals (being half animal ourselves) and are much too into the idea of freedom to try to restrict a free creature’s movements. (Similarly, we don’t much like being tied down either.)
The other side of the coin, narratively speaking, is Alan Zaveri, a repressed and fastidious young man who finds himself stuck in a loop with Nadia. But instead of reliving his birthday party, he gets to relive the day his long time girlfriend dumped him when he was planning on proposing. My gut instinct says that Alan is a Virgo. Virgos are fastidious and repressed, but mostly because they crave order. They’re judgmental and hung up on conventional morality, but mostly because they are their own harshest critics. Ever been in a garage where each tool was outlined on the tool pegboard? That’s what Alan’s garage would look like, if he had one. Alan unpacks his suitcase at the beginning of each loop, placing everything back in its place with the same attention to meaningless detail with which it was packed. When Nadia and Alan discover each other, he tells her that he is stuck in Purgatory for his sins, displaying that devotion to conventional morality. And here’s the other thing: when Virgos cut loose, nobody is sloppier. Alan fits the bill here, crashing around drunk in Ferran’s bodega.
Sagittarius and Virgo is a difficult match. Virgo is tidy to the point of pathology and Sag is a messy collector of things and adventures. Sag is loud and Virgo is embarrassed. But they enjoy irritating each other, as they possess traits that the other secretly wishes for: Sag’s free spirit and Virgo’s planning ability.
Maxine is the hostess with the mostest whose luxurious loft hosts the party that serves as Nadia’s respawn point, is a Pisces, I’ve decided. Initially, I thought Taurus, given her obsession with food and feeding, but I decided her artistic nature tilts her towards the Piscean side. Maxine is super fun but, to be gentle, pretty much into herself and her dream world. I love a Pisces but they are fairly focused on their own needs and desires as opposed to those of others. It’s telling that, as the loop is nearing total breakdown, Nadia emerges from the bathroom and finds an empty loft, with only Maxine dancing like she’s in Twin Peaks all by herself. That’s a Pisces for ya! She could literally be the only person in the world and look damned good doing it. Maxine is also a real wild card in her reactions: sometimes she’s okay with Nadia bailing on her own birthday party. Other times she walks across a room and throws a drink in the sweet birthday baby’s face. So, you know, complex. Maxine is an artist and never boring, and no doubt that’s why she and Nadia are best buds.
Ruth is Nadia’s godmother and de facto guardian. She’s a therapist and clearly a Libra. She seeks to bring people who are hurting into balance, and she cultivates harmony around her. She is even handed and just, insisting that Nadia not reduce her dead mother to her diagnosis. Libras are super lovable but they’re also a bit vain and self-centered, and Ruth’s coiffed bob speaks to that. Libras and Sags are good, but then Libras are good with almost anyone.
Lizzy, the up for anything builder, ready to climb down the fire escape or build a vagina door/dimensional portal, is Taurus, I think. She’s steady and ready. She’s a good listener, she likes creating things with her hands, and she genuinely cares for the family she’s created with her friends. She and Maxine make quite the earth/water team.
Mike, the sleazy mid-century American lit professor is a Gemini, because of course he is. In love with the sound of his own voice, prone to delivering scathing personality dissections? Hurry up and make him department chair already! Geminis are liars and very self-centered, but that doesn’t mean that Sag is not interested. In fact, Gemini and Sag are across the zodiac from each other, and so can have fun together. But it’s self-destructive fun, as Mike represents all of Nadia’s self-loathing mashed into one paunchy ball. He’s so bad that the universe punishes her for sleeping with him by making her loop over and over again. Even the universe agrees that Geminis are terrible. (Listen up, you two faced Gemini fucks: you know it’s true. Or at least half of you does.)
John is a Cancer. Ooh the feels. So many feels. And when you fuck with the Crab too much, you get the claws. He loves his family and he wants to bring people together. That’s why Nadia’s refusal to meet his kid hurt him so. But truth be told, John also keeps. Coming. Back. Because these crabs have a hard time releasing their pinch. Sag and Crab is a problematic match--blunt Nadia has a way of hurting John’s feelings. The other thing about Cancer is that they have some mean shit inside them, as is evidenced by the way he wounds her outside of the synagogue.
Horse is the Aquarius here. Aquarians are aliens, really, so we can’t be surprised that Horse carries barber tools and is a tech magnate who dropped out and ended up on the street. That’s just, like, so Aquarius of him. He also leads a dimensional rift healing nighttime parade, which again, is an Aquarian thing to do.
Beatrice, Alan’s two-timing girlfriend, is a Capricorn. Who else stays with someone she doesn’t really like for nine years and ends up fucking her sleazy professor? Capricorns are so complicated and they seek order, but they also fuck things up so often. They’re mysterious, too, which is why Alan didn’t know that she was cheating on him even though he’s been reliving the day she dumped him over and over again. This is how complicated this bitch is: SHE’S DOING HER DISSERTATION ON UPDIKE! Why would anyone do that? Only a Capricorn.