The lighting choices of Netflix’s Russian Doll

I’m about to finish Netflix’s Russian Doll and before I do I wanted to share something really fun that I observed in every episode. You will not be able to unsee this. I’m trying to keep this as spoiler-free as possible so the descriptions are vague.

I noticed throughout the episodes that Nadia’s character is usually bathed in a wash of red light or the space behind her is glowing red. Many times in cinematography this is used to signify ‘bad’, ‘evil’ or ‘hell’. Most other main characters in the story will be bathed in blue or green light – is this ‘good’?. And in other select scenes, yellow or daylight (if you watch the show you can make an assumption here what this might be). Have a look at these scenes I have captured in sequence in the first 7 episodes.

The first time we see Nadia outside and she is bathed in red

The homeless guy across the street bathed in a green light
John with a blue/green light behind him, Nadia backlit in red
The homeless guy is now in red
Nadia’s wardrobe consists of red and black
The homeless guy and Nadia are both bathed in red here
We see Nadia walk through a red hallway and into this blue room
Nadia in red
Nadia and homeless guy in a ‘neutral’ yellow light
Alan and Nadia in an elevator lit red as it drops (to hell?)
Alan lives in a very cool, white lit apartment
We see a piece of red artwork in the center. Does this represent a conflict?
We see Alan surrounded by some red lamps
Lizzy who appears to be one of the most innocent characters is seen here bathed in blue
Nadia with a red light
Although in the same room Alan appears with ‘his’ white light
Alan in front of a green neon sign comes in to confront Mike
Alan nows appears on red as his anger boils
This is perhaps the most striking example of Alan and Nadia side-by-side
Finally we have the blue door which Natasha must pass through in every ‘cycle’

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