I Hear The Song From Russian Doll Every Time I Wake Up Please Help

Nothing spoiled, except me.

It isn’t cute anymore. Two weeks ago I followed my instincts and Netflix algorithms and watched Russian Doll, the streaming service’s latest darling and quite honestly the best show I’ve seen in a year. For context, it distracted me from both the fact that we don’t have so much as a release date for The Crown nor do I have access to season three of Versailles yet. As I am typically not drawn to television set in the present-day unless it also somehow contains witches and/or Benedict Cumberbatch, Russian Doll was a bit of a departure for me.

There’s a Groundhog Day-esque incident repeated in the show that is marked by Natasha Lyonne’s character staring herself in a bathroom mirror while a song plays each time, always from the exact same point in the song. These few bars of music are now where I live, they are my prison, my isolated nordic island inaccessible by boat.

The song is Harry Nilsson’s “Gotta Get Up” and it’s eating me alive. The song itself is a very good song! There is nothing wrong with the song. There’s nothing wrong all sorts of amazing songs either but if you played Paloma Faith’s cover of “Never Tear Us Apart” enough times I’d want to throw it through a mulcher, too. And now every single morning, the instant I open my hazel eyes I have to hear, “Gotta get up, gotta get out, gotta get home before the morning comes,” and I’m going to need a pill for it soon.

It isn’t surprising, the lyrics “gotta get up” naturally pop into one’s head when that is precisely the thing you need to do in the moment, but in this tone, at this bouncy pace, over and over, every time I wake—it’s inhumane. Would you like to show me a bunch of puppies I can’t pet next? A pizza that electrocutes me every time I touch it? Non-alcoholic wine?! Bring your freshest hells, trust me, I can take them.

Part of me thinks this is the point, that the song currently treadmilling through my mind was exactly what the (all female, by the way) creators of this show intended. I’m a real life continuation of the story line, starting each day over just as the one before it, not entirely out of sync with the phenomenon experienced by our main character. Is it a call to action, perhaps? A reminder that I should shake things up, live more presently in the moment, find my own way to break free from a seemingly fruitless cycle?

Is it a cruel joke? Did they select the song specifically for its ability to stick itself into one’s head the way peanut butter gets stuck in hair? That’s it, that’s what it is, the show was too good, so they had to leave us with one thing to be angry about or they’d ruin us for all future programming. This is Netflix mischief, that’s what this is.

Sure, we’ll give you the most innovative plot line and refreshing character personalities you’ve seen since the last time you actually owned a printer, but we’re going to leave you with this little morsel playing over and over again every time you open your eyes until you bid this world adieu. Fair trade, no take-backsies.

Whatever the reasoning, I am peeved. Perturbed. In need of a cleansing, a brain-loofa. I’d even settle for replacing it with something else annoying at this point! Throw “Unbelievable” by EMF in there, I don’t give a shit! We’re working on 19 days of misery here people, I’ve got to get up, gotta get out, gotta get home before the mooooorning, FUUUUUUUCK!!!!

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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