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The Time Loop Content You Should Be Watching

It's a small genre with a lot to offer.

Amidst these timeless hours stuck in quarantine, many people have probably lost track of what day it is, or felt as though their weeks were stagnant and repetitive. These shows and movies help remind us that even when our days become indistinguishable, things could always be worse: you could be stuck actually reliving the same day over and over.

5. Palm Springs

Hulu'sPalm Springs is a fairly straightforward romcom with a time loop coat of paint slapped on top. Stuck together in an endless series of nihilistic todays, Nyles (Andy Samberg) and Sarah (Cristin Milioti) make the most of it, inevitably falling in love while also trying to escape a sociopathic hunter (J. K. Simmons) who is trapped in the loop with them. The chemistry between the actors is undeniable and most of the jokes land effectively, making this a fun and easy watch at only 90 minutes of length.

4. Run Lola Run

By far the most obscure entry on this list, Run Lola Run finds its eponymous protagonist stuck reliving an impossible dilemma over and over: acquire 100,000 Deutschmarks (roughly 60,588.11 US Dollars) in 20 minutes, or her boyfriend dies. Experimental and German (though available with English subtitles), this film takes a surreal look at themes of determinism and chance, while also finding time for an examination of Lola and her problematic family. Beyond that, its zesty soundtrack is one of the most 2000s things of all time.

3. Edge of Tomorrow

Doug Liman'sEdge of Tomorrow is one part Tom Cruise action blockbuster, one part unlikely love story, and one part rumination on the nature of hell. Cruise plays William Cage, a journalist who is conscripted into a suicidal assault on an alien stronghold. Before dying, he steals an alien's ability to relive the same day over and over again, only to be killed nonetheless in each loop due to the overwhelming power of the enemy. Eventually, Cage teams up with Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who previously possessed the looping ability herself. Together, they try to find a way to break the cycle and defeat the invaders once and for all.

2. Groundhog Day

This movie needs little introduction. Groundhog Day is so iconic that it gives its name to the time loop trope, and with good reason: the script is uproariously hilarious, Bill Murray gives one of the best performances of his career, and the film has gone on to influence much of modern popular culture. As for the plot, it follows a jaded TV weatherman who miserably reports on a Groundhog Day event, only to be stuck reliving the same day over and over again. Eventually, he begins to fall in love with his producer (Andie MacDowell) and uses the endless repetitions to learn about and woo her.

Russian Doll

Russian Doll is the most ambitious time loop story ever told, seamlessly blending comedy, horror, and drama amidst a character study of its fascinating heroine, Nadia Vulvokov (Natasha Lyonne, who also helped create the series along with Leslye Headland and Amy Poehler). Every episode contains a new surprise or twist, and the dialogue is packed with jokes and references. The show is also surprisingly cinematic and deeply heartfelt; this is perhaps the only entry in the (admittedly small) genre that assigns psychological and spiritual meaning to the concept of an infinitely relived day.

The show was renewed by Netflix for a second season in 2019, although few details about it have emerged since.

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