Nine Perfect Strangers reaches its dizzying conclusion this month, as we bid goodbye to Masha (Nicole Kidman) and Tranquillam House.
The Hulu series saw its premiere on 18 August 2021. Episodes aired Wednesdays weekly on Hulu, coming to UK screens two days later via Amazon Prime.
After eight ominous and hallucinogen-filled episodes, Nine Perfect Strangers wrapped up the first (and looks like only) season on 22 September. Although the series reached a “satisfactory” ending, some viewers are still scratching their heads over Masha’s term of endearment, “lapochkha”.
The following story contains spoilers for Nine Perfect Strangers.
Lapochka’s usage in Nine Perfect Strangers
Since the first episode aired, Nine Perfect Strangers viewers have been acquainted with Masha Dmitrichenko’s endearing term, “lapochka”.
Masha, a Russian-American wellness guru, uses the term to refer to her guests at Tranquillam House.
As Masha’s manipulations come to light, the term takes on a more sinister meaning. This reaches a climax in episode 7 (15 September), as Carmel Schneider (Regina Hall) uses the term about Masha herself.
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So, what is the meaning of ‘lapochka’?
Lapochka is generally defined as a Russian term of endearment. It is typically used when referring to a loved one, relative, children or young people.
Some synonyms in English include “darling”, “sweetheart”, “lassie” and “honey”.
Although this term is used affectionately by Russian speakers in Russia and beyond, it’s fair to say Masha’s usage of the term in Nine Perfect Strangers has given viewers the creeps.
Nicole Kidman on playing Russian character Masha
Nicole Kidman, born in Australia, plays Russian-American character Masha Dmitrichenko in Nine Perfect Strangers. Despite the fact the show is filmed in Kidman’s home country, she had to maintain an unnatural accent for Masha throughout filming.
For Regina Hall (playing Carmel), she said: “It was a little surreal, to be honest. [Nicole] walked in and she was Russian! I did not hear Nicole’s real voice until we wrapped. She didn’t break.”
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