This weekend I inadvertently binge watched the entire first season of Netflix’s newest original series, The OA. You know the familiar scenario- it’s Saturday morning, you casually check out an episode, it leaves off on a cliffhanger, so you do the whole “just one more” bit, and before you know it you’re four deep, can’t remember your name or where you’re supposed to be and figure at this point the best thing to do now it just power through it. I’m still on the fence as to how I feel about this show. “Intrigued” is perhaps the best description I have from start to finish. Intrigue leads to binge watching, so well done on that front to creators Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij.
For every question answered, three more took its place. It’s basically the resident Netflix Hydra. This is certainly a multi-layered piece and it dives deep into the metaphysical and touches upon quite a few interesting themes. A quick online search for “The OA”, makes it abundantly clear fans of the show are torn. Phrases like “controversial ending” and numerous articles of the creators “defending” certain plot elements are abound. So much of this show’s power is in the mystery, so I’m not going to give any spoilers here or talk much about plot.
Don’t read anything about the show if you haven’t watched yet. If you don’t go blindly into the experience I think it will rob you of the effect. It feels like the show’s creators set out to create something profound. Sci-fi with a message, and I can’t say they totally missed the mark. The fact that I’m still trying to sort out how I feel about it all the morning after says something in itself. It got me thinking, it’s still on my mind, and it made me feel enough that I’m still sorting out what those feelings are after sleeping on it. I can’t help but wonder if the creators are reading the online backlash and thinking, “they just don’t get it”. There are still many questions, but I think for what they were attempting, and for the sheer intrigue each episode instills – it is worth watching. It’s different and the weaving together of key plot points, myth, and reality is done very well for the most part. This is new and it’s weird and kind of great because of that. Much like the title character. Binge on.