On Netflix Ireland: Is The OA a smash hit or a bit shit?

the OA

Another Netflix binge complete and this time up on the chopping block was the new Netflix Original series The OA.

Where did The OA come from?

What’s interesting about this particular series was that prior to its announcement, no one knew it even existed. It did arrive with some added pressure to deliver following the success that was Stranger Things.  A bit of mystery can go a long way when it comes to developing a full-scale internet obsession with a series. The OA has a solid enough premise. In theory, it follows the same formula for success that Stranger Things created.

What’s The OA about?

The really short version goes something like blind girl goes missing, comes back with her sight and a new personality. I enjoyed the randomness and storytelling style of the show. But I also know it’s not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. By the end of it all, well everything was kind of ruined. We don’t want to give away spoilers but the poor ending has to be up there with The Sopranos and How I Met Your Mother. [Editors note: Sopranos Jon, really?] But don’t let that put you off. Give the trailer a shot. You’ll probably find that The OA sets out to intrigue and it nails it.

It’s hard to separate The OA and Stranger Things, so the bar is set pretty high. The OA even comes from well-established filmmakers Brit Marling and Zal Batmangli. Check out the utterly brain-melting Sound of My Voice and The East.

So we have an interesting story line, great director and the drive that comes with a Netflix Original Series.

What could possibly go wrong?

And here is the kicker. Everything The OA has going for it is perfect for a psychological thriller movie. Apply that formula to an eight-episode series and it becomes slow and drawn out at times. To summarise briefly, the show introduces us to Praire Johnson aka The OA. Praire, missing for seven years, can offer no account for her whereabouts or how her sight has mysteriously returned. Her parents, just happy to have her home, comply with her wishes not to speak to investigators or stay in the hospital.

After earning the help and respect of the local bad boy Steve, Praire or The OA enlists him to find four “strong” people who would be willing to “let me in”. It’s like some form of ragtag Breakfast Club for her to tell her story too.

And from then on The OA becomes a very different show, almost entirely for the worse.

Light spoiler alert. From the second episode and beyond the series is very much focused on the life of The OA speaking to her new disciples. The storytelling is very well done. It’s interesting to see how the characters develop in their own personal lives as a result of their interactions with Praire. While the love subplot between her and her fellow captive Homer is an interesting side show, as is Jason Isaacs playing the villain Hap.

Is it worth your while?

Unfortunately, as much as the main body of the show is more than watchable, the final few minutes of The OA is actually poorly thought out. We’re talking of Lost proportions here. After such a long story detailing her plan to her followers, going as far as to teach them “the way” to open a portal into some kind of multiverse of sorts or something like that. To be honest, I don’t want to give away to much but just think Bowling for Columbine with dancing. As ridiculous as that sounds, it’s not a million miles off.


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The OA: Leaning towards a bit shit
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Junior Editor and host of the Goosed Podcast, Jon is passionate about phones, design and everything tech. Having joined the Goosed.ie team in 2015 he now leads the entire Goosed podcast channel. Ask him about 3D printing or Disney movies. Read more by Jon.
the-oa-netflix-irelandReckon this will go down as a failure in the long run. And don't expect a second series. While The OA is fairly interesting, it's a bill hollow and not well thought through despite its early claims. Worth checking out if your at a loose end.

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