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.