It hasn’t been quite as hyped as Stranger Things, but Netflix recently released its brand-new series The OA. While it is in a similar genre as Stranger Things, think science-fiction, fantasy, that sort of thing; it is certainly a whole lot different than anything that has ever been aired on tv. I saw the mysterious trailer for the series, and went to a Q&A session with Jason Isaacs, who kindly suggested us to watch, I decided to try it out and see for myself if it is worth watching. So far I have seen four episodes and as I am halfway, I decided it was a good time to share what I think of the series up until now.
In short, the story is about a young woman named Prairie Johnson, who returns to her hometown after having been missing for seven years. Furthermore, she used to be blind and now she can see again. She doesn’t tell her parents her story, but she does tell a group of misfits, consisting of four students and a teacher her story.
It took a while for me to get into the series. If you are looking for an action-packed series, look elsewhere. The OA is a very story-driven series and is mostly a narrated tale. It is not easy to watch it and best described as cinematic marmite. Some people will absolutely love it and some will hate it. While I haven’t finished the series yet, I consider myself to belong to the first group. At times I’ve been confused while watching it and at times I had raised eyebrows as I tried to understand what the hell was going on. But if you get through that first episode, you will love it. While I did not have the same feelings towards Stranger Things, so for The OA has me hooked and there are several reasons for that.
Most importantly, the story. The storyline is incredibly poetic and very slow. For impatient people, this is not the best thing. But for those who do enjoy story over action, this is a great series. At times it is incredibly confusing, but when the puzzle pieces do fall into their places, you will definitely appreciate what the filmmakers have done. The OA is risky and does not follow a set formula. I am curious to see how the story will unfold in the next few episodes, but naturally I will let you know.
Now, something that also has me hooked is the acting. Every actor in this series is phenomenal. Despite the weirdness of the story, they manage to make it feel believable. Especially in a story-driven series, it is important that you have great actors. Not every actor can pull this off (even though you should be able to if you consider yourself to be a good actor). It is a pleasure to watch these scenes because of the absolute talent which graces the screen every minute.
The last reason why I like this series so much (so far) is because it makes me think. It is one of those unsettling stories which stays with you and randomly pops up inside your head when you have your guard down. The OA makes me think about death and question life. It also makes me wonder if there is more to life and more to death than just dying. And it are unsettling series like this that keep me on my toes and keep challenging me. That’s when I know a series is good; but especially with a series like The OA, you either love it or hate it.
Watch the trailer below and decide for yourself whether or this is on your watchlist.