The OA, Netflix’s mysterious new supernatural drama is flawed, but worthy of your attention.
Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling co-created, co-executive produced and co-wrote the eight-part series. Batmanglij also directed every episode.
The OA is a complex and experimental exploration of life and death. From the beginning, the series asks the audience to suspend disbelief and follow along.
Marling stars as Prairie Johnson, a young woman who disappeared several years ago. She is reunited with her parents after surviving jumping off a bridge. But she’s changed. When she left home she was blind, but now she can see. Instead of answering to the name Prairie, she insists on being called “The OA.” She has mysterious scars on her back.
The OA forges an unlikely friendship with a group of teen-aged misfits and their teacher. They all gather at an unfinished house where she tells them the story of her life, which began in Russia in 1987.
“I’m going to tell you my story,” The OA tells the group. “And there will come a point when you’ll see why you are here, what you might do together, how you can help people that you’ll never meet. But, you have to pretend to trust me until you actually do.”
Each night, she reveals more of her story, telling the group about her disappearance, what led to her capture and what part they play in her new mission.
The OA is flawed.
Not enough attention is given to some of the characters for the audience to form a deep enough emotional connection to them.
The series, at times, ventures into the absurd (again, you really have to suspend disbelief). And some elements are never fully explained, causing some revelations to fall flat.
But, it’s also intriguing. The show’s many twists and turns keep you engaged enough to wonder how it all fits together.
The OA is now streaming on Netflix.