A couple weeks ago I was looking for a new show to watch when out of the blue a friend texted me, and told me I needed to watch a new Netflix series called The OA. I trust her opinion, and so Christmas Day I started watching it, and was enthralled right away. The OA is a deep and heartfelt story, wrapped around belief, mental illness, a struggle to to be understood, and to make a difference – common themes among all the main characters.
I will try not to spoil it, because I do think it’s worth watching! The episodes always end with you wanting to know more (and the last unfortunately is no different). The story is about a young woman Nina, aka Prairie, aka The OA, she’s been missing for over seven years. The show opens with a cell phone camera shot of a blonde woman jumping off a bridge. It then cuts to her in a hospital; we can see that she has strange scars on her back, and she does not want to be touched or to tell the doctors anything. Her mother and father, find out where she is and show up. She doesn’t recognise them, until her mother walks over to her bed and grabs OA’s hands and places them on her own face. A confused nurse (and audience) asks the father what’s going on, and he explains that when she went missing she was blind. Intrigued yet? I was.
OA is taken home, and lets on she is fully aware of what happened to her and where she was for the entire time she has been gone, but refuses to tell the FBI or her parents. We know she wants to get back to where she was (wherever that is), and enlists the help of a bully after they form a bond during and unsettling seen with a dog. She needs five people who are strong and brave, and he is to bring them to her. Series of events happen and OA has her five band of misfits. She begins telling them a tale in an abandoned home. An unbelievable tale filled with growing up in Russia, coming to America as a young girl, being adopted, trying to find her father, being captured and detained, near death experience, supernatural abilities, falling in love, getting her sight back, dying over and over, and much more.
The show is a roller coaster, and definitely hits you in the feels on occasion. You’re left the whole time wondering, if this masterfully told story actually happened or is she making it up? It does a great job of holding its cards close, and forcing the audience to think and guess about things before telling you about them.
The one thing I will say is I found the ending unsatisfying. Now that is not to say it was bad, just unsatisfying, because it was definitely exciting and seemingly came out of nowhere. It felt as if the writers chickened out in the end, not being able to commit to either of the stories projected outcomes. You’re left with many questions, and the audience is forced to draw their own conclusions. However, that is also one of the reasons why this show is great, because I am still thinking about it. It is brilliantly shot, and there is so much detail that it requires you to think back and piece things together that you saw before once you have new information from later episodes. This is not a show that you will watch and forget, moving on to the next one. It will stick in your mind for weeks to come.
I also don’t think they should do a season 2. You’re left with a lot of questions, but none that would really warrant a second season, and if you did force a second season the tonal change and shift in the actual themes and plot of the story would be jarring, especially once they chose which route to actually take the story. You are going to alienate half your audience that was wanting the story to go the other way.
There are some great fan theories on this show that really make you think about it in a different way, so after watching it, and having some time to digest it in your thoughts, go ahead and check those out.
Have you seen it, or are you going to now? Let us know what your impressions were in the comments below or on our Facebook wall.