TV REVIEW: The OA – Season 1

Seven years after she went missing, Prairie Johnson (Britt Marling) reappears in her home town covered in strange scars. She has also regained her sight and insists that her name is now the OA.

Her baffled parents (Alice Krige and Scott Wilson) attempt to get her to explain where she has been but she seems distracted fragile and confused with her only interest being getting online. Here she puts out a plea for “travellers”, bringing together a group of damaged souls in an abandoned house to hear her story.

As she tells an ever more fantastical tale over a series of nights, the misfit group bonds together in assisting The OA in her quest to travel to a different dimension but is any of what she has told them true?

I don’t want to explain too much of the story line of The OA because the less you know the more incredible each insane reveal is. And trust me… it is insane and weird as fuck. This show is only going to appeal to a very small, select set of viewers but to those who are interested in the idea that there might be more to the universe than we know right now, it could be a game changer.

Britt Marling wrote, produced and starred in this alongside her friend, Zal Batmanglij and it is very obvious the love and passion that goes into her performance and the storytelling. The rest of the cast is just as strong and the young gang she pulls together are easy to care about. Patrick Gibson is a standout playing the destructive but sensitive, Steve Winchell and Phyllis Smith is great as a teacher struggling with a loss. Jason Isaacs appears as a doctor who will go to any lengths to continue his research and he gives a powerful and seductively sinister performance.

I felt invested in the story from the get-go and found it hard to stop watching even through this was my second watch (in preparation for the second season because it is such an intricate mythology). At the end of my first watch I felt very disappointed with the ending because it felt incomplete and I questioned what it was all for. This time knowing there was more to come I was left feeling excited rather than deflated.

The OA has cult status for good reason and I am a huge fan, whether you will be depends on how willing your are to just go with it and accept its utterly bonkers moments. I can’t wait to dive into season 2.

4/5

4 Comments

  1. I like the sound of this one, Abbi. It put me in mind of a great French TV series.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Returned_(French_TV_series)
    I don’t know if you saw this at the time, but it was very good, and creepy.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I did watch The Returned. it was very good. This does have some sort of similarities. It is very “different” but the storytelling is outstanding.

  2. This sounds like something that might interest me. Is it on Netflix? When you say things get “insane,” does that mean it’s hard to follow the storyline? Sometimes they make these fantasy shows so fantastical that it gets wayyy to complicated, and I quit watching. I enjoy a good fantasy tale, but for me, the puzzle pieces have to come together along the way without being scattered everywhere.

    1. It is on Netflix. I actually thought the story line was very coherent. It’s just complex and it reveals itself gradually so some elements only make sense in the context of others. It does come to a rather abrupt end but I have started on the second season and it all makes sense, so I guess it was very much a cliffhanger but at the time no one knew if there would be a second season so it felt unsatisfying.

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