Netflix's new original series The OA has only been out for four days but I binged last night and watched the entire series. I wanted to share a few thoughts about the show I had because I actually thought it was excellent.
In addition to sporting one of the coolest promotional Instagram accounts I've seen ever for a tv show, the show explores a lot of ideas about Near Death Experienes, the afterlife, storytelling and how it can affect the people the story is being told to. How we can potentially travel through different dimensions with nothing but our bodies and a connection with others.
Following are some of my thoughts on the show. You should probably watch it before you read this though.
🚨 WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD 🚨
This is Netflix's summary of the show:
Seven years after vanishing from her home, a young woman returns with mysterious new abilities and recruits five strangers for a secret mission.
The show is immediately intriguing in how it doesn't shy away from subjects like the afterlife, near death experiences, and also more science-based subjects like spacetime and multiple universes forking off into each other as we make decisions in our life. I loved how the show goes into subjects we all wonder about as humans, but doesn't regress to any traditional antiquated religious ideas of what happens after you die.
I really related to the main character, Prairie (or Nana, or Cabbage, or OA, she has many names as the show progresses). She's passionate and smart and has enormous amounts of self control and empathy for those around her. One of my favourite moments from the show was when she was first brought upstairs after being imprisoned and she grabs the knife to presumably attack her kidnapper, but then the blind as a bat Prairie makes a sandwich and impresses him enough to let her make more sandwiches for the other 3 prisoners in his basement.
Another idea from the show that was really intriguing to me was how you never really know if OA is telling the truth about her story, or if she's actually just nuts-o and made it up in order to elicit some sort of power over the people she tells the story to.
I choose to believe that the story of her captured in the basement in the mine is true, because there's quite a bit of evidence that makes the story seem true like the scars on her back and how she got her sight returned after her second NDE.
Additionally, The OA is one of those rare television shows that wraps up really well. Sure it leaves you hanging a little bit, but only in a way an artsy film will leave some things open to the imagination. There's no Stranger Things style cliffhanger at the end of the final episode. Which is a good thing, and maybe they did that because they weren't sure if The OA would be a knockout hit like they had with Stranger Things.
I loved the show, and though I don't think it will enjoy as much critical success as other tv shows, it certainly has its place and I'm glad that it was made. It really affected me and I suspect that I'll be watching it again eventually.