***A spoiler free review***
The OA Review: “Weird af but totally addicting”
The OA was a surprise release–Netflix dropping the new series and informing me that I should watch it without any kind of build-up. As such, I had no clue what it was about, but as the Collected Mutineer pushed “play” one weekend, I thought, “Eh, why not?”
We finished the first season in a day.
The series, created by and starring Brit Marling as the OA, is one long “what if?” Without giving you spoilers, I will say that the OA–also known as Prairie and Nina–is a girl who shows up alive, but more than a little different, seven years after she disappeared from her parents’ home. The series follows the OA as she readjusts to normal life with her parents (played by The Walking Dead’s Scott Wilson and Star Trek: First Contact’s Alice Krige) and shares her story with a group of misfits that she calls friends.
Aside from the utter weirdness of some elements (the movements, anyone?), the show has such humanity and heart that you quickly become attached to the characters. To the OA, to her parents, and particularly to the OA’s friends. I especially enjoyed the performances of The Office’s Phyllis Smith as Betty and Ian Alexander as Buck Vu. And the main character the OA, played by Brit Marling, is captivating in her naive-yet-secretive way.
Also, did I mention that there’s diversity? There’s diversity. Characters of varying ages, genders, sexualities, disabilities, and mental states, and it’s breathtaking to watch.
Should I Binge It?
Um, I watched it all in a day. So, YES. Binge away, my friends, binge away.
It’s a little sci-fi, a little indie, and a lot trippy. I think the description I’d use for it is “weird af mind-boggling heart-warming and yet slightly horrific what-if drama.” It’s not a show you can just play in the background as you work on other things (like I’m doing right now with The 100); it requires full attention or you’ll end up rewatching the episodes to figure out what the f**k is going on. I’ve seen this show compared to Stranger Things, but as I have yet to binge that show, I’ll leave the judgment up to you. I’d say this series is a bit like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets The Tree of Life meets Misery.
Yeah, it’s a mindf**k for sure, but if you can make it about 40 minutes into the first episode, you’ll be hooked.
Also, warning for abduction, violence against children, coercion, and lethal scientific experimentation on humans.
Can I watch it with my kids?
This one is for mature audiences. Though the graphic scenes are few, the themes are very mature and very dark at times, and definitely not suited for a younger audience. Watch this after the kids go to bed.