As we begin this relationship, there’s something that I need to get clear between you and I. Just like you, I love Sci-Fi, Horror, Superheroes, Comic Books, and Dystopian Novels; however, things resonate differently with me. My Dad is a pastor, and as a kid, I went to church twice a week until I married at 24. Because I’m deeply spiritual, I have a spiritual lens that vibrates at a frequency that is sometimes unexpected and always present. I don’t turn it off or on. It just exists.
The OA popped up on my Netflix as something recommended several months ago. I don’t understand the voodoo algorithm used to make such determinations, but it called to me. I knew it would be different and fascinating. I can’t begin to explain the complexity and ingenuity that went into this series. People that respect my opinion have all steered clear with the disclaimer that it seems too weird, despite my enthusiastic recommendation. They remain unconvinced. Yet, I am going to try to make a compelling argument as to why you should watch it. I loved the OA, and some of you will love it, too.
In my explanation of the story, there will be minor spoilers, so some words of warning: SPOILER ALERT. I won’t give away the final reveal, but there will be minor reveals along the way.
The OA is the brainchild of Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij who are so invested in the story that Marling plays the title character, Prairie Johnson, and Batmanglij directs every episode. They also receive producer credits. Clearly they believe in their product so much that they invest their own money in it.
I won’t disagree that the series is unique. It blends disparate genres: horror elements of repeated drowning, kidnapping, and near death experiences (NDEs), Sci-Fi elements of time travel, Hindu Mysticism, and Christian Spirituality in a way that is compelling and innovative.
It speaks to human tragedy, and the breaking of the boundaries to this finite existence. It gives a basis for which one can decide whether personal destiny is as malleable as most people believe or whether one is programmed to act a certain way regardless of circumstance.
Near death experiences are explored. Are near death experiences resurrections or hallucinations? There is an abduction where the abductee has seven years spent with a captor and other abductees. Prairie, the OA (Original Angel), learns expressions of Angelic language which she communicates via dance poses like a martial artist learns stances through repetition and muscle memory which she teaches to others all in the hope of freeing the other captives. There are miraculous transportations and selfless acts of sacrifice in the hopes of averting a tragedy. Does the OA predict situations or does she react to them? These questions are asked and it is our responsibility as watchers to either believe or not.
Finally, the cast is incredible. Scott Wilson (Walking Dead) and Alice Krige (the Borg Queen) play Prairie’s parents. Jason Isaacs plays the Doctor who investigates NDE’s. Phyllis Smith and Paz Vega are a teacher and a musical genius, respectively. There is a density here within this complex narrative worthy of discussion and meditation. You should really explore this show. There’s a wealth of things to watch here.