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The OA, a Netflix paranormal original.

February 3, 2017

*Very Slight Spoilers*


I'm a big fan of Netflix original shows. From the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to Jessica Jones and Daredevil. From Sense8 to Stranger Things. All of it, really good, especially that last one. 

Yet again, Netflix offers a cool concept in the form of a paranormal show called the OA. I watched Season 1 and my imagination was ignited by the strangeness of the story and the surreal imagery. 


It mixes elements of several shows: the Leftovers, Stranger Things, and the Fisher King (old school Robin Williams).


It's the story of a young woman named Prairie who shows up out of nowhere after being missing for several years. Her parents are in shock when they find out the news, and it's quite clear upon their reuniting that Prairie has become quite a different person.


From the start, the story feels a bit distant in the sense that I didn't warm up to any of the characters right away. Brit Marling has a unique look, yet somehow the character seems flat. It could be the character's fault, as Prairie acts abnormally vague and unwilling to come forth with any information about where she's been or what she's been up to. She doesn't even confirm that she was actually abducted. In fact, she says she knows exactly where she's been this entire time, but doesn't elaborate further. It left me feeling a little frustrated but interested enough to carry on. 

As the story moves quickly from scene to jarring scene, I found it hard to cling to any sort of coherent story line. Yet, the incredible imagery and pervading mystery kept me interested, and I'm glad I stuck it out. By the fifth episode, things started coming together as Prairie strengthened the band of heroes she'd been assembling to help her find a lost friend, Homer.


At the heart of this story, though, at least the part that interested me, was the concept of metaphysical travel through both time and space. Harnessing powers that require no other fuel than movement and sound. 


The concept was engaging from a purely mystical standpoint, although it does get a little silly with the interpretive dance moves. Yes, you heard correct. Interpretive. Dance. The characters channel the power of time and space with strange movements they must learn and syncopate. 


All in all, a nice little series that really shines in some parts, fails in others. Bear with it. I think you might like it. Let me know what you think. 

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