"OA" review.


One of the great pleasures in viewing this 8 part series on Netflix was knowing absolutely nothing about it. I'd advise anyone reading this who hasn't seen it


Go watch it.


The first episode started off intriguingly enough. At first I wasn't sure if it was going to be a police procedural, a mystery, a S.F./Fantasy, or a drama. (Kind of ended up being all those things...)

Each character is given time to be fully developed, which held true throughout the series. I'm not sure I can remember a series that so expertly and completely fleshed out characters in such a believable way. Which is especially impressive given the unlikely scenario.

The characters mostly live in a half empty subdivision, in big houses surrounded by large spaces. They are just as separated by emotional distance. The five people who the OA picks to help her also come from completely different circumstances.

There's a great scene in the high school cafeteria near the end of the series where you clearly see how these five people belong to completely different cliques. And yet, they develop a bond with each other that turns out to be deeper and more lasting than those with their friends and family.

The five and OA have something that the outside world simply can't comprehend. It just looks strange and inappropriate to others.

The middle aged high school teacher is a beautifully drawn character.

There is a wonderful scene in the first episode where the OA pretends to be a parent, and she tries to get one of her Five off the hook. She finds out that the boy had hurt another student, and the teacher--very appropriately, it seems--is calling for his suspension.

Going into this, you think there is no way the OA can convince the teacher otherwise, but the scene is written so beautifully that by the end, not only is the teacher convinced--which could have just been a plot point--but the watcher is equally convinced.

This scene is when I knew this show was something special.

If I wasn't already convinced, the last 15 minutes of the first episode was one of the best plot swerves I've ever seen. It goes from being tight and dark, to open and colorful and beautiful, all in the space of a few seconds. It's as startling as Dorothy's landing in Oz. Really great stuff.

The rest of the series is just as well-written and surprising. In the end, you're not sure what really happened, but the emotional catharsis among the characters is more than enough explanation.

This series is so deep and textured, that I find that just describing some of the first episode and intimations of the ending is more than enough. The last 7 episodes are equally rich and mysterious. We meet another Five, who we get to know just as well. The parents and the villains are fully formed and believable.

Linda and I have been trying to decipher the series for days.

Goes without saying, the writing, the acting, and the production is as good as I've ever seen. I'm hoping there'll be a second season.