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|Index||215 reviews in total|
This show may not be for everyone, however if you're intrigued by deep, energy filled, powerful works of art then I couldn't recommend this more. Sure, on the surface people can nit pick about minute, and overall insignificant details, perhaps in regards to the acting (which I find to be impeccable) or the pace (which is a very superficial observation). If ones analyzing those things then they're missing the point. Anyone seeking a show with true depth, this is for you. This show is one of those masterpieces that brings out something deep in you that makes you change your ways of thinking. This is not a show to simply pay half attention to, or to have on for background noise. This show demands all of you, it will pull you into its vortex. If you enjoy cinema that can truly move you to your core, like Into the Void, Inception, or even Requiem for a dream; really shake your perception of reality, then please give this a chance. It provides such a cold whimsical poetic darkness to your soul. This is a true work of art.
I just finished binge watching this. This story pulls you in the acting is very good. Storyline is engaging and moves at a decent pace. The plot is something you don't want to know more than what's written above. The cinematography was well done with a few major actors playing some of the roles. I can tell you I am still chewing on the ending, because ,, yes it's one of those that must sink in and mull around a bit. Worth the watch, I couldn't go to sleep till I finished it, it was engrossing. Some nudity, and cursing, drug references but nothing major so maybe tv14 even though it got an MA rating. Well worth your time! Again the ending is very interesting to say the least. At first I wanted to be ticked off then it sinks in and haunts you. Enjoy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Clearly a lot was invested in the show. Not only is Brit Marling the
producer, her acting is perfectly adequate and consistent throughout
the 8 hour-long episodes. Yes it is binge-inducing, but only for the
wrong reasons. At some point mid-season you're only continuing because
you really just want to know what the hell she STILL won't reveal. She
takes her sweet time stringing it out, alluding, dragging on about all
the otherworldly shizazzle.
I don't mind slow-paced shows-- their purpose is to create either tension or appreciation of the more emotional/personal facets of each individual. However the side characters were disappointingly reused and recycled. There's Steve the Beefy-ish Dumb Jock, unable to connect with his emotional self, Alfonso, the honors/scholarship student who just can't seem to appease his perpetually drunk mother and is secretly an addict, Buck, the younger transgender boy whose father won't accept him, Jesse the stoner. On top of that there's the apparently lifeless, spineless teacher lonely and naive enough to buy into Prairie's delusion and hang out with a bunch of kids. All are able to unite. Good & Great. Big Whoop.
Not to go all CinemaSins here but Prairie asking people to leave their front doors open when they meet up every night is purely moronic. The only explanation offered is her saying 'So you can let me in'. ?????? Alright.
I'm just wondering how of all these producers (Brad Pitt included) sat there and said 'y'know what. Picture ('at least') five people. When they experience NDE, they eat a live thing. Then come back to life. Then they momentarily go spastic. Then they dance. They can bring someone back to life with their dance and cure ALS and who knows. That's actually groundbreaking and completely genius.'
The only part that makes sense is when Alfonso discovers a bunch of books about Oligarchs, Angels, etc. in Prairie's house and deducts she is a Legitimate Loony. If Netflix must fund a second season the only plausible, sensible way to continue this is to turn it into a family drama full of 'raw, emotional realities of mental illness.' That way it'll finally get some proper praise Marling has been trying so hard to attract with this nonsensical BS.
So as an audience we deduct this hip new dance number, when performed by 'AT LEAST' five people, can actually stop a school shooter. Realistically, any school shooter would stop and stare.
To summate, a whole lot of fi and not enough sci.
+ The title 'The OA' sounds pretty good until you realise OA stands for 'Original Angel'.
I don't know exactly what is going on right now, but something is
definitely going on! I am completely stunned in the most positive way,
with how many unique and incredible TV series have been released in
2016. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, "The OA" arrives
and puts a big fat surreal cherry on top.
I won't talk about the actual story line, because they would destroy your experience. It is best to know absolutely nothing about the story and just let it unfold. I'm glad I knew nothing about the show before I started watching and enjoyed been taken to an unexpected place.
My guess is that "The OA" will polarize some viewers, who simply will not get it and think it is a pile of crap. It will definitely not be every person's cup of tea and requires some degree of patience to get from the beginning to the end. If you are firmly a scientific type with a closed mind, don't even bother watching the first 5 minutes. If you have an open mind and are tired of the normal vanilla crap that mainstream TV produces, you will definitely love "The OA". If you have had some trippy experiences and synchronicities in your own life and are starting to realize that not everything is as it seems, you will surely love this show.
I need a few days to digest what I just watched and will most likely watch it again soon. There are three outstanding acting performances in this series, especially the lead Brit Marling, followed by Emory Cohen and Patrick Gibson. I would love to know if any of these actors had any dance experience before taking on these roles? Star Trek fans who remember The Borg queen, will see a much older Alice Krige playing the distraught mother beautifully. I highly recommend "The OA" and give it a solid 10/10.
The really interesting thing about this show, to me at least, is the effect it has on you after you're done watching. This is where the ''genius or waste of time'' comes in to play. While watching the last 5-6min of this show I was simply amazed by the stupidity of the ending. I can't describe to you just how cheap and utterly dump the ending is. It's almost worth watching the entire show, just to be able to understand how bad the ending is. I'm amazed, truly. Do you know that feeling you get when you see something so dump and surreal that the only thing you can do is just laugh? To anyone that doesn't know what I'm talking about, watching this will show and explain it to you better then I could ever explain it in words. So, to the effect; Finishing this show leaves me with a epiphany. I need to stop wasting my time watching TV shows! There is nothing to gain from it, and this show is the perfect example. First it tries to show you the importance of friends, family and having insight into yourself, and then it ends in a way that leaves you questioning if the people who made it even know how to feed themselves. How are you supposed to take anything that is messaged throughout the show seriously if in the back of your head you are questioning the utter stupidity of those who made it? Herein lies the genius of the show; it will make you question pretty much every detail in your life that led you to watching this piece of garbage. Well produced, well acted garbage that will for sure take you on a exciting journey, but when the journey is over it will still only be garbage.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
By the end of the second episode, it becomes clear that the writers
were thoughtlessly tossing a variety of not-so-original plot elements
into a cinematic pot without thinking through either the story arc or
While the opening premise is compelling, the collection of characters are so thinly drawn, they come off as types rather than people: The weird girl, the plain Jane teacher, the sociopath drug dealer, the over achieving student with a drug problem, etc. And the lack of consequences for the assault of one student by another in the first episode was unbelievable. You need a long chain of people who either don't think or don't care for any of this action to work.
All the drama leading up to the first meeting of the group in the oh-so-conveniently abandoned house next door, leads up to . . . . a looong expository lump. The momentum that gets built up to this point grinds to a halt. Then, after all the buildup, after Prairie insisting that everyone meet at midnight (why is it always midnight?), everyone had to leave their front doors open (which any parent would notice in the middle of winter). . . after all that, everyone just. . . goes home? It's just a bunch of weird for weird sake.
And the poor plot device that gets Prairie captured, especially for someone with her particular backstory, simply makes no sense.
I just finished all 8 episodes. They were frustrating to watch. Yes,
the production value is great, the story is certainly unique, and the
acting is fine. The problem is with the writing.
Repeatedly, throughout the show, I found myself wanting characters to do things, and they wouldn't. I would want evil people to get what's coming to them, but instead they would prevail. I would want an underdog character to gain an upper-hand, to have some secret way of getting an advantage, but instead, they only became more helpless. I would want the story to give answers to all the mysteries, but it dragged on slowly and painfully.
In so many ways, the show does not deliver on the promises it makes. It sets the story up like an exciting sci-fi or supernatural thriller, but instead it turns into a cerebral mess. And once you finally accept the fact that it's going to be intellectual rather than action/adventure, it even makes a mess of THAT promise!
Beyond the frustrations of the plot, there are also problems with characterization. Often times, characters would do things (or not do things) that went beyond my suspension of disbelief. I found myself saying time and again, "What? They wouldn't do that. That's not how people are. That's not how they react." So many things characters did were simply to fit into the story, but in real life, it's just not likely.
In the end, this show left me very unsatisfied. I was deceived by the initial IMDb rating of 200+ reviews at an 8.9 rating. I seriously suspect those are phony ratings to give the show a good start. I am giving the show a 6/10. Great production value, but the story doesn't deliver on its promises, and quite frankly, I found it difficult and frustrating to sit through.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This show has some major positives including great casting, good
cinematography, and moving scoring. All of these things contribute to
the pulling at your emotions, which I suspect is why this show received
such a high rating on this site.
However, there are problems I just couldn't let go of, no matter how much I wanted to like this show as a whole. I don't mind slow-paced shows. Take The Leftovers for example. That production accomplishes a kind of beauty in storytelling that I think The OA had the potential of doing. It just fell short unfortunately due to failures in plot and character development.
Some of the chosen Five don't get enough background or development and then some get too much without really any meaningful explanation behind their actions or transformation (i.e. Winchell or Betty). Dr. Hunter is perhaps the clearest one to follow in terms of motivation and is expertly played by Jason Isaacs. Then you have other great actors like Scott Wilson and Alice Krige (Abel and Nancy) who get these few "revealing" moments that leave the audience sighing with boredom.
Not to mention the late entrance of Paz Vega (Renata) who is also under-used after her introduction. Overall, things would be more forgivable if the ending actually delivered anything we were lead to believe we'd get. The climax arrives through a school mass shooting, which had no lead-up whatsoever. OA apparently has a premonition and says she knows what it all means now, but she neglected to clue us in.
So in this shooting no one saw coming, our Five decide to do the movements that are meant to lead to a new dimension. An interesting choice to say the least, but you keep watching thinking maybe they'll transport all the kids to safety. Or maybe they'll transport themselves to another dimension where the gunman makes a different choice, etc. I don't know. ANYTHING than the nothing that ensued.
The gunman gets taken down with no explanation of who he is (I expected it to be the singer who got punched by Winchell) and we assume OA dies in order to see Homer. Still, we're left wondering if it really was all in her head, even though the bath nosebleed and her saying, "Homer" is supposed to be evidence enough that her story is true.
If that was the point of 8 episodes - deciding if she was making it all up - then that's a monumental disappointment as I was already invested in her story (8+ hours) and would expect something a little more conclusive, but despite its originality, it would seem this story is setting you up for frustration.
Even the title draws you in with a question. After realizing its center theme in the afterlife/alternate dimensions, I thought, "what if 'OA' stands for 'Original Angel'?" Like OG? And then you find that's exactly what it stands for. Build up for a less than satisfying conclusion.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't know why I don't give it a one, wait, I'll do that. It is a
waste of time designed to be just okay enough to get another season to
sort out the mess, thereby wasting more time. A troll of a series
grabbing from many genres without a core. At the end I absolutely do
not care if she was delusional, inter-spatial, or an angel; the last
scene was just ridicules and exploitative. That last scene was like the
click on a mousetrap where most viewers should be hit in the face with
the utter realization that the story never had a purpose or a meaning
other than "Stay tuned for Season 2!". A troll.
Somehow this got produced. Maybe it pitched better than it watched, there was potential there but I personally did not like the NDE segues with the mystic after world angel's 5 movements so clumsily brought into the real world as a portal mechanism. It went from Sci-Fi to fantasy and the 5 movement parts were hard to look at and still maintain self respect. I like the idea of a delusional person dragging a following after them, who wouldn't in 2016... but pick a thread and complete it. Like I said, it is a troll of a series. I see why they did not advance it, a week of reviews would have made an opening disaster.
What we see is the decline of series television if it is picked up for a second season. It will set a precedent that eliminates reviews and dumps half baked scripts en masse and lets the the viewers pick winners and losers based on random variables like who has the time to waste versus people who would like some thought put into what goes onto Netflix. This is a Youtube series, not a subscription production.
The OA is a delightfully odd TV series -- a show that is built for
binge-watching. No, it's not at all like Netflix' Stranger Things, and
comparisons shouldn't be made. Actually, The OA is a series that's more
akin to Sense 8 -- although that's not a fair comparison either.
The OA is an oddity unto itself, one that draws the viewer in and doesn't let go easily. I'm not commenting on plot or characters, since any description may be too much of a spoiler. However, I will happily report that The OA is a story about storytelling. The cast is very good, and Brit Marling is outstanding -- both as actress and storyteller.
Netflix didn't do too much to promote The OA, but I'm glad it found it. And, I'm even happier that so many strange things seem to be coming from Netflix lately.
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