(This post is spoiler FREE — all photos are screencaps from the first episode.)
#TheOA debuted on Netflix on December 16th, 2016 with an 8-episode season. It is a mystery drama that has science fiction, supernatural, and fantasy elements. The series follows a young woman named Prairie Johnson who resurfaces after going missing seven years earlier. She can now see despite being blind before she disappeared, and now refers to herself as "The OA."
I remember seeing The OA everywhere and eventually, in order to avoid spoilers, I decided to finally check it out. It didn't take me very long to get through it and I enjoyed every moment of it, which is why I wanted to share with you some reasons as to why you should check it out yourself.
5. It's Pretty Unique
Of course I can't speak for every single TV show (or other media) out there, but for the most part I would say you won't find anything quite like The OA. Sometimes it's the story itself and other times it's how the story is presented and explored that makes it unique. It's no one thing, which makes it incredibly refreshing because it always feels like you're watching something brand new and different.
4. By The End You'll Have An Appreciation For All Aspects Of The Show
Going through the series, there were parts I wasn't as originally interested in. My favorite parts came in the flashbacks to where Prairie was kept during her missing years. However, by the end of the series I found myself appreciating and loving all the different scenarios and aspects of the show.
Despite the show being a little confusing (I will discuss that more in a later point), as the series progresses everything does comes together a little more and you find yourself caring about every moment because it's all connected in some way.
3. The Cast
The cast of The OA is filled with a mixture of well known stars and not so well known stars. All of them do such an amazing job that you find yourself drawn to everyone, even characters that don't have a lot of screen time. It'll surprise you that some of them have never starred in anything before, and after watching all of these performances, you'll want to see every single one of them in more roles.
The protagonist, Prairie, is played by Brit Marling, who is known for Another Earth (2011), The East (2013) and Sound of my Voice (2011).
Some other main cast stars include: Scott Wilson, Alice Krige, Emory Cohen, Phyllis Smith, Patrick Gibson, Brendan Meyer, Brandon Perea, Ian Alexander and Jason Isaacs.
If you're interested the full cast list can be found here.
2. You Might Not Know What's Going On, But Don't Worry — Nobody Does
There is a chance, no matter how much you enjoy it, that at least some part of this show will confuse you and you'll spend a lot of time not knowing what's going on or why it's happening, but don't worry. Most people who watch it tend to talk about how they don't understand what's going on, but they love it and would recommend it anyway.
The best advice I can give is just to sit back and enjoy. If you like to theorize then please do! What it all means, what's going on, and what could happen next are great things to discuss with other fans, especially considering some people might have a different or better understanding than you (and vice versa).
I will say this: No matter how much you understood, you will finish this series feeling content. Well, mostly content, a part of you will be screaming for more especially because there's a confirmed second season. Even thought we are getting a second season, if one season was all we got then I would have been OK with that. By the end I felt like a story had been told and, although it can definitely continue on, it was very well done.
1. It's Not Very Long And It's Incredibly Easy To Watch
Now, with everything I've said so far, they all help to make The OA so easy to watch. There's a very likely chance that you could binge it over a short period of time, as there are only eight episodes and those range between 31 and 71 minutes in length.
Even beyond a technical level, there's just something about it that makes it easy to consume. It's an interesting story that's kept alive by the fact that the mystery is providing so many questions just as quickly as it's providing answers — constantly moving and giving you something else to be interested in and focus on.
It's forever moving and challenging what you think you know, but never in an exhausting way that you can't keep up with. Sure, I've said that you might not know what's going on, but that will never hinder your experience or ability to consume the series with ease.
Admittedly, I was drawn to The OA, but I never really had much hope for it. I knew it would be good and entertaining, but I certainly didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did.
It was renewed for a second season February 8th, 2017, but there's no release date as of yet. Once you've seen the first season (so you can avoid spoilers), I'd recommend keeping up with the official Twitter and Instagram accounts for the OA, as well as any Netflix social media in order to keep up with any new information.
I'd love to know if you plan to check out the series, and any other comments you might have!