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More people need to watch the 2nd best TV show on Netflix


Mar 19, 2022
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The OA is classic trippy TV stories.


In 2016, two shows about a young girl with supernatural powers came out.

One of these was Stranger Things. The other was a mind-boggling mystery set in a small town with a scientific villain who was conducting inhumane experiments.

One of these shows is no longer running. And yet, The OA is still the second-best TV show sunk in Netflix’s mines. The best show is the German sci-fi thriller Dark, but The OA isn’t far behind.

The OA is hard to describe, as it sews a handful of different genres into its own ethereal plane. The OA is sometimes surreal. But instead of floating images gently patting each other, the sci-fi here is delivered with the grounded assurance of a Christopher Nolan movie. It moves with the same relentless force.


Some confused things are happening in The OA.

JoJo Whilden/Netflix

Our anchor and main heroine is Prairie Johnson. In the very first scene, Prairie, a young blond woman, jumps off a bridge. When she wakes up, she’s home again. She had been missing for seven years.

Nobody knows what happened to her. Her return is a miracle. Even more shocking: once she is blind, she can see again.

Prairie has scars on her back and is experiencing traumatic episodes, but will not burden her adoptive parents with her story. Instead, she takes to the internet and finds like-minded friends through the medium of YouTube.

From here on, the story functions a bit like the mystery in Yellowjackets. We don’t know if Prairie is telling her new friends the truth or not. We don’t know if she really has supernatural powers. It doesn’t really matter to them. She brings unhappy, incarcerated people together and shows them the same kindness and understanding they have shown her. Show them an escape.


Season 2 of the OA takes place in a completely different location.


The OA comes from longtime creative team Brit Marling (who also stars as Prairie) and Zal Batmanglij. The show feels like the product of buzzing minds throwing out excited idea after idea. As intense as it is compact, the OA explores the human condition, mortality, the afterlife and… the multiverse.

That’s right. Forget Marvel. This is the show to watch if you want a rich, existential take on the interconnectedness of all things. The world of OA is huge and the way it works follows the most unexpected rules.

The OA also does not adhere to a strict formula for TV series. The opening credits don’t appear until 57 minutes into the show. It was written as an eight-hour film, with a romantic approach. Some of the main characters you only meet a third of the way through.

And season 2 is even better than the first. It will be a noir detective story set in Silicon Valley, where kids, one of whom is played by Zendaya, disappear after playing on an app in a VR game. Shot with a more polished look, Season 2 is slightly less gloomy than Season 1’s character drama. There are even attempts at humor — Marling is no stranger to comedy, having been featured in the community and British series Babylon.

Every now and then, The OA’s literary voice hits a gem. “Existence is to survive unfair choices,” one tells Prairie.

So it’s a bit baffling that Netflix canceled the show after two seasons. Somehow this ambitious, genre-transcending ball of tangled strands is a coherent, life-affirming experience.

It glues itself together with realistic, loyal characters who are united by their harrowing shared tribulations. There’s even a believable love story, a touch of warmth amid the eerie science, cryptic puzzles, and trippy imagery.

Netflix made a mistake by canceling this show. Many fans thought it was a publicity stunt – there was no way the streamer would stop funding this critically acclaimed, albeit expensive, series that was intended to run for five seasons, each vastly different in style and setting from the last.

Surprisingly, the Season 2 ending almost acts like a finale for the entire series. Still, Marling and Batmanglij have the real conclusion tucked away somewhere. Let’s pray they get the chance to bring season 3 to the screen. Someone please jump dimensions and save this show from the realm of canceled TV.

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This post More people need to watch the 2nd best TV show on Netflix

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