Review of The OA series on Netflix
I just finished binge watching the 8-episode new series The OA on Netflix and have mixed feelings. It begins by telling an extremely complex tale about a young girl who got adopted from Russia and then kidnapped by a doctor who was researching Near Death Experiences. It drags this story through about seven episodes, but in the 8th episode everything falls apart, and it ends in an incredibly stupid way that leaves you with a lot of questions and no answers.
I will admit that the story is very well written, and it’s a unique series compared to 99% of what is on television today, but after finishing the 8th episode, it feels like the authors were trying too hard to come across as overly deep and complex.
To be honest, I don’t have a fucking clue what the series was even about. There’s a new style of storytelling, both in movies and TV shows, where the writers try to come across as super-metaphysical and deep and merely try to get you to feel strong emotions rather than actually telling a cohesive story. It’s an interesting writing style, but in the end, it feels meaningless because you realize that there was no point at all in the story. Even worse is when the story is written so vaguely and incoherently that you don’t have any idea what the story was about.
My conclusion is that the writers of the series wove together a bunch of random concepts, and in the end, they tried to give some meaning to the chaos of their story. They’ve retroactively tried to put a spin on it by calling it deep, philosophical, spiritual, etc, but in the end it is just a bunch of “beautiful bullshit” as The Atlantic article described it.
It’s been compared to another very strange series called Stranger Things, which I have still yet to watch, but I’ll get around to it after this.
My advice to the writers or to any other scriptwriter is that it’s okay to make your story complex and even a bit confusing, but you need to resolve the majority of the questions that you have brought up. Leaving viewers hanging with a million unanswered questions makes you look like a fool who wrote a bunch of random bullshit and then tried to paint it as deep and intellectual. It’s time to stop trying so hard to be artsy and unique and go back more towards the traditional way of storytelling where you tell a story that follows a normal timeline, progresses through it’s story, however complex or simple it may be, and then ends with the majority of the plot points resolved. Enough with the New Age Modern Art crap, okay?