The OA Review #2 – Richa Malhotra

Let’s just say that The OA wouldn’t have caught my eye if I were browsing for new shows to watch on Netflix. Shows like Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, or 90210 are more up my alley. Although the show was dramatic, the storyline unfolded at an incredibly slow pace. The show centers around a young girl named Prairie who calls herself the OA aka “the original angel”. She is on a mission to find her father and gets kidnapped because she is naive enough to follow a random man to his house. She along with four others, who have undergone NDEs, are trapped inside individual cages for the purpose of an experiment. Hap’s experiments aim to fatally harm the captives in order to track their whereabouts during the NDEs. I understand this is a lot to take in, the show goes from zero to crazy really quick. Just wait… it gets weirder. During the NDEs, each captive receives a special dance move that will help facilitate their escape. The combination of five dance moves performed by the five captives is supposed to open a gateway to another dimension. It takes them multiple and I mean multiple years to learn all of these moves. However, before they can escape, Hap releases Prairie in the middle of nowhere while the others are still trapped.

The show made me  uncomfortable due to the awkward relationship Prairie has with her adoptive parents. Poor Prairie has undergone immense trauma but her mother is more worried about Prairie’s image rather than her recovery. Her mother’s character just rubbed me the wrong way but luckily there weren’t too many scenes with her. During the majority of the show, Prairie shares her story with four kids and a high school teacher in hopes to make them believe in her story and help her open another dimension so she can save the others.

So the plot sounds engaging right? Well it is except for the fact that, even at the end of the season, we don’t know if any of Prairie’s story is true or if she is actually crazy. I guess the random nose bleeds, the drawings on her back, and the factual accounts of accidents she described online make this story somewhat believable. But that does not change the fact that her demeanor resembles that of someone who is mentally ill. Unfortunately, the final episode of the season just adds to the mess. In the last scene, the five group members perform the dance combination in the middle of the school cafeteria and Prairie gets shot. Random right? That’s what I thought too but at the very end Prairie whispers “you did it”. This was meant to allude to the fact that they succeeded in opening the portal. However, this is still hard to believe since there are no concrete facts besides Prairie’s words.  Yet again, the viewer is left in a state of ambiguity. After finishing the show, I found myself a little frustrated because the director took a whole season to describe a backstory. It looks like we will have to wait for the second season to get all of our questions answered.