Pilot Reviews The OA

The OA 1×01 – Homecoming

"I couldn't tell if I was inside the earth or above it. Why was the dark so dazzling?"

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Well that was the single weirdest pilot I’ve ever seen.

It’s difficult to discuss The OA without spoiling key plot points; this is a show that’s built around its core mystery – a previously blind woman appears after years of disappearance with her sight restored. That’s really all I’ll tell you, and suffice to say, things take a very bizarre turn right from the start. I probably shouldn’t judge the show based on its pilot alone, as the series has supposedly been crafted by Netflix as one 8-hour movie, but I still believe pilots should be able to stand on their own in order to sell whatever premise they’re hawking. And this debut doesn’t exactly work well as a standalone production.

I’m also unsure of the show’s lead Brit Marling. She plays “confused” well enough, but she’s not as magnetic and charismatic a presence as I would have liked. In fact, she’s overshadowed by the two actors who plays her parents: Scott Wilson and Alice Krige. The latter in particular is devastatingly raw in her emotions as she comes to terms with her daughter’s shocking return. Also a standout is the hilarious Phyllis Smith in a role I will definitely not spoil here.

Finally, as ambitious as this pilot is in theory, something about the production values just scream “cheap” to me. I’m hoping this is rectified in further episodes.

Bits From The Blind
Beware the spoilers.

– Okay Netflix I get that you wanna be daring but that opening sex scene followed by the blowjob were too gratuitous and unnecessary.

– How bizarre was that dog attack scene? It starts out as terrifying, then turns very strange as Prairie bites him back. Huh?

– Is Steve going to be one of the main characters? Because this bully is far from likeable and I can’t fathom watching him for very long.

– Who is Homer?

– The moment where Elizabeth arrives as the “fifth” person in Prairie’s meeting was just epic.

– The most impressive thing this episode does: the opening credits appearing 57 minutes in as Prairie starts telling her story in Russia. I’ve certainly never seen that done before and it’s genius! In fact, it’s the kind of wtf moment that definitely bought the show a lot of goodwill as far as I’m concerned.

– Me utterly confused: watching little Olivia in that dreamlike word as the Arabic-speaking gypsy/witch/woman asks her if she wants to live again before taking her sight. Huh?

Conclusion
A strange although admittedly ambitious new drama. It’s too soon to judge but I’m not overly impressed yet.

Nad Rating
C

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