The OA: Netflix’s Strange New Arthouse Sci-Fi

It’s almost impossible to accurately describe Britt Marling’s new arthouse sci-fi The OA based on just its pilot. If you were one of the few who saw the young writer/actress’ 2011 Sundance entry, Another Earth, you’d probably already have guessed that her streaming debut would be anything but conventional.

Marling stars as a young woman who mysteriously resurfaces after having disappeared 7 years ago, but here’s the kicker: she used to be blind, but has somehow regained her sight. What follows is … difficult to put into words.

Of all of Netflix’s original programming, this is probably the most opaque and challenging to watch, and is best viewed with a generous amount of Shiraz over the holidays. I’ve seen three episodes as I write this, and I can guarantee that even if you don’t totally understand why the show does what it does, The OA is unique and well-crafted, and perhaps signals a much braver basket of new content from the streaming giant in 2017.

Rating: 4 out of 5 flickering candles in the attic

Netflix – Premiered December 2016

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