O A (Netflix)

A young girl goes missing for 7 years and suddenly shows up in a hospital  with vague memories and mysterious scars on her back.  She is very reluctant to reveal what happened to her as well as where she has been.  But the mystery lies with why is she able to see now when 7 years ago she could not.

Ending the year out, I wondered what was new on the streaming sites (HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon) that I could binge watch during my relaxing time during the holidays.  I was emailed this new series from Netflix that had some pretty good recommendations.  I never heard of the writer/directors even though they had some movies out previously.  But the story line seemed bland and the trailer sparked an interest.  But with the comparison to the other Netflix series "Stranger Things",  I said why not.

Basic premise was a lost blind teenager disappears for 7 years and suddenly finds her way back.  The big differences in her life besides being gone for 7 years was, she could see, she has some weird ass scars on her back and she is trying to get back to where she was being held.  You first think, hmmm Stockholm syndrome?  But we hear her life story from her memories as told to her band of misfits from her town.  O, I forgot. Who is her?  Well she is a Russian Barons daughter that changed her name twice, then to her adopted name Prairie then her new name OA.  I know, I know freakin weird right?  So lets talk about this in short form. OA is totally confused in the town she returns to and doesn't want to tell anyone anything until she runs into the town psycho bully (I still don't know what she did to the dog).  She bonds with him and tells him she'll help him with his problem of being sent away to a deservingly reform school if she get five people to come together to help her get back to where she was at.  WTF?  Yup she basically told him that she would keep his psycho ass out of teenage prison. But while she was hoping he would find people, she put out a you tube video to recruit on her own.  Of the million + mentally disturbed people who access the internet,  She got her 5.  Including the bully.  This is where we start seeing the life of OA.  

She tells her new founded team, in her previous life.  She was a barons daughter until she died in a school bus accident with  other children of the Russian Oligarchy.   When she died she had a choice to came back without the ability to see or stay within the mysterious realm she was in without suffering.  She returned and her father sent her away to a blind boarding school with her aunt because of the danger of her father's enemies.  OA stays with her aunt until her father presumably disappears and now her aunt gets no more money to protect her and keep her with the very expensive boarding school.  OA becomes the blind servant of her aunt at this house of ill repute.  Not longer after her arrival, an older couple adopts her and the little blind girl is brought  into a better life than living in a whore house with baby producing prostitutes.  Luckily we don't get into these details of her life and the going ons with the house.  Not really relevant to the story.  But while OA's life is being changed, from one household to another.   She has these night terrors and dreams of her past life and premonitions.  She wakes up with these random nose bleeds and in her mind.  These dreams are telling her that she needs to get back to her father.  When she gets older she dreams of meeting her father in this mysterious place while she is playing her violin.  She takes these visions and leaves her home and believes she is to meet up with her father in New york.  He doesn't show up and she feels if she plays her music in the subway.  Her father will return to her.  But there is a man that finds her.  A doctor that has been studying exceptional people who has had experienced with near death experiences.  He seduces her and this mad doctor captures her and brings her to an isolated place where she is with other people who had near death experiences (NDE) like her.  The story shifts to showing the relationships of these 4 but eventual 5 people in these glass cages and how they are being tested to figure out the secret to life after death.  It gets weird and we find that this maniac doctor is killing them over and over to see their reactions to gain insight to the experience.  The one thing OA does show us is,  she has an interaction with someone when she is dead which causes her to make a decision to go back to the world or stay with her and not suffer again.  With all of this being said.  She is telling this to her 5 band of misfits so they can learn the 5 movements to transition to another dimension where she believes her friends she was held as a prisoner are still being held.

Whew, that was a mouth full.  Not quite like stranger things, a little of Christopher Nolan's "The prestige and a touch of (my opinion) "12 monkeys" series.  Its not a wow you series that keeps you totally engaged or so mysterious it works your left and right brain.  Its interesting and very unique.  Lots of plot holes and vague interpretations of things that occurred but I will say a very interesting series.  Their is a lot more that went on that will get you to disengage or become more engaged.  Thats up to you.  I thought it was pretty good but not sure if season 2 will have something for me to continue watching it.  i will say, the 5 misfit characters had some interesting story lines as well.  They didn't touch them too much besides the psycho bully but good enough to see them more than just extras.  Worth seeing? I think it is, especially with the shows out now trying to be clones of each other.  sad, thoughtful and above all interesting.