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Author Topic: [netflix] The OA + Other Recent Sci-Fi shows  (Read 539 times)
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rittchard
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« on: December 22, 2016, 05:56:35 PM »

You may have noticed a slew of short "series" on Netflix the last few weeks.  I have no idea why they are suddenly throwing so many out there, some with very little fanfare, but it's hard to know which are worth the effort, especially when you have like 30 hours of backlog on your regular DVR  icon_wink

Anyway, I took a chance on The OA and was really surprised.  I didn't read up much on it at all, and I think that's the best way to go into it.  I felt like I was constantly being surprised and unable to predict where the show was heading.  Admittedly it's a pretty weird show for lack of a better word, and I hesitate to recommend it on some level.  It's certainly not "fun" in the way Stranger Things was, but does have some of the vibe of that show and perhaps Sense 8.  Ultimately I thought it was still worth mentioning because I found it so completely riveting in parts, but for difficult to describe reasons.

The basic premise, and I won't divulge more than what I saw in the info, is that a blind girl returns home after being missing for 7 years, but can now see.  That's really just the tip of the iceberg for the show, and it goes all sorts of directions, and apparently is filled with lots of interesting puzzles or clues in the background if you are up for that kind of thing (I missed all of that and still enjoyed it).  

So if you're looking for something kind of different this holiday season, give it a whirl and let me know what you think.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 07:31:08 PM by rittchard » Logged
ericb
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2016, 04:50:08 PM »

It's good...and I'm actually enjoying Travelers as well.  Less puzzles and twisty, more straight sci-fi.  I actually watch Netflix more than anything else lately.
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whiteboyskim
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2016, 11:52:33 PM »

Quote from: ericb on December 23, 2016, 04:50:08 PM

I actually watch Netflix more than anything else lately.

Man, no kidding. I snagged the HBO app on sling.tv just to watch Game of Thrones, but now the wife uses it for movies and I'm back to burning through the NF catalog. Seriously, why watch network TV anymore?
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2016, 01:13:06 AM »

Between Netflix and Amazon Prime, I'm covered.  And add in HBO when the new GoT season hits...
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rittchard
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2016, 06:32:20 PM »

Quote from: ericb on December 23, 2016, 04:50:08 PM

It's good...and I'm actually enjoying Travelers as well.  Less puzzles and twisty, more straight sci-fi.  I actually watch Netflix more than anything else lately.

Thanks for the tip on Travelers, I'm pretty hooked about 8 episodes in now.
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2016, 01:53:00 PM »

I knew nothing about The OA when I started watching it, so there were no expectations to exceed or dash.  My friends had never even heard of it, so I decided to chronicle my impressions of each episode via text message.

My friends were unsure if they were going to watch the show themselves, so these are spoiler tagged for length only.

Episode 1

Spoiler for Hiden:
Quote from: Me
Now I'm watching the first episode of The OA.  It's unremittingly weird so far.


45 minutes later

Quote from: Me
I have just the barest idea of what this is about.


Quote from: Friend
The OA?


Quote from: Me
Yes.  I won't share my guess in case you haven't finished the premiere, but beyond the premise there are lots of odd choices.


Quote from: Friend
Never heard of it.


Quote from: Me
Well, I was wrong anyway.  I'll try to watch the second episode tomorrow.



Episode 2

Spoiler for Hiden:
Quote from: Me
Okay, beyond the general oddness of the story, a character just commented on the vivid blueness of The OA's eyes.  They are plainly green.  Why is that in here?


Quote from: Friend
Hahaha apparently just to mess with ya.


45 minutes later

Quote from: Me
Things can be weird because they're incompetent, masking a dearth of interesting ideas, genuinely doing something original, or just for the sake of being weird.  I still don't know which one of these I'm watching.

Polygon posted an article headlined, "The OA's finale is problematic, disrespectful, and a perfect example of bad television."  Can't wait to see more!


The next day

Quote from: Me
{FRIEND 2} pointed out that the adult version of The OA does have blue eyes; the girl who plays the younger version has green.  Maybe they intended to have her wear colored contacts and she couldn't?  But then, why do so many closeups of her eyes right after that line?  I think I dislike this show.

I won't be able to watch another episode of The OA today.  Went to see Rogue One instead.



Episode 3

Spoiler for Hiden:
Quote from: Me
I'm going to watch the third episode of The OA now.  It's got Rosalind Chao, so that's a good start.


1 hour later

Quote from: Me
Not enough Rosalind Chao.  Lots of OA.



Episode 4

Spoiler for Hiden:
Quote from: Me
One of the characters in The OA is watching Stranger Things on their television.  Never embed a good show inside your pretentious show.


One day later

Quote from: Me
By the way, I hope you're not showing your family The OA.  Don't do that to them.  Not on Christmas.


Quote from: Friend
Lol.  Nope I'm not.



Episode 5

Spoiler for Hiden:
Quote from: Me
Now it's time for the fifth episode of The OA.


3 hours later

Quote from: Me
Turns out my prediction from the very first episode actually was correct.  It's just taken this long to come out because this show has the forward momentum of a balled up tissue.  The plot advancements are unrelated to character decisions and the central mystery is a complete fraud.  But time for bed....



Episodes 6 & 7

Note: this section does include some plot details.  Do not read it if you intend to watch the series. 

Spoiler for Hiden:
Quote from: Me
It's possible that the next time we speak, I will spend entirely too much time complaining about The OA.  I just can't think of another show that exuded so much undeserved self-confidence.

The OA and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend each star the woman who created, produced, and served as lead writer for the series.  The difference is that where Crazy Ex is self-aware and occasionally reflective to the brink of becoming autobiographical, The OA is positively basking in how Deep & Meaningful it is.

If you're ever filling every creative role on a production, don't write yourself a bunch of special powers and profound insights so everyone becomes mesmerized by how awesome you are.  Under the best of circumstances, it's still going to feel like a big ego stroke.  And these aren't the best of circumstances.

I can't believe there's another episode of this.  It makes me so angry, I think I'll go talk a drug addict into turning his life around through my otherworldly empathy, then knit together someone's spinal cord with the power of interpretive dance.  God, I'm so enigmatic; someone give me a signing bonus!


Quote from: Friend 3
What the hell is the OA?


Quote from: Me
The OA is a Netflix original series in which Brit Marling plays Cosmically Awesome Brit Marling, the ethereal blind woman with blue eyes which are sometimes green when she forgets to put in contacts, who doesn't have to answer questions from the FBI if she doesn't feel like it, and also isn't blind.  She knows what darkness lurks in the hearts of men, shapes your dreams like taffy, and can hear people scream in space.  When Aliens fight Predators, she wins, and she isn't afraid of Virginia Woolf even a little.


Quote from: Friend 3
Well that cleared it all up! biggrin


I'm about to watch the first season finale right now.  It's the episode Polygon called "problematic, disrespectful, and a perfect example of bad television."  Let's see how it goes.
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rittchard
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2017, 01:12:35 AM »

lol AA, thanks for the impressions.  While I usually get really annoyed with shows that overly pretentious or self serving, this one really didn't bother me.  I think it has a bit to do with how little I knew about it and how quickly I watched it (3 days I think).  I rarely go into a show with zero expectations, but this one I did and I think that helped.  If I had read some of the info I later saw, or even known it was written and produced by the lead star (I didn't pay attention to the credits), that probably would have changed the way I thought about it.

For me, what worked for the show was the disruption between episode to episode, which I suppose normally would have really bothered me.  I felt like Ep 1 was taking the show a certain direction and then suddenly Ep 2 went completely sideways from my expectation.  And then Ep 3 seemed like it was the start of a completely different type of show.  The middle episodes were more linear and flowed faster, but then the finale was kind of a letdown. 

Ultimately though, I think the shallow part of me was just into a number of the boys in the show, lol, and that was more than enough to keep me interested.
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MonkeyFinger
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2017, 02:53:33 PM »

Just watched the 3rd episode last night and I'm not sure what to think, especially if the finale is all those things the Polygon article mentions. Out of curiosity, do they ever explain what "The OA" means? I have a guess but it's not really based on anything so far other than... guessing.
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rittchard
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2017, 06:44:21 PM »

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on January 03, 2017, 02:53:33 PM

Just watched the 3rd episode last night and I'm not sure what to think, especially if the finale is all those things the Polygon article mentions. Out of curiosity, do they ever explain what "The OA" means? I have a guess but it's not really based on anything so far other than... guessing.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Not really a spoiler but I'm pretty sure someone calls her "Original Angel" - maybe herself.  There might be other things as well.
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MonkeyFinger
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2017, 02:19:20 PM »

Thanks, missed that... or haven't heard it yet. Was beat last night and fell asleep trying to watch episode 4.  icon_neutral
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-craig

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rittchard
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2017, 07:30:43 PM »

I just finished watching all 10 episodes of Beyond, which was recently released on Freeform (formerly ABC family).  It's an interesting contrast show, with a similar premise (12 year old boy wakes up from 12 year coma... changed), but much less pretentious than The OA.  Unfortunately, it also comes across kind of cheesy in parts, and some of the acting is cringe-worthy.  But it features multiple hot young actors and actresses plus some interesting special effects (used sparingly).  Pretty fun binge with a satisfying conclusion that sets up a second season; it actually took me away from finishing Travelers.
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whiteboyskim
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2017, 02:37:33 PM »

Dammit AA, now I have another show I have to watch if only to snicker and snark at. Thanks.
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rittchard
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2017, 09:45:23 PM »

Just finished Travelers last night, the finale was fun and I really hope they continue with a second season.  12 eps was OK but I was just getting into the characters and relationship dynamics, they really could have used at least a 16 episode run.
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ravenvii
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2017, 04:19:27 AM »

Finished The 3% last night. Was enjoyable, I thought. Wouldn't mind watching a second season if they do renew it.
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