Netflix Sci-Fi Thriller Mystery Series Still Has Fans Craving For More

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

The mystery drama The OA is streaming on Netflix. Created by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, the series consists of two seasons, each with eight episodes. Season 1 begins with a young woman named Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling) returning to her hometown after being missing for seven years. Despite having been blind before her disappearance, she reappears with her sight restored.

Follows The Original Angel

Prairie, who now calls herself The OA (Original Angel), refuses to share details of her missing years with her adoptive parents or the authorities. Instead, she recruits five local folks to whom she reveals her story. She describes her near-death experiences and visions, which she believes led her to other dimensions.

Jason Isaacs Is The Villain, Because Of Course He Is

She was held captive by a scientist named Dr. Hap (Jason Isaacs), along with others who had near-death experiences. As the story of The OA on Netflix progresses, Prairie and her group decide to rescue those who are still being held captive by Dr. Hap’s experiments. The second season takes the story to a new dimension, where Prairie lives as wealthy Russian heiress Nina Azarova.

As Nina, The OA continues her search for the other captives and seeks to uncover the truth behind her multiple realities. Season 2 also introduces detective Karim Washington (Kingsley Ben-Adir), who is investigating the disappearance of a young woman connected to a strange house with supernatural properties.

Breaks Down The Nature Of Reality

The OA on Netflix weaves together Prairie’s journey and Karim’s investigation, leading to a climactic revelation about the nature of reality and the multiverse. Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij spent two years developing the series before Netflix picked it up. The show’s production involved extensive world-building and a commitment to maintaining its mysterious and philosophical tone.

A Hit With Critics

The series received mostly positive reviews from critics following its Netflix debut. The OA, in its entirety, currently holds an 84 percent critic and audience score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. However, the series did have some detractors who found the blend of sci-fi and supernatural elements overly ambiguous and slow-paced.

Uses Every Available Cent Of Its Production Budget

The OA showcases low-budget Netflix sci-fi at its best, using everyday suburban settings like Costco and Olive Garden to tell a compelling story. Minimal CGI is used, except for a few key scenes. Instead, the immersive experience is achieved through Brit Marling’s soothing narration, Ryan Heffington’s choreography, and Rostam Batmanglij’s enchanting theme song.

An Imperfect Cast Of Characters

At its core, The OA on Netflix highlights the importance of second chances and acceptance. The OA’s group comprises several flawed individuals from all walks of life whose imperfections make them special yet vulnerable. Prairie connects with them not because they are perfect but because of their potential to grow as a collective.

Streaming Only On Netflix

Despite its critical acclaim, The OA was canceled by Netflix after two seasons, leaving the show with a cliffhanger ending. Fans later launched a campaign to save it, including a physical performance in front of Netflix headquarters and a GoFundMe campaign for a Times Square billboard. Although a movie to provide closure was considered, the idea was ultimately scrapped by Netflix.