Available on Netflix
When The OA first came to Netflix, it was to minimal fanfare. Just as Stranger Things came to us with almost no publicity, so The OA came with a not especially informative trailer and a title and that was about it.
Then, of course, we got to watch them and marvel in projects that at times bordered on genius. The first season of The OA wasn’t exactly plain sailing or without its ups and downs, however. Indeed, it took me a little while to get through all the episodes, rather than just boxsetting them (episode reviews: 1, 2-4, 5-8).
But Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij’s story about a blind girl (Marling) who disappeared and then reappeared seven years later, her sight restored, and now claiming to be ‘The OA’ (the original angel), was nevertheless a stunningly original piece of work, unlike pretty much anything you’ll see on TV, outside David Lynch’s most auteured piece. In parts supernatural, in parts fairy tale, it was a musing on a musing on the power of storytelling – and of the need to tell stories – as well as of art, music, dance, nature, life, love, masculinity, femininity and more.
The ending, however, wasn’t so much ambiguous as diminishing, suggesting that the whole thing was just made up by The OA based on things she’d seen and read, in the style of The Usual Suspects.
Marling also suggested that she hadn’t even considered a second season and that was that for the story – until the show’s success inevitably resulted in its renewal.
A fairytale sequel
What then for season two – or Part II as it now is? How do you create a sequel to a fairy tale? And how do you do it when you no longer have the element of surprise, as you did with your first season?
As you might expect, Marling’s answer is not whatever answer you just came up with but is something staggeringly different. Indeed, there’s one key line in Part II that sums it up: “I think logic is over-rated.”
And I mean that in a good way, because in terms of ideas, I’d say Britt Marling is the closest we now have to a young, female David Lynch. Or maybe David Lynch is just the older male version of Marling.Continue reading “Boxset Monday: The OA – Part II (Netflix)”