Recap: The OA

Episode 1 “Homecoming”

SPOILERS

What is The OA? A better question is who? Netflix’s new original show promises a sci-fi and fantasy mix that should appeal to fans of The Returned or Stranger Things. The OA pulses with a quiet intensity, which may not be for everyone. An unidentified woman (Brit Marling) is caught on a cell phone jumping off a bridge. She later wakes in a hospital, and is identified as the missing girl, Prairie Johnson. Seven years after her disappearance, she has a strange scar on her back, mysterious powers, and isn’t blind anymore.

She refuses to tell anyone where she was, or how she got her sight back. So, her homecoming is difficult. Her parents, played by Alice Krige and Scott Wilson, struggle with connecting to and protecting their daughter. Was this alien abduction, a cult, or a rift in the time-space continuum?  Prairie says she wasn’t kidnapped; she just left home one day, and was picked up by some woman. She says her jump off the bridge was an attempt to find the people who she was with. Oh yeah, she also doesn’t call herself Prairie anymore, she now goes by, The OA.

OA talks vaguely of this dimension’s sickness and being true to your invisible self. Which seems mysterious for the sake of it. While referring to yourself as an entity is a little annoying, Marling is assured and not overly delicate. Thankfully, The OA doesn’t dwell in the mystery of the premise too long. As soon as she meets the local teenage bully/sociopath-in-training Steve (Patrick Gibson), she recruits him, and four other people, to help her find someone named Homer Roberts. But first, she tells a story.

oa

OA was not born Prairie Johnson. She was born the scion of a Russian miner. When she was seven, she, and her other rich classmates, almost drowned in a bus accident. She was saved by a woman who exists, possibly, in another dimension. In exchange for going back, the woman took young OA’s sight. Who was this woman? Who is Homer Roberts? How did young OA become Prairie Johnson?

Brit Marling, one half the show’s creator, writer, and producer, is an assured lead. And doesn’t act with any contrived fragility, kind of like a grown-up Eleven. Looking forward to uncovering the mysteries.

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Top 5 Anticipated Movies of 2017

Happy 2017!  As we leave a tumultuous 2016 behind, a look ahead to the year in movies.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (May 5)

Hooray! The gang is back for more intergalactic shenanigans. This time baby Groot joins in as Rocket’s sidekick. Plot details are still mum, but are they really necessary? Marvel’s hot streak seems unending and the stakes are relatively low for these characters. Here’s to a good time at the movies this summer!

Get Out (February 24)

 A black man (Daniel Kaluuya) meets his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) parents (played by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) in their small, racially homogenous town. Things seem alright until he meets the town’s few black residents; who act as if they’re under a trance. Get Out is the directorial debut of Key & Peele’s Jordan Peele. Check out the trailer here.

The Lego Batman Movie (February 10)

Okay, it’s mainly an attempt to sell more toys. But so was The Lego Movie. Lego Batman must take care of his new charge, Robin, while saving Lego Gotham from Lego Joker. From the trailer, it looks like the same irreverent fun as The Lego Movie. It features the voice talents of Will Arnett, Michael Cera, and Rosario Dawson.

Alien: Covenant (May 19)

While Prometheus was underwhelming, the Alien franchise remains the best in sci-fi horror. The newest entry is a sequel to Prometheus and a prequel to the 1979 Alien. A ship is stranded on the planet the Prometheus crew crash landed on, and there they discover the xenomorphs and meet the android David. Here’s a link to the redband trailer.

Blade Runner 2049 (October 6)

The long awaited sequel to the sci-fi classic has arrived. Thirty years after the first, 2049 stars Ryan Gosling as a new blade runner who unearths a secret with a devastating impact. Harrison Ford reprises his role as Deckard. The film is also is directed by Arrival helmer Denis Villeneuve, which bodes well for a thoughtful and exciting film. Check out the recently released teaser here.