The New Religion of The OA

Kristin Devine

Kristin has humbly retired as Ordinary Times' friendly neighborhood political whipping girl to focus on culture and gender issues. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of

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12 Responses

  1. veronica d says:

    I recall liking the first season, although I watched a while back and don’t remember the details. (I have ADHD memory, so I mostly drift in vague impressions of the past.)

    I recall liking how the presented the trans-masc character. He was clearly dealing with gender identity issues, but he felt neither like “cis people preaching about trans stuff,” nor like the sexual preoccupations of cis people being expressed through fictional trans people, neither of which really work.

    (After a bit of Googling, it turns out they hired an actual trans-dude to play the part, which probably has a lot to do with it — inasmuch as an actor can bring their life experience to the role, and perhaps give feedback to the writers. Anyway, yay!)

    I should catch season 2. Maybe I can convince my gf to give it a shot this weekend.Report

    • atomickristin in reply to veronica d says:

      YES that’s exactly what I liked about it. I really thought it was well done. I also liked the nature of the relationship between the trans person and the gay man, in that they weren’t assumed to be natural allies or best buds (I find there to be an assumption with cis people that gay and trans interests are always fully aligned)

      Thanks for reading and I hope you swing by to tell me what you thought after Season 2. 🙂Report

  2. George Turner says:

    Season 2 starts with quite a jump and it takes and episode or two to get re-anchored, and that works really well for the viewer.

    The OA’s writers are very good at crafting a fascinating story, world building, character development, and conveying it all through the intricacies of storytelling. Those are things that Hollywood has been struggling with and frequently failing at on many high profile, big budget efforts. The OA is a welcome relief for anyone whose been frustrated by shows that weren’t well thought out, were poorly executed, or were just the same-old thing churned out by a low-rent script factory.Report

    • atomickristin in reply to George Turner says:

      Agreed, and so my caveat is that people shouldn’t go in expecting something like the mainstream. Many people who hated the show were just expecting something different, I think. (which is on Netflix for maybe not marketing it as they should have)Report

  3. Marchmaine says:

    Ok, so they had a complete thought and executed their (weird) vision to conclusion?

    I’d give that a look – I’m a bit burnt out on the whole, “Hey, we’ve got deep metaphysical thoughts that are also 100% driven by internet fan [dis-]service” people (we know who they are).

    In the end the Gnosticism of the Matrix was pretty syrupy… but hey, at least its an ethos.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Marchmaine says:

      I would liken The OA to Stranger Things, but without the retro settings, kitschy gimmicks, giant monsters, and irritating childhood behavior. Looking back on them, I’d say The OA was a much better show.

      The OA has at least one more season coming, but it does such a wonderful job of wrapping things up, while leaving some questions to ponder on, that I wasn’t even foreseeing a second season, a season which turned out to be deeper and more interesting than the first.Report

    • atomickristin in reply to Marchmaine says:

      If it had been that (preaching the fanservice of the Internet) I’d not have liked it (and my husband is super sensitive to that and would never have kept watching)

      It is like a vision, of something, not sure if it’s just fiction or if there’s an underlying philosophy to it…but ~I~ saw a philosophy/worldview there that appealed to me even if the creators weren’t intending that. 🙂 thanks for reading.Report

      • George Turner in reply to atomickristin says:

        What I liked was that it was not a very familiar plot or theme.

        It reminds me somewhat of Peter F Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn Trilogy, an epic space opera that includes all the usual bits about star ships, planetary colonies, space habitats, and AI, but centered on an unusual premise for sci fi.

        *Night’s Dawn spoilers ahead*

        Biblical Hell for evil people is a real, a function of thermodynamics and entropy.

        In the books, an odd multi-dimensional alien species encountering a human during a homicide and accidentally opened a gateway to Hell that let the condemned souls spread and take over like a zombie virus, but with crazy energistic powers. Most of them, being largely psychopaths, couldn’t organize themselves very well, but some, like Al Capone, were natural planners and organizers. The result is lots of fascinating fun as a highly advanced humanity wrestles with fundamental questions that they have trouble believing, much less understanding.

        * end spoilers *

        I also felt superficial similarities between The OA and Altered States (1980).Report

  4. Vikram Bath says:

    >The Lady or the Tiger

    The Raymond Smullyan book? Or another one? I hope it’s the Smullyan one. Or maybe I don’t because it means I have something else important to readReport