And I was kind of blown away. It certainly asked a lot of questions I really wanted to know the answers to, and for a first episode that’s exactly what you need. I loved the existential elements, too. That’s one of the things I liked best about the show.
The problem is, the show never lives up to its pilot. It’s consistently good, and the intrigue stays strong, but it’s just never great. A lot of the answers to the questions it asked previously left me a little underwhelmed. If I’m getting specific, the means by which the OA and the others opened a portal to another dimension (a pretty interesting idea) was through… expressive dance? I got over my initial bewilderment, and I entertained the idea, despite the fact that I think something else would've been far better, but when it culminated in the final episode, the whole concept stunned me again and I was kind of sat there like… really? That’s the big climax? And it’s a shame, because up until the last half hour of the show, it had been a pretty good ride, and if it had ended with an epic shocking climax, I probably would be singing its praises right now, rather than waving my hands in a so-so manner.
After the first episode, I would’ve jumped to recommend the show to someone, but now I would tell them to take or leave it. It’s the prime example of turning a great premise into something… not so great. It had its good points, though. Until the ending, the OA had some good developments, and the characterisation was pretty good. The group of unlikely friends in modern day made for a nice union, and I liked the suggested emotions of her parents, and their disconnection with their foster daughter.
The acting was generally really good. Prairie was exceptional, and I quite enjoyed the character of Steve, if a little cliche: the big bad bully with a lot of feeling. I feel like I’m not giving the show its credit for everything it did well, because there were some really interesting plot points, and developments, but impressions are always influenced the most by the ending, and so unfortunately my greater opinion had been tainted by that climax.
My thoughts around this are a little all over the place - from great awe, to a consistent sense of content, to disappointment. There are many plot holes and things that don’t add up, even when you discount the dance and the ending. It was a good watch for the most part,though, but not enough to write home about. It had a lot of potential but unfortunately it didn’t quite deliver on it.