The OA: Homecoming
December 16, 2016 4:12 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

A woman missing for seven years turns up at a hospital with strange scars on her back but can't--or won't--reveal where she's been.
posted by oh yeah! (21 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was kinda creeped out by Steve's sex scene & nudity once the show revealed the character is a high school student. And by the 'he's a violent bully because he's so sensitive' or whatever that 'the OA' was saying during the parent-teacher conference. But I am curious to see where this is going, and the visuals in the Russian segment at the end were gorgeous.

(Not sure how soon I'll be able to binge/post the remaining 7 episodes - busy in the kitchen for the rest of the evening, and may be out of the apartment all day tomorrow depending on how the weather goes. But I will get them posted over the next few days if no one else beats me to it.)
posted by oh yeah! at 4:48 PM on December 16, 2016

Yeah, the parent-teacher scene threw me a bit as well. It's the raging violent bully who needs the teacher's support and sympathy rather than the gay victim who was sent to the hospital? I realize Prairie had an agenda there and was essentially doing whatever it took to manipulate the teacher into doing what she wanted but... still gave me the heebie jeebies.

But I'll keep watching because overall it was quite interesting and I really like Brit Marling.

Oh, I also had to get over the fact that I know how old Brit Marling is and thus how old she would have been 7 years ago when her character was kidnapped, but her character is supposed to be, what, 10 years younger than Brit Marling? Which is no big deal but took a minute.
posted by Justinian at 11:26 PM on December 16, 2016

Ok, I guess I got the wrong impression about how old Prairie was when she disappeared from the first episode. She seems to have been a touch older.
posted by Justinian at 12:20 AM on December 17, 2016

Well the first episode had a darkness to it that I don't find entertaining. The parents creep me out. They seem caring but in a, I'm going to smother you to death kind of way. I felt much more drawn to the other four kids than the main characters.

I have to confess to watching the next episode but will wait for that discussion.
posted by cairnoflore at 12:37 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not what I should watch when I wake up thirsty.

I think reality will catch up with ambition.

Rich people send their under-tended kids to Asheville all the time. Mountain air, mountain Xanax, mountain heroin. Nice to see it mentioned as a threat.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 12:42 AM on December 17, 2016

Roomie and I thought it was an overlong and uninvolving prologue, taking way too long to start telling its story while trying to build suspense by withholding information and using ooh-creepy music. FWIW, we watched the first 30 minutes of the next episode before turning it off out of boredom. I'll be reading episode comments here to see if it gets any better, but we were particularly underwhelmed by the way the show started.
posted by mediareport at 6:21 AM on December 17, 2016

The first 30 minutes are CW level drama with nudity. I was similarly unimpressed. The second half is... very interesting. Visually inventive and mysterious in a good way. Makes me wonder if that first half isn't intentionally bland.
posted by codacorolla at 2:29 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

It gets better.
posted by k8t at 11:54 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

The much delayed opening credits gives the impression of a game.
I was expecting it to say Rockstar Presents...
posted by fullerine at 4:35 PM on December 18, 2016

Hey, Reader, I might be you from the future.

Feel free to give the show a shot, but that moment you will feel, that moment of doubt where you're like "Hrm, should I keep watching this series?" turn off the TV. If you never hit that point, great, but if you do, save yourself the time.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:20 AM on December 19, 2016 [6 favorites]

I loved this show! The production is so tightly designed. And I like the mystery they're setting up, or rather the form of it. Story-telling, not spooky jump scares or grand operatic action. There's some rough edges but I'm going to stick with it, mostly on the strength of this newspaper review (mild spoilers) which promises it pays off at the end.
posted by Nelson at 7:34 AM on December 19, 2016

Speaking as someone who did find the show emotionally satisfying, I think that review oversells the idea that the story pays off. I think anyone who goes into this expecting a solution-to-the-mystery kind of ending is going to be disappointed.

This show is a river of woo, and you will be swimming against the current if you watch it trying to piece clues together.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:52 AM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah. No. Look.

I'm sorry, but that whole "Steve is a bully because his teacher doesn't care enough to help" thing is just such an odious crock of absolute festering bullshit that I was exercising some serious self-control not to snap my iPad in two.

Just scratching the surface:

- Kids who punch other kids in the throat do not belong in school with non-throat-punching kids.
- A teacher's job is to teach, not to heal the psychic scars of narcissistic psychopaths.
- "Steve needs your help and that other kid doesn't" is, again, odious horseshit. The teacher's job is to teach. Presumably things that all the kids need to know in order to pursue college or whatever they want to pursue. Which they can't do if they're getting punched in the throat by a psychopath.
- It's okay to discipline repeatedly violent offenders without being accused of just not caring.
- Did I mention that a teacher's job is to teach, and the entire offloading of any form of parental responsibility on underpaid civil servants who get blamed when they don't "care enough" to magically heal the sociopaths with clinically actionable mental problems is a degrading factor on all of society?

I'm on the fence about still watching; this episode has forced me to swallow a pill of happy hippie horseshit the size of a baby's arm and I seriously doubt the writers who shat out this steaming turd of teacher-hating, evil-justifying crapulence have anything to say that's worth my time to listen to.
posted by Shepherd at 2:57 PM on December 19, 2016 [8 favorites]

I don't think we're meant to see the story with the teacher and Steve as a good outcome. It's a hideous thing The OA has done. I think the filmmakers wanted us to think it was awful. (I say this with no specific knowledge of future episodes.)
posted by Nelson at 3:35 PM on December 19, 2016 [7 favorites]

Right, I got through that by constantly reminding myself that the OA was simply trying to manipulate the teacher into doing what the OA wanted. Not laying some Truth down on her.
posted by Justinian at 6:05 PM on December 19, 2016 [6 favorites]

Agreed that we're supposed to see through her bullshit even though the teacher didn't.

I took it as a glimpse of what she was fed when she was... well, wherever she was. She's compelling.

See also the flip to Russia. That was a wondrous pivot that will keep me watching for at least a few more episodes.
posted by mountmccabe at 11:39 PM on December 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

the OA says in the show that she didn't know that Steve was violent. When she found out, she practically screamed at him, "You punched him in the throat! You didn't tell me that!". I think Steve withheld information from her, or at least only gave his perception of the truth - that he's just a kid who has no one on his side, ever. That's at least how he described himself to his parent.

I had no problem with that scene, I think it was meant to show how detached from this life she is-she's dedicated to whatever there was before, and Homer.

I did have a problem with the "emotional" scene where the OA was crying at the computer, missing Homer. and the video of Homer was just some average, extremely white bread teenager talking about football. I found it hard to connect with her pain then, or feel at anything at all towards Homer.
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:56 AM on December 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

I also found it drawn out: watched the first 45 minutes or so alone, then summed it up to my husband in literally 3 sentences. It's visually interesting but takes a lot of time to get to the next part of the story. I'll be watching because I'm intrigued by where it's going, and the credits almost at the end was a nice touch, like this is where the story really begins.
posted by tracicle at 11:40 PM on December 23, 2016

I had no problem at all with the parent teacher conference scene. It seemed very clear that the OA wasn't expressing a sincere opinion that Steve should be more of a priority than the kid he'd bullied; she was just looking for a thread she could pull on that would elicit the response she needed. What's more, as other have pointed out, the followup scene where she takes Steve to task for not telling her he'd been violent, made her real feelings clear.

Count me in too as a huge fan of the greatly delayed credits and Doctor Zhivago-esque tone flip three quarters of the way through.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:11 AM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Just finished binging the show. I have to say, Netflix has upended the way we should watch shows, especially when the entire season is available.

There's no typical pilot, so you should only start a show after you've gotten word that you should watch the whole season/series. This is one of those shows. Without much spoiler I researched it before I started and I got enough info that I knew I would love it.So many things are only significant or comprehensible once you've absorbed the show as a whole, especially OA's pain towards missing Homer, and Steve's beginnings of the story.

For those that are hesitant, if you like sci-fi with imaginative story telling and visuals and quirky yet easily-emotionally-invested characters, with a heavy does of wtf, this is a show for you.
posted by numaner at 7:59 AM on January 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

Ok. I'm definitely late to this party, as we tried to start this series just last night. I say "tried" because we couldn't even make it half-way through the first episode before we "noped" out of it. We've seen it on our Netflix feed for ages, but never got around to giving it a view. I kind of wish we hadn't.

Though the show kept adamantly insisting on going nowhere, we stayed with it up until we hit the scene with the school bully and his not-a-girlfriend boning, and then he punches the wall after she leaves. We both looked at each other and just agreed that this was not a character we had any interest in seeing any more of, ever. So, we bailed. We probably would have kept with it a bit more, but that character absolutely poisoned the well for us.

I dunno...Maybe it gets a lot better. The Prairie character seems like she should have a lot of potential, but it felt like she was being played as an empty shell, but without any hint of there being anything else there. A shame, really.

Also...She couldn't just ask mom or dad for the wifi password? Really?

We both love good, quirky sci-fi a lot (sci-fi makes up the majority of what we stream) but this didn't strike us as particularly good or quirky. Sorry.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:45 AM on September 8, 2019

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