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Netflix’s Surprise-Drop Original Series “The OA” Looks Like This Year’s Winter Mystery

Creators Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij move from Sundance sensations to their own original series.

Netflix’s Surprise-Drop Original Series “The OA” Looks Like This Year’s Winter Mystery

WHAT: The first trailer for Netflix’s The OA, which–surprise!–premieres on the streaming service in full on Friday.

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WHO: Brit Marling stars and co-created the series with frequent collaborator Zal Batmanglij.

WHY WE CARE: Marling and Batmanglij are an interesting duo. Their first feature, Sound Of My Voice, was a fascinating cult thriller (that is, a thriller about a cult), and the follow-up, 2013’s The East, explored conspiracies and underground organizations in a way that had all of the slick, glossy feel of a big-budget Hollywood thriller even as it tackled the sort of story that Hollywood doesn’t tend to touch. So we’ve been waiting for a while to see what they do next–and with the surprise announcement that their Netflix series is ready and premiering in eight episodes on Friday, we finally have an answer. Like their previous collaborations, both share a created/written by credit, while Batmanglij directs and Marling stars. The trailer itself is fairly opaque–we know that Marling has been missing for seven years before coming home, and that those seven years raise more questions than they answer, but it’s definitely more of a “communicate the tone” sort of trailer than the “tell you what happens” kind. That’s good–with so little time between the drop of the trailer and the release of the episodes, it makes sense to preserve as much of the mystery as possible. And given how effective Netflix’s short-run series built around mystery have been–whether that’s Making A Murderer or Stranger Things–we’ll look forward to solving this one.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.

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