/ tv

The Original Asshole

Just a real quick breakdown of why The OA pisses me off so much:

First: Who the fuck thought the Steve storyline was an acceptable thing to write, perform, and put on screens? Literally it goes: He assaults a kid, the teacher wants to kick him out of school, and then The OA goes and persuades the teacher that Steve is the real victim and the teacher has failed by giving up on him. And the teacher fucking believes her, because twee white lady magic or whatever. ::wanking gesture::

Imagine if there were an actual situation where you had someone violently assaulting other students. Would you consider the noble response to be "oh but we have to teach them, not their victims." Would that be acceptable to you in any universe as a parent, teacher, or student? I just...FFS.

Not to mention that we live in a time when, in reality, students of color are increasingly criminalized. If you wanted to tell a story about getting a teacher to protect a "problem" student, why not look at the fucking school-to-prison-pipeline?

Second: The main story literally consists of people who are held captive by a serial killer being persuaded not to kill their captor and escape but instead to participate increasingly enthusiastically in his fucked up murder experiments.

W H A T T H E F U C K ?

The OA basically just goes around gaslighting everyone into doing the exact opposite of the right thing in every situation. What an asshole. (Hence the show's title, The Original Asshole.)

(This extends right up to the finale, where a school shooter appears out of nowhere, and all the protagonists deploy...interpretive dance. Because they're gullible idiots and The OA is an asshole.)

Third: All the non-white representation is eyeroll-tacular. It's like they fucking went, "hey we need this script to be more woke,what types should we add?"

Fourth: New Age otherworldliness is gross. The consistent theme of The Original Asshole is that instead of taking concrete,appropriate action in the world, people should withdraw from the world, literally into another fucking dimension.

I'm not an anti-religion or anti-spirituality person, but white New Age bullshit can go fuck itself forever, and this show is exactly why. It's all about how you should react to shitty situations by escaping inward, not by doing...anything...for anyone...ever, in reality. This shit is so painfully white. This is why I hate the yoga-industrial complex.

Mind you, you can tell meaningful stories that hinge upon surrealism/unrealism/fabulism/fantasy/etc. They Might Be Giants (the movie, not the band) is a great example. It's about how people become drawn into a man's insane fantasy -- but it works because that fantasy has something to say about contemporary culture and society. Its otherworldliness is a kind of rebellion, not withdrawal.

The closest thing I've seen to The Original Asshole is Lady in the Water, which, unlike most people, I actually liked. It's got many problems, but its characters take action and the arc into otherworldliness bends back into the concrete. (And its clever weirdness is much better executed than The OA's.)