Warning: Minor spoilers ahead for “Stranger Things” and “The OA.”
The parallels between Netflix’s two original series “The OA” and “Stranger Things” just keep piling up. The two shows feature unexpected friendships, alternate dimensions, and dodgy scientific experiments.
But there’s one super obvious nod to the summer hit “Stranger Things” tucked into the fourth episode of “The OA” — two characters are literally watching the pilot of “Stranger Things” on Netflix.
This happens in the fourth episode, “Away,” when Jesse returns home from a late-night session with the OA. His sister, Ali, is getting stoned on the couch and watching TV.
You can distinctly see Will Byers — the character in “Stranger Things” who goes missing in the first episode — on the TV in front of them. At one point you even hear the iconic ’80s synth soundtrack start to play.
Will’s disappearance to the Upside Down — a kind of alternate dimension — has parallels to OA’s near-death experience. And both shows in general have some imagery and theme parallels.
Both of the series involve women with abilities that trigger nosebleeds — Eleven always gets them after using her telekinetic powers, and the OA gets them whenever she has a premonition-like dream.
And then there’s the creepy laboratory OA is held prisoner in, just like Eleven and the telekinesis/mind-reading experiments. OA is forced to put on a special helmet that drowns her and forces her to undergo another near-death experience.
Eleven in “Stranger Things” wears a special helmet that allows her to breathe while inside a huge sensory-deprivation tank.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly one of “The OA” co-creators — Zal Batmanglij — answered a question about the connection between their show and “Stranger Things.”
EW: Did the success of “Stranger Things” make you feel like there’s an appetite for smart serialized sci-fi on Netflix — or did you feel like somebody got there first?
Batmanglij: Oh, not at all. They’re our friends and it just felt pretty natural that this would be a space that people would be creatively fulfilling and interesting, and it was proved to be true.
Netflix friendships are the best friendships, and we love the fun Easter egg born from this one between “Stranger Things” and “The OA.”
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