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Origin - Season One - Advance Preview: Stunning New Series

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Almost every streaming service has moved to creating original content. While YouTube, through its YouTube Originals production house, has been turning out original series’ for a couple years now they’ve been on the low end of the quality spectrum. They’ve been in a process of slowly building up the quality of their productions, and haven’t had anything really notable to get people talking about their service. That is, until this year, with the arrival of hits like Step Up High Water, the immediate fan favorite Cobra Kai, and the first extremely popular genre series, Impulse. The service delivered three big new noteworthy shows back-to-back and started to make themselves serious competitors in the streaming realm of original content.

YouTube Originals is set to release sci-fi series Origin on November 14th and it is poised to be the best series yet released by the fledgling service. This one could put them on the map. The visuals are something unlike anything that has ever been seen on a mainstream or streaming series to date. The cinematography of this series is something one can only expect to see in a major motion picture. The series itself is a bit of Lost meets Alien and it more than lives up to the privilege of being compared to those two entities. It is the sort of sci-fi action-adventure series that fans of the genre have been waiting far too long for.

The series was created by relative newcomer Mika Watkins and if Origin is any indication she is going to be a force to be reckoned with in this industry. The very talented Paul W.S. Anderson sets the tone of the series through his brilliant direction of the first two episodes. Origin smartly touts an impressive, multi-national cast of well-known performers and newcomers that makes it feel more real to life. The cast is a melting pot which is exactly what the world today is and it is refreshing to see a series that embraces that reality. These characters are flawed and imperfect yet they learn to work and survive together under the most tedious of situations. The series has been billed with Natalia Tena (Lana) and Tom Felton (Logan) as the series leads, but they are just two parts of a large ensemble.

Felton’s Logan is a character that is easy to dislike but there ends up being more to him than meets the eye. Tena’s Lana is one of the first two characters the audience meets and she harbors her own set of traumatic issues that when revealed at the end of the second episode will leave the audience stunned. Then there is Shun, the character that kicks off the series, played by newcomer Sen Mitsuji who may very well end up being the breakout star of the series. He holds his own against seasoned vets as his character takes charge. Shun brings with him an extremely troubled past that he is luckily able to use as a benefit in this situation he finds himself in.

That’s a bit of the theme of this group of characters, they are all troubled in one way or another just looking to start over on a promised utopian new world. There are conflicting personalities that lead one to wonder how this group is ever going to learn to survive together. Some friendships do form pretty quickly and it’ll be interesting to see how they evolve throughout the run of the series. The group as a whole goes through an extremely traumatic experience early on that starts the process of forcing them to start learning to work together. There are enough big personalities in this group to serve up multiple seasons of great storytelling.

There are big surprises and some startling scares in the first episodes. The series is very Lost-like in that it employs flashbacks to allow the audience to get to know who the characters were back on Earth. Unlike Lost, however, at least so far, the flashbacks are far more linear and easier to follow. Origin has a complex mythology and a very well thought out story that ensures there is never a dull moment. This is a very engaging series that rapidly becomes addictive. If this series was on standard television with a week-to-week release schedule it is the sort of series that would drive the audience crazy waiting for more. Thankfully YouTube Premium does a full season drop so set aside ten hours to sit back and binge this highly addictive series.

YouTube usually releases the first episode of its originals to the main platform and Origin takes full advantage of that by ending the first episode on a surprisingly tense cliffhanger. Those who already subscribe won’t be able to click on the next episode fast enough and those that don’t subscribe will be left with the ever familiar question of whether to subscribe or not. Origin is set to cap off a stellar year for YouTube Originals allowing YouTube Premium to finally have some amazing content to brag about. Origin is a series that can’t be recommended highly enough. With the addition of this series, YouTube Premium is finally a service that can be recommended as a must have subscription. If you aren't already a subscriber to the service then consider becoming one so as to not miss out on this stunning new series.

Origin launches on YouTube Premium on Wednesday, November 14th.

Hit the comments with your thoughts on the series. Will it be enough to make you subscribe to YouTube Premium? Have you ever heard about the series before now? Are you excited about it? What do you hope to see the series tackle?

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