The cancellation of The OA by Netflix has left both the creators and the fans in a state of disappointment and confusion. Brit Marling, the co-creator and star of the series, expressed her frustration with the business model changes at Netflix, leading to a disconnect between the show’s popularity and the decision to cancel it. Despite the widespread fanbase and international devotion to the story, Netflix did not budge on their decision to cancel the series.
Marling described the situation as a “complicated dissonance,” where she was able to witness the deep-seated devotion of fans all around the world, yet unable to provide them with the closure they desired. This created a sense of frustration and helplessness for both the creators and the fans who wanted nothing more than to see the narrative of The OA come to its intended conclusion.
While Netflix remained unmoved by pleas from fans and the show’s dedicated following, the fan base continued to express its unwavering support. The series still garners attention on Reddit, with dedicated subs discussing various elements of the show and the works of Marling and Batmanglij. Additionally, an online conference is scheduled for next March, dedicated to discussing The OA in relation to diverse topics such as Homer’s Iliad, LGBTQ+ representation, ontology, the metaverse, and dance. This highlights the undeniable impact and influence of the series, despite its cancellation.
Marisa Hates, a film scholar at the University of Brighton and one of the organizers of the upcoming OA conference, expressed her frustration with Netflix’s decision-making process. She believes that Netflix has become increasingly isolated from its viewers and series fans, leaving them in the dark about the reasons behind the cancellations of popular and innovative shows.
The impact of Netflix’s decisions on loyal viewers is a cause for concern. The perception that streamers will only focus on “good enough” shows with a decent return on investment can have a direct impact on how loyal viewers remain to the streaming platform. Marling and Batmanglij’s decision to take their new show to Hulu poses the question of whether their most devoted fans will continue to follow them, highlighting the complex interplay between creators, streaming platforms, and loyal fan bases.
As The OA fans grapple with the cancellation of the series and the uncertainties of the streaming landscape, there remains a sense of hope and trepidation about the creators’ new venture, A Murder at the End of the World. Some fans, like Paris, expressed apprehension about whether the new show would resonate with them in the same way as The OA did. However, the release of a trailer provided a glimmer of hope, igniting the “OA-ish” feeling that resonated with fans and offered a sense of familiarity in the face of the unknown.
The story of The OA serves as a reminder of the intricate dynamics at play between creators, streaming platforms, and fan communities. Despite the frustrations and disappointments, the unwavering support and dedication of The OA’s fan base are a testament to the profound impact and influence of the series. It remains to be seen how the streaming wars will continue to shape the landscape of content creation and audience engagement, but one thing is certain – the power and importance of loyal fan bases cannot be underestimated.