I am absolutely fascinated by The OA cancellation, mostly because fans have gone to LENGTHS to persuade Netflix to bring it back. Petitions? Yes. Giant billboards in Times Square? Yes. Flash mobs right outside Netflix HQ? Yes.
Netflix cancelled the magic dancing show earlier this month after two seasons on the streaming giant and fans were fucking pissed. If you’re not familiar with The OA and want a one-sentence summary, it’s not going to happen. And I don’t think it’s quite possible either because it’s so… let’s say layered. I watched season 1 and did not like it… very much. It just wasn’t my thing. But a lot of people really, really loved it.
At the time, Netflix didn’t quite give a reason to cancel the show. In a statement to Variety, vice president of original programming Cindy Holland said Netflix is “incredibly proud of the 16 mesmerising chapters of The OA, and are grateful to Brit (Marling) and Zal (Batmanglij) for sharing their audacious vision and for realising it through their incredible artistry.”
Initially, fans were 14/10 convinced the cancellation was part of a massive marketing stunt for season 3 but it seems unlikely at this point.
As seen on Twitter, fans pitched in for – I assume – expensive as hell billboards in Times Square. They read #SaveTheOA and “We Will Not Give Up On You.”
The OA stans bought a billboard in Times Square… v casual https://t.co/1oZ1TdD6M1
— rachel handler (@rachel_handler) August 26, 2019
Fans have also been performing the Five Movements together across the world. The dance sequence has the power to heal and transport you to a different dimension. And depending on you who ask, it also stopped a school shooting at the end of season 1.
According to one particular Facebook event, fans organised two flash mobs in one day – one in Times Square and another in front of Netflix’s office in New York.
There’s also a website by fans for fans called www.theOAisreal.com. It houses a “Why The OA Matters” section, if you’re interested.
In response, lead star and co-creator Marling said she’s “humbled” and “floored” by the outpouring of supporting.
“Your words and images move us deeply. Not because the show must continue, but because for some people its unexpected cancellation begs larger questions about the role of storytelling and its fate inside late capitalism’s push toward consolidation and economies of scale.
… Steve, BBA, Buck, Jesse, French, Homer, Hap and OA are no longer authoring the story. Neither are Zal and I. You all are. You are standing on the street corners in the hot sun in protest. You are meeting new people in strange recesses online and sharing stories about loss and renewal that you never thought you’d tell anyone. You are learning choreography and moving in ways you haven’t dared moved before. All of it is uncomfortable. All of it is agitation. All of it is worth something.
Whether or not Netflix decides to save the show / another network picks it up remains to be seen.