‘The OA’ Fans Rally To Save The Show From Netflix’s Axe With #TheOAisReal Campaign

The OA

The OA

Netflix

Once upon a time, Netflix was thought of as a pioneering streaming service that would give even the wildest, high-concept stories a chance to tell their tales. But lately, Netflix seems more concerned with becoming a more traditional cable company, relying on big hits and killing off the kind of smaller, weirder shows they were once known for.

One recent casualty of this new philosophy is The OA, a mind-bending science fiction series starring Brit Marling as a dimension-hopping figure in a story layered in mystery upon mystery.

Unfortunately for its passionate fanbase, Netflix has cancelled the series after two seasons, leaving existing fans beyond frustrated, given that the second season ended on a cliffhanger that will now, presumably, never be resolved.

This has caused fans to create a few viral campaigns. First it was #SavetheOA, now it’s #TheOAisReal. A few fans even believed that Netflix’s cancellation of the show was actually just viral marketing for the third season, given the reality-altering nature of the series. That…does not seem to be the case.

#TheOAisReal is quickly gaining steam as a top trend on Twitter, with fans flooding the site with pictures and art of Marling and other cast members, demanding answers and a conclusion to the story.

This move by Netflix also coincides with the recent report that the service is likely to cancel many series, even ones with established fanbases, after just two seasons. The reason being is that extra seasons of shows past that are unlikely to bring in new subscribers, a priority for Netflix. So if you see a lot of Netflix series being cancelled after 2-3 seasons, outside of some of its more massive hits like Stranger Things, this is why. And The OA is just another victim of that philosophy, despite marked improvements in its second season.

While I don’t have an issue with shows telling stories in just 20-30 episodes instead of needing to run for years and years, the problem is that creators are not designing these stories that way from the outset. For example, if Netflix told The OA’s creators that it would have two seasons to tell their story, they wouldn’t have ended season 2 on a cliffhanger. I would not be surprised to see more Netflix series start ending each season conclusively, as if it could be their last, for this very reason.

What happens to The OA is anyone’s guess. A few years ago, fans would have turned to Netflix to try and save a beloved cancelled sci-fi show. But times change, and so do priorities, and now it’s not clear if there’s anyone left to save The OA, or if fans will have to see its mysteries linger forever. I've asked Netflix for comment about the fate of the series, and will update when I hear back.

Update: Netflix responded with no comment other than a restatement that the show is not returning. They pointed me toward a statement from VP of Original Content Cindy Holland:

"We are incredibly proud of the 16 mesmerizing chapters of The OA, and are grateful to Brit and Zal for sharing their audacious vision and for realizing it through their incredible artistry. We look forward to working with them again in the future, in this and perhaps many other dimensions."

Follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pre-order my new sci-fi novel Herokiller, and read my first series, The Earthborn Trilogy, which is also on audiobook.

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Once upon a time, Netflix was thought of as a pioneering streaming service that would give even the wildest, high-concept stories a chance to tell their tales. But lately, Netflix seems more concerned with becoming a more traditional cable company, relying on big hits and killing off the kind of smaller, weirder shows they were once known for.

One recent casualty of this new philosophy is The OA, a mind-bending science fiction series starring Brit Marling as a dimension-hopping figure in a story layered in mystery upon mystery.

Unfortunately for its passionate fanbase, Netflix has cancelled the series after two seasons, leaving existing fans beyond frustrated, given that the second season ended on a cliffhanger that will now, presumably, never be resolved.

This has caused fans to create a few viral campaigns. First it was #SavetheOA, now it’s #TheOAisReal. A few fans even believed that Netflix’s cancellation of the show was actually just viral marketing for the third season, given the reality-altering nature of the series. That…does not seem to be the case.

#TheOAisReal is quickly gaining steam as a top trend on Twitter, with fans flooding the site with pictures and art of Marling and other cast members, demanding answers and a conclusion to the story.

This move by Netflix also coincides with the recent report that the service is likely to cancel many series, even ones with established fanbases, after just two seasons. The reason being is that extra seasons of shows past that are unlikely to bring in new subscribers, a priority for Netflix. So if you see a lot of Netflix series being cancelled after 2-3 seasons, outside of some of its more massive hits like Stranger Things, this is why. And The OA is just another victim of that philosophy, despite marked improvements in its second season.

While I don’t have an issue with shows telling stories in just 20-30 episodes instead of needing to run for years and years, the problem is that creators are not designing these stories that way from the outset. For example, if Netflix told The OA’s creators that it would have two seasons to tell their story, they wouldn’t have ended season 2 on a cliffhanger. I would not be surprised to see more Netflix series start ending each season conclusively, as if it could be their last, for this very reason.

What happens to The OA is anyone’s guess. A few years ago, fans would have turned to Netflix to try and save a beloved cancelled sci-fi show. But times change, and so do priorities, and now it’s not clear if there’s anyone left to save The OA, or if fans will have to see its mysteries linger forever. I've asked Netflix for comment about the fate of the series, and will update when I hear back.

Update: Netflix responded with no comment other than a restatement that the show is not returning. They pointed me toward a statement from VP of Original Content Cindy Holland:

"We are incredibly proud of the 16 mesmerizing chapters of The OA, and are grateful to Brit and Zal for sharing their audacious vision and for realizing it through their incredible artistry. We look forward to working with them again in the future, in this and perhaps many other dimensions."

Follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pre-order my new sci-fi novel Herokiller, and read my first series, The Earthborn Trilogy, which is also on audiobook.

I write about video games, television, movies and the internet.