Brit Marling & Zal Batmanglij's The OA finally returned for its highly anticipated second season back in March, and fans of the show have been patiently waiting to find out when it will be coming back for season three. Well, prepare yourself for bad news as Netflix has axed The OA. Netflix's Original Content VP, Cindy Holland, made the news official in a statement via Deadline.
“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.”
In a heartfelt Instagram post, Brit Marling added;
“Zal and I are deeply sad not to finish this story. The first time I heard the news, I had a good cry. So did one of our executives at Netflix who has been with us since the early days when we were sketching out Hap’s basement on the floor of our production office in Queens. It’s been an intense journey who worked on and cared about this story.”
Just a pre-warning, I'm about to climb on my metaphorical soapbox for a paragraph or two. We all understand that Netflix and all entertainment is a business; the primary reason for any entertainment to exist is to make money. Yes, it can inform, educate, allow escapism, shine a light on real-life heroes or issues, and take us on fantastical adventures, but it's called show business for a reason. We also all understand that no TV show is guaranteed to get to its end game if people aren't watching it is understandable that a Network wants to free that money up to make something else. It's all well and good Netflix saying things like "these stories will be here for years to come to be discovered", but what's the point in audiences investing their time in something that won't have an ending? Would you re-read a book that was only half written?
Naturally, there is a slither of hope that if the fans make enough noise, Netflix might offer a movie or limited series to wrap things up as they did with Sense8. Another ambitious sci-fi series that was prematurely cut short after two seasons, at least Sense8 got a two and a half hour movie to give the fans an ending. Offering closure (narratively speaking) also makes it more appealing to recommend to your friends, or for new fans to watch it in the future.
What is even more frustrating is that the season two finale of The OA was left on a massive cliffhanger, I won't spoil anything, but it seems unnecessarily cruel of Netflix to leave the series completely unresolved. Cancelling TV shows is nothing new, but when Netflix started out producing their own originals they claimed they would be doing things very differently from the Networks. It seems as though years of mass commissioning to curate a vast catalogue of content has taken its toll.
The OA is an ambitious series in every sense of the word, at times it can be a challenging watch, but it has been a captivating and profoundly thoughtful ride, I am quietly gutted that there won't be another series.