Fans have developed an in-depth theory that Netflix's cancellation of The OA is actually a trick, faked to enhance the drama and drum up publicity. The series was dropped unceremoniously this week after its long-awaited second season back in July. However, there is some evidence that the whole thing is a gag designed to make the next installment even stranger.
The OA is undeniably in a category of its own in the world of TV. The series premiered in 2017 and was an instant hit, but production on the second season took far longer than expected. The OA is a mixture of supernatural, science fiction and fantasy elements all bundled into a wide-ranging mystery. This leaves lots of room for fan theories and speculation, but this week they took a meta-narrative turn.
Warning! Spoilers for The OA lie ahead!
The OA Part II ended on an infuriating cliffhanger, as fans keep reminding Netflix on social media. This included a big twist, which was a pretty meta in itself. The hero, Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling), teleported off of her world entirely and into what appeared to be ours. There, instead of being a magic-using demi-god at the center of a transdimensional conspiracy, she was Brit Marling, the writer, co-creator and star of a TV show called The OA.
With this in mind, fans wonder which version of The OA has been canceled -- the real show, or the fictional reflection of it nested within itself like a Russian doll. Online, evidence of this is piling up, some compelling and some tenuous at best. For starters, when Netflix cancels shows, it typically does so around five weeks after their release, as soon as the viewing data they need to make their decision final.
The OA Part II came out on March 22, and it was a huge hit, especially within its cult following. It was canceled this week, nearly five months later. This could conceivably be due to some hard contract negotiations, but it could also be a hint that this is not like other cancellations in the past.
There are plenty of other clues as well, as fans are discussing on Reddit, Twitter and other hubs of fandom. Some believe that they need to take the show's magical dancing evocations to the streets in real life in order to resurrect the show themselves. As evidence, they point to a recent Instagram video by antagonist Jason Isaacs, who posted a clip showing how the choreography works.
The OA is streaming in its entirety on Netflix.