Many would have argued in 2016 that there was certainly no room for yet another mystery television series, given that TV shows of the genre had saturated the networks for years without another gaining any sort of steam. The OA, however, has without doubt proven this idea inaccurate with its plethora of loyal fans. Obviously, the cancellation of the show after its second season did not go down well with its fan base, many of whom took to social media to lament this development.
For the uninitiated, The OA story is about a blind girl who disappears from her community and reemerges several years later and is able to see. She also possesses the ability to traverse between universes and is on a mission to rescue some other victims who had been held captive in a parallel universe like her.
5 Things To Know About Netflix’s The OA
1. Brit Marling Co-created the Show
Although some may not know it, Brit Marling who played the role of Prairie Johnson in The OA is actually one of the two people who wrote and created the show. She co-wrote the show along with Zal Batmanglij, who directed the series. Their collaboration on The OA, though their first on a TV series was not the first time the two would work on a project together. Marling before OA had gained wide acclaim for creating and starring in a few indie movies including The East, a spy drama which was released in 2013 as well as Sound of My Voice and Another Earth which were both released in 2011. She had collaborated with Batmanglij in the making of The East and Sound of My Voice.
Marling had started out her career in investment banking. She completed an internship at New York-based investment bank, Goldman Sachs. Though she was offered the opportunity to continue working with the firm as permanent staff, she did not accept the offer as she was convinced it would not bring her as much fulfillment as a career in the film industry would. So she accompanied her longtime friend, Mike Cahill, to Cuba to film a documentary. This marked her professional entry into the film industry.
2. Social Justice Undercurrents
The plot and theme of The OA lend themselves to social justice interpretations. The story in both seasons (labeled by the creators as parts I and II) portray how shared values and yearnings of people very different from one another actually supersede their differences. This is apparently not limited to the story and how it is told alone but also the choice of characters and the performers that were chosen to portray them who cut across racial backgrounds, sexual identities, and orientations among other differentiators. The series tends to communicate the good of the collective being more important than the differences in attributes of the individuals.
3. Positive Reviews
The OA enjoyed some really good reviews from several critics who touted the story-line, production, and performances of the actors and actresses as top-notch through various publications. The TV series even scored a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 77 percent for its first season and a whopping 92 percent for the second season.
4. The OA was Partly Inspired by a Dinner Party Encounter
Marling has mentioned that the story of The OA was partly inspired by an encounter she had at a dinner party with a woman who had a near-death experience. She became quite fascinated by stories of people who had those sort of experiences and emerged from them with skills or abilities they hardly had before. This she mentioned explains Prairie Johnson’s reemergence with her sight after disappearing years earlier as a blind girl.
5. The OA was Produced by Anonymous Content and Plan B Entertainment
Anonymous Content collaborated with Plan B Entertainment in the production of The OA. Famous actor Brad Pitt is the owner of Plan B Entertainment, a film production company he had founded in conjunction with his former wife Jennifer Aniston and television and film producer, Brad Grey. Plan B Entertainment has three Academy Award-winning films produced which include 12 Years a Slave, The Departed and Moonlight.
Why is The OA Being Canceled?
There have been several theories as to why Netflix has decided to discontinue The OA after the second season whereas the creators had planned the series as a five-season show. Sources close to the decision-makers have stated that the real reason is that the show did not meet Netflix’s viewership to cost of production ratio requirements.
The company over time has shown strict adherence to this policy with many shows not making it passed season two. The idea is that each series must prove its worth by bringing in set amounts of new viewers to the streaming service in order to justify continued expenditure on production. It has been said that The OA‘s production costs are on the high side.