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Netflix pulls a bullshit move, cancels The OA

Photo: Nicola Goode (Netflix)

In a depressingly familiar narrative that would absolutely fail to live up to the bonkers storytelling standards of the show in question, Netflix has canceled Brit Marling’s weirdly wonderful The OA. Variety reports the streaming service has pulled the plug after two seasons of the show, which starred Marling as a mysterious woman trying to help others like her who were kidnapped and imprisoned by a malevolent scientist. Oh, and there were portals to other dimensions, modern-dance moves with supernatural powers, and—in the second season—underground tree roots that could communicate with people. Just the same old, same old, really.

What makes this decision especially bullshit, however, is that it means we’re not going to figure out what the hell occurred at the end of season two. The closing minutes of The OA’s second season featured one of the great “What the fuck just happened?” twists of the year, and the series’ cancelation means we are now screwed out of getting any resolution there. It’s not quite Deadwood-cancelation-outrage levels of frustration, but it’s awfully close. As always, Netflix doesn’t release its data, instead guarding it like an overzealous member of the secret cabal Marling’s protagonist was investigating, so who knows what numbers pushed them toward this decision. It should probably be admitted that Marling and co-creator Zal Batmanglij did themselves no favors by waiting almost three years between seasons, which presumably drove down interest and attention despite an explosively popular first season. Marling may want to look into opening one of her character’s portals, and leaping into a dimension where they went right into production after season one, thereby preventing the show’s popularity from waning. Failing that, we’ll settle for a detailed explanation of just what on earth the show was going to do in season three to explain that twist. Seriously, it’s eating at us.

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Alex McLevy

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.