“A lot of people watched the show, like it was in the upper range of their mid-range shows, which was for Netflix, huge numbers,” Marling says. “It used to be that a broadcast show would maybe get canceled if 1 or 2 million people watched it, but you could have a show on Netflix that was watched by over 20 million people, and somehow, when the business model changed there, it just didn’t quite fit with their new economies of scale.”
That created what Marling calls a “complicated dissonance” in which he could travel around the world and meet people “whose devotion to the story runs deep, and then not be able to finish the narrative for them.”
Neither subscriber numbers nor fan momentum moved the needle (Netflix didn’t change its mind), but the fan base remained. There are still Reddit Subtitles dedicated to the series. The original save The OA Discord is no longer active, says Paris, but a new one was launched this summer called Angel Neurosis where fans talk about O.A., Murder at the end of the worldand the work of Marling and Batmanglij.
Next March there will be a online conference dedicated to discussing the program in relation to themes spanning the life of Homer Iliad, LGBTQ+ representation, ontology, metaverse and dance. It’s proof that sometimes fan dedication isn’t reflected in audience numbers, and while that was also true for Firefly, my supposed lifeand dozens of other canceled shows, the perception that streamers will only focus on good enough Shows with a decent ROI can impact the loyalty of those same viewers. to the streamers themselves.
“In recent years it seems like Netflix has become an impenetrable fortress in terms of how it interacts with its audience in general and with series fans in particular,” says Marisa Hates, a film researcher at the University of Brighton and a from the organizers of the next O.A. conference. “We’re all wondering why wonderfully innovative and popular shows are being cancelled.”
Those fans may never know why Netflix was removed The OA (The company did not respond to a request for comment for this story.) But as the streaming wars rage on, all services will have to do more to get and retain viewers. As Batmanglij and Marling bring their new show to Hulu, their most devoted fans will likely follow along. Maybe. “This is so silly, but I’m afraid of not loving (A murder at the end of the world),” says Paris. “Or, rather, I was really scared, and they finally released a trailer and I was like, ‘Oh, this feels O.A.-more or less'”.