Why The OA Part II is set in a universe where Barack Obama was never president
In The OA Part II, we discover that Brit Marling’s heroine Prairie (a.k.a. “the OA”) has successfully transferred her consciousness to another dimension. It is an alternative universe where, as the Netflix show’s just-released trailer strongly hints, Barack Obama was never president.
“It’s like, What does it mean that the nurse who first treats OA has never even heard of Barack?” says executive producer Zal Batmanglij. “It means that he never ran, you know? So, it’s like, these alternative histories, we touch on it and move on. For us, that’s fun.”
Marling, who created the show with Batmanglij, believes the “fractured” nature of season 2 reflects our own real-life universe.
“When we first came up with this idea, it felt very interesting and exciting to us, like a Rubik’s Cube that matched the Rubik’s Cube of what life is,” she says. “It’s only more recently that it feels more like a way of looking at reality. I think we all feel reality’s a little fractured, and it’s hard to make sense of those things that are happening, and it’s a lot easier for all of us to contemplate, like, What would a world have been like without Brexit happening? What is a world like where Trump doesn’t get elected? I think, as an audience as a whole, such dramatic things have happened, such dramatic forks in the road, it’s a lot easier for all of us to contemplate the idea of alternate destinies.”
The OA Part II premieres March 22 on Netflix. Watch the show’s new trailer, above.