We probably should have seen the writing on the wall back when we learned that The Office would be leaving Netflix at the end of 2020. There’s no way that a year that ends with The Office leaving the streaming network that gave the show a second
drink life could possibly be good. And it wasn’t. Pandemic. Quarantine. Awaiting the results of murder hornets. Fires. The list of suck for 2020 is quite long and quite extensive. And there at the very bottom of the list will be The Office as it heads to a new streaming network. 2020’s final kick to the groin.
NBC hasn’t been the strongest of networks over the last few years and I’ve been personally pissed with them ever since they canceled Community but one can not argue their library. Shows like Cheers, Frasier, Friends, Scrubs, Law and Order (all of them), Saturday Night Live, Parks and Rec, and most importantly to this column… The Office. So it makes sense that in a world where just about everyone has a streaming service, even the Food Network, that NBC would kick start their own and call it the Peacock. Not the greatest name but it does house some really great programming.
While I’m hesitant to subscribe to yet another streaming service, the Peacock offered something truly remarkable. A free membership. Watch all our shows for free and suffer through a couple of one-minute ads. I don’t mind that and in fact, I’ve been using this free option to watch random episodes of Park and Rec. I’ve even had a couple of instances where there were no ads and the show streamed like it would on a regular service. Cool, I love glitches in the Matrix! Maybe I don’t have to panic about where I’m going to be watching The Office after all.
Wrong. It’s not cool.
Here’s the thing Geeklings, yes The Office is heading to the Peacock. Yes, you can watch it for free… if you don’t mind stopping after season two because seasons three to nine are going to cost you. The Peacock has a bunch of really cool things planned for its acquisition of The Office including the best of Jim Pranks, holiday episode collections, an Office themed white noise thingy, and a ton of behind the scenes footage. It should seem like a haven for any fan of the show. But the Peacock understands that they’re a second-tier streaming service. If that. They also understand the power of The Office and are using that power to pull a Jim like prank on all would-be viewers.
So now, with The Office in their position, the Peacock is going to hold the show hostage. The worst part is there are different degrees of how much you need to pay in order to watch the show. The more you pay the more extra stuff you get. So all of us who will be losing The Office from Netflix now have to decide just how they’re going to watch the show. Do we live in a world where it’s only the first two seasons, a world with ads, or a more expensive world with bonus features and no ads?
Or perhaps, do we just spend the money and buy the show off of iTunes or Amazon and own it out directly? Doing that also comes with bonus content including bloopers, deleted scenes, and behind-the-scenes packages. The best part is you only pay one time and then you don’t have to worry about the show changing streaming networks ever again. That’ll show ‘em! Something tells me that a lot of these new customers are coming to Peacock just for The Office and this would certainly cut out the middle man.
Listen, I understand the point of having a streaming network is to make money. I’m not an idiot and I fully understand what the Peacock is doing. That doesn’t mean I have to like it though. It seems that the streaming network was created with false pretenses in mind. “Yes, we’re aware that we’re another streaming service but you don’t have to pay. Come watch our shows with ads for free. It’ll be great. We’re just happy to have you here. Until we get The Office that is and then we’re going to hold the show hostage and you’re going to pay because you love The Office. Don’t you?”
Yes, I do but this has left a bad taste in my mouth. It doesn’t seem like the best foot to be starting a new streaming relationship with a ton of users who just want to watch their favorite show. What do you think Geeklings? Are you cool with the first two seasons of The Office being available for free and having to pay for the rest? Do you think what NBC is doing is kind of lame? Sound off in the comments below or throw me a line over on Twitter @iamgeek32. You still have half a month to decide on what you’re going to do once the show leaves Netflix. In the meantime, I say binge until you can’t binge no more.