Well, folks, it seems streaming technology has finally gone too far -- and by going too far, I mean the latest innovations in satisfying our binge-watching urges have strayed so far off the rails, fans have resorted to buying boxed DVD sets to avoid the plethora of hassles and upcharges. The catalyst in this backward shift towards the home TV tech of the mid-2000s? None other than NBC's smash-hit sitcom, The Office. For several years, fans of the show could spend hours upon hours watching the brilliantly hilarious misadventures of the Dunder Mifflin staff at their leisure, streaming the entire series on Netflix sans commercials for one flat fee. While for some time, it seemed like The Office, much like Dwight, was "all about loyalty," staying put in its digital home, the show found "somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly," moving to their parent network's new streaming service, Peacock, under an um, unique pricing model.
The show's first two seasons are free on the NBC service, but streaming the entire series will set you back $4.99 a month, or $9.99 if you want to revel in Dwight's strange antics with fewer (not none, fewer) annoying advertisements. As several superfans flocked to Peacock to watch The Office, with Forbes reporting that the beloved sitcom accounted for 9.2% of the platform's streaming in the first few weeks of 2021, a few others were pretty peeved about NBC's television tiers, taking to Twitter to proverbially yell "NO GOD, PLEASE NO!" into the digital void.
"nbc taking the office away from netflix to exclusively stream on peacock and then making only the first 2 seasons available on the free tier is peak bitch behavior and not the good kind," mused user @earthtojessiee.
"Can't stream every episode on peacock," added @jarettsdaddy. "You have to pay for it. Just another thing to have to pay for during a pandemic. Not paying for Netflix and peacock. They already boasted that they had Harry Potter and we saw how long that lasted."
Meme pages also got in on the action, noting the model's absurdity. "I don't even live in the US but this is absolutely bonkers," fan page, @theofficememers posted on Instagram. "Next they'll be charging per episode lol."
"fucking peacock, just buy the damn dvds for the office," wrote @SixersZack of NBC's advertising ploy. "Why are you marketing your streaming service by saying 'we have one show that you've already seen 20 times.'"
"Like this if you're just going to buy The Office on dvd instead of downloading Peacock (horrible name for a streaming service btw)," asked @Bailey_hargrave in a post that has since garnered 159 likes.
That's a lot of DVDs. So why pay $100 for a whole year of ad-free The Office viewing, when you can get a 40% discount, a total of zero ads, and of course, the deep satisfaction of watching that cube on the screen hit the corner of your TV by snagging the series on disc? To paraphrase Dave Chappelle, sometimes modern problems require not-so-modern solutions. Happy binging, folks.
Top Image: Peacock.