Refusing to be intimidated by HBO’s announcement of a standalone streaming service, Netflix has escalated the streaming conflict into an all-out war. Shortly after the HBO news hit the Internet this morning, Netflix sent out a press release trumpeting its acquisition of “all 10 seasons, 236 episodes and 83 hours” of Friends. “Could this BE any better?,” the press release asks, looking around expectantly with a big grin smeared across its face.
Sure, HBO has dragons, and John Oliver, and all the movies you kind of wanted to see last fall but couldn’t be bothered to go to the theater for, and depressing original documentaries about how fucked up the world is. But are these shows really your Friends? Do they know you like Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey do? Will they be there for you when the rain starts to fall? Will they care enough to ask, “Are you still watching Friends?,” after you fall asleep on the couch, a half-eaten Tombstone pizza resting on your chest? Netflix thinks you already know the answer.
The complete series of Friends will be available for streaming on Netflix beginning January 1, 2015.