Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

You'll have to pay to see all of The Office on Peacock, but you'll at least get bonus features

The Office
The Office
Screenshot: YouTube (Fair Use)

We’ve known for a while now that The Office will be leaving Netflix for NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service once Baby New Year breaks out of his shell on January 1, 2021, but now—courtesy of a press release posing as a playful in-universe memo from historically terrible paper company executive David Wallace—we know exactly what that transition is going to look like. According to that press release/memo, all episodes of The Office will be exclusive to Peacock on January 1, with the first two seasons available for free to everyone (with ads, but more on ads later). For everything after that point, starting in March, there will be “superfan episodes” with extended cuts that include “never-before-seen footage and deleted scenes.” Peacock will also have behind-the-scenes footage like bloopers and interviews, playlists of clips, and curated episode collections in case you just want to see, for example, all of the disastrous Christmas parties.

That all sounds fun and makes sense, but Peacock is also getting “The Office Zen,” a 24/7 channel of “ambient noise devoted to the sights and sounds of the office for anyone working at home.” Now, we don’t know if that means, like, Stanley softly murmuring while he does his crossword or just the soft hum of the copy machine, but either way… who would want this? Working in an office sucks, working in the office from The Office is generally depicted as either boring or annoyingly frustrating when there isn’t something fun going on like the Office Olympics or an appearance from Recyclops. That’s why Meredith is always playing solitaire in the background!

As for the ads: The free version of Peacock, where seasons one and two will live, has ads. The premium version of Peacock, which costs $4.99 a month and will have the rest of the Office episodes, also has ads. The ad-free tier is called Peacock Premium Plus, and it costs $9.99 a month. The press release/memo has a joke from “David Wallace” about how not even Dunder Mifflin employees could get a discount, which is cute, but it also seems a little odd to call attention to the price like that. It’s not outrageous, as Peacock surely has other stuff, but it is weird to suggest that David Wallace—with all his Suck It money—has concerns about it. Then again, he’s the guy who kept giving Michael Scott a spotlight and then pretended like he was shocked when Michael did something silly with it, so maybe we’re not supposed to be putting any stock in his opinions.

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