STAFF OPINION: 'I have a lot of questions. Number one, how dare you?'

My life without "The Office" on Netflix has been really hard (that's what she said)

By Havi Stewart | March 14, 2021 4:11pm
staff-opinions-s21-4
Havi Stewart is the Living editor for The Beacon. Photo illustration by Havi Stewart.

It’s 11:15 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. While many were multiple shots deep and fully engulfed in celebrations, ready to ring in the New Year, I was sitting down to watch the final episode of The Office on Netflix for the last time. With tears in my eyes, I watched as Creed was arrested, as Pam had her final interview, and as the familiar sound of The Office theme song played for the final time. When the clock struck midnight, my computer screen showed only my reflection.

As Dwight Schrute once said, “Will I get over it? Mmm . . . no. But life goes on.”

After Dwight and Angela's tragic breakup, Jim consoles Dwight in the stairway only to leave while Dwight still needed the comfort of his friend. Sound familiar?

Photo courtesy of @theofficeparody on Instagram.

As I’m sure you have all heard by now (or gathered from my very dramatic story) The Office has been removed from Netflix, and moved to NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock as of December 31, 2020. 

As stated in the wise words of Kelly Kapour, and echoed by The Office fans all across America, “I have a lot of questions. Number one, how dare you?”

Over the past 5 years I have watched The Office countless times. I have laughed, I have cried, and I have learned so much in the process (mostly that it’s okay to feel impulsively inclined to rewatch shows on repeat that bring you joy). 

From Jim, I have learned the importance of bravery and patience, from Michael to embrace who I am and to never give up on my dreams, and from Pam, to be strong and advocate for myself. From Angela, I have learned that it is okay to like animals better than people, from Dwight that subordinates just might blossom into amazing friendships, and from Andy to cherish every moment (and that you can never sing too much). From Stanley I have learned that nothing is better than pretzel day, and from Creed that I should have a Swiss passport as a backup.

After the loss of his former boss Ed Truck, Michael is devastated, and slightly overdramatic.

Photo courtesy of Tumblr.

But most importantly, The Office has taught me to be courageous and confident, to fight for my own happiness, and to truly love myself — things that I try to act on every day.

While this has been a devastating loss to me personally, I know I am only one among a sea of Office fans that have been left coping with this sad reality. 

In 2019, The Office was the most-watched live-action show on Netflix and was Netflix’s most viewed licensed TV show. In 2018, viewers streamed more than 52 million minutes of The Office on Netflix. That’s like watching Die Hard 393,939 times.

But if you were hopeful (like me) that The Office would make a hasty return to Netflix, I hate to burst your bubble, but NBCUniversal has the rights to The Office for at least the next five years.  

As Michael Scott would say, “NO GOD! PLEASE NO!! NOOOOOO!”

After pinning after Holly for what feels like a lifetime, Michael feels crushed at the presence of her boyfriend AJ at HIS classy Christmas party.

Photo courtesy of Know Your Meme.

If this news gives you minor (or in my case, major) heartbreak, it’s okay, you aren’t alone.

Us financially strained college students need and deserve the stress relief of watching our beloved shows. My blood boils at the unrealistic nature of young adults needing to pay for a handful of streaming platforms as a form of combatting the giant game of musical chairs the entertainment industry seems to be playing with us. The financial drain that paying for multiple streaming platforms is lightening our (digital) wallets significantly. 

As if the past year hasn’t been stressful enough, can we not just be able to rest in the sweet and comforting palms of Netflix?

To myself, as well as many other Office fans, the stress relief, comfort, and happiness brought to us from The Office was, as Ryan Howard would put it, “indescribable.”

When Michael is waiting to find out about the fate of Holly's engagement with AJ he has to prepare for the possibility that she comes to work engaged.

Photo courtesy of Tumblr.

The Office is a ray of light in a world that is often, “not that way” (in the voice of Michael Scott annoyed at Toby Flenderson). Highlighting community, love — both romantically and platonically — and ultimately capturing what humanity looks like. 

Pam Beesly puts it perfectly in her final interview, “I thought it was weird when you picked us to make a documentary. But all in all…I think an ordinary paper company like Dunder Mifflin was a great subject for a documentary. There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?”

The ways that this legendary show is able to capture the ups and downs of life as a member of the ordinary American workplace is equally beautiful and powerful. 

It is able to teach viewers to make the most out of any situation, prioritize family, love and happiness over material items, and ultimately to be confident and uniquely themselves. 

This scene from the episode "Goodbye Michael" is a real tear-jerker - Michael sneaks out a day early to begin his move to Colorado and leave Dunder Mifflin behind.

Photo courtesy of @TheOfficeQuotes on Twitter.

The unforgettable Creed Braton said it best, “It all seems so very arbitrary. I applied for a job at this company because they were hiring. I took a desk at the back because it was empty. But… no matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home. [standing with two cops] Let’s do this.”

Havi Stewart is the Living Section Editor at The Beacon. She can be reached at stewarth22@up.edu.

Have something to say about this? We’re dedicated to publishing a wide variety of viewpoints, and we’d like to hear from you. Voice your opinion in The Beacon.

B