Oddball comedy takes ‘Office’ cast into space

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“Space Force”… an oddball comedy and an example of the power of gaining viewers through monitoring the trails of our internet dialogue.

“CityNews” streamer-in-chief NICK OVERALL looks at what’s hot in home viewing this week and whether we’re prepared to accept advertising breaks.  

REMEMBER December when Donald Trump truly went to infinity and beyond with the announced launch of the US Space Force? The citizens of the internet went crazy for this new branch of the US military, created to have supremacy from above earth. 

Nick Overall.

An abundance of memes and tweets swirled around the trending tabs of websites, particularly regarding the way the official logo of Space Force looked more than just a little similar to that of “Star Trek”.

Even the original Helmsman of the USS Enterprise himself, Hikaru Sulu played by actor George Takei tweeted: “Ahem. We are expecting some royalties from this…”

Well, such wild publicity didn’t take long to be pounced on by comedians. TV comedy producing wizards Steve Carrell and Greg Daniels teamed up to give audiences “Space Force”, which hit Netflix this last week.

Imagine if Michael Scott, the awkwardly brilliant boss from “The Office”, was in charge of astrophysicists, astronauts and chimpanzees all striving to set up a “star command”. 

This is what you get in “Space Force”, an oddball comedy that has more than jumped on the relevance of people questioning this real life, seemingly science fiction-like concept.

Once again, this is an example of the power of gaining viewers through monitoring the trails of our internet dialogue. 

Netflix makes sure to announce that “Space Force” comes from much of the original talent behind “The Office”, which has seen a huge resurgence in popularity well after the show’s original conclusion in 2013 thanks to streaming.

In a $US100 million deal in the US, Netflix is losing “The Office” to NBC which, of course, wants its own go at a bingeing service.

Luckily for us Down Under, NBC has a deal that allows fans to watch their comedy icons such as the one mentioned above along with “Friends”, “Parks and Recreation” and more, all on Stan. However, if  NBC does a decent job with its upcoming platform, Australia may very likely see another competitor in our own market.

REMEMBER those things that actually interrupt your TV shows every 15 minutes? Well, controversially, NBC’s platform is going to run ads.

We see them on the free streaming services here spawned from our more commercial stations, SBS On Demand, 9 Now, and 10 Play, but they would otherwise seem a thing of the past. The bigger platforms run solely under a monthly subscription fee in order to rid you of the pesky attention-breakers.

It seems this fee is vastly preferred. This week I wanted to test this idea out. I asked as many contacts as I could if they’d rather shell out 15 bucks a month for their preferred platform or be happy to get it free with ads to interrupt their bingeing.

Not a single one hesitated in choosing the fee.

Doesn’t bode well for an NBC rollout here. Ads could be the deciding factor for average Aussie streamers from which companies get their subscriptions. 

DESPITE such interrupters, SBS On Demand is great at shaking hands with some of the bigger US companies to get new shows here. “Zero Zero Zero” is an example that’s just become available on the platform. It’s a big-budget production that looks to examine in gritty, realistic detail the buyers, sellers and brokers of global cocaine shipments.

This is a fictional crime drama only on its surface. The research behind it gives the viewer a detailed glimpse into the frightening scale of the international drug trade.

So, you’ve got captivating stuff like this available on SBS’s platform, a nice comedic change of pace over on Netflix and the HBO blockbusters on Foxtel Binge all happening this past week. With more and more being rolled out, it begs another question: do you fall into the “mono-streamer” category of only using one service, or are you one who likes to mix them up?

May the force be with you, viewer, to decide.

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