If you’re like a lot of us out there, you’ve been streaming a little bit more content in 2020 due to the pandemic. And while you can never run out of Netflix shows (one reason the streaming giant’s stock is absolutely soaring), it’s always fun to check out a new service, full of new content. And that’s what brings us to Peacock, a recently debuted platform from NBC/Universal.
To be clear right off the bat, Peacock is not officially available in Australia (or many other parts of the world outside of the U.S.). But it can be accessed, either via a News Corp-owned service (like Foxtel iQ or BINGE) or through a capable VPN. In other words, if you’re really interested in Peacock — which is already being billed by some in the U.S. as arguably the best Netflix alternative out there — you can find a way to watch it.
So, for those who are curious or already interested, here’s our look at some of the best things about the service.
The NBC Mockumentaries
If you’re familiar with NBC’s content — as many around the world are, thanks to Netflix — then chances are you’re well aware of the adoration that surround the network’s two beloved “mockumentary” comedies, The Office (American version) and Parks and Recreation. These are some of the most popular television comedies of the 21st century, and both — eventually — will now reside on Peacock.
Parks and Recreation is already among the shows the service offers. In fact, its recent departure from Netflix is one of the things drawing people to the new service. And while The Office is not streaming on Peacock just yet, Mashable reports that it’s expected to show up in January, along with some bonus content that didn’t originally air. That will make for a major boost for the service as well.
Okay, so you can get cooking shows just about anywhere. Most countries with significant TV broadcasting reputations have cooking shows of their own, and beyond these, there are often international versions of universally popular shows (like MasterChef Australia and so on….). But right now, some of the most renowned cooking shows in the world are streaming on Peacock. Most notably, these include Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, and Restaurant Startup. Okay, so there’s no Chopped or MasterChef, and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown has found a home at HBO Max. but it’s safe to say that fans of cooking competition shows would do well to look into Peacock.
2000s Game Shows
Beyond cooking competitions, Peacock also has a somewhat surprising little collection of other game shows that were popular in the 2000s, but which have faded somewhat from public attention. The one that Peacock is advertising most heavily is a return of The Weakest Link, a show that at its peak competed with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire for attention. It’s been brought with actress Jane Lynch slotted in as the new host, essentially rebooting a show that ended in 2012 and essentially disappeared, save for a few international spinoffs that weren’t quite the same.
There’s Deal Or No Deal as well. This show actually hasn’t faded as much from the spotlight, in part because it’s been available to fans via various forms of gaming over the years. Deal Or No Deal is most notably the subject of its own online casino game, that is hosted on Foxy Bingo and still to this day identifies as one of the favourite titles among slot players. As you might imagine, the game spins the concept of the popular game show into a slot reel, such that players get a bit of both. Deal Or No Deal also has a mobile app game that more or less mimics the format of the show itself. Slot reels and mobile games may seem trivial, but they’re actually evidence of how much demand there is for material related to this show — which makes the fact that Peacock is streaming 100 episodes of it significant.
Love them or hate them, reality shows still have a massive audience. Particularly the established ones with known formats, years’ worth of binge-able seasons, or celebrity characters, still command massive numbers on streaming platforms and through TV re-runs alike. For this reason, the reality section of Peacock may actually be among its most significant branches of material.
Specifically, we’re talking about shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Real Housewives, and Below Deck (all of which earned mention among the best reality shows of all time at Marie Claire), in addition to the cooking and game shows already mentioned, and a few other major competition hits like The Voice. In short, if you’re one for a reality fix now and then, you have yet another reason to look into Peacock.
Finally, the entire Harry Potter film series now resides on Peacock. Or at least, the core series does. All eight Harry Potter films based on JK Rowling’s seven novels are streaming on Peacock, and figure to remain there for the foreseeable future. It’s unclear right now if this library will ultimately expand to include Harry Potter spinoffs like the Fantastic Beasts films. But either way, Peacock is now the platform to go to if you need to get your fix of the Wizarding World (and be honest, you were planning on flying through these films this holiday season….).