When I first heard that SPACE FORCE was going to be a thing, I thought it would be pretty damn good and pretty damn funny. Then I heard that it was Steve Carell and John Malkovich and I was all in on this idea from Netflix. Let’s see how it worked out for me and I’ll let you know later on if I was over the moon for it. Before we get started:
How do you get a baby astronaut to go to sleep? Rocket.
Now that we’ve got the fun stuff out of the way, let’s blast off.
You would think that Space Force would simply be The Office in space. We have Steve Carell (General Mark Naird) and the creator of The Office Greg Daniels behind the scenes. The question here is what about the rest of the cast? Is it filled with Jim/s Dwight’s, and Pam’s? We will get there, I promise.
General Naird is a career military man who has been selected as the leader of the brand new armed forces brand, The Space Force. He wanted to be the head of the Air Force, but things don’t always work out the way we want them to. Naird’s major directive is to get boots on the moon by 2024 – that directive coming from a tweeting and texting (unnamed) President of the United States. Not to worry, Naird has help in the form of Dr. Adrian Mallory (John Malkovich). Mallory is the brains behind the operation as the chief scientist. Naird is not a big fan of scientists because they say to eat carbs one day, and don’t eat carbs the next. It’s a comedy folks, don’t take any of this to heart.
So now we have the newly formed armed forced brand, a directive, and the leaders that will get us there. So what’s the problem? There are conflicting reports coming out of Washington and there are these constantly changing timelines. Another hurdle? The budget – a lot of people don’t think they should have the budget that they do. The one that questions it the most is a congresswoman known as AYC, which is a clear and spot-on imitation of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Well done.
Others that round out the cast include Ben Schwartz (Sonic the Hedgehog) who plays a media consultant named Tony Scarapiducci, comedian Jimmy O. Yang, who plays Mallory’s number 2, Dr. Chan and Naird’s wife Maggie (Lisa Kudrow). They each have their moments, although Lisa Kudrow is severely underutilized throughout the season. Diana Silvers (Booksmart) plays Erin Naird, General Naird’s daughter.
While the story focuses on the matter at hand (boots on the moon), it also paints a picture of a certain level of chaos, both within the Space Force and the drama-filled life of General Naird. He has to juggle boots on the moon with raising his teenage daughter. Both need and seek his attention and you see how the battle affects all elements and parties involved.
Space Force is an absurd comedy. It will work for some people, but certainly not the majority. As I got further into Season 1, I thought it might get better at some point and potentially did so in the last episode and a half. At this time, Space Force should be compared to The Office for the following reasons, Steve Carell, Greg Daniels, and a comedic miss in the first season. Maybe it will rebound as The Office did, but only time will tell and hopefully, this is just a phase. Get it? A phase…like the phases of the moon? Got it now? Good.
While I enjoyed some of the interactions between Malkovich and Carell, most of the show was just not funny. There were a few chuckles here and there, but mostly the kind of laugh that comes along after seeing something incredibly stupid. Do not go into this thinking it is anywhere near Seasons 2-7 of The Office. Go into it thinking Season 1. That is my best advice to the fans of The Office that will absolutely check this show out tomorrow and completely ignore my thoughts on it. You’ve been warned. Space Force is not mission-critical, but I am hoping it can build off the last couple of episodes as we prepare for a season 2 of this one.