Space Force reunites Steve Carell and producer Greg Daniels who gave us one of the greatest sit-coms of all time with ‘The Office.’ Featuring a stellar line-up of veteran actors, the show fails to blast-off as it is unable to find much originality and humor while making fun of the present situation. Making parodies of several real instances and people from the Trump Presidency and the POTUS himself, the show is fun to watch but will hardly leave you in splits.
1. Article Summary
The reunion of Carell and Daniels brings a lot of their trademark Office style to Space Force. The show itself doesn’t try to break away from The Office’s shadow and just serves as a reminder that Space Force is not as great as the original workplace comedy. A weak script leaves a lot of talented actors underutilized and the laughs at a minimum.
2. Is It Worth Watching?
With the United States Space Force launching its first recruitment commercial this week, Spacer Force couldn’t have dropped at a better time. With millions of Americans and people worldwide looking for something to take their minds off the horrible news and events happening worldwide while they are stuck at home, Space Force comes to the rescue.
The story revolves around four-star general Mark Naird whose disappointment knows no bounds when he is put in charge of the latest brainchild of President Trump – The Space Force. A staunch military man knows nothing about science or space. Still, in the true American spirit, he jumps into the project with all his force. Opposite him is the chief scientist for the project Dr. Adrian Mallory. He is the voice of reason constantly clashing with Naird over his demands, which are simply not possible.
II. Cast & Performances
Carell has retained some of his trademark Michael Scott manners as he steps into the boots of the gruff Gen. Mark Naird. Like a true military man trying to follow orders and please his President, Steve Carell, plays his part well, delivering punchlines with a deadpan straight face.
John Malkovich, as the civilian scientist advisor, shines opposite Carell. Their chemistry lies at the centre of the show, and he even manages to outshine Carell. When Carell is unable to grasp the fundamentals of science, his complete frustration and eye rolls are the best moments of the show.
The rest of the supporting cast is not given enough screen time, and fine actors are not put to the test. Lisa Kudrow is Carell’s wife, who has a mysterious prison record. Ben Schwartz parodies the former White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci. Ginger Gonzaga does the same to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
III. Detailed Review
Due to the fact that the duo behind the office was reuniting and a massive roster of talent in the supporting cast, the expectations from this show to be a new workplace comedy like The Office were immense. It is established early on that this show is nowhere near as good as that. It is impossible to miss the similarities between the two, which do more harm than good for Space Force.
The rivalry between the Space Force and the Air Force feels like the rivalry between Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch and the ones in Stamford or Utah. When they participate in games against other organizations of the U.S. Army, they are reminiscent of the Office Olympics hosted by Michal Scott.
Another thing that works against the show is true for political satire on SNL and other talk shows. It is hard for a satire to out-do the crazy decisions and insane tweets that have become the new normal in the U.S.
There are a lot of references to the current state of U.S. politics, and the unnamed president in the show is constantly made fun of. The show starts out with a bold tweet stating that “POTUS wants boots on the moon by 2024,” which is followed by comments that the President actually tweeted “Boobs on the moon” as a typo. The portrayals of Scaramucci and AOC, as well as a female Elon Musk-esque figure, also speak volumes about the gender politics of the U.S.
The show ultimately struggles to be funny as they don’t embrace the crazy completely. Lisa Kudrow’s history in prison is not explained and not used to add depth to her character. The show is relevant, but it is not the epic workplace comedy that you hoped it would be.
3. Final Thoughts
Fans of Steve Carell and The Office will enjoy this show while those looking for a fresh take on the ridiculous yet real Space Force will have fun watching it.
The show could have been more with wittier or crasser humor, and it remains to be seen if a second season steps up its game in the next couple of years.