Now Streaming: SPACE FORCE, New Comedy From Steve Carell And Greg Daniels Sends Up America's New Military Branch
Created by Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation) and Steve Carell (The Office), Carell plays General Mark R. Naird, a newly appointed four star general who thinks he is going to take over the Air Force. However, Naird is now put in charge of Space Force, the new, sixth branch of the armed services, just slightly ahead of the Coast Guard.
Space Force catches up with Naird one year into the new branch's existence. He has moved his family (Wife, Maggie (Lisa Kudrow) and daughter Erin (Diana Silvers)) to the 'secret' base in Colorado. The transition has not been smooth for the Nairds and it is mostly Naird and his daughter for now.
Carell is of course very good at playing the straight man. A proven dramatic actor as well they've even given him scant moments of cracks showing in the military grade veneer. John Malkovich is obviously wonderful as Naird’s right hand man Dr. Adrian Mallory. Young comedic talents Jimmy O. Yang and Ben Schwartz have their moments to shine. Tawney Newsome matches Carell's straight shooter approach and hooray for giving her command of Space Force's journey to the moon. And can we all agree that Canadian comedian Don Lake is an underappreciated talent?
There will be that moment of sadness when you see Fred Willard first appear on screen as Carell's father Fred Naird but being the legend that he was he is spot on in his supporting role. Rest in power, good sir.
The notion of taking the piss out of something that so many were quick to mock right from its announcement is interesting. In that regard Space Force isn't so much a show that we needed, it will have to learn to share the stage. It does kind of preach to the choir. The internet has already done a fine job of mocking the current administation's efforts to get this sixth branch of its military 'off the ground'.
Satire should take shots at both sides as Space Force does so that one or the other does not feel that Daniels and Carell are picking on just the Reds or only the Blues. No one is safe from their hit list of comedic targets, both sides of the political spectrum take their bumps, though maybe Red states are going to take a bit more abuse.
There is a Nancy Palosi type of character as well as what could be a John Neely Kennedy type in there as well. There is an AOC type of character in there doing a little bit of saber rattling during a senate hearing which will please the anti-state crowd who question her role and capabilities to function in government.
Maybe, because a lot of people are playing to type or versions of real-life personas it takes away from their moments. Rather than letting the comedy rule the gag, wondering if you should be attributing it to a person takes us out of the moment.
As ridiculous as the idea of Space Force sounds Daniels and Carell are not anti-space nor are they anti-science. There is a good speach that Naird gives in front of Senate, defending space exploration late in the first season. They're definitely pro-space and pro-science, though probably not for the same goal of dominance as the current U.S. administration wants to be.
I've always treated comedy as something subjective. What makes me laugh will not always make someone else laugh. But I like to think I know what is generally funny and what works. The writing team is made up from the new show Upload (also a Greg Daniels project), Angie Tribeca, The Office and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. All of these shows have managed to tickle my funny bone over the years, it should be no different for fans of any of these shows. The pedigree of this writing team is top shelf.
Space Force manages to lift off, whether it reaches orbit will vary. It made me laugh. It managed to do this quite often. Mission accomplished as far as I am concerned.
Space Force premieres globally on Netflix on May 29th.
- Steve Carell
- Greg Daniels
- Steve Carell
- Owen Daniels
- Noah Emmerich
- John Malkovich