Space Force is a worthy addition to Netflix but also highlights how it has been a busy year for Greg Daniels. The comedy series relies too much on the political angle when the joke is the series itself. However, we’re confident the story can be strengthened in subsequent seasons.
Netflix series Space Force season 1 will be out on the platform on May 29, 2020. This review of the comedy series contains no spoilers.
Many reports in the news have made us believe we are living in an alternate universe that is parodying our lives, but when Donald Trump announced a new military service — SPACE FORCE — coupled with a Star Trek logo, it was confirmed that we are living within a caricature of ourselves.
And who knew that with that announcement Steve Carell and Greg Daniels would be opportunistic, creating a Netflix comedy series that indirectly mocks the Americanness of SPACE FORCE. All the episode titles are capitalized to symbolize Trump’s unprecedented tweets and each chapter provides at least one scene where the POTUS immaturely texts a general or tweets information in a childish manner.
Politically, we know where Space Force stands, but at the same time, the USP is the return of Steve Carell in comedy. The actor has shown his malleability in the industry but we all kind of missed his Office-type approach of being a naive and out-of-depth boss. He plays a General in Netflix’s Space Force — a general that knows nothing about science and space and he has no idea what he’s doing after the POTUS erratically put him in charge of the new military. Carell is perfect for the role.
With its political spin, the story still needed to land and while it does provide some laugh-out-loud moments, the comedy is not as impactful as it should be. Space Force seemingly relies on the political subject matter as a means to rely on the audience to engage but being a leftist comedy by proxy does not automatically herald the Netflix series as one of the greats. If there needs to be a second season, the writing needs more work.
As much as Space Force is about space, it warms the audience with side stories. Carell’s General Mark R. Naird is a traditional family man with a disconnected daughter (Erin — played by Diana Silvers). The character always seems to be internalizing his patriotic values within his work approach and family life — everything has to be about “action” and “America being great” while also battling with keeping up as a family man; it is an interesting case study.
The chemistry between the General and Dr. Adrian Mallory (played by John Malkovich) is what truly keeps the Netflix series intact. Mallory is a character conflicted by science and military needs, sarcastically undermining every conversation with his intelligence and acting as the brain of the operation while the General uses words of action. Space Force needs to keep this duo for next season.
Overall, Space Force season 1 is a worthy addition to Netflix but also highlights how it has been a busy year for Greg Daniels. The comedy series relies too much on the political angle when the joke is the series itself. However, we’re confident the story can be strengthened in subsequent seasons.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.