Space Force Review: With a supremely witty cast that can be categorised as a comedy writer’s wildest fantasy come true, Space Force completely burns out due to its monotonous humour. Read the review of Space Force below.
The fact that it’s the deadly comedic duo, Greg Daniels and Steve Carell, who have spearheaded Netflix’s latest series, Space Force, one can’t help but go back to The Office. A sitcom that was universally loved with a titular character that immortalised Steve Carell for the world. Post his departure from the series, Steve had an acting rebirth with serious dramas like Foxcatcher, which even earned the talented actor an Oscar nomination. However, fans still yearn for the funny guy in Mr. Carell and Space Force brings forward the old school Steve in his A-game. It’s the monotonous humour though that has the last laugh and not in a pleasing way.
Judging by the title itself, Space Force is based on General Mark R. Naird (Carell), whose dream of heading the Air Force is taken to new heights as he instead is put in charge of Space Force. It was in President Trump’s 2018 speech that kickstarted the establishment of the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces. Naird is equipped with one crackpot of a team with the likes of the sensibly snarky scientist, Dr. Adrian Mallory (John Malkovich), a Twitter hippie social media expert, F. Tony Scarapiducci (Ben Schwartz) and more. There’s also a balance in the storyline from not being too overtly scientific with the inclusion of Mark’s wife, Maggie Naird and teenage daughter, Erin Naird (Diana Silvers).
Mark’s main job is to put ‘boots on the moon’ or as the unnamed President miss-tweeted, ‘b***s on the moon.’ With a lot of relevant political references, typically aimed at Trump and his administration, it baffles me how the writers managed to still keep the storyline apolitical. Using satire to mock the US politics and military services without social commentary or a solution felt like a wasted sense of opportunity to capitalise on as Veep has in the past. What’s even more nerve-wracking is the drudged storytelling and comedy that we’re used to seeing and genuinely not laughing out loud over. The jokes almost feel like the WhatsApp forwards that your parents send you and you’re forced to send a haha because well, you just do. Similarly, with such a significantly funny cast, you’re almost obliged to give out a small chuckle instead of chortling your heart out, like this reviewer genuinely wanted to.
For someone who is a sucker for comedies, I’ve been craving for a funny quarantine watch and while Space Force promised that in the trailers, it ended up being a fever dream instead and tit’s not the cast at blame! Game of Thrones, anyone?!
Speaking of the impressive stack of actors in Space Force, Steve shows us yet again why his mix of subtle and caricaturish comedy is always an endearing watch. Mark may have several obvious similarities with Michael Scott, but there’s a sense of wholeness when it comes to this Chief of Space Operations. Complimenting his performance is a stellar act put up by John, who we’re glad is fleshing out to the comedy territory. His straight-faced sarcasm with the genuine outbursts from time to time (When he has an ‘f**k you battle’ with one of the chosen candidates to be sent to the Moon or when he threatens to light himself up with gasoline) is a genuine chuckle inducer. Ben as F Tony is almost unbearable to tolerate and we can totally sympathise with Naird and Adrian’s distaste for him.
As much as we were promised a good amount of Lisa Kudrow, which is always necessary for our life, the actress is terribly misused in the sitcom. Moreover, it’s almost like a glorified cameo appearance. Nonetheless, she’s still the best part of Space Force and the only reason why I would even sit through a season 2 if there ever was one or even just a spin-off on Maggie will do, to be honest. She’d also be a perfect addition for Orange Is The New Black (You have to see the series to get it!).
Noah Emmerich, Jane Lynch, Diedrich Bader and Patrick Warburton as the chiefs who look after the other branches in the United States Armed Forces are the bully gang that is the least effective out of the lot. Brad Gregory (Don Lake) adds in a few awkward chuckles while it’s a shame that the late comedian Fred Willard’s final act was a forgettable cameo as Mark’s father, Fred Naird.
Some other notable performances include Diana as the rebellious teenager, Erin, who’s caught in the middle of her parent’s tumultuous situations and just wants to break free. Tawny Newsome as a helicopter pilot, Angela Ali, is a refreshing element change from time to time as her scenes with Jimmy O. Yang (Dr. Chen Kaifang) is captivating.
However, Jimmy’s character being solely used for racial comedy, with no character development whatsoever, is too passe and is not definitely woke, as F Tony would tweet on Twitter. And surprisingly, there’s an entire episode dedicated to India’s recent achievements in space too. Again, you have to watch it to believe it!