Space Force is a hilarious new Netflix show offering a satirical send up of the real life Space Force created by that lovable, stable, orange, genius we all know so well. Space Force (the show) balances comedy and drama in an interesting way. It’s definitely more of a comedy than a drama, so calling it a dramedy would miss the mark, but there are moments, entires scenes, that are practically devoid of laughs; but without those very scenes this show wouldn’t work as well as it does.
The show stars Steve Carrell as General Naird the Air Force’s #2 in command. He gets tapped by POTUS to head the newly created Space Force much to the dismay of General Grabaston (Noah Emmerich) the Air Forces #1. Not that Grabaston wanted the job for himself, but he sees it as a siphon for his branch’s funding and reduces their area of defense. POTUS wants to to see boots on the moon by 2024, so the race is on!
Naird chooses Dr. Adrian Mallory (John Malkovich) to be his head scientist in charge of the undertaking and what a treat this is! The comedic back-n-forth between these two is remarkable and never gets old through the entire season. It also highlights the eternal struggle between those with knowledge based on years of study and mountains of fact based evidence, and those with a specific agenda. The show is very aware of the current real life American political climate and arrives at the perfect time to poke fun, and although fictional, it paralells reality a little too closely for comfort. If you flipped back and forth between this show and any major news network you might be hard pressed to draw a distinction.
After relocating to the desert from D.C., Naird gets in over his head with the gravity of his new job in a series of ups and downs such as a failed rocket launch, then a successful one that launched a satellite…only to have it quickly incapacitated by a more capable Chinese satellite. For some reason Naird’s wife (Lisa Kudrow) is imprisoned and encouages him to play the field while she is incarcreated since she is doing the same, and their teenage daughter Erin (Diana Silvers) is upset having no friends and no parents around in her life now and thus arises much of the series drama via this subplot.
Ben Schwartz is brilliant as F. Tony Scarapiducci the Space Force social media director who further injects topical whimsy, and Fred Willard is great playing Naird’s father in his last on screen role (R.I.P.). Rounding out the cast is multi-talented Tawny Newsome (Bajillion Dollar Propertie$) as Captain Ali, a young Space Force pilot, and Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley, Crazy Rich Asians) as Dr. Chen Kaifang, Dr. Mallory’s right hand man.
The plot of this season seems to be to establish Space Force as an entity and develop the characters in general in addition to the arcing storyline of making it to the moon to erect a base and institute a presence in space. The Chinese are also in the same race and portray the main rival country attempting to do the same. Some episodes fall a little flat vs. others and although they aren’t quite “filler” epsidodes, they don’t do much to further the story, but serve to quell subplot storylines and in doing so slows down the pacing somewhat.
As a whole, Space Force (the show) is a smash success IMHO, and I can’t wait for season 2. Here’s hoping Netfilx doesn’t pull the plug on this one too soon, or at least I hope other networks take notice and swoop in to pick it up if it does.
Check out these Netflix Space Force quotes.