Space Force is the latest endeavour from The Office and Parks and Recreation creator Greg Daniels who teamed up with Steve Carell to bring us this comedy show. Space Force came off the back of the announcement of US real-life military arm “Space Force”, with a cast and crew involved that was enough to make any fan excited. The show follows General Mark Naird (Carell) a 4-star General, military man, who has spent his career in the US Air Force being re-assigned to the newly formed Space Force, Naird and his team are tasked with the near-impossible goal of getting “boots on the moon by 2024” at the request of the president.
By far the best thing about Space Force is without a doubt, the casting, every casting decision is incredible. Carell is good as General Naird, but doesn’t really bring anything exciting to the table, the biggest plaudits go to John Malcovich and Tawny Newsome who plays Dr Adrian Mallory, Nairds second in command and Captain Angel Ali a space force pilot. Malcovich is giving the best of the jokes throughout the show and delivers them brilliantly at the same time chewing EVERY SINGLE PIECE of the scenery he can it is wonderful, while Newsome brings some more grounded reality and comedy to the otherwise silly escapades having her story closely intertwined with Naird’s. This is not to say the rest of the cast is bad, they aren’t Ben Schwartz and Don Lake who are given some funny lines, but mostly give you giggles from execution, not writing, which seems to be a trend in this show. Sadly, most of the good lines that are given to the cast are nullified by the awful decisions elsewhere in the production. Also, would feel remiss to not pass on our condolence to the passing of Fred Willard who was wonderfully funny as he has been for decades.
The biggest downfalls of Space Force for me, come from the meandering of genres, never is the show hilarious nor is it emotionally engaging enough to be the family drama it thinks it can be. Another issue is plot points that just seem to go nowhere or mean nothing, [SPOILERS AHEAD] two of the major standouts come in the form of a huge action sequence when the team need to save a satellite hurtling towards earth and after their efforts fail, we just forget about the satellite to never mention it again. The other being Nairds wife he inexplicably just ends up in jail for 40 years for no reason, Daniels has said he likes the “mystery” behind it, but it just feels like a lazy attempt to make Naird a “single dad” which is never really explored as his relationship with his daughter is hardly touched on besides looking into flashbacks. Just two of the instances we are left wondering about when many others are just thrown away without a second care. Which when you look at The Office, for example, as outlandish as they went with their arcs, they still kept the overall thing moving forward, Space Force just stagnates.
One can only hope Space Force is a slow starter similar to the aforementioned The Office or Parks And Recreation, who both, respectfully had lesser first seasons compared to later seasons.
Ultimately, Space Force fails to parody its real-world counterpart and just fails overall to find its footing in what genre it wanted to be. It is neither a comedy nor a drama, and doesn’t fit the billing for dramedy either given the bounce between, it just is just a hollow overall show. Sadly serves better as background noise when you don’t have to pay too much attention you can miss jokes because they either aren’t really relevant to events or, not even that funny really. Which is a shame given the team behind it and the cast starring. Outside of the occasion good back and forth with Carell and Malcovich it is really hard to recommend this show outside of a casual binge that you half pay attention to.
Space Force shoots for the moon, but unfortunately, miscalculated their trajectory.