TV Review: Space Force (2020)

My god this was odd.  It was entertaining enough that I watched the whole first season, but it isn’t exactly a laugh out loud comedy, and that ending was just peculiar.

Certificate: 15

Creator: Steve Carell, Greg Daniels

Starring: Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz

Genre: Comedy

Seasons: 1

Episodes: 10

Rating: 3 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

Four Star General Mark Naird is chosen to head up the United States newest Military administration, Space Force.  They are tasked by POTUS to ‘Put Boot on the Moon by 2024.’  But there are hiccups at every turn, and a constant threat of being beaten to the punch by the ever-present Chinese space administration.

I was a little apprehensive going into this, having heard only lukewarm reviews of the show so far.  And for the most part, what I have heard was true, but I don’t think the show is completely without redeeming features.  Steve Carell is great here.  He has already proven many, many times that he can carry a comedy show as its main character, and he pulls it off again here.  His character of Gen. Mark Naird is the best part of this show, and I am not even really a Steve Carell fan.  Ben Schwartz is also a great addition here, and is such a stand out character compered to all those around him as most of the science and military personnel he deals with have no idea what he is talking about most of the time.

Some of the individual episodes had some great storylines going, Naird’s conjugal visit with his wife being one of my favourites.  It gave Carell a chance to break away from the comedy stylings of the rest of the show for a while and have a few heartfelt scenes with his on-screen wife Lisa Kudrow.  However, there doesn’t really appear to be much of an overall arching storyline through out the entire show to speak of.  There I the general idea of getting American’s on the moon and beating the Chinese, but no real plot points to speak of, and I think it needed it to tie the whole show together.

They toyed with some great ideas involving Naird’s personal life and his relationships with his daughter and his wife, but always stopped just short of really exploring them.  The sub-story involving his relationship with his wife could have been a really great story, but it isn’t ever really dealt with properly, instead it’s mentioned mostly in passing once or twice and then that’s it.  We never find out why she is in prison, how she escaped at the end, I just felt her character was underused,  As was that if his daughter Erin, who seems to just be there to add some conflict to his personal life.

As a comedy, it did make me chuckle a couple times, but it was never a laugh out loud situation for me.  And I can’t decide if I should mark that down as a negative or not.  I hate comedies that try too hard to be funny, it just comes off as cringeworthy.  There is a good amount of political satire thrown in here, and it’s not done particularly subtlety either.  Names are never mentioned of course, but it is painfully obvious who they are talking about, and I liked that.  In few years it may be dated when the current POTUS isn’t tweeting up a storm, but for right now, it makes for a few funny moments.

The ending was really strange for me, it was very open ended meaning they are leaving it open for a second season (which I don’t imagine they will get.) But none of the issue where fixed, the situation going on at Space Force was just left hanging. And the scene at the end with the helicopter was just…odd! I wanted a bit more of a wrapped up ending.

I can’t say it’s a strong recommend, but if you want something lighthearted and you are a Steve Carell fan, then you may enjoy this.  The first 10 episodes of ‘Space Force’ are trending now on Netflix.

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