After taking a break from comedy and demonstrating his talents with drama with series like «The Morning Show» and films like «Beautiful Boy: Always Be My Son» (Beautiful Boy, 2018), Steve Carell teames up with the creator of the American version of «The Office» (2005-2013), to carry on a new Netflix original sitcom. Greg Daniels and Carell himself are the minds behind «Space Force,» a story centered on this brand new branch of the U.S. militia, which bears some similarities to the trump administration’s outlandish ideas. Instead, and much to his regret, he must take the leadership of the Space Force, with the goal of putting a man back on the Moon by 2024. The glamour of the new post fades when Naird and his family – his wife Maggie (Lisa Kudrow) and daughter Erin (Diana Silvers) – have to move to Wild Horse, Colorado, where the new base of operations is located.
A year later, hard work begins to pay off and the Space Force is about to launch the Epsilon 6 satellite, a multimillion-dollar device (the cost is six billion dollars) which basically has the task of «interacting» with other satellites. The event, overseen by members of Congress (who must continue to authorize the mountains of money that this branch spends annually), puts all the pressure on Naird’s shoulders, although scientists – led by Dr. Adrian Mallory (John Malkovich) – advise him to postpone takeoff due to weather conditions. Finally, Naird decides to follow his instincts and years of experience accumulated in the militia. The launch is a success but, already within its orbit, the Epsilon 6 is sabotaged by another Chinese satellite, which releases the solar panels of the device (its only source of energy), putting the entire mission at risk. This is the starting point for a crazy rescue operation involving a Siberian dog and a chimpanzee, sent into space months ago.
All the pressures of being at the forefront of the Space Force
If the «Space Force» plot is a little clumsy to you, they’re not wrong. These first two episodes – «The Launch» and «Save Epsilon 6!» (Save Epsilon 6!) – try to get us into the political-military parody in the best style «Dr. Unusual or: As I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb» (Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 1964) by Stanley Kubrick, but the result could not be further from the truth. Daniels is in charge of writing these inaugural chapters, while Paul King («Paddington») and Tom Marshall do the same with directing. The idea is to show the intertelons of the government agency and how Naird has to deal with his superiors and his subalterns who apparently do not respect him; at the same time he has to combine his responsibilities as a father of a teenage girl, while his wife serves time in prison. And let’s not forget some old dads who only cause trouble (Q.E.P.D. Fred Willard). Unfortunately, this «The Office» moved to the Space Force does not properly deliver that humor and irony, clearly associated with the current U.S. government and its constant inconsistencies.
Waiting for a successful launch
It is clear, at the out of date, that Naird has the capabilities for the post, but soon demonstrates the archetypal behaviors of his rank, where they all look like «foreign spies» and problems are solved by dropping a bomb. You may be right about the former, as the project is an international mission that brings together collaborators from Japan, Europe, Turkey, Australia, Israel and Russia, the most suspected within the package; but none of the situations that occur, cause the desired humorous effect.» Space Force» is an overly basic comedy that tries to make jokes about posts on Twitter and «Star Wars, 1977) as a paradigm of the ‘scientific’. Obviously, true scientists are always disqualified, even if they are not 100% brilliant. Yes, we understand that the whole «Space Force» and conquest of the cosmos (in this sense) is a joke in itself, but this is not enough to carry out a product with so many prominent names.
A promotion without much pomp
Carell, Malkovich, Kudrow are totally wasted if you consider your talents, even Dani himselfshows a funnier and smarter facet in Amazon Prime Video’s recent «Upload». For your part, «Space Force» may be a good remedy to escape this harsh reality for a little while, but don’t expect a deopilating humor like that of the office environment at the Dunder Mifflin Company.
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