Review: Space Force (Netflix)
A story that builds from a goofy plot to a high stakes situation filled with compassion and ethical boundaries. Space Force is not your typical comedy show, at least from the outside it may seem that way. A show based solely from an idea that President Donald Trump once tweeted, Space Force shows the rise of a new military, with none other than Mark R. Naird (Steve Carell) as their General.
Netflix chucked a lot of money at this and you can tell from the get go. The set design is superb and the costumes are delightfully colourful, more so than you would expect from a military show, which usually merit a bleaker tone. The casting is on point too, something we've also come to expect from Netflix. There are definitely two stand out roles that were perfectly cast in my eyes. I’ll start with Doctor Adrian Mallory, played by the phenomenal John Malkovich, who encapsulates the role with enviable class. One thing you can take from this show, is the depth of the side characters, each has a unique tone and staple attitude. Malkovich’s is that of a deeply passionate lead scientist at the Space Force, who is the ethical devil’s advocate to Carell’s General. The second character is Ben Schwartz’s F. Tony Scarapiducci, who is the larger than life character you would expect in a show co-created by Greg Daniels (The US Office, Parks and Recreations). He is the much needed lift from an already insane concept for a show, it’s nice to have that positive energy during the darker moments of the show. I’d also like to highlight the work of the comedic legend Fred Willard, who tragically passed away earlier this year, this was his last working role before his passing. He plays the General’s ill father who is almost already lost, which makes the role even more heart-breaking considering the real life context.
Space Force isn’t perfect, I must admit it took me about 3 episodes of the 10 to really get into it, but as soon as I was invested it had me. Where there are moments and jokes that don’t quite land, or characters that feel unendingly divisive, they are more than made up for by the main cast. The sub plots with the General’s daughter (Diana Silver) and the growing relationship between Chan and Angela (Jimmy O. Yang and Tawny Newsome) were just as important to me as the main plot, which is a testament to these stories.
Space Force’s finale perfectly sets up a second season, and I’m intrigued to see where they will go with it. I hope that they grasp onto all the hits of the first season and fully run with them, no matter how odd those hits are.
This show is easy to binge or, I’m sure, sit in and watch on a Friday night. Filled with “what would I do?” moments, It’s not for everyone, as 'Americanised' humour isn’t as easily accessible to some nowadays, but those who are open to it will love it.
As we come to the end of an important time in our lives, things can get frustrating, so something like this is a welcome leap from reality. And remember, if things get too much, take a moment. Pause. Breathe. Whisper… Aruba, Jamaica, oh I wanna take you to Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama.