Space Force Review: A mission best left aborted
The series has no trajectory, and is a mishmash of ideas that don't mix well
Just a few hours back, NASA and SpaceX blasted off humans into space, and ushered in a new era in commercial space travel. In a year that's riddled with complications, the launch has got us looking up to the sky in hope. What a time then to try and come up with a series on a species that once gawked at the stars but is now flying towards them. Unfortunately, what we get with Space Force is a crummy take on the United States Space Force trying to get "boots on the moon".
Air Force Lieutenant General Mark Naird (Steve Carell), gets appointed out of nowhere as the first Chief of Operations of the newest United States military branch: the USSF. This means he has to relocate from Washington DC to Colorado with his wife, Maggie (Lisa Kudrow), and teenage daughter, Erin (Diana Silvers). A year later, the Space Force is about to launch a new satellite called Epsilon 6 into orbit but things don't look good from Mark's position. He faces weird challenges from random adversaries, his daughter hates the relocation, and for some reason, his wife gets imprisoned. In a nutshell, Mark's everyday life is so despicable that if it got any worse, it would have to show him watching this series he features in. For a show that involves one of the best names in Hollywood when it comes to the comedy genre and a veteran writer known for Saturday Night Live, and The Simpsons, Space Force is shockingly unfunny. The fact that both Carell and Daniels redefined the workplace comedy subgenre with their acclaimed collaboration, The Office (US version), makes the ineffectiveness of this series even more bizarre.
Series: Space Force
Created by: Steve Carell, Greg Daniels
Cast: Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Diana Silvers, Lisa Kudrow
Streaming on: Netflix
The series has no trajectory, and is a mishmash of ideas that don't mix well. There are, of course, a few worthwhile moments that make it possible to get through the 10 episodes. The scenes involving Carell and John Malkovich, who plays the role of Dr Adrian Mallory, a Space Force scientist, are some of the best parts. Fans of pop culture are sure to dig the umpteen references to films such as Star Wars and Star Trek. While on it, the references to tweets from the White House too are aplenty. In one such tweet, the line, ‘boots on the moon' is misspelt as 'b**bs on the moon'. But these gags are limited as the makers of Space Force seem reluctant to really go for the kill. From joking about topics like panty lines and dog-eating chimps, the series takes weak digs at various affairs such as wars and vaccines. The splendid cast including the likes of Noah Emmerich, Diedrich Bader, Patrick Warburton, Jane Lynch, and Dan Bakkedahl, is severely underutilised. And don't even get me started on how much screen space is given to Lisa Kudrow.
By and large, this series fails to deliver the quality of humour expected from the big names attached to it. This mission really should have been aborted.