Review | ‘Space Force’ Is Funny, Pointed

Topical Meets Nonsensical in Steve Carell-Helmed Series

Steve Carell Space Force
Steve Carell in Netflix's series Space Force | Credit: Courtesy

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They say you should view the entirety of a series before committing to writing a laudatory opinion, or one that stinks. Space Force, however, is the exception that proves the rule. The opening camera swivel alone from behind a gravelly voiced lieutenant general to Steve Carell’s long, sharp nose was a clue to what was to come, endorsed by the ensuing line: “Joint Chiefs in five minutes. C’mon.”

Our hero, Carell playing newly fourth-starred Gen. Mark Naird, quickly learns he’s leading the new adventure in, uh, air? No, there’s no air in space. No water either, so Navy gets no say, nor the Coast Guard — you’re behind Salvation Army, the joint chiefs all laugh. The dialogue is quick, sophomorically funny, and pointed. “POTUS wants to make some changes,” says Defense Secretary John Blandsmith (Don Bakkedahl), of the chain-of-command decision. “He’s tweeting about it in five minutes, so let’s hope you like it.”

The topical meets the nonsensical in this Netflix series, with 10 episodes in the can. The cast of comedic fury includes Lisa Kudrow, Jimmy O. Yang, a whole lotta young up-and-comers, and John Malkovich — freshly dapper from having played the Pope for Paolo Sorrentino and HBO.

It’s as if the paper pushers from The Office all got an unexpected boot upstairs and … oh my god. Nothing comical about it.

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