[Review with ‘spoilers’] The new series starring Steve Carell premieres on May 29 on Netflix.

Steve Carell plays General Mark Naird in the comedy ‘Space Force’ (2020). It’s hard to define what kind of comedy Space Force is , the series with Steve Carell that Netflix premieres on Friday, May 29. It is an elegant and slow-paced comedy, with intelligent but spaced jokes, more interested in the relationships between the characters than in the comic gags , with a certain dose of political satire but without this being the core of the plot.

In short, Space Force demands patience from the viewer, which can be fatal in this era when the series appeal to agile humor and, as if they were a rocket, they gain height quickly supported by jokes that go at speed of sound (like Rick and Morty or What We Do in the Shadows , for example).

Space Force is about creating a new branch of the US Army, the so-called Space Force, which is placed under the command of General Mark R. Naird (Carell). This soldier leaves Washington DC and moves with his wife (Lisa Kudrow) and daughter (Diana Silvers) to a military base in the Colorado desert.

General Naird, a strict and non-effusive military man, must demonstrate that the Space Force is a success and that it is capable of putting an American astronaut back on the Moon. To do this, it must reach agreements and accept the advice of the base’s chief scientist, Dr. Adrian Mallory (John Malkovich).

But this is not the only challenge facing the protagonist, who must raise a teenage daughter, who resents the short time her father dedicates to her, at the same time that she must overcome pressure from the government in Washington and from a rival general (Noah Emmerich) to produce quick results, now that China and Russia have joined the space race.

In the series, the Space Force, led by General Mark Naird (Steve Carell) has constant friction with the Air Force, under the command of General Kick Gabaston (Noah Emmerich)
In the series, the Space Force, led by General Mark Naird (Steve Carell) has constant friction with the Air Force, under the command of General Kick Gabaston (Noah Emmerich)

The series has a luxurious cast, led by Carell and Malkovich, but which is also nourished by a cast of supporting actors who shines, such as Diana Silvers, Ben Schwartz, Jimmy O. Yang, Tawny Newsome and Don Lake. . Here it is necessary to highlight the participation of Fred Willard, who died on May 16, who plays a brief role as the father of General Naird.

With this cast, and the characters they bring to life, Space Force is  committed to focusing on the day to day of the base and how a branch of the army is created. As the season progresses, the theme of space exploration grows. As stated before, there is political satire but the American president who recently created his own Space Force is never explicitly mentioned.

It remains to be seen if the public will buy the interpretation of Carell, who creates a serious, inflexible and repressed character in General Naird, which is very different from what the audience expects from the actor. More fun turns out to be Schwartz ( Parks and Recreation ) as the head of public relations for the Space Force. Malkovich is also meritorious as he endows Dr. Mallory with interesting features (his way of dressing, how he climbs the stairs).

Perhaps the best thing about Space Force is its production design, shot with panoramic frames and world-class scenarios and visual effects. Without a doubt, it must be one of the most expensive comedies currently produced on TV and streaming platforms .

The writer of this enjoyed Space Force , but acknowledges that the series is very slow and lacks humor in the early episodes, which may – and surely – will discourage the large audience. But its co-creator, Greg Daniels, is a great humorous screenwriter, so the first season could be a small step for the series but a big step to improve it in a second season, if possible to paraphrase Neil Armstrong.


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