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Space Force Ep. 1: The Launch

Greg Daniels and Steve Carell are back together in this satirical take on Trump’s renaming of the Air Force Space Command arm of the military to Space Force in December. Carrel plays Mark R. Naird a brand new four star general whose first assignment is to head the brand new Space Force arm of the military, as POTUS wants boots on the moon, though this is introduced with the line “Actually he said boobs on the moon but we believe that to be a typo”. Your opinion on this type of humour will decide whether or not you enjoy this show. For me is stayed too far on the safe side of the line for a show that is supposed to be satire.

What I hoped would be more cutting edge results in sitcom typical with military heads being angry with each other and a running joke of Naird’s secretary Brad (Don Lake) never letting Naird know that someone’s waiting for him in his office, much to Naird’s annoyance. It seems the each joke diminishes the humour as the show develops.

One saving point of the show are Naird’s discussions with Dr Mallory (John Malkovich) and this is something they hopefully build on, also they bravely portray Naird as somewhat racist when he questions Dr Chan (Jimmy O. Yang) suitability for the role he has in the project. To add some dislike for the character is a brave move as I felt we should be sympathising with the stressed out Naird. That is the sitcom norm but this has been ignored here. Hopefully this is something that will develop as Naird progresses through the series.

Space Force has a wide range of supporting characters including Lisa Kudrow as Naird’s wife Maggie – who in the one year later section of the show is mysteriously in prison, Naird’s father (Fred Willard, in what would sadly be his last role), Naird’s son and daughter, plus a Russian liaison that his daughter is dating, his social media manager Tony (Ben Schwartz) who is fired, and helicopter pilot Angela Ali (Tawny Newsome) who Naird likes, falls out with, and later apologises to her via a pineapple.

Verdict: 5/10 Perhaps high expectations led to low enjoyment? It just seems a flat dead pan satire that failed to really make me laugh or really care about what is going on. As it is the first episode I am happy to try the next one and hope that this show will find its feet and develop.

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