By Luke Schlauder, Opinion
The Netflix Original Series Space Force is one long, dull joke about President Donald Trump, Twitter, and China, at one of the most untimely moments in history.
Recently, President Trump signed a $738 billion defense spending bill in 2019 that officially created the sixth branch of the United States military: the Space Force. It sounds ridiculous, and it is expected to cause a ridiculous amount of government waste.
The 10-episode series stars Steve Carrell as General Mark Naird, the newly appointed first leader of the Space Force, and John Malkovich as his right-hand-man Dr. Adrian Mallory. These two do their best to please POTUS as he communicates his bidding via Twitter.
Despite General Naird and Dr. Mallory’s efforts to launch rockets and colonize the moon, the Space Force regularly runs into problems with Russia, China and India in the midst of their own space races. This constant international conflict is hardly expanded upon and really just acts as a frustrating recurring joke about how poorly our military could handle a foreign affair.
A scene where a Chinese moon rover flattens an American flag and backs over it multiple times is just what we needed amidst COVID-19. It makes light of foreign governments deliberately lying to the US government (something that happens too often) and that really isn’t funny, either.
John Malkovich’s acting eclipses the entire case, even seeming to carry the energy for Carrell through some episodes. Supporting characters include Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley) as Dr. Chan and Tawny Newsome (Brockmire) as Captain Angela Ali.
Yang plays Dr. Chan, an Asian-American scientist from Baltimore who General Naird suspects to be a Chinese spy, and Newsome shines as mentor to the general’s teen daughter, helicopter pilot and Space Force Captain Angela Ali, who delivers the memorable line “it’s good to be black on the moon.”
General Naird’s rebellious daughter Erin and convict wife Maggie receive little character development, other than Erin’s relationship with a Russian spy that General Naird knows is a spy but keeps him on the Space Force anyway, thanks to an antiquated diplomatic policy.
From where I’m watching, the biggest turnoff with this series is the focus on making as many POTUS jokes as possible. After four years of President Trump, I’m not sure if just ‘him being him’ is very humorous anymore, especially in the current political climate.
At some point, it becomes more depressing than funny to constantly be reminded of his tweets, especially while protests are happening in every major city in the country.
Some fans might have initially been expecting a creative successor when it was announced that Office co-creator Greg Daniels and star Steve Carrell would be working together on a new Netflix comedy series, especially after it was announced that “The Office” will be taken off Netflix at the end of 2020. To me, it isn’t a creative successor to their previous work at all.
Yang plays Dr. Chan, an Asian-American scientist from Baltimore who General Naird suspects to be a Chinese spy, and Newsome shines as a mentor to the general’s teen daughter, helicopter pilot, and Space Force Captain Angela Ali, who delivers the memorable line “it’s good to be black on the moon.”.”