Netflix has had numerous hits and misses over the years when it comes to their original content. They can sweep the nation with a show like Stranger Things, and they can misfire with a show such as Fuller House. With Space Force, fans and critics thought we were getting a show similar to The Office. Maybe not filmed the same way, but similar in the sense of following a guy who is under qualified for a position who makes silly, humorous mistakes along the way. It actually isn’t a show like that at all. That doesn’t necessarily make it bad, but there is a lot of room for improvement.
There is a decent amount that works for Space Force. The setting and premise are what it has going for it the most. The Space Force Base is well designed and feels very authentic, and the viewers gets a little more of it revealed as the season goes on. The cast is also fantastic and very well rounded. Steve Carell’s portrayal of General Mark Naird is fun and heartfelt at times. Two of the other best characters Dr. Adrian Mallory (John Malkovich) and Captain Angela Ali (Tawny Newsome) add a lot of comedic relief to the show as well.
One can definitely tell that Netflix pumped a lot of money into the budget for Space Force because the overall production, cinematography, and visual effects are fantastic. In addition to that, the costume design is great. The uniforms the members of Space Force wears feel like what the Space Force members would wear in real life. Nothing about the show feels lazy or one dimensional besides the writing for some episodes.
Speaking of the writing, that is one of the biggest problems with the show. It is very inconsistent and comes off bland by the end of the final episode. This isn’t meant to be a hilarious laugh out loud show, but comedy does need to be there consistently. The problem is, some episodes the jokes land and others, they don’t. The satire and commentary on our government and president works sometimes, but lacking consistency really stalls it. The plot is also predictable after the first few episodes.
In addition to the comedic inconsistencies, there are some issues with how they try to flush out certain characters and relationships. General Naird and his daughter Erin Naird (Diana Silvers) have a rocky relationship and that’s a fairly big focus for the show. Unfortunately, this causes Erin Naird’s character to come off very one-dimensional because most of the show she is just rebellious. Plus, it just isn’t super interesting or thought-provoking. In addition to their relationship, General Naird and his wife Maggie Naird (Lisa Kudrow) have an odd relationship. She is in prison so the show somewhat focuses on them visiting each other. It is inconsistent because sometimes it feels like filler and other times it is funny and has meaning.
Overall, Space Force has potential as a show. This first season just didn’t take off like most people expected. The confusing part is that it is made by way too many funny, talented people on both sides of the camera for it to be this bland. The cast does the best they can with what they have, but Netflix needs to get the writers back to the basics because a show like this can be way funnier than it is. The first seasons of Parks and Recreation and The Office aren’t super funny, but the show improves a substantial amount with the next seasons. This could be the same with Space Force if they decide to do a season two. For now, the first season is worth checking out, but it isn’t anything special.