#1  
Old 05-20-2020, 09:54 AM
solost is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 977

Space Force!


I just learned of a new comedy from Steve Carell coming out on Netflix May 29 about the creation of Space Force, called "Space Force", unsurprisingly. Got some interesting names in it, like John Malkovich, Lise Kudrow, Jane Lynch, Fred Williard, and Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley).

I'm hoping it's at least in part a biting, Strangelovian satire of the Trump administration, but I might be getting my hopes up too much. Other than a joke in which it's announced that the President wants to create a new "Space Force" agency and a table of military leaders starts laughing, the trailers make it look more just like a silly comedy. Still, it might be something to watch.

Couple trailers in an article here:
https://www.cnet.com/news/in-new-net...space-is-hard/
  #2  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:28 AM
DigitalC is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Obamatopia
Posts: 11,347
I expect more "The Office" in a military setting.
  #3  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:32 AM
solost is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 977
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalC View Post
I expect more "The Office" in a military setting.
Yeah, definitely an obvious comparison, in that Steve Carrell is playing the head of an organization who is clearly unsuited for the job and out of his depth. Hopefully there's more to it than that though.
  #4  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:33 AM
hogarth is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,656
Quote:
Originally Posted by solost View Post
I'm hoping it's at least in part a biting, Strangelovian satire of the Trump administration, but I might be getting my hopes up too much. Other than a joke in which it's announced that the President wants to create a new "Space Force" agency and a table of military leaders starts laughing, the trailers make it look more just like a silly comedy.
I liked Greg Daniels's other recent show "Upload" (on Amazon), which was a mix of silly comedy moments and more biting satire. So I'm cautiously optimistic.
  #5  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:37 AM
silenus's Avatar
silenus is online now
Isaiah 10:1-3
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 52,500
Already on our "Watch" list just for the cast.
  #6  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:43 AM
Stranger On A Train is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 19,868
Quote:
Originally Posted by solost View Post
Yeah, definitely an obvious comparison, in that Steve Carrell is playing the head of an organization who is clearly unsuited for the job and out of his depth. Hopefully there's more to it than that though.
Deadline: "‘Space Force’ Workplace Comedy Series From ‘The Office’s Steve Carell & Greg Daniels Ordered By Netflix"
Co-created by Carell and Daniels and starring Carell, Space Force is centered around the people tasked with creating a sixth branch of the armed services…Space Force.

Steve Carell, who co-created the series, will star and executive produce. Daniels will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Fellow Office alum, 3 Arts’ Howard Klein, will also serve as executive producer.
Sounds like The Office 'in space' to me. Which, really, isn't a bad thing; the incompetence in military bureaucracy is a rich vein of humor and hypocrisy that is too infrequently mined. I'm imagining something like The Pentagon Wars stretched out to series length, although I'd really rather see it be done by Mitch Hurwitz and the Arrested Development creative team.

Stranger
  #7  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:47 AM
Hermitian's Avatar
Hermitian is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,825
I had high hopes, but I have to say that the one trailer I saw was not very funny.
  #8  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:58 AM
solost is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 977
Quote:
Originally Posted by hogarth View Post
I liked Greg Daniels's other recent show "Upload" (on Amazon), which was a mix of silly comedy moments and more biting satire. So I'm cautiously optimistic.
Made by the same guy who made "Upload", eh? Interesting. I guess that means DrForrester won't like it, judging by that "Upload" thread awhile back

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
...
Sounds like The Office 'in space' to me. Which, really, isn't a bad thing;
...
Stranger
I agree, a well-done version of "The Office", only space-related, wouldn't be bad. But I'd like to see something with some satirical teeth to it, that gets Trump rage-tweeting at 3 a.m. about how bad the show is, and what a bunch of losers are in it.
  #9  
Old 05-20-2020, 11:43 AM
Stranger On A Train is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 19,868
Quote:
Originally Posted by solost View Post
I agree, a well-done version of "The Office", only space-related, wouldn't be bad. But I'd like to see something with some satirical teeth to it, that gets Trump rage-tweeting at 3 a.m. about how bad the show is, and what a bunch of losers are in it.
In that case they need to cast Alec Baldwin as “President Ronald Glamp” and guest star Robert DeNiro as his Attorney General. Mitt Romney can cameo as himself.

Stranger
  #10  
Old 05-20-2020, 12:15 PM
Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 86,274
I'm just judging from the trailer but I'm not getting an Office feeling or seeing a biting political satire. This looks like an underdog comedy, where somebody who is expected to fail will overcome his difficulties and achieve a big success.
  #11  
Old 05-20-2020, 01:42 PM
solost is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 977
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I'm just judging from the trailer but I'm not getting an Office feeling or seeing a biting political satire. This looks like an underdog comedy, where somebody who is expected to fail will overcome his difficulties and achieve a big success.
Yeah, I did catch disturbing hints of warmth, family-friendliness and lesson-learning in the trailer.
  #12  
Old 05-20-2020, 01:48 PM
manson1972's Avatar
manson1972 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 13,226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I'm just judging from the trailer but I'm not getting an Office feeling or seeing a biting political satire. This looks like an underdog comedy, where somebody who is expected to fail will overcome his difficulties and achieve a big success.
I'm hoping the big success will be realizing that nobody in the "Space Force" will actually be going into space and disband the new service for being an incredibly dumb idea.
  #13  
Old 05-20-2020, 02:31 PM
enalzi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 8,662
Quote:
Originally Posted by solost View Post
I agree, a well-done version of "The Office", only space-related, wouldn't be bad. But I'd like to see something with some satirical teeth to it, that gets Trump rage-tweeting at 3 a.m. about how bad the show is, and what a bunch of losers are in it.
I'd rather it not get too Trump specific. I feel like contemporary political humor never ages that well.
  #14  
Old 05-20-2020, 05:16 PM
Icerigger's Avatar
Icerigger is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: UFP SECTOR 001
Posts: 3,466
I thought the thread was about this Space Force TV show from my youth.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vroANVFNcFY
  #15  
Old 05-20-2020, 05:55 PM
Banksiaman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Straya
Posts: 1,370
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
In that case they need to cast Alec Baldwin as “President Ronald Glamp” and guest star Robert DeNiro as his Attorney General. Mitt Romney can cameo as himself.

Stranger
Its an ideal opportunity to return John Glover, who played a stellar Daniel Clamp in Gremlins 2.
  #16  
Old 05-21-2020, 07:41 AM
Mr. Me is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icerigger View Post
I thought the thread was about this Space Force TV show from my youth.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vroANVFNcFY
So that makes this the second TV show called Space Force to feature Fred Willard.

Space Force (1978)
Space Force (2020)
  #17  
Old 05-21-2020, 09:09 AM
solost is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 977
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post
So that makes this the second TV show called Space Force to feature Fred Willard.

Space Force (1978)
Space Force (2020)
Sadly, there won't be a third.
  #18  
Old 05-21-2020, 01:52 PM
LurkerInNJ is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 2,459
I'm looking forward to it.

I watched Avenue 5 on HBO and while it's not the bestest funniest thing ever, it had some genuine hilarious moments. Judd and Karen steal almost every scene they are in.
  #19  
Old Yesterday, 09:09 PM
friedo's Avatar
friedo is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 24,611
I finished the series today and enjoyed it quite a lot. I'm surprised that it got such negative-to-mediocre reviews. Oddly, one of the most laudatory reviews came from the Wall Street Journal of all places.

Quote:
This is comedy infinitely more ambitious, more a product of a grand inventiveness than anything in “The Office.” It was that show that first made a star of Mr. Carell, and even then his performance was a foreshadowing of sorts—the indicator of his gift for portraying a character who was more than he seemed. In “The Office” he played Michael Scott, know-it-all boss, a sucker for all the latest in progressive management claptrap, in charge of the Scranton, Pa., branch of Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. Yet for all his infuriatingly stubborn pretensions, his faith in all that reeked of folly, Michael was clearly more humble than he seemed—no one could doubt his decency.

For all his unblinking devotion to his preposterous mission, there’s nothing absurd in the determined character of Gen. Naird, prepared to do all to carry it through. He’s wide-eyed and more than a little upset to learn about test animals left abandoned in a space capsule long ago—it was too expensive to make a trip into space to bring them back home.
OTOH, that same review called Episode 2 (with the chimp) "dazzling" and I thought that was probably the weakest one.

I am particularly impressed with Carell's performance as a stubborn-but-generally-competent guy trying to do the best job he can. I often find that the trickiest part of workplace comedies is portraying comedic characters who actually have a reason to be in that job in the first place. In between jokes these guys behave and talk like actual military officers, and even the stupider ones are motivated by reasonable concerns.

I give it an 8/10 and look forward to the next season.
  #20  
Old Yesterday, 09:17 PM
TriPolar is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 42,182
Better than I expected. Episode 1 was the expected satire, but then in episode 2 they kicked it up into a higher gear. Quite a star studded cast, and one last look at Fred Willard.

Last edited by TriPolar; Yesterday at 09:18 PM.
  #21  
Old Today, 01:28 AM
krondys's Avatar
krondys is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Gillette, Wyoming
Posts: 1,263
Hmmm... I have so far found it to be... Barely watchable. I'm finishing it in case it gets its footing, but it thus far it has rated a big "meh" for me.
  #22  
Old Today, 06:57 AM
gdave is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 389
I watched the whole thing, and I found the whole thing...watchable. It just seemed like they never figured out what they were trying to do, and it was a neither-fish-nor-fowl tweener. At times they seemed to be going for farce, but never got broad enough to get there. At other times, they seemed to be going for satire, but never got sharp enough to get there, either. It did manage to avoid Netflix bloat, but at the cost of swinging too far the other direction. It seemed like there were scenes missing from some episodes, and entire episodes missing from the season. And the last couple of episodes really seemed to jump the shark and go off the rails - yes, that was a mixed metaphor, which itself is a fitting metaphor for the confused nature of the show.

Still, it was just watchable enough, and there's enough talent on screen, that I'll probably give a second season a try, just to see if they figure out what they're doing.
  #23  
Old Today, 07:08 AM
Asympotically fat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,209
I think "watchable" is the perfect description, the laughs were sparse and it never climbed the heights of hilarity, but it had a good cast, high production values and enough of a plot going on to keep it watchable.
  #24  
Old Today, 07:21 AM
friedo's Avatar
friedo is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 24,611
We at least need to find out why Mrs. Space Force ended up in prison!
  #25  
Old Today, 07:32 AM
gdave is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo View Post
We at least need to find out why Mrs. Space Force ended up in prison!
That's actually one of the parts I did like. It's just so utterly incongruous. There's no indication whatsoever that her sentence was unjust. So, she committed some crime so serious that she got a 40+ year sentence, but one that didn't alienate her from her daughter or ultra-straight-arrow husband. Not to mention it was a crime committed by the ambitious wife of a high-ranking military officer, which didn't apparently impact his career at all.

I thought the subtle running joke of everyone just treating it as a normal thing that the commanding general's wife was in prison for some unspecified crime was one of the elements of the show that actually worked fairly well. If they ever reveal the crime, I think that'll ruin the bit.
  #26  
Old Today, 08:42 AM
Chefguy's Avatar
Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 44,087
Only seen episode one, and am fairly unimpressed with the writing. The cast works hard, and there are some amusing bits, but overall it fell flat for me. For the most part, Carell came off as annoying, rather than amusing, and the supporting cast pretty much stole every scene. Except for Lisa Kudrow, who is as unfunny as ever; I honestly do not understand her presence in the acting business. I'll give another ep or two a look, but there's something off about this series. They could have done a scathing satire, but seem to have instead elected for sophomoric.
  #27  
Old Today, 11:39 AM
Fiendish Astronaut's Avatar
Fiendish Astronaut is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: London - England
Posts: 1,347
I switched off half way through ep2. Not enough laughs and I found Carrell's character annoying.

This was obviously satirising people with a certain political outlook and their attitudes towards science and reason, and that I can totally get behind. But it needs much more subtlety to be funny IMHO. Perhaps over time they can add depth to the characters and comedy will flow from that. At least John Malcovitch's character is promising.

And while we're talking about satire - it can be a very powerful weapon but it's much less effective if it doesn't appeal to a broad base of people and things that bash you over the head with a political message generally doesn't have a broad appeal. Too often satire is screamed into an echo chamber. Look back at some of the greatest satire in television history and it's often most effective because it challenges its viewers and shifts opinion. I don't think Space Force! is going to do that unfortunately.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:58 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017