Space Force, a new Netflix original with Steve Carell as the lead and Greg Daniels as the co-creator was highly anticipated. In addition to the all-star cast, the basis that this show was founded on should have led to an amazing success; however, this show was ‘rough landing’ to the public.
The show is so strikingly similar to the real politics of the U.S. military that it’s pretty safe to call this show a satire. Right now, if you were to google ‘Space Force’, the first couple of links would lead you to reviews or synopses of the Netflix show, but if you scroll down enough, there is an official U.S. military website. The official U.S. Space Force (USSF) was established in December 2019 and similarly to episode one of the shows, it is also the newest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. The mission of the USSF is to protect the United States (and allied interests) on the battlefield in space. The whole premise that this show is based off of is almost identical to the current happenings of the U.S. government.
The show Space Force follows General Mark M. Naird as he becomes a four-star general and is assigned to command the newest branch of the armed forces ‘Space Force’. We follow General Naird as his personal life, once perfect, is torn apart due to this ‘promotion’ and how this downfall seeps into his work as he becomes increasingly unprofessional. General Naird works alongside a dynamic group of scientists, military space professionals, and other important space people in hopes of keeping the president happy. Given this a satirist show, nothing is ever going as planned. There is a constant push from the president to get “Boots on The MOON!” and whenever anything goes right for the space force, it seems like a rival country did it faster or better.
Although the personal life of the cast appeals to the comedic, dramatic, and romantic aspects of the show, the plot is so similar to current U.S. politics, it is uncanny. In the show, there is a constant pressure from the president to do something that is often irrational and may cost the nation too many tax dollars. The president keeps demanding things without an idea of what it means or what the consequences may be. You be the judge of whether or not this be a reflection on the current president. On top of the main satirist plot, there are many little details that reflect current U.S. politics and the spread of “fake news” or “alternative facts”. For a few examples, the need to update social media with tweets that aren’t relevant nor true, just to be entertaining and telling the public about the successful aspects of a launch to let the citizens know how amazing America is without showing the dog that was eaten in space by a monkey (if you know, you know). Personally, I think the show is a quite hilarious satire, although it may be because I’m Canadian and it’s not a depiction of my tax dollars being wasted.
The overwhelming disappointment that this show was met with could have been caused by its similarities with the show ‘The Office’ that Steve Carell starred in and Greg Daniel produced. The character General Naird and Michael Scott share many traits, they are both incompetent superiors that are leading a team that is barely staying afloat, whether the team be a branch of a large paper business or a branch of the military. Space Force is able to derive some of the humour that is found in ‘The Office’, but it certain cannot compare.
As a conclusion, I would recommend watching the show, but with lower standards.