Pat’s Review – Netflix’s Space Force – Season 1

HyperJump

Grade 17/20 (B)

Honestly, I was hoping for Galaxy Quest and wound up just slightly shy of Spaceballs. That is not necessarily a bad thing but I found the amount of “adult” language to be excessive in a show that didn’t seem to need it. I was pleasantly surprised at the overall story which was not slapstick but fairly rich with some really great characters and moments.

Sublight

Cinematography 5/5

I was very impressed with the sets, the visuals, the overall graphics and matching settings. I felt like there really was a base outside of Denver that housed a small control room that handled Space Force control.

Characters/Acting 4/5

The case is amazing and all the characters seemed well formed with a few minor exceptions. To begin with, Steve Carell is great in his role as General Naird the newly appointed head of the United States Space Force. I especially loved his determination to want to stay married to his wife who, well, has a separation problem. I also enjoyed his hold to a moral and ethical line for the most part. John Malkovich as the head scientist, Adrian Mallory, was just fantastic. I felt I could relate and even recognized a few people I have worked with in his character. The problem for me with the characters comes in the form of Lisa Kudrow’s character, Maggie Naird, as the wife of General Naird (Steve Carell). She started out ok in the very first scene and everything after that just falls on its face for me. I realize this was meant to be comic relief for the otherwise mostly dramatic series. But her arc just felt unbelievable and forced.

Plot/Story 5/5

So I was expecting a full out slapstick comedy and I was pleasantly surprised that it was not anywhere near that. Of course, there is plenty of comedy when you put Steve Carell and Lisa Kudrow in a show. However, from an overall approach it felt more like they were looking closer to Marvel movies for the amount of humor that was included. Albeit much of the humor is laced with adult language. But still I felt more like I was watching a drama that had comedy instead of a comedy that had drama. I like the character arcs of General Naird (Steve Carell) and his onscreen daughter Erin (Diana Silvers). I enjoyed the interaction between General Naird (Steve Carell) and Adrian Mallory (John Malkovich).

I am a space nerd as well as a SciFi geek so I found the overall plot which is essentially a space race to the moon to feel real, well written and enjoyable. I was excited with some of the plot twists added to the show like trying to get a space monkey to fix a satellite that was both humorous and added a bit of dramatic tension. I could feel General Naird’s dilemma of trying to keep the white house happy while continue to try and actual do his job. And the speech that General Naird gives about the orange is one of the best pieces of writing I have heard. It has me having goosebumps.

Family Friendliness 2/5

My biggest complaint about this show is the language that drops a ton of F-bombs and taking the Lord Jesus’s name in vain. They do list this as TV-MA for language which means I know what I am heading into. My problem is that the language could be completely removed and it would not change the story or hurt the plot or damage the characters one bit. It was completely unnecessary and either placed there for the rating or because the writers had a blockage on how to write that someone is angry without using swear words. I mean how difficult is to write “He slams his fist on the console while shoving his chair letting out a gigantic sigh!” But alas instead we just get not one character but several character dropping the f-bomb every time they want to express anger or frustration. Which is sad because the story is actually pretty good.

Nuts and Bolts

Space Force is available for streaming of the complete first season on Netflix and stars Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Diana Silvers, Lisa Kudrow, and more. It is rated TV-MA and deserves the rating mostly for adult language although there are a few scenes where sex is discussed.

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