The trailer for Netflix's upcoming Space Force series looks pretty funny, but don't be fooled. Space Force is a tragedy in the making.
The premise of Space Force certainly sounds funny. Steve Carell stars as Mark Naird, a 4 Star General and former number two of the United States Air Force. Naird has always wanted to command his own service branch, and he's about to get his wish, albeit with a Monkey's Paw twist. The service branch Naird is being put in charge of is the (unnamed) POTUS's newest endeavor: Space Force.
Space Force | Official Teaser | Netflix www.youtube.com
Everything about Space Force screams comedy. It's made by the same people who made The Office. It also features John Malkovich, Jane Lynch, Lisa Kudrow, Jimmy O Yang, and Ben Schwartz, which certainly seems like the cast of a comedy. But even Steve Carell singing the Beach Boys' "Kokomo" isn't enough to deflect from the tragedy at Space Force's core.
That tragedy, of course, is the fact that Space Force is real. The trailer's central joke is that everyone thinks Space Force is a stupid idea. It goes so far as to have Steve Carell laugh at POTUS's desire for "complete space dominance," which would be funny if that wasn't basically the official Space Force action mission. According the Space Force "About" page: "USSF responsibilities will include developing military space professionals, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power, and organizing space forces to present to our Combatant Commands."
To be clear, creating a Space Force to militarize space is such a f*cking stupid idea that only a fundamentally stunted imbecile would try to implement it, and the fact that said imbecile is the real leader of the United States is an epic tragedy that comes at a great human cost. Space Force can dress the situation with all the jokes it wants, but the central premise is simply too depressing to be categorized as anything short of a tragedy.
Moreover, what sort of character journey could Mark Naird realistically have that wouldn't be, in some sense, tragic?
If Space Force paints Naird as a competent career General, then he really only has two options upon taking charge of Space Force: He can either do the best he is humanly capable of doing with an incredibly stupid initiative, or he can actively watch and take the fall for a failing government programs that exists outside of his control.
The former route might allow Naird some minor victories as he finds ways to utilize the newly founded Space Force for non-moronic ends, but unless the show wants to deviate entirely from the real Space Force, those victories will probably only ever be short-lived. As such, Space Force will ultimately portray a competent, accomplished man struggling mostly in vain to combat the most insane whims of the American military-industrial complex. It would be kind of like Parks and Rec (which also has the same producers!), except the stakes are actual human lives instead of just getting some local townies riled up.
Alternatively, Naird could helm a bumbling, comically inept department as it stumbles from failure to failure, which might make for some good episodic comedy. At the same time, Space Force would simultaneously depict a man coming to terms with the fact that his dreams and ambitions have been destroyed by the same government that he's dedicated his entire life to serving. As his well-earned reputation is ruined before his eyes, perhaps Naird will wonder if becoming a target for public humiliation is, indeed, the greatest service he can offer his country.
Regardless, Space Force will probably be a funny enough half-hour comedy, just so long as you're able to turn your brain off and try not to think about the real-world nightmare fuel behind every chuckle.
- Why Phyllis Vance Is a Straight Savage on "The Office" - Popdust ›
- Gwyneth Paltrow in Netflix's "The Goop Lab" Trailer - Popdust ›
- Steve Carrell to star in new Netflix show "space force" - Popdust ›
- Space Force (TV series) - Wikipedia ›
- Space Force | Netflix Official Site ›
- Video: Watch first trailer for Steve Carell's Netflix show, 'Space Force ... ›
- Space Force trailer finds Steve Carell leading the charge to colonize ... ›
- Netflix Space Force trailer starring Steve Carell blasts into view - CNET ›
- Space Force: First look at Steve Carell's Trump-tweaking Netflix ... ›
- 'Space Force' sitcom starring Steve Carell landing on Netflix in May ›
- Netflix's Space Force Looks Like a TV Lover's Dream | WIRED ›