Netflix had folks buzzing with the announcement of their comedy series Space Force. Poking fun at the real-life U.S. Space Force, the show’s stock rose with Steve Carell in the main cast. Does this show find its landing or is it a failed mission?
Everyone’s A Critic
Critics were automatically hooked by Carell’s involvement with the series. This is Carell’s first starring role in a sitcom since The Office. Aside from acting, Carell co-created the series with The Office‘s co-creator Greg Daniels. On the show, Carell portrays General Mark R. Naird, who’s the new Space Force chief of operations. With a slew of accolades, critics didn’t think Carell could do wrong. Unfortunately, some critics found Carell’s performance to be bland. The Verge writer Joshua Rivera stated, “While Naird is in keeping with Steve Carell’s tradition of playing earnest losers, Carell plays him with a stuffy growl that feels less like a character and more like he won’t stop doing a bit.”
Another problem critics had with Space Force is its writing. Except for Carell and Daniels, most of the show’s writing staff are fresh and with that inexperience, quality can get rocky. “It’s never a doubt the project will be a go, but reaching those aspirations often results in a clunky trajectory driven off course by jittery plotting by Daniels’ team of writers alternating between being too slow and overly rushed,” Wicked Local Hudson writer Al Alexander said in his review.
What Do The Viewers Think?
In the end, it’s really about what the viewers at home think about the show. Space Force quickly became the number one show on Netflix in its debut week. On Rotten Tomatoes, the show gained a 77% audience score rating. While it’s not the 100% rating they wanted, Carell and Daniels will gladly take it.
One major issue for fans is the first episode’s slow pacing. For many new shows, the first episode can make or break the entire series. Everyone has to make sure the viewer can get the gist of the show immediately. Unlike most sitcoms, Space Force doesn’t have the typical 22-minute time frame to get it done. With Netflix, many sitcoms stretch to around 40 minutes per episode. While having more room sounds good, it can lead to stale jokes written just to pass the time. With Space Force, audiences found themselves getting their fill with each episode.
Something fans have applauded are the show’s special effects. Mark R. Byers, who won an Emmy for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, was brought in to handle this part of the production. Byers is also known for his special effects work on Westworld, Legion, and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
Photo Courtesy: [Netflix/IMDB]
Should You Check It Out?
If you’re a fan of Carell’s work on The Office, this series is perfect for you. It might not be Michael Scott, but Carell can still bring laughter whenever he’s on the screen. Much like The Office, Carell has a slew of co-stars to help bring this show to life. Jimmy O. Yang, Lisa Kudrow, and Chris Gethard deliver stellar performances. Space Force is also the final TV performance for beloved actor Fred Willard, who died on May 15, 2020.
As of this writing, there’s no talk between Netflix and the production companies about a second season. When it comes to renewing shows, Netflix has a questionable way of handling things. While Space Force had mixed reviews from critics, the show gained an impressive viewership in its first week. Space Force follows Tiger King as the only other Netflix show to quickly gain the number one spot this year. If the fans make their voices heard, however, more adventures with Naird & Co. will happen.
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