The show marks Carell’s first major return to TV comedy since then The office wrapped up seven years ago. Created by Carell and Greg Daniels (who also created Parks and recreation and the new comedy series Upload), Space forces was partially inspired by the Trump administration’s announcement to establish a national space force.
Netflix was allegedly so keen on the series – reviews for The office on its streaming service remain consistently high – that it snapped up immediately. The cast also includes John Malkovich (The new pope), Ben Schwartz (Jean-Ralphio from Parks and recreation), Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley, crazy rich Asians), Noah Emmerich (The American), Lisa Kudrow (Friends) and Jane Lynch (Glee, wonderful Mrs. Maisel), among other.
According to the official premise:
Mark R. Naird (Steve Carell), an excellent pilot who dreams of leading the Air Force, is thrown into a loop when he leads the newly formed sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces: Space Force. Mark is skeptical but committed, uproots his family and moves to a remote base in Colorado, where he and a colorful team of scientists and “space travelers” are hired by the White House to (quickly) bring American boots back to the moon and to achieve overall spatial dominance.
In the first trailer we saw Mark, freshly promoted, stuck with the order to start a new military branch called Space Force. Admittedly, it wasn’t the promotion he was hoping for, but like a good soldier, he plunges into the task. He has to navigate through the political waters. His arch rival, General Kick Grabaston (Noah Emmerich), causes him to fail. And his chief scientist, Dr. Adrian Mallory (Malkovich), has a pacifist bias that is not entirely suitable for a military branch. In a line designed to become an instant classic, Mark zu Mallory says: “As a scientist, you have a loyalty to reason, which makes you a little unreliable.”
We’ll see even more of this tension between Mark and Mallory in the new trailer, as Mallory’s insistence on tough science keeps throwing cold water at the Space Force’s optimistic endeavors. When Mark draws a straight line to illustrate the surface of the moon (“flat, bleak”), Mallory says: “The surface is actually a complex topography …” In another scene, Grabaston brings his own team with Die Space Force is recruiting in a competition training exercise (“We will eat up your courage”) and asks Mark to consider: “So the mental chess game has started.” Mallory can’t resist a bit of Snark: “They’re hungry hippos at best.”
But we also see the two men, who are polar opposites in many ways and get each other on the path through the inevitable ups and downs of a young space force. We get glimpses of lazy recruits, an embarrassing congressional hearing after a failed missile test, and even a space monkey throwing a bone at a space dog. There is certainly a lot at stake. “If we don’t understand that correctly, it will be the most catastrophic failure in the short history of the Space Force,” says Mark. But then his innate optimism sets in: “There will be setbacks. But if you fall on your face, you will get up again.”
Space forces will land on Netflix on May 29, 2020.
Listing image from YouTube / Netflix