Space forces
Creator – Greg Daniels, Steve Karell
Distribution – Steve Karell, John Malkovich, Diana Silvers, Tawny Newsome, Ben Schwartz

The space forces of Netflix seem to suffer from the same disease as in the last seasons of the Veep HBO: How can political satire be kept clean at a time when the current government itself continues to act satirically?

Take, for example, the term space power. Sounds like Star Trek, doesn’t it? But in 2019, the Space Force became an independent unit of the United States Armed Forces. And the logo resembles, as the mythical actor George Takei rightly pointed out, the Star Trek logo.

Check out the Space Force trailer here.

Founded jointly by office legends Greg Daniels and Steve Cairall, The Space Force exists in a reality very similar to ours. There are several references to an incompetent president who tends to tweet before he thinks, and the characters who support him are subtle, veiled versions of real people, such as former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, White House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Alexandria Okazio-Cortese.

Although each of these characters has redeeming qualities, I find the image of the AOC-replacement character strangely enough common. Even a technocrat called to laugh at Alon Maske has become a woman. It remains to be seen whether this is an alarming sign of the stock market’s problematic gender policy.

In many ways, Space Force, just like the office, is also a sitcom in the workplace. But despite the fact that the stakes have been overestimated to intergalactic proportions, the inability of the numbers remains the same. Carell plays the space chief, Mark Naird, in an older and much bolder version of Michael Scott, while retaining some of those old moths and old ways. At this point, however, I feel that certain expressions remind me more of Steve Karell than of Michael Scott.

Steve Karell and Ben Schwartz were in Space Force.
. (
courtesy of Netflix
)

It is the extent to which Daniels and Karell follow the game of the Praesidium that makes certain episodes classifiable as remakes. The first, in which the space forces participate in competitions with other U.S. forces, will remind fans of the Office Olympics of the second season or the basketball game with the boys of the first season or the office picnic of the fifth season.

The interdepartmental rivalry between Naird’s space forces and older units such as the Air Force and the Army is similar to the battle between the Scranton branch of Michael Scott’s Dunder Mifflin paper mill and the Stamford of Utica branch of The Office.

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I think the most important point that Daniels and Karell want to make here is that people are able to be common, no matter how much power they have. If Michael Scott wasn’t a powerful man – at least not professionally – Mark Nairde was partly responsible for the security of his country. But that doesn’t stop him from ordering a chimpanzee to perform a complex space operation in the second episode, perhaps the only time the Cosmic Force really doesn’t care about its own nature.

But for most of the first season of Series 10, Cosmic Power doesn’t seem to be preparing for a start with the intensity it should have. Instead, he seems to calculate his trajectory and make sure the weather is good. In other words: Daniels and Carrell are still in the early stages of their mission to make their mark on the current movement. I fear that even an episode devoted almost exclusively to India’s performance in space – an episode that dares to venture into the potentially contradictory idea that Prime Minister Narendra Maudie could spy on the United States – is not enough incentive for an interested audience to listen.


Author Twitters @RohanNaahar