Space Force: A Breath of Fresh Air
Steve Carell is widely known for his portrayal of the goofy “Michael Scott” yet his character of the US. Space Force chief- General Mark Naird was something way distinct in nature. It dealt with that classic peculiarity in his personality yet at the same time it also revealed an authoritarian side of Carell as well.
In both “The Office” and “Space Force” we witness Carell dealing with leadership. The only difference is in some instances, Michael Scott had absolutely no idea what he was doing while giving others an impression of how he was the genius in the room further embarrassing himself even more.
In Space Force on the other hand, even if General Naird found himself in a strange situation, he always went with his ways. General Mark is no fan of science as his decisions clearly emerges deep out of the disciplinarily actions from his roots from the military training.
Steve’s character in Space Force can also be seen dealing with an active feud between his personal and professional career. On one hand there is a huge pressure of leading this team consisting of some of the iconic characters that can create some puzzling challenges for him while on the other hand he has to deal with the fact that the love of his life has to spend a majority of her life behind bars and his relationship with his daughter, Erin (Diana Silvers) is becoming more fragile every day.
The nature of competitiveness could be witnessed in Naird’s character as he refuses to believe that countries like China or India had done something better than the Space Force. The plots gets better as we get introduced to a diverse number of unique characters.
Erin Naird aka General Mark Naird’s daughter is played by the wonderful Diana Silvers. Even though she is the daughter of the Space Force chief, she is mostly seen being furious over the thought of not getting to spend time with her father due to the immense work pressure on him. She has a soft side yet she is no less of a fearless girl. Her father not getting to be involved in her life due to his work and her mother being in prison leads up to her going towards a troubled path.
Erin is surely a vulnerable person but she is courageous and is strong. She is upset about the life she has for now and that fire of her trying to build an ideal future for herself can be seen burning throughout the entirety of the series. When it comes to character development, Erin is surely one of the people that the audience is rooting for and is looking forward to see as to what the future holds in for her.
Tawny Newsome and Jimmy O. Yang’s portrays the characters of Angela Ali and Dr. Chan Kaifang respectively. They both share a complicated relationship between them. One of them is smart, confident yet someone who is waiting for a sense of accomplishment while the other is a sensible, hard-working person who is still secretive about his likes and dislikes. (He knows some sh*t about plants is all we can say for now).
Another character was of the head scientist, Dr. Adrian Mallory (portrayed by the talented John Malkovich)- a true believer of science thus making the conversation between Naird and himself even more interesting. One of them is extremely competitive whilst the other acts in a cool manner and puts in a hard thought to finding the solution.
One of the brilliant things that the writers executed was to not let Mallory’s sexuality define him as a whole unlike the other shows. It was a magnificent combination of his intellect, his calming nature, his seriousness, his analytical skills as well as the immense dedication he possesses for his work that made the audience realize who Dr. Mallory really was.
Lisa Kudrow played the character of Maggie Naird. Although we don’t see much of Kudrow in the series, yet the moments that she was in really helped us perceive Mark Naird’s personality through a unique angle since we could see him dealing with his personal problems with her.
Brad Gregory is another interesting character in the show. Played by the talented Don Lake, the one star General acts as an assistant to General Mark Naird. Brad shares an adorable and quirky personality. He means no harm but he is slightly clueless about his surroundings in some of the instances leading him in making the situation a bit more tricky for the General. Nevertheless Brad has a definite sweet spot that he has certainly no trouble showing the audience.
One of the most iconic characters that emerges out of the show is that of F. Tony Scarapiducci aka F*ck Tony (played by the phenomenal Ben Schwartz). His hilarious portrayal of the current obsession of the online media by the people is absolutely commendable. Ben has done a splendid role in showcasing the workings of a media consultant with a little twist of his own.
Tony is funny yet he is witty. He makes a fool out of him sometimes (a lot of times) yet he knows how to approach the situation with sensibility and has a quick grasp of how to portray the Space Force with a positive image. The way Ben successfully delivers the satirical nature of Tony furthermore adding the passion he possesses for his work is defined to be something purely impeccable.
In each of the episodes, a novel theme is given to the absurd situations arising within the Space Force branch.
Being an Indian myself, it was quite amusing to watch the episode where India had launched a rocket that appeared to have used stolen US technology and how a thorough investigation was initiated by General Naird in order to find out the potential cause of the leak instead of just dealing with the fact that India had developed the technology independently. The episode was well plotted and the writers did a fantastic job in not making the jokes offensive or disrespectful in any sense.
Space Force acted as a necessity that helped us pass the current trying times with a bit more ease. Watching the series for the first time made me appreciate a different sort of humor that I rarely got the opportunity to be introduced to before.
It is no doubt that the writers of the show spent a tremendous amount of time discussing the plot, analyzing each of the characters and researching deep regarding the set up of the show. This could be observed clearly through the witty dialogues and the well constructed plot that is maintained throughout the duration of the series.
The active interplay of satire, mockery, wit-wordplay perfectly blended with the struggles of each of the characters emerging out of the show is something purely extraordinary that only a few can learn to appreciate. In the span of ten episodes, were the writers truly successful in giving us a brief idea of how all the characters were like in different situations.
Many critics labelled the show to be a failure and not being up to the mark as they compared the character of General Mark Naird to that of Michael Scott when in reality it was nothing but a short glimpse into an innovative concept of story structure. The idea is completely novel therefore it is incomparable.
Watching Space Force whilst taking in the impression of Carell’s character of Michael Scott in “The Office” in mind will take out the very essence of the show henceforth making it very difficult for the audience to truly appreciate the beauty of the portrayal of each of the cast members.
Space Force acts as a breath of fresh air in a world where people prefer to consume the redundant styles of humor.
We can’t wait to see what the writers, cast and crew of the show brings in next for the show!
Words: Pankhuri Bhutani