Space Force Season 2 Premiere – As America Pivoted Leadership, So Did The Netflix Series
Space Force on Netflix is in many ways was a precursor to the now Oscar-nominated Don’t Look Up. While the latter ridiculed the current climate of fake news and under-valuing climate change, Space Force did the same jokes, but with no apparent social agenda. And the Space Force season 2 premiere is no different. But with one key change— the political administration. The original Netflix comedy hinged on the idea of the former President of the USA commissioning a new Space division of the US government. The goal was to essentially see space, not as a new area of exploration and scientific progress, but a new ‘war fighting domain’. The series then found comedy in the outrageousness under that administration. However, with a change in administration, find out in my Space Force season 2 review how that also fundamentally changed this series as well.
Season 1 Recap of the Netflix Original Comedy
Image via Netflix.
Season 1 of Space Force on Netflix was all about a new division of the US government. A new branch that oversees militarizing of space by America. Yep, you heard right—war in space, possibly in preparation of some sort of star war. I digress. Heading up this division is Steve Carrell’s General Naird, who is in way over his head. His second in command is Adrian Mallory (John Malkovich) the lead scientist of the organization. Their science versus soldier friction is one of the cornerstones of comedy in the series. Mallory’s science and logic in the face of Naird’s rigid military nature is hilarious almost every time. And their eventual evolution into becoming allies, is even greater because of it.
Space Force season 1’s larger story was to put boots on the moon in a race against China. What followed, the scenes and subplots, were all geared to that with less priority on the characters. With the exception of a few of the lead characters like Naird and Mallory. The majority of that first season of Space Force on Netflix focused on crazy and silly moments of comedy. Like trying to teach a previously abandoned space-monkey how to operate a drill in outer space through a video call. Or the cranky antics of a group of people trapped in a lunar module in the desert to simulate conditions on Mars. While I didn’t enjoy the entirety of season 1 too much, (and neither did my colleague Salome) the off-the-cuff craziness was pretty hilarious. Space Force season 2 changes all that. For the better.
The Space Force Season 2 Premiere Is All About The Heart Over The Humour
Image via Netflix.
Season 2 of Space Force on Netflix focuses more on the characters and their dynamics with one another. Which makes the show more than just a one-trick gimmick based on an anecdote from the former commander in chief. The Space Force season 2 premiere episode uses the cliffhanger of season 1 to severe the tonal ties to that previous season. With a new President, the priority of the mission changes, and the rest of the season follows the characters more than a larger threat or story arc. Carrell plays Naird less like the grumpy old General, and with more shades of his own persona mixed in. It’s like his The Office character, but less kooky, but more the straight man.
The cringe humour is dialled down a bit in Space Force season 2, and the jokes are better crafted. Ben Schwartz plays the out-of-control Publicist of Space Force in season 1, and he gets some of the sweeter moments of character growth in season 2. Even Tawny Newsome (Star Trek: Lower Decks) gets an ongoing personal character arc with Jimmy O. Yang’s character.
Why Does The Show Work As Comedic Satire When Don’t Look Up Didn’t?
Image via Netflix.
Don’t Look Up is an original Netflix movie that was one of the most polarizing movies of the year. While most reactions were positive, including our own from my colleague Meghan Hale, many others weren’t. And when writing this Space Force season 2 review about how hilarious this show is, it makes me wonder why Don’t Look Up didn’t work for so many. Both Netflix originals satirize real-world concepts and reactions to attitudes in the government. Both take a look at the refusal to take logic and practically into consideration when dealing with threats. Yet somehow, Space Force is funny, while elements of Don’t Look Up were frustrating and triggering for many.
But that’s why Space Force season 2 premiere episodes work better than season 1. Season 1 focused on international threats, competing with other countries and aggressive military action. But season 2 stays away from it all. Prioritizing the characters and their problems, was a brilliant move. Don’t Look Up does the same, but the main characters of Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence act as proxies to the audience. Which might have made the audience relate and focus on their frustration more, than being able to enjoy the other more comedic elements of the movie. Whereas Space Force on Netflix defines the characters more specifically for us to enjoy their stories, without seeing ourselves mirrored in them. It’s also a show that is just another spin on the office comedy, the office this time being a space agent of America.
Our Review Of Space Force Recommends The Show To All
Image via Netflix.
From the creators of The Office & Parks And Recreation, Space Force on Netflix is a fun little show that finds the funny in the mundane. With interesting characters and dynamic relationships, season 2 works a lot better than its first. So for fans of Carrell and his other comedies, it’s definitely a must-watch.
Space Force session 2 premieres on Netflix on February 18, 2022.
Are you excited for season 2 of Space Force on Netflix? And what did you like best about season 1? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image via Netflix.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.