The trailer for the new Netflix series, Space Force, proudly proclaims the show is about what happens when the federal government creates a sixth branch of the military focused on space. Sound familiar?
Riffing On The Real-World USSF
The real Space Force, brought into existence thanks to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, created a real-life sixth branch of the military by converting Air Force Space Command to U.S. Space Force (USSF).
Since then, the newest branch of military service has drawn from a pool of Air Force career fields, and there are plans to open the doors later down the line for more staffing including from other branches of the U.S. military (at least according to initial plans and goals outlined for USSF).
The federal government has always been fertile ground for comedians, comedy writers, and television shows; Space Force the Netflix show plows that field in ways some viewers might not expect (at least initially).
The most obvious targets of humor related to Space Force are in the highest levels of the federal government, but the Netflix show seems — at first glance and without a preview episode to watch — to be more interested in the interpersonal comedy related to being thrown into an unfamiliar environment with complicated expectations.
Some might expect a show that riffs on the absurdity of the idea of having a Space Force at all, or comedy writing that is focused on lampooning current events specific to USSF, but current-events comedy doesn’t always age well and the writers of this particular show have in the past gravitated toward more interpersonal humor. Everybody loves a good potshot at the powers-that-be, but Space Force on Netflix is dedicated to “…the men and women who have to figure it out.”
That’s the kind of comedy that made creators Greg Daniels and Steve Carell household names with shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, and King of the Hill.
Space Force is scheduled for release on May 29, 2020.
Who Writes Space Force?
Individual episodes were written by one or more of the following:
- Steve Carell
- Greg Daniels
- Yael Green (Choosing Sides)
- Shepard Boucher (Riverdale)
- Lauren Houseman (Wayne, Army Wives)
- Brent Forrester (The Simpsons, King of the Hill)
- Aasia Lashay Bullock (The Good Place, Upload)
- Connor Hines
- Maxwell Theodore Vivian (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia)
- Paul Lieberstein (The Office)
Who Is In Space Force?
The main cast of Space Force includes:
- Steve Carell: General Mark R. Naird
- John Malkovich: Dr. Adrian Mallory
- Ben Schwartz: Secretary of The Air Force
- Diana Silvers: Erin Naird
- Tawny Newsome: Angela Ali
There is also a cast of recurring characters:
- Fred Willard: Secretary of Defense
- Lisa Kudrow: Maggie Naird
- Noah Emmerich: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Jimmy O. Yang: Dr. Chan Kaifang
- Alex Sparrow: Yuri “Bobby” Telatovich
- Don Lake: Brad Gregory
- Jessica St. Clair: Kelly King
Space Force the show isn’t likely to be interested in current events with the real-world Space Force; let’s face it–the launch of satellites and the tracking of space junk (just two of the many missions the real USSF must contend with) aren’t really as exciting or as enticing in real life. Space Force on screen shouldn’t be viewed with a critical eye toward accuracy or technical correctness. This is a Steve Carell comedy and most viewers likely know what to expect there.
And Steve Carell fans in particular may have a lot to look forward to with Space Force; the 30-minute long, ten episode season is filling a void left by the transfer of The Office from Netflix to a new NBC streaming platform called Peacock.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
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