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Space Force: Steve Carell’s satire shines again

  • Published at 04:29 pm June 19th, 2020
Space Force

Steve Carell and Greg Daniels are veterans in satire. And the purpose of Space Force is satirically showing the repercussions of actually creating a military presence in space - as suggested so often by the US President Donald Trump

The moment I saw the trailer for Space Force, and that Steve Carell was starring in it, I knew immediately that I would find the show hilarious to watch. I love Steve Carell’s work in movies. I loved The Office, so much so that now and then I find myself stuck in a loop of rewatching “Michael Scott awkward moments” videos on YouTube for the umpteenth time.

Steve Carell, the comedian, has a distinct style. He does not want to induce laughter among his viewers by making fart jokes like Jack Black, or contorting his face like Jim Carrey, or with angry yelling like Will Ferrell. What Carell actually does is depicting real characters from everyday life, accentuating their quirks, and extracting laughter from the viewers from showing the awkwardness that his characters create. This is what he did with Michael Scott in The Office. This is what he did with Andy Stitzer in The 40-Year-Old virgin. And Carell brought this same strategy while approaching his new character General Mark R Naird in Space Force.

Maybe I give Carell too much credit. Not all credit for Carell’s past work should go to him alone. Credit is deserved by his co-actors as well. He was well complemented by the ensemble of talented actors who worked with him in The Office. The same thing happens in most of his movies. 

I was glad to observe in Space Force that he was similarly complemented with a strong cast. Aside from Steve Carell, Space Force also stars Diana Silvers, Lisa Kudrow, John Malkovich, Fred Willard, Tawny Newsome, Ben Schwartz, Jimmy O Yang, Jessica St Clair,  Patrick Warburton, Don Lake, and many other stars.

I have not seen much of Diana Silvers, Tawny Newsome, Jimmy O Yang, and Jessica St Clair before Space Force. So I have no previous performances to compare them to. What I felt from watching their performance is that each of them did justice to their role and the script. Diana Silvers played the part of a spoiled brat from a broken family very well. Tawny Newsome wants to be the first African American astronaut on the moon - an idea that is so relevant to the current context of institutionalized racism. Jessica St Clair was naturally funny as a witty beautiful middle-aged contractor of construction working with the Space Force base.

But what is this Space Force? Where does the idea come from? Well, this is where credit will go to the show creators Steve Carell and Greg Daniels - the latter’s work portfolio includes The Office, Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, Parks and Recreation, and King of the Hill.

Steve Carell and Greg Daniels are veterans in satire. And the purpose of Space Force is satirically showing the repercussions of actually creating a military presence in space - as suggested so often by the US President Donald Trump. Space Force satirizes key political figures in the US defence and Department of State. 

The series also satirically alludes to Trump’s incessant tweeting,  more tweeting after unpredictable mood swings, Russia’s friendship with Trump, cluelessness of  the US Defence heads when it comes to space, the bigoted opinions about China harboured by some Americans, public relations in the age of social media, Melania Trump’s intentions of attempting to stay relevant as a First Lady, the nostalgia and annoying (to some) reminiscing of veteran soldiers, the dim-witted nature of some marines, and a variety of other topics, which I cannot include in this review, as then my review will never end.

Is Space Force a must watch for Americans who find these things funny? Definitely! Is the series worth a watch by the global population, who loves being sarcastic on social media (memes!) and enjoys satire in general? Absolutely!

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