(Image credit: Netflix)
Last Saturday, SpaceX founder and CEO, Elon Musk launched a rocket filled with US astronauts into space after 18 years of preparation. Just a day earlier, Netflix had released its newest comedy series, Space Force, starring Steve Carell. Coincidence? We think not!
Space Force’s plotline follows a four-star general named Mark Naird (Carell), who is appointed to lead the new US department, Space Force. He moves to Colorado with his wife, Maggie (Lisa Kudrow) and daughter, Erin (Diana Silvers) to join a team of dorky scientists, including Dr. Adrian Mallory (John Malkovich), Dr. Chan Kaifang (Jimmy O. Yang), along with sassy pilot, Captain Angela Ali (Tawny Newsome).
However unprecedented, their task is not particularly a walk in the park either; they have to walk on the moon – in American boots. The script mirrors the hilariously absurd notions of the President of the United States like wanting a birthday present in the form of a rocket launch (but later settles for a star named after him) among other chuckle-inducing narratives that poke fun at American bureaucracy.
Carell’s character never fails to channel both leadership values and utter stupidity in every single frame, and he leaves you wondering how he always manages to look both smart and ridiculous every time. Naird is as stubborn as a mule, whose constant failed attempts do not halter his undying spirit. With the stakes being sky high, and China beating the team to every turn, the events of the series lure you in until the final episode leaves you gasping for air.
In reality, the United States Space Force was founded in December of 2019, which is, similarly to the show, the sixth branch of the US Armed Forces. “There was no show, there was no idea aside from the title,” recounts Carell in a press release.“Netflix asked, ‘Do you want to do a show called Space Force?’ And I pretty much immediately said, ‘Well yeah, sure. That sounds great.’ And then I called Greg [Daniels], and I said, ‘Hey, you want to do a show called Space Force?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, that sounds good. Let’s do it.’ And it was really based on nothing, except this name that made everybody laugh. So we were off and running.”
Co-Creator/Executive Producer, Greg Daniels is no stranger to working with Carell; as the award-winning writer, producer, and director developed The Office (2005-2013) that starred the actor. He had also co-created Netflix’ third most popular show, Parks and Recreation (2009-2020), so the internet being flood with memes and scenes from Space Force, declaring it a hit only a few days after its global release, does not come as a surprise.
“Production designer Susie Mancini created the Mission Control Room after she and showrunner Greg Daniels visited SpaceX. The facility has a similar glass wall design so that everyone can see launches as they happen, and Daniels loved the design”, reads one of the behind-the-scene facts in the show’s production notes, which further reinforces our assumption that Space Force may not be entirely fictional.