Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Space Force’ has a rough launch

“Space Force” is a new Netflix series that reunites Steve Carell and Greg Daniels, the star and creative force behind the American version of “The Office.” And there’s an amazing supporting cast along for the ride, including John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Jimmy O. Yang, Fred Willard, Lisa Kudrow and Jane Lynch.

But as we puzzle over on the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, all of that only makes the show more disappointing. It’s not quite a disaster — “Space Force” is sporadically entertaining and funny, but never quite as entertaining or as funny as you might hope.

Part of the problem is the show’s attitude towards Trump Administration’s Space Force. While you might expect “Space Force” to focus on skewering the idea of militarizing space, it instead waffles between mild mockery and lukewarm enthusiasm — and in both cases, the organization depicted seems only distantly related to its real-world counterpart.

The show also suffers from centering on the normally delightful Carell’s shouty and grating performance as General Mark R. Naird, the fictional head of the Space Force. And there’s a broader sense that everything was little rushed, since the show was announced barely over a year ago, while Daniels was working on the (far superior) “Upload” for Amazon Prime Video.

Before we get into our review, we also (briefly) discuss our support for the ongoing protests responding to the death of George Floyd.

You can listen to our review in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

If you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:26 Protest discussion
4:40 “Space Force” review
27:52 “Space Force” spoiler discussion