Netflix must be feeling pretty good about Space Force, its forthcoming sci-fi comedy series starring Steve Carell (The Office), because it just released an entertaining second trailer, with over three minutes of mostly new footage.
The show marks Carell’s first major return to TV comedy since The Office wrapped seven years ago. Created by Carell and Greg Daniels (who also created Parks and Recreation and the new comedy series Upload), Space Force was inspired in part by the Trump administration’s announcement that it would establish a national Space Force.
Netflix was purportedly so keen on the series—ratings for The Office on its streaming service remain consistently high—that it snapped it up immediately. The cast also includes John Malkovich (The New Pope), Ben Schwartz (Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Recreation), Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley, Crazy Rich Asians), Noah Emmerich (The Americans), Lisa Kudrow (Friends), and Jane Lynch (Glee, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), among others.
Per the official premise:
A decorated pilot with dreams of running the Air Force, four-star general Mark R. Naird (Steve Carell) is thrown for a loop when he finds himself tapped to lead the newly formed sixth branch of the US Armed Forces: Space Force. Skeptical but dedicated, Mark uproots his family and moves to a remote base in Colorado where he and a colorful team of scientists and “Spacemen” are tasked by the White House with getting American boots on the moon (again) in a hurry and achieving total space dominance.
In the first trailer, we saw Mark, freshly promoted, getting stuck with the assignment to establish a new military branch known as Space Force. Granted, it wasn’t the promotion he was hoping for, but like a good soldier, he throws himself into the task. In the process, he must navigate the political waters. His archrival, General Kick Grabaston (Noah Emmerich) is rooting for him to fail. And his chief scientist, Dr. Adrian Mallory (Malkovich), has a pacifist bent not entirely suited to a military branch. In a line destined to become an instant classic, Mark tells Mallory: “As a scientist, you have a loyalty to reason, which makes you a little untrustworthy.”
We get to see even more of this tension between Mark and Mallory in the new trailer, as Mallory’s insistence on hard science repeatedly throws cold water on the optimistic aspirations of Space Force. When Mark draws a straight line to illustrate the surface of the moon (“flat, desolate”), Mallory chimes in: “The surface is actually a complex topography….” In another scene, Grabaston brings his own team to take on the Space Force recruits in a competitive training exercise (“We’re going to eat your guts”), prompting Mark to muse, “So the game of mental chess has begun.” Mallory can’t resist a bit of snark: “It’s Hungry Hungry Hippos at best.”
But we also see the two men, polar opposites in so many ways, warm to each other through the inevitable ups and downs of getting a fledgling Space Force off the ground. We get glimpses of lazy recruits, an embarrassing congressional hearing after a failed rocket test, and even a space monkey throwing a bone to a space dog. Certainly the stakes are high. “If we don’t get this right, it will be the most cataclysmic failure in the short history of Space Force,” Mark frets. But then his innate optimism kicks in: “There will be setbacks. But if you fall on your face, you get back up.”
Space Force lands on Netflix on May 29, 2020.
Listing image by YouTube/Netflix