There is a staff of scientists from around the world charged to assist in the launch of its first craft. The head scientist who seems to forget he works for Naird and not the other way around is named Dr. Mallory (John Malkovich in top form), and he doesn’t exactly make it a secret that he finds Naird to be a bit of an idiot. The only American doctor there is Dr. Chan Kaifang (Jimmy O. Yang), which Naird is suspicious of because he’s of Chinese descent. Naird doesn’t listen to the scientists on the day of launch. Dr. Mallory and Dr. Kaifang both think that it shouldn’t happen that day, but it’s already been planned, and there’s a Congressional Delegation there at the base, so Naird gives the go-ahead despite the circumstances not being optimal. This is where the dog-eating monkey comes in when the spacecraft knocks the solar panels off the satellite that powers it. Instead of fixing the panels, the chimpstranaut ate the dog and got taken in by a Chinese spacecraft.
Space Force is off to as ridiculous of a start as something as ridiculous as a Space Force would be, and there’s a knowingness in the writing as to how absurd the Trump administration is without overtly pointing fingers, which I appreciate. There are some great characters on the show already, including Ben Schwartz, as F. Tony Scarapiducci, Naird’s head of social media. I think of him as what Jean-Ralphio from Parks & Rec would be like if he ever became an actual adult. Or he could be seen as a Tom Haverford/Jean-Ralphio hybrid. There’s Naird’s assistant Brad Gregory (Don Lake), who doesn’t really seem to understand that his job entails not letting people into Naird’s office while he’s not there and only announces it right as Naird is supposed to walk in. There’s Yuri ‘Bobby’ Telatovich, a Russian cosmonaut on-base assisting who also happens to be dating Naird’s daughter, which Naird is not super psyched about considering that Bobby is Russian. Basically, Naird doesn’t like anyone who is a descendant of any country that participated in The Cold War or Communism, which might be a side effect of a life-long military career.
“…off to as ridiculous of a start as something as ridiculous as a Space Force would be…”
Carrell plays the character of Naird, who is a by-the-book conservative army man with enough gravitas for his character to be believable, but not enough for him to not be a caricature of the type of person his character is, which is very similar to how he played Michael Scott on The Office. Malkovich is just doing his Malkovich thing all over every scene he’s in, and I’m 100% okay with that because he’s John Malkovich.
Overall, the first two episodes of Space Force look very promising to me, and I’m wrapped up enough in the series so far as to find out why Maggie is in prison, what’s going to happen to Naird’s elderly father with dementia, played wonderfully by the late great Fred Willard, and more. I don’t understand any of the bad commentaries I’ve heard so far, but I have only watched the first two episodes. Maybe I’ll be eating my words down the line at the end of the season, but something tells me that I won’t.
"…It's about getting "boots on the moon" by 2021..."