Discliamer: This article contains spoilers of Netflix’s ‘Space Force’. If you haven’t watched the show, this is your chance to leave. Spoilers drop in 3…2…1…
Verdict’s out, The Office‘s fandom and their undying Steve Carell bias couldn’t save Space Force from getting subpar critic reviews. Netflix’s hypable May release that marked the comeback of the actor with showrunner Greg Daniels wasn’t what we expected it to be. And this was in spite of its killer concept and a stellar cast. While we’re only just recovering from the show’s failure to launch, word on the street is that Space Force Season 2 is happening. But, why?
Space Force didn’t do all that well on Netflix. As far as criteria for picking up shows for another season go, this comedy doesn’t have it. The show also managed to disappoint the most loyal fans and seemingly killed the excitement in the pilot itself. So what could Season 2 possibly bring? Well, for starters, some explanation and hopefully, redemption. When I heard of fellow binge-watchers complaining about the show I noticed that the intensity of hate simmered down to almost half by the end of the season. I also noticed that most of them don’t mind a couple more episodes. That’s quite a change of heart. To understand it better I revisited the show to find out what the future of the fictional sixth division of the US Military holds. If you’re confused about the show’s return, this article is for you because I’m listing down the exact reasons why we need a Season 2 of this terrible let down of a show.
The Space Force just became very real!
We’ve known this for a very long time but In case you missed it, the Space Force, the central idea of the show isn’t an abstract concept anymore. Just a few days ago Donald Trump was presented with the official Space Force flag. The POTUS was hella serious about his promises of getting “boots on the moon”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 15, 2020
Now, Space Force was basically conceptualised on Trump’s 2018 speech in which he revealed his plans of a Space Force. The show was teased as the story of the people who had to figure it out. If the makers can get 10 episodes with such little information, can you imagine what they can do with real Space Force updates? This is exactly the right time to make another attempt at it. One of the major problems with Season 1 was that it was perhaps too timely and that in light of recent developments, the show failed to provide some real critique of its subject. In Season 2, Space Force could have a real chance and so much more material. The mere thought is exciting.
We need to know what happened to Maggie… amongst other things.
Of course, Space Force set up an open ending. By the end of the season, you have Mark Naird leaving the headquarters in Colorado on a helicopter with his daughter Erin, wife Maggie and her new girlfriend. He’s taking off at the risk of being court-martialed for not following orders and escaping after Air Force General Kick Grabaston takes over. Ending aside, there are a bunch of questions the show doesn’t answer. Questions like – Why was Maggie in jail anyway? Lisa Kudrow’s character is abruptly placed in a women’s prison for what is only described as a felony in passing by Naird. It’s almost frustrating that bit was left off and we need to know what happened there.
Another mystery of the show is the snitch. Since the initial episodes, we’re warned of how there are spies who could easily sneak out information from the base. The usual suspects are Russians, the Chinese and Naird and Dr Mallory’s assistants who are investigated. But, it doesn’t get a satisfying resolution. We can hope that Season 2 gets back on that track and adds something more exciting to it. It will also be fun to see what happens when Naird gets back to HQ.
I’d love to see how Chan and Angela shape their relationship.
Okay, I love the whole “It’s good to be black on the moon” moment for Angela Ali. She really went out and walked the moon. Meanwhile, scientist Chan really became an indispensable part of ground control and something tells me they’re going to kick ass together. Fine, it’s not something, its the fact that the characters bond over anime. There is a whole scene where chan explains Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood to Angela and he echoes the sentiment of every anime nerd ever. They’re both adorable geeks and I ship that. With Angela in space and Chan at HQ, I wonder where their combined story arc is headed. Something we’ll just have to wait and see.
Hey, The Office didn’t have a successful first season either.
If it is any consolation, The Office, in its initial run didn’t have a good viewers’ reception either. Everything the show has been appreciated for over a decade now was questioned back then. But the show is sacred, a stunning piece of TV comedy with endless re-watch value and that only comes after a series passes the test of time. Apart from all the other shortcomings, Space Force failed at establishing its characters. I cannot stress enough on the wasted potential in the ensemble cast. How did a show manage to misfire with Lisa Kudrow (Friends), Jane Lynch (Glee), Noah Emmerich and Patrick Warburton with Steve Carell, John Malkovich (The New Pope), Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation), Diana Silvers (Booksmart) and Tawny Newsome? Beats me, but a fresh season would mean a chance to build on character arcs. After all, The Office became the success it is because of my invested fans got in the characters.
There is a US-China angle that Space Force needs to explore.
Space Force hints US-China tension from the very beginning. And in the culmination of the series, you see what happens when the two rivals lock horns in space. First, the Chinese destroy the American satellite. When that wasn’t enough they tried making it impossible for Naird’s rocket to find moon territory to land on. And even after that, there are fights that ensue in space. American and Chinese astronauts resort to petty pranks and end up destroying each others’ moon habitats. The whole angle is picked up from real-world sentiments and its finding increasing relevance day by day. I, for one, would love to see the two groups of moon settlers working out their differences and banding together to survive space.
If you’re still recovering from the disappointment that Space Force was, here’s proof that it did get some things right to help justify why you’re still holding onto hope.
Cover image: Bhavya Poonia/Mashable India