It seemed like an entire world ago when Netflix first aired Steve Carell’s satirical comedy Space Force. In reality, it will be a hiatus of about two years when Space Force season 2 airs on Netflix. This seems to be par for the course for television during the COVID-19 era. Shows are typically taking longer to shoot. Netflix’s popular fantasy series The Witcher also premiered its second season after two years of waiting. While The Witcher plays a straight tone, maybe what many people need from their current programming is humor. Judging from the new set photos from Space Force season 2, viewers may be in for a wild ride (via Collider). New pictures show the ridiculous antics from the characters played by actors including Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz and Jimmy O. Yang, just to name a few.
The pictures start off with a poster, which also announced the release date for Steve Carell’s Space Force season 2. The next season hits streaming on February 18, 2022.
Netflix followed this up by releasing more screenshots from the next season.
When the show was first greenlit, fans and critics alike couldn’t help but notice real-world ties to the upcoming Netflix series. The title of the series shares its name with a Trump-era idea (via The Guardian). At the time, the former president put forward the concept of developing another branch of the armed forces focused on further space travel. Space Force was criticized for a myriad of reasons, but Netflix’s Space Force seems to be the most direct critique. The show took this idea and turned it into satire. Steve Carell stars as newly promoted General Mark Naird who attempts to get Space Force off the ground as a tangible concept. The show then veers into a workplace comedy, which isn’t too far out of Carell’s comfort zone.
Space Force was developed by Steve Carell in conjunction with Greg Daniels. Daniels may be familiar to fans of Carell’s last television show, The Office. NBC’s mockumentary show made Carell a household name and even today, the show has not stopped being culturally relevant, for better or for worse. One of the newest controversies thrown against the show are accusations that The Office was racially insensitive. Specifically, The Office was criticized for its portrayal of Asian characters, including by the series’ own guest star, Kat Ahn.
Space Force may be updated for the times, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a homerun. Many outlets, including Variety, don’t have scathing remarks. But they also don’t have glowing reviews either. By most review metrics, Space Force is just alright. Rotten Tomatoes is even more unkind with a critical review of 39%. Although audience members seem to enjoy it more with a decent 75%. Critics have called out the show for inconsistent character traits. They do admit that Steve Carell does best in the show when it’s a workplace comedy, even if not everyone is up for satire at the moment.
Similar satire Don’t Look Up also failed to hit with many critics (via Den of Geek). The Adam McKay film posited a hypothetical world where a comet is about to obliterate all life on Earth. McKay critiqued the current cultural trend of not taking world problems seriously. After discovering the impending catastrophe, Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) attempt to impress the seriousness of the situation to the world, though no one seems to be concerned. While some audiences on Rotten Tomatoes liked the movie, critics were less impressed. Fans can see if Steve Carell’s Space Force does any better when season 2 airs on February 18th.