By: Tommy Gleason

Rating: 6/10

Budget cuts, love and foreign adversaries. That is the story of Space Force season two. The seven episode follow-up to Space Force provides a deeper emotional story, but lacks substantial humor.

This season opens at the cliffhanger of season one. General Naird (Steve Carell) is under investigation by the Secretary of Defense and the Space Force crew must testify on his behalf. The rest of the season deals with the fallout of that meeting, and how Space Force can function with a dramatically reduced budget. 

Carell and The Office creator Greg Daniels helm the series at Netflix, but the powerful comedic duo do not send shock waves through the comedy sphere this time around. Space Force falls in line with the many mediocre workplace comedies that have sprung up in recent years, including Netflix’s The Crew and Apple TV’s Mythic Quest. 

But the show’s modern twist and satirical focus give it a slight upper hand. Many times throughout the series, head scientist Dr. Mallory (John Malkovich) mocks the government’s ignorance to science and bureaucratic huddles. Social media specialist F. Tony (Ben Schwartz) compliments the political satire with cultural satire that takes aim at celebrities and trends.

The plot of this season is much more grounded, literally, than in season one. While the first season focused on outer space and the moon, the second takes a more personal approach to the story telling and focuses on bureaucratic struggles at the office. This made the emotional moments more impactful because they were flushed out more. 

For example, Naird’s relationships with F. Tony and his daughter, Erin, (Diana Silvers) are given multiple scenes with emotional gravity throughout the season. The arcs of these relationships culminate in the final episode with a gratifying closure. 

The acting in the series is hit or miss. Malkovich and Schwartz brighten the screen with their comedic glare, but Silvers and Jimmy O. Yang’s deliveries are flat. However, Yang’s performance was not the only part he played in creating the show, he also wrote on the first three episodes. 

Carell is the bedrock of this show and propels the comedy forward more than any other actor on screen. His mannerisms combined with his timely delivery of lines makes his every scene worth the watch. But Carell also provides an empathetic performance that heightens the weight of the more emotional and dramatic scenes. 

Space Force’s newest season is for fans who were turned off by the outer space focus of the first season and desired a stronger dramatic underside of the comedy. Season two will appeal to viewers looking for short workplace comedy that will give you a laugh here and there. The comedy is not above and beyond and the acting sometimes gets in the way of the dramatic scenes, so I give the new season a 6/10.

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Pronouns: she/her/hers Kayla is a MU Journalism student with a double minor in Sociology and French. She joined MUTV's Entertainment section in the spring semester of 2021. She is currently the Technical Producer on Entertainment's Executive Board.