Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Space Force (Season 1)

Upon hearing that President Trump wanted a space force, I’m sure many of us wondered what that might look like.  You might be excited to go into space.  You might think it’s a waste of time.  Maybe you’d sign up, or have someone you’d like to see permanently stationed there.  (Would that make The Sea of Tranquility into the next Siberia?)

Either way, our friends at Netflix gave us Space Force.  When General Mark R. Naird is promoted, he assumes that he’ll be taking over the Air Force from his predecessor, General Kick Grabaston.  Both Naird and Grabaston are surprised to find out that this isn’t the case.  The President has created a new branch of the military, which is to be headed by Naird.  He and his wife and daughter are thus sent to Wild Horse, Colorado.

A year later and things are not going well.  Wife Maggie is in jail for an unspecified crime and daughter Erin is resentful for being stuck in the middle of nowhere.  Also, his parents are in failing mental health and he has the pressures of a new branch of the military weighing on him.  There are all manner of setbacks and he doesn’t always get along with members of the scientific team.  Plus, General Grabaston would love to absorb Space Force and get its budget.  Talk about getting it on all sides.

I often wonder how much of a TV series or movie is fictionalized.  The hope here is to get some laughs.  Some may come at the expense of The President, who is painted as a tweet-happy idiot.  Many will come at the expense of the military, who can be aggressive at times.  The scientists are overly cautious, as Naird points out early on.

I think there is a little bit of hope here.  For all of Naird’s shortcomings and problems, he is someone who is willing to learn.  He comes into conflict with the head scientist, Dr. Adrian Mallory, about once per episode.  Mallory usually has a point and Naird comes around to doing the right thing.

Naird is someone who plays by the rules, probably because he doesn’t know what else to do.  He’s faithful to his wife because that’s what a husband does.  He took a vow to be with her and her alone.  He tries to help his daughter, which isn’t easy.  And he’s commanding a new division of the military.  There may be protocol, but it’s still new.  You know he’ll hit the mark eventually.  You also come to feel for him when he misses.

Considering how the season ends, it will be interesting to see how a second season unfolds.  (At the very least, I want to find out what happened to the Chimpanzee.)  I am also wondering what Maggie did to wind up in prison.  I’m guessing it wasn’t deemed necessary to be disclosed to the audience, but might serve for a good laugh if we find out it was something minor.  (It’s stated that she’s looking at another 40-50 years.)  I would look forward to season two as much as I might look forward to an actual space force.

No comments :