Throughout the duration of its first season, Space Force struggled to find its footing. Led by Steve Carell, Greg Daniels, and an ensemble of comedic greats, most expected greatness. After all, the last time Carell and Daniels chose to collaborate, the end result was The Office, a workplace comedy that became one of the most-watched sitcoms to ever air. After a bit of a stumble in its first season, the show manages to find its footing for a whole host of reasons.
From the moment Space Force Season 2 begins, it feels like an entirely different show, as if an entire cloud has been lifted and the show was allowed to expand out of a box it was forced into. When we see the team here, they're answering to the Department of Defense regarding the pranks the United States Space Force played on the astronauts from China while camping out on the surface of the moon at the end of Season One.
It's pretty apparent why the change is in place; much like the real world, the show's also gone through a change in Presidential administrations. Though the name of the previous administration — nor the current administration, for that matter — is ever dropped, the first season largely served as a parody of that President and the antics social media saw play out in real-life ad nauseam. With most of us hoping to depart from reality for at least a little bit while consuming film or television, it was an exhausting watch to get through.
Here, you have none of that. No longer does the show opt to lean heavily into the presidential parodies or the absurdness of a Space Force. It decides to accept what it is, and that's the best move the show could have opted to make. At the very least, that choice alone helps the show reach new heights.
What viewers get now is a true workplace comedy where the pieces of the puzzle are allowed to thrive on their own. A show that not only knows what it is, but a show that also understands what it needs to be. In one instance, Carell's Mark Naird almost comes across as an entirely different character. While we don't mean to typecast Carell, fans of The Office may be delighted to see shades of Michael Scott poking through this time around whereas last season went to painful lengths to avoid any comparisons whatsoever.
Maybe it's because the comedy isn't rooted deeply in politics, but I found it much easier to consume. After all, who wants their television to parody the world going down in flames? Space Force Season 2 is exactly what it needs to be this time around, which amounts to a gut-busting, laugh-out-loud workplace comedy. Carell shines exceptionally bright this season as does the rest of the ensemble. Again, John Malkovich has never been funnier and seeing Jimmy O. Yang and Ben Schwartz pair up as best buds is something long overdue. After this batch of episodes, one might even think it's far too early to stick a fork in Space Force.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Space Force Season 2 hits Netflix this Friday, February 18th.