“Space Force Season 2‎” Review: This is the real “office” in space

Movie Review

The “Space Force Season 2‎”, which was quietly launched this week, has undergone a major change in style, and its overall positioning has shifted from a “space political satirical comedy” to a “traditional office sitcom”, which will most likely make many viewers who have watched the first season shout: That’s it?

"Space Force Season 2‎" Review: This is the real "office" in space

However, in fact, such a transformation is closer to Netflix’s “original intention”.

Because Netflix spent a lot of money to book the show, it was the reunion of star Steve Carell and creator Greg Daniels, one of the most-watched episodes on its own platform. With the help of meme culture, this drama is as popular overseas as “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory”

"Space Force Season 2‎" Review: This is the real "office" in space

The second season’s turn to the conservative side looked like a compliment and compromise to the traditional audience of “The Office.”

Because Netflix was so important at the time, the investment in the first season of the show was huge, and the actor Steve Carell’s single-episode salary was even as high as $1 million.

"Space Force Season 2‎" Review: This is the real "office" in space

For comparison, the six leading actors of “Friends” earned a record $1 million in the final two seasons, and the two leading actors Sheldon and Penny earned $900,000 for the final season of “The Big Bang Theory.” The final season of “Game of Thrones” earned $1.2 million per episode.

It is worth noting that the three films mentioned here are all about the salary of the last season, which is the appreciation and salary increase after the drama fire. But for a brand new series like “Space Force”, such a high single-episode pay is enough to show his confidence.

"Space Force Season 2‎" Review: This is the real "office" in space

Confidence is high, but positive feedback is disproportionately received.

It has a 38% on Rotten Tomatoes, a 50 on Metacritic, and a slightly better imdb audience score of 6.7. The platform is more concerned about the ratings data. The number of viewers of this drama after the first month of its launch is 40 million, which is neither high nor low, and it is also outstanding. However, another campus youth comedy “Never Have I Ever” by Netflix during the same period “, the viewership has reached 40 million within a month after the launch, but the investment cost is far less than “Space Force”. Even the viewership ratio of the show that month was only less than two percentage points higher than that of the previous month.

Originally, under the big data, I thought it would be a hot ticket to win, but it turned out to be high investment and low return.

This month’s No. 1 drama is only 1.7% behind “The Office” No. 3

"Space Force Season 2‎" Review: This is the real "office" in space

So the play was once in the dark. Since the broadcast at the end of May 2020, there has been no news of renewal. It wasn’t until mid-November after the U.S. presidential election that the production of the second season was announced, as well as changes to the main creative lineup, such as the addition of traditional comedy producer Norm Hiscock, and the filming location changed from Los Angeles to Ottawa, in order to ” cut spending”.

The layoffs and halving of funding in the Space Force in this season can also be described as a true portrayal of the crew in reality.

"Space Force Season 2‎" Review: This is the real "office" in space

As a result, we can now see that not only is the style closer to traditional sitcoms, but the length of a single episode has been reduced to about 20 minutes, with only 7 episodes, and after the budget was greatly reduced, the first season of rocket launches and space scenery ” The big scenes “are also offline, and most scenes are also limited to the four walls of the space base, which lacks some visual impact.

The first season still has a lot of exterior scenes, and the second season is basically turned indoors

Although some offensive but still unique edges and corners in the first season have been smoothed out this season, not only because of the above-mentioned shrinking of funds and pleasing to traditional comedy audiences, but also a very important point is the change in the background of the times.

The starting point of the first season of the show is to satirize the incompetence and ridiculousness of the newly created space force under Trump’s administration. However, in the “new era” of Trump’s defeat, Biden’s inauguration, and the change of the ruling party, the Space Force not only still exists, but was even brought to the stage by Biden to increase the budget in a high-profile manner.

"Space Force Season 2‎" Review: This is the real "office" in space

Year-by-year budget

Under such a background of “changing owners but the organization remains the same”, if the pungent satire or even jokes of the first season are continued, for most of the main creators in the blue camp, it is like shooting themselves in the foot and scolding themselves. It’s my own, so it seems excusable to change the style of the second season.

Regarding the style change this season, the main creator said in an interview that it is to focus on the characters themselves and the relationship between them. We also did see some more human, less politically divided character interactions.

"Space Force Season 2‎" Review: This is the real "office" in space

But unfortunately, the number of episodes is limited. How much growth can these characters have in just seven episodes that are not enough to plug their teeth? Most of the characters are still flat and single, and even those who hesitated to leave stayed in the last episode because of the “miraculous” salary increase. Without build up, it is even more difficult to mention pay off.

The comedy transformation in the post-Trump era, such as “Space Force”, which folded its wings and gave up its unique edges and corners, may have adapted to the changes of the times and pleased the audience of traditional comedies, but it has given up the elements that make the series special.

In contrast, I prefer to be like “The Good Fight”. In the midst of changes, it still maintains an insight into society and the times, and shows the internal contradiction of “magic versus magic” after the “devil” leaves. The pungent criticism is still there, and it should be kept unchanged.

"Space Force Season 2‎" Review: This is the real "office" in space

About the third episode of this season’s “Brightest”,

Interestingly show the Sino-US cultural conflict, with dense laughter, more resonant and impressive.

Later, I found out that this episode was written by Jimmy Yang, who played a Chinese scientist in the play. He was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of 13. He is active in the comedy world and is famous for Jian-Yang in “The Legend of Silicon Valley”. Although the credit is still the collective wisdom of the writers’ room, many of the unique Chinese and American cultural jokes in this episode must be provided by Jimmy, who has been immersed in both cultures.

"Space Force Season 2‎" Review: This is the real "office" in space

like japanese

Especially the part where the male protagonist insists on holding tofu with chopsticks, not only echoes the classic passage of “The Office”, but also “in order not to offend” is very true.

Once there was an American guy who borrowed chopsticks from me to eat sushi. I said you can eat it with your hands, or you can use a fork, it doesn’t matter. He said that it would be inappropriate to eat without chopsticks. —— Deeply influenced by “cultural appropriation”, Americans who are careful and reveal various white guilts look sad and funny.

"Space Force Season 2‎" Review: This is the real "office" in space

The crowd’s reaction was hilarious.

It is also worth mentioning that,

In the third episode, it is Jimmy Yang’s father, Richard Ouyang, who plays the Chinese bald scientist.

Compared with the awkward Chinese spoken by the spokesman, the two Mandarin words spoken by the old man, “Hollywood actor” and “wig”, are the true words.

The relatively novel jokes of episodes 3 and 7, and the lackluster contrasts of the other episodes.

"Space Force Season 2‎" Review: This is the real "office" in space

Maybe it’s just a personal feeling, or the memory of the other episodes’ laughs is not deep enough, but the relative excellence of the third and seventh episodes at least shows that the crew still has a certain strength there.

It’s just that the overall layout is safe and conservative, and it will indeed reduce some of the topic heat.

What will happen to this season’s ratings, and whether it will announce the end of the show, only time will give the answer.

Related Post: Netflix’s “Space Force Season 2” is 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it has rave reviews.

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