Space

At Least Trump's Dumb Space Force Is Giving Us a Steve Carrell Show

"Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica" goes intergalactic?

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YouTube screenshot via The Office US

What happens when you combine a ridiculous government program with the brains behind one of the best sitcoms in television history? It sounds like we'll have an answer pretty soon.

Netflix announced today that a workplace comedy show "about the people tasked with creating" President Donald Trump's proposed Space Force is currently in the works. There aren't any details regarding episode count or premier date, though we do know the show is being executive produced by Steve Carrell (who's also starring), Greg Daniels, and Howard Klein.

All three are alumni of The Office, a comedy about workers at a fictional paper company that ran on NBC from 2005-2013. Carrell, of course, played Dunder Mifflin Scranton Regional Manager Michael Scott for The Office's first seven seasons. Daniels ran the show, while Klein produced several episodes during its nine-season* run.

Netflix announced the new project via a text-heavy video set to the iconic theme music of 2001: A Space Odyssey. "On June 18, 2018, the federal government announced the creation of a 6th major division of the United States Armed Forces," the announcement says. "The goal of the new branch is 'to defend satellites from attack' and 'perform other space related tasks'…or something. This is the story of the men and women who have to figure it out":

There's no way to know what the end result of Trump's force will look like. But as is true of many wasteful government programs, there's plenty to poke fun at.

For instance, there's the fact that 36,000 people are already employed by the Air Force Space Command. It's looking like the Space Force will exist under the branch of the Air Force, which makes you wonder how the two agencies will differ. Then there's the issue of the potential weaponization of outer space, as the creation of the Space Force could trigger an international arms race.

It's also worth noting that Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson (as well as former Defense Secretary James Mattis), have previously opposed the idea on the basis that more bureaucracy won't help. Even without the Space Force, the Pentagon wastes about $125 billion a year on administrative inefficiencies. Adding to the alphabet soup of space agencies will probably just make that worse.

The Space Force TV show, meanwhile, sounds like it will be an expensive project, with sources telling Variety that Carrell will pull in more than $1 million per episode. But it's sure to be cheaper than the actual Space Force, which could cost up to $13 billion in its first five years.

If there's one silver lining to Trump's absurd Space Force proposal, it's that an Office reunion of sorts could be on the horizon. The new show "feels like a spiritual successor" to The Office, reported Deadline Hollywood, and most Office fans probably hope that's true. In the six years that the show has been off the air, revival rumors have kept coming.

At long last, fans' wishes may be coming true. And they can thank Trump's Space Force idea.

*Correction: This post originally claimed that the American version of The Office ran for eight seasons. It actually ran for nine seasons.

NEXT: Thoughts on the Second Oral Argument in Knick v. Township of Scott

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  1. Then there’s the issue of the potential weaponization of outer space, as the creation of the Space Force could trigger an international arms race.

    And the one here on terra firma worked out pretty good for the United States and pretty bad for Ivan, didn’t it? SPACE FORCE EFF YEAH

    1. the creation of the Space Force could trigger an international arms race

      Oh no. Not again.

      1. Yeah, as if that hasn’t been the continuous status quo since around the 50’s.

        1. I don’t disagree, but I admit to some superficial head-scratching after the invasion of Crimea. However, it peaked and permanently fizzle when the election of Trump, a Russian plant, heralded a return to the height of The Cold War.

          1. More like China is trying to catch up to powers that are mostly bored with space since we achieved most of our space goals while China was still agrarian.

            1. China already demonstrated a satellite-killer that successfully created debris that is still a problem. Is the Libertarian position that there shouldn’t be any government measures to defend government and private property in orbit? I understand the percieved need to mock anything related to people in space.

              1. Is the Libertarian position that there shouldn’t be any government measures to defend government and private property in orbit?

                The comment isn’t about the libertarian stance as much as the notion that “X could trigger the next arms race.” is passe because for the last half-century everything from recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel to Crystal Pepsi has been capable of triggering it.

                Putin invades Crimea and we *have* to intervene. Assad uses chemical weapons and we *have* to draw red lines. A journalist gets executed on foreign soil outside the US by a foreign government and we *have* to break off all ties with that government. Trump says something about a domestic Space Force and suddenly WWIII might be triggered.

  2. It’s looking like the Space Force will exist under the branch of the Air Force, which makes you wonder how the two agencies will differ.

    The Air Force will work in an atmosphere of superiority while the Space Force will operate largely in a vacuum, please try to keep up.

    1. The desks they sit behind will weigh entirely different.

    2. Both will exist in an atmosphere of opportunity.

    3. So nothing really changes beyond reshuffling some org charts and new unit patches.

  3. For instance, there’s the fact that 36,000 people are already employed by the Air Force Space Command.

    I know that this is Hit and Run, but you could at least do a little research. The whole proposal of the Space Force is to consolidate these resources with the resources from other branches to have a single unit dedicated to a Space strategy.

    Calling this absurd is, in and of itself, absurd. This is done by businesses all the time. They realize that they have a major shortcoming in a capability or product, so they re-organize their company to deal with it. My company had a “Mobile First” policy for years, but when the new CEO came in, there were maybe 15 mobile engineers around all the business units. So step one was creating a mobile device division, and taking resources from teams around the company to staff it.

    The whole reason the air force was created is that people felt that our air assets were being directed to serving their owning branches rather than a greater strategy of air superiority. People called it absurd when we set up the Air Force, but it largely worked to developing a cohesive strategy around the defense of our Air Space. People today make similar complaints- that Space is being seen as a slave only to Army or Air Force needs, rather than developing a general strategy for defending our assets in orbit.

    It may truly be that this new branch is implemented incorrectly, but it may also be a success.

    1. The Air Force’s only policy is to boost the Air Force. Witness how the Army is not allowed close support airplanes, while the Air Force is doing it’s damnedest to get rid of the A-10. Or witness how the Air Force continually pushes manned strategic nuclear bombers when even their own missiles are far better, and the Navy’s submarine missile force is far better yet.

      Just as the Navy’s only policy is to boost the Navy. They keep on inventing new ways to spend billions on carriers, when they have no real fleet opponents to justify such an expensive blue water force, and the littoral combat ships are an expensive useless joke.

      War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

      — Smedley Butler

      1. 1. Yes we do have an opponent – that’s every podunk little nation in the world we want to park airplanes off the coast of and bomb the shit out of. You can’t put a price on being able to kick in the teeth of babies with impunity.

        2. They’re an experiment – which is why there’s only 2 of them. The Navy’s realizing that they can’t afford to keep enough blue-water fleets on hand to bomb the shit out of anyone in the world in a moment’s notice *and* do things like ‘keep the seaways clear’.

        1. The real racket is the last couple USNS classes rolled out.

          1. Should we take you seriously when you continually get so frustrated by me that you misuse words in a vain attempt at a gotcha?

            I love making you do that.

            1. And yet it gets a rise out of you every time.

              1. Get a room you two.

  4. the brains behind one of the best sitcoms in television history? … executive produced by Steve Carrell

    Um

    1. Last I saw, executive producer’s are mostly money guys that sometimes demand things in the things they are funding.

      1. Maybe I should have been more clear that I was questioning the word ‘best’.

        1. That too, absolutely. I just can’t fathom what kind of nerd tracks executive producers.

        2. I question “brains”.

        3. Is Steve Carrell the Adam Sandler of sitcoms?

      2. As near as I can tell, executive producers are frequently the show’s stars who are given extra billing because, well, just because regular billing is just not enough of a boost for their egoes..

        1. My understanding is that it’s a way to overcome SAG’s wage caps. “Exec Producer” is a pretty amorphous job title with a highly variable paycheck. Vaguely defined production duties = moonlighting on top of your low-paying union acting job for $$$$$.

          1. Sounds about right.

    2. The American version of The Office is a trash show for simpletons, trollops, and scamps.

      1. Preach it, sister.

      2. The British version isn’t all that much better.

        1. Do they know what scold means?

      3. I was going to snarkily say you must be a fan, then. But then I noticed “simpleton” and I know you prefer your trashy trollops to be well educated.

    3. dude owns that’swhatshesaid. show bad though yes.

    4. “”the brains behind one of the best sitcoms in television history? … “‘

      Greg Daniels – King of the HIll?

      1. This. King of the Hill is one of the best. The US Office is good, but not that good

  5. Dumb Space Force

    Isn’t that a Nathan For You episode?

  6. “Netflix announced today that a workplace comedy show “about the people tasked with creating” President Donald Trump’s proposed Space Force is currently in the works.”

    What TV needs is more woke comedy.

    1. What TV needs is more woke comedy.

      While it does have a bit of the smell, I’m not yet sure it’s definitively mired in woke territory. You could read a lot of top-shelf television and comedy as exceedingly woke/unwoke if viewed askance. Arguably, all of “minority comedy” (and a decent portion of non-minority comedy) for the last couple decades has been juxtaposing various levels of wokeness.

    2. What TV needs is more woke comedy.

      MASH is/was exceedingly woke. I wouldn’t put Bosom Buddies towards the top of the popular sitcom list but it was popular, but not exactly woke at the time, and would likely be exceedingly ‘woke’ now.

      A bit rough saying a show is definitively woke based on a loose interpretation of a high-level edict from the President. The distinction between the 30,000 ft. view and where the rubber meets the road is pretty fertile ground, or even all the ground, to rule out for comedy.

      1. Bosom Buddies would be exceedingly problematic now. Two straight men dressing up as women to live in a women’s only apartment building. That scenario is right out of “transgender panic”.

        I do no think you understand the ideological imperatives here.

    3. Or it could be very libertarian. Sort of like Yes, Minister and since these guys somehow get credit for creating the Office a British show they might as well rip off a better one.

    4. ‘woke comedy’ is an oxymoron.

  7. Netflix announced today that a workplace comedy show “about the people tasked with creating” President Donald Trump’s proposed Space Force is currently in the works

    Yay?

    1. Nay.

  8. The idea has been floated around of abolishing the Air Force and integrating air power back into the Army, navy and marines. It was part of the army until 1947.

    Let alone establish a new branch already integrated into the Air Force. Then we have NASA. Why establish a new layer of waste when we are doing just fine in creating and deploying all kinds of new ways of killing each other.

    Last thing we need is a bigger military budget. Leaner and meaner is the way to go.

    1. I completely agree that there is no reason to increase our budget. I firmly believe that a Space Force should be built using the many redundant space-focused units in the army, navy and air force.

      Conway’s law applies- “Organizations which build systems are constrained to produce systems that copy the communications structure of their organization.” So if you have three different teams working on a compiler, you’ll get a three pass compiler. When you have multiple teams building a large web application, you’ll find that they architect a system that requires as many independently managed application services as there are teams. Today we have space defense split up in at least the air force and army. Consolidating those resources can result in a more simplified defense strategy.

      Done right, a reorganization reduces bureaucracy rather than increasing it. If you believe that many of our next battles will be fought in space (and I tend to believe so), then having one branch whose priority is the protection of that space is not a stupid idea on its face.

      Again, this may or may not be executed well. However a re-organization is not absurd on its face. There is long precedent of

      1. +1000

    2. Yeah, the problem is that there’s a whole lot more to ‘air power’ than just combat aircraft. The AF runs a whole airborne logistics stream also. Devolving that back to the other services would cause massive duplication of effort. And there’s still the SpaWar stuff.

      And which service gets the heavy bomber mission? Which one takes over the Land ICBMS (though realistically they could all be decommissioned)? We *could* get some money back by selling the then surplus cappuccino machines.

      Practically, all that really needs to be done is lift the restriction of fixed wing aircraft for the Army enough to shift the A-10 over to them – they want it, they use it, let them deal with the headache – and then the AF could drop the CAS mission they never really wanted.

      1. I’m sorry but I can’t put any stock into what you think, nice as you seem to be.

    3. “The idea has been floated around of abolishing the Air Force ”

      I believe Hunter S. Thompson, who served in the airforce, once floated the idea of abolishing the marines, who not only wasted tax payer money on flim flam like marching bands, and gun acrobatics, but were incompetent at their more important duties like protecting embassies.

      1. Bad craziness!!

  9. I’m not so sure Carrell is actually funny, but that’s subjective so it’s up to you I suppose.

    1. The Office was one of the last funny sitcoms, but nothing tops Seinfeld

      1. He never really struck me as that funny.

      2. I loathe documentary style, and the entire premise was literally ripped off from the BBC. I agree on Seinfeld, it had writers.

      3. IMO, Carrell was funny because of his interactions with other characters. With that being said, the show sucked after Carrell left.

  10. I don’t want more military, but it’s not likely that space won’t have a military component. Hopefully, mostly commercial, but to think otherwise is rather naive.

    1. Until space has people living outside earth/lunar orbit a spaceforce that can do more than operate spy satellites and launch satellite killers (not that hard, an aircraft can do that already and *theoretically* the Navy’s SM-4 can do it) is a waste of money.

      Having two services with some operation overlap isn’t particularly wasteful right now.

      1. Speaking of having things, do you have a dictionary? Is scold in it?

    2. Exactly. The Army and Navy got all upset when the Air Force was formed.

      Now some people are getting upset that all the space assets are being taken from branches and combined into a Space Force.

      I am not for it but not against the idea either.

      The media are against it because TDS.

      1. Yup. This may be a good idea that could be implemented well or badly. This may be a bad idea altogether. But I really don’t understand why so many (especially here) find it absurd on its face.

        Other than it was from Trump.

        1. It is not absurd and Trump who knows nothing about it is irrelevant.

          It is a bad deal.

          Since when is creating another government agency with spending powers a libertarian objective. I do not hear the military asking for it.

          1. Maybe Trump as Commander-in-Chief noticed a problem among senior commanders of the military branches. Maybe Space Force is Trump’s answer to the problem.

            We will never find out because the media has TDS and cannot operate like adults to get answers to questions for the public.

            1. Steve Carrol plays off Lou Costello. He does that as well as anyone.

              “The media has TDS and cannot operate as adults…”

              The media is on second. I don’t know is on third.

  11. Trump’s Space Force will be a fleet of space worthy convertibles so there’s a real cool factor that I think the author is ignoring.

  12. What happens when you combine a ridiculous government program with the brains behind one of the best sitcoms in television history?

    Seinfeld? Arrested Development?

    Or, you mean The Office? Seriously?

      1. did anyone other than the two of us watch it?

        1. It’s not exactly obscure, just old. One of the best sitcoms ever.

            1. Unfortunately, also, the BBC has “sanitized” it. Unless you have DVDs or can stream original versions you will lose a lot of it.

    1. Seinfeld? Arrested Development?

      Newhart? MASH? The Gary Shandling Show?

      Are sitcoms different from comedies like Sledge Hammer! and Archer or are we just discerning to give a break to shows cursed by less imaginative writers who aren’t as funny?

        1. Better Off Ted.

          Name a better comic actress than Portia di Rossi and I will shut up.

          1. I’m a big fan of Any Sedaris.

          2. Name a better comic actress than Portia di Rossi and I will shut up.

            Kate Upton. Much better to look at and way funnier that she’s an actress.

            But, more seriously, Rossi is a terrible actress and/or comedian. She’s funny and a good actor the way Chris Tucker is funny and a good actor. Not even as talented or complex as Jim Carey, just off-kilter enough that when a part calls for a warm body to act off-kilter… voila. Rossi, in any role, can’t hold a candle to Julia Louis Dreyfus who herself is bit behind the likes of Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, or Lucille Ball. The list of comedic female actresses ahead of Rossi is long and, IMO, she falls into the crowd (many of whom weren’t comedians or actresses prior) that ‘capably filled the role’ of Morticia Addams.

            She is better than the likes of Kate McKinnon or Lena Dunham.

            1. many of whom weren’t comedians or actresses prior

              My mistake, I got the actress/origins of Morticia Addams confused with the Elvira and Vampira.

  13. “Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica” goes intergalactic?

    That is a line from between Dwight and Jim from the Office.

    Jesus, you young people.

    Steve Carrel is hit and miss funny. “Michael” was a good on The Office because of his interactions with other characters.

    If Steve Carell has TDS as bad as Seth MacFarlane has, then this show will suck as bad as Orville.

    1. Steve Carrell is the Adam Sandler of sitcoms.

  14. A Space Force isn’t enough. We need a Space Army, a Space Navy and Space Marines.

    Imagine the flashy uniforms. Imagine the chest lettuce and fruit salad. Imagine the scrambled eggs on the visors of the officers caps.

    Imagine the Grand Parade down Pennsylvania Ave. Imagine the recruiting posters.

    MAGA!

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