'Space Force': Fred Willard's last role receives universal acclaim from fans amid mixed reactions for the show
While the show itself has divided viewers, fans were united in cheering for the late and great Fred Willard's final performance
Despite 'Space Force' getting a big thumbs down from most critics, creators Steve Carell and Greg Daniels can take heart from the fact that most ordinary fans are digging the first season of the show. One user, binge-watching, tweeted: "Anyone else watching Space Force on Netflix? I am on episode 3 and my God, I can't watch this without laughing my ass off every five minutes! Ridiculously funny with a stellar cast!"
Episode 2 starring Marcus, the chimp astronaut, and Theodore, the dog astronaut, seemed to be a favorite. "Steve Carell's character genuinely asking if Marcus the chimp would able to get outside and put back two solar panels and that other guy was basically like 'not a chance in hell, you dumb f**k!!', I swear this show is killing me so far!!," said one tweet, while another said: "Space Force is great and Marcus is a communist traitor", referencing how Marcus the chimp willingly floats into the Chinese satellite after failing to repair the US one. Other tweets clamored for a season 2 like this one: "Hey @netflix @SteveCarell how long do I have to wait for season 2 of space force because it is so good."
Quite a few users pointed out how the show satirized real-life covfefes. "Quotes from Space Force are way too funny - 'Boobs on the moon but we believe that to be a typo'", said one user, referencing how the show's POTUS flubs his "Boots on the Moon" tweet. Others spoke directly about the show's take on the current administration. While one user said: "Carell is a riot, and this might be one of the best examples of TV capturing an understanding of the Trump admin," another posted a gif from the show that had a missile explode and captioned it, saying: "If a show (and a gif) could sum up the political climate we’re in (where we’re led by the thoughts of mad men), then it’s #SpaceForce."
On the other hand, some felt that the show hadn't really targetted the Trump administration and this was why it has got poor reviews from critics. "Space Force is hilarious. I'm sure it wasn't constantly ripping on Trump as much as critics hoped it would so they gave it poor reviews. The media has become so predictable with their bias it's disgusting. It doesn't have to be political to be good," stated one user about the polarizing show.
Another tweet from Steve Trimble, the editor of 'Aviation Week', which covers military aviation news, said: "Maybe not the best satire show ever-written but pretty darn good. Laughed out loud several times. The reviewers hated Naird’s personality, but I guess I didn’t find it so off the mark, shall we say. Pleasantly surprised." Agreeing with his tweet, a user commented: "I’m telling you. This is gonna be a show that’s really just an example of the civ-mil divide."
Fans who were expecting far more from the show with such a stellar cast and creators however made their ire known. They ranged from comments like, "Holy s**t how did this thing get financed?!", to a more detailed dissection that stated that the show was like "cheap amphetamines. First, it's a bit exciting, you get a little rush and feel just fine. But after a few hours, it just sucks and just makes you kind of sick to the stomach", to the short and sweet, "Spoiler alert: Space Force sucks".
But while the show itself has divided viewers, fans were united in cheering for the late and great Fred Willard's final performance. "Just started Space Force on Netflix. Pleasantly surprised to see Fred Willard as Steve Carell’s father. Absolutely piss your pants funny till the end" said one tweet, remembering the legendary actor. Others concurred with comments like: "Fred Willard gave me the hardest laugh in the first ep[isode] of #SpaceForceNetflix".
Another user pointed out that Willard was in the OG 'Space Force' released in the 70s, linking it to a youtube video from the old show and saying: "Amusing to see Fred Willard in the cast for @SteveCarell's upcoming comedy Space Force, on @Netflix. Willard was in a short-lived 70's era comedy, also called Space Force."
Most users appreciated the show's "in memoriam" message for Willard in Episode 1's end credits, tweeting messages like: "Episode 1 of #spaceforcenetflix is in memory of Fred Willard. That is heart-warming." But others were not emotionally prepared to see the actor on-screen so soon after his death, posting sad gifs like the one of Michael Scott tearing up and Pikachu shedding tears with comments like "I did not realize that Fred Willard was in Space Force, and I was not emotionally prepared for it." and "Fred Willard in Space Force is too soon... just too soon."
'Space Force' is currently streaming on Netflix.