At just 10 half-hour episodes long, Netflix’s Space Force is an easy binge. If you’re looking for more, there unfortunately isn’t any news yet about whether the series will get a second season. But plenty of other things on Netflix might help scratch a similar itch.
To help fans weather the gap between seasons (or, if Space Force doesn’t get renewed, to help mourn the loss), we’ve put together a list of what to watch next based on which Space Force character you vibed with the most. In most cases here, the recommended movies or shows don’t feature those same specific actors, but they capture the essence of the character they’re tagged to.
Mark Naird (Steve Carell): Arrested Development
Mark Naird is the classic straight man, forced to deal with the cast of extremely colorful characters around him, and occasionally breaking under the pressure. His closest contemporary is arguably Arrested Development’s central straight man Michael Bluth, who has to corral his eccentric family while trying to keep the family business from going under. The straight-man energy Jason Bateman brings to playing Michael feels akin to Carell’s in Space Force, though Carell leans a little further into zaniness when Naird loses control.
Adrian Mallory (John Malkovich): Velvet Buzzsaw
The 2019 feature film Velvet Buzzsaw is creepier and bloodier than anything in Space Force, but it has the kind of offbeat humor that makes Malkovich’s performance as Adrian Mallory so much fun. Velvet Buzzsaw also stars Malkovich himself, in a small role as a former artist. The film, directed by Nightcrawler’s Dan Gilroy, stars Jake Gyllenhaal as an art critic whose life begins to spiral out of control after a series of artworks seem to develop a malevolent supernatural power. It’s a biting commentary on greed in the art world, which feels like it captures the same spirit as Mallory’s desire to keep science a pure thing, not driven solely by war or capitalism.
F. Tony Scarapiducci (Ben Schwartz): Middleditch & Schwartz
Though Scarapiducci’s thing is social media, the appeal of the character is really Ben Schwartz’s upbeat energy, which is captured best in Schwartz’s improv special with Thomas Middleditch, Middleditch & Schwartz. The two comedians, working off audience suggestions, always take the biggest, weirdest option available to them. Through all three installments of the special, they keep up an easy, affable energy that should please Schwartz fans, whether they know him from Space Force or Sonic the Hedgehog.
Erin Naird (Diana Silvers): The Edge of Seventeen
If “coming-of-age story with a surly teen heroine” is what you’re looking for, The Edge of Seventeen is the best movie for the job. The film stars Hailee Steinfeld as Nadine, a high-school junior who starts feeling more alone than ever when her best friend, her sole escape from her uneasy relationships with her older brother and mother, ends up apparently betraying her, too. As Nadine, Steinfeld projects the same kind of smart, sharp energy Diana Silvers channels as Erin in Space Force, and watching them deal with and grow through their respective high-school troubles is a joy.
Angela Ali (Tawny Newsome): Someone Great
Sometimes you don’t figure it all out until you leave your teen years behind, as with Space Force’s Angela Ali, who aspires to be an astronaut, but needs a little help in getting there. The appeal of her story is seeing her build up the skills necessary without losing confidence in herself. The film Someone Great is a romantic comedy rather than a workplace drama, but like Angela’s arc in Space Force, it both bakes in lessons about growing up without discounting any innate abilities, and juggles career woes with romance. Speaking of which…
Chan Kaifang (Jimmy O. Yang): Set It Up
The will-they-won’t-they dynamic between Angela and Chan is one of Space Force’s most appealing facets, and the initial tension between them — as well as their devotion to their respective jobs — is a relationship also present in the film Set It Up. Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell share woes as assistants to high-strung, high-powered bosses, and their similar stress brings them closer together, with plenty of snark and one-liners.
Brad Gregory (Don Lake): Mascots
The unsung MVP of Space Force is Brad, Naird’s hapless but sweet assistant. The actor behind him, Don Lake, has been in several movies that capture that same kind of energy, namely, his multiple collaborations with Christopher Guest. The most recent example, Mascots, is a mockumentary focusing on a group of people who all perform as sports mascots, and are competing in the World Mascot Association championship. They’re all oddballs, with the same kind of sweet, earnest nature that Brad has.
Kick Grabaston (Noah Emmerich): The Other Guys
Kick Grabaston seems to exist solely to show up and bully Naird at the most inopportune moments. That aggressive back-and-forth is the basis of The Other Guys, which pairs Will Ferrell as a timid, rule-abiding desk jockey with Mark Wahlberg as a hot-tempered detective. Unlike the rapport between Grabaston and Naird, Ferrell and Wahlberg’s characters gradually come to respect each other and work together (as well as reveal secret sides to their personalities), but the macho posturing is still there.
No one in particular: W1A
If you can’t pick a favorite Space Force character, or what you’re really yearning for is a workplace comedy and an ensemble piece with a similar tone, give W1A a try. The British comedy series, which ran for three seasons and 15 episodes total, stars Hugh Bonneville as Ian Fletcher, the Head of the Olympic Deliverance Commission, who’s chosen to be the new Head of Values at the BBC. The show sees Fletcher and his staff figuring out how to lead the BBC into the future, while putting out fires set by ongoing programs and would-be talent. It’s a little drier than Space Force, but shows off a sharpness that Space Force only has in spurts. Hopefully it’ll improve on that focus in any potential new season.
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