For its second season premiering on Netflix in February, the overtly satirical comedy Space Force made two big changes. First, it lowered its episode count to seven, from ten. Second, the Steve Carell-starring series eschewed the first season’s multi-director approach and brought TV and film vet Ken Kwapis in to handle all the installments. Which means this marked the first time Kwapis reunited with Carell and his other former The Office colleague Greg Daniels, and without any of John Krasinski’s Jim mugging the camera.
Ahead of Space Force’s big debut on Netflix, CinemaBlend spoke with Ken Kwapis about his latest Netflix offering — he also helmed episodes of Kenya Barris’ #BlackAF and the hilarious Santa Clarita Diet — and I asked how he felt about reteaming with Carell and Daniels for another high-profile comedy series. Here’s what he told me:
At this point, it’s been nearly nine years since The Office wrapped up its nine-season run with “The Finale,” which Kwapis directed. (He was also behind the camera for the pilot and eleven additional episodes.) So it’s awesome that Greg Daniels brought the filmmaker in not just to handle the Season 2 bookends, but rather to steer the entire ship from departure to arrival. Probably not the most miserable goal to try and accomplish, considering how many ridiculously talented people are a part of Space Force’s ensemble cast.
It is odd that drama tends to opt for single-director projects more than comedies, by and large. It’s not as if funny projects aren’t made better by having a singular vision. Certainly a sitcom in front of a live audience will only have so many ways of being approached, but those are obviously fewer and farther between now.
When I asked Ken Kwapis if the single-director plan was part of the reason why Greg Daniels reached out to him specifically, and here’s what the filmmaker said:
The first season had its ups and downs, and the story did go in perhaps a few too many different directions. There’s certainly a changed approach with Season 2, with the majority of the series taking place within the Space Force professional bubble itself, minus a few flashback detours.
For Ken Kwapis, part of the draw in bringing his talents to Space Force was the higher stakes facing the characters in Season 2. Without getting too spoilery, he said:
There’s something so satisfying about seeing a comedic genius such as Steve Carell be on the brink of stress-induced panic, with stakes that are both sky-high and also patently ridiculous. I feel less sympathetic about Don Lake’s Brad, since he never seems like anything bothers him very much, unless it’s someone bad-mouthing Naird and his decisions.
After seeing how General Naird and his bumbling crew handle things in Season 2, fans can anticipate Greg Daniels potentially answering all the questions we still have about Upload when Season 2 arrives on Prime Video in March. And what better way to spend time until then than by checking out some of the other times the Office squad has reunited over the years.
Both seasons of Space Force are currently available to stream in full on Netflix (opens in new tab), and be sure to check out all the other big TV shows heading to Netflix later this year. And if that’s not enough entertainment for you, our 2022 TV premiere schedule has you covered.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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