When they heard “Space Force,” many Americans didn’t first think of the two-year-old military branch of the U.S. Space Force, but rather of a Netflix comedy series of the same name starring actor Steve Carell.
The streaming giant’s show parodied military life in the new service with an ensemble cast and made it difficult for real Space Force Guardians to teach and educate the importance of their mission – to protect the US satellite fleet – to the public.
But that came to an end last weekend when it was announced that Netflix’s “Space Force” would be canceled after two seasons to lukewarm reviews from critics. Understandably, many Guardians aren’t too upset by the news of the series’ death, and some experts believe it might even help the reputation of long-term military service as it strives to develop and expand. his culture.
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One Space Force Guardian, who spoke to Military.com on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media, said the real effect of the show was the public’s perception of the service. .
“I think [the Netflix show] maybe had an impact on how people perceived us on the outside, but on the inside I don’t see an impact,” the Guardian told Military.com.
The “Space Force” show was not very popular and did not break into the overall Nielsen Weekly Top 10 streaming rankings, according to a report by Deadline. It made a brief appearance on the original Nielsen streaming charts, debuting at No. 8 and eventually peaking at No. 7.
The show was talked about and widely anticipated when it debuted in 2020 due to a star-studded cast that included Carell, John Malkovich, and Ben Schwartz.
But retired Air Force Col. Bill Woolf, president and founder of the nonprofit Space Force Association, which works to raise awareness of the service, said that while the show has been able to help inform people of her existence, she ultimately harmed the service. .
“The marketing value behind the ‘Space Force’ show was phenomenal, in that it highlighted that there is in fact a new service out there,” Woolf said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t capture the culture accurately at all. In fact, it probably diluted Americans’ ability to really see the importance of the space superiority mission that Space Force is training for.”
On US Space Force’s Reddit thread, a poll asks if canceling the show “will improve our public image or will we see no change in overall perception?”
The majority of the poll’s 280 votes, over 62%, said he was neutral; the remaining votes were essentially tied to whether it had a positive or negative effect on the reputation of the service.
The Space Force is the smallest of the branches of the military service. It has grown to 8,400 Guardians since its creation at the request of former President Donald Trump in 2019 and is expected to increase by 200 new recruits in 2023.
And the Space Force is starting to establish more historic firsts, like having its first Guardian-only basic military training in Texas this month. Woolf thinks moments like this will help the service leave the Netflix show in the past.
“I think right now is an opportunity for Space Force to start telling its story more often, so people can understand the real Space Force versus the made-up ‘Space Force,'” said Woolf.
— Thomas Novelly can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.
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