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‘Space Force’ Shoots for the Moon … and Misses

It is a testament to whatever post-peak era of TV we’re in that, less than halfway through 2020, there have already been two separate riffs on the concept “Veep, but in space. ” The first series all but inherited the setup. Premiering in January, HBO’s Avenue 5 was the latest project from Veep creator Armando Iannucci, the Scottish writer who elevated profanity to high art with The Thick of It. Avenue 5 saw Iannucci take his scalpel to the private sector, not to mention the cosmos, but the basic theme remained the same: institutional incompetence, enabled and exacerbated by individual folly. Hugh Laurie, Zach Woods, and Josh Gad sealed the sales pitch. The second show’s similarities are more incidental.

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