The 4-star General Naird (name in the pronunciation dangerously close to Nerd) is not a Pentagon mouse, who made his career in the corridors of power.
Naird is the one who flew fighter planes, who was shot down in Bosnia and hunted for months in the forests feeding on worms. Maybe that’s why he laughs at his peers, all arrogant, arrogant bureaucrats from different branches of the US military.
Surprisingly, he receives a mission of a very high level: to organize a Space Force capable of bringing man back to the Moon, as the president proclaims (intention materialized by the allocation of 40 million dollars). The commander-in-chief instead of “boots on the moon” would have said “breasts on the moon”, but that is another story.
Naird is a true soldier at heart, full of experience in the field, one who obeys even the most absurd orders by being silent, even when he doesn’t believe them. So without moving, he embarks on the business. And on a very secret base in Colorado, very expensive of course, which can be accessed with the usual portal disguised as a rock face, the business starts.
To collaborate on the technical side, Mallory, an eccentric scientist, a very dandy civilian (an exhilarating characterization of John Malkovich), who never misses an opportunity to express his contempt for the military mentality, obtuse for him. It is the opposite of Naird who keeps him at bay with a certain skepticism, because “science is faithful to reason, and therefore the scientist is treacherous”.
Around him, various other figures revolve: the bankruptcy officer of Naird; the young Chinese scientist, Mallory’s aide; Naird’s daughter, a typical impatient teenager, and beloved wife (Lisa Cudrow), who however does not live on the base; a young African-American woman, a helicopter pilot who would like to be the first “Black on the Moon”. And the small group of hostile generals, who never miss the opportunity to laugh behind them.
The adventure seems really impossible, the failures succeed, from Washington they try to block the project, which is considered useless and expensive, the Chinese too (the new “bad guys” even for fun). Everyone, even those who seem to have the best of intentions, collides with him.
Poor Naird tries to overcome all obstacles, fill in all gaps, while at the same time trying not to throw complicated balances on his little family, under pressure from the Most High, which makes every action become more crazy woman. How do you do the job, save the world and your family? At some point, Naird won’t know what is the right thing to do, but he will know which is wrong.
The comedy is written by the Steve Carell / Greg Daniels duo, already responsible for the American version of The Office, and in Naird we find some of the famous office manager, who in his version was less obnoxious and embarrassing than the English equivalent. (who was played by Ricky Gervais).
Naird gradually takes the form of a man of integrity and honest even if he is a little obtuse on certain subjects, devoted to such an internal iron discipline, a husband very much in love with a woman who brings with him a huge problem. He also manages to be a loving father, while necessarily being distracted from his demanding chores.
So, in the obvious satire, but with a certain finesse, of a system that we have seen in sedans in infinite films (in general the madness there is an echo of MASH), the character is gradually formed, acquiring a thickness which in the end communicates an unexpected tenderness.
What is characteristic of the characters that Carell wrote or attributed to him over the years of his long career, in which he began with awkwardly chronic embarrassing roles, as in his first hit, “A Week of God,” to continue with minor series and films.
He came to some notoriety with ’40 virgins’, still bewildered and self-conscious, to take off with the success of ‘The Office’ made in USA and the movies improved a bit, albeit still in a certain type of character (Exploit of a god, love according to Dan, crazy night in Manhattan).
With the role in ‘Crazy Stupid Love’ and especially with ‘Looking for love at the end of the world’ a possibility was seen to flash for a different path which led him to ‘Foxcatcher’, ‘The big bet’ , ‘The Battle of the Sexes’, ‘Last Flag Flying’, ‘Beautiful Boy’, ‘Vice’, ‘Welcome to Marwen’, the series ‘The Morning Show’, allowing him to demonstrate what a good actor he could be after twenty years careers.
The series would not be the same without the presence of the ineffable Malkovich, a comic shoulder inaccessible to listen to in the original for its timbre and its diction. The storyline is a fire in a row of jokes and jokes, and without ever killing yourself with laughter, you smile a lot and the spontaneous sneer escapes every now and then.
Additionally, the series politely positions itself as its singer-songwriter, with 10 episodes under half an hour each, which is great for enjoying a product like this.