Community isn’t the only comedy option on Yahoo.
There’s also Other Space, Paul Feig’s tribute to low-budget sci-fi and his first show since Freaks and Geeks suffered its untimely demise 15 years ago (it’s now as old as Sam Weir). It’s a quick, fun watch (there are only eight episodes), especially for anyone who enjoys these five series:
1. Star Trek
Other Space takes the concept of Star Trek (space explorations), and adds an overtly comedic element to it. You’re stuck in a flying hunk of metal, and there’s literally no place for you to go; you have to get along with the people around you because they’re all you have. That’s the Kirk-Spock-Bones equation of Star Trek. The rest is the missions, which Other Space, despite its minuscule budget, has plenty of. Character and plot come together quickly and effortlessly after an uneven, exposition-heavy pilot, with particularly strong comedic performances from Karan Soni (the endlessly positive captain), Bess Rous (his all work, no play first-mate sister), Milana Vayntrub (the show’s stealth MVP), and podcast favorite Neil Casey (a straight-faced weirdo). There are also some Mystery Science Theater 3000 favorites, who we’ll get to soon.
2. The Office
The concept for Other Space has been around since at least 2008, when Feig described it as a sci-fi version of The Office to the New York Times. NBC bought the rights, but “disagreements arose about how to shoot it,” specifically, “executives wanted it shot as a typical sitcom, with a very obvious, punched up style.” Feig disagreed, and it remained in limbo until Yahoo swooped in. The Office workplace comedy vibe remains strong, though. The only difference being that instead of the oft-bored main characters killing time in Scranton, they’re now in space. Both are hellscapes.
Futurama and Other Space are similarly futuristically set in space, obviously, but they also both follow a rag-team tag of misfits, goofballs, and loners. With the exception of one eternally awesome and endlessly admired character, whose actor cameo I won’t spoil, everyone else aboard the UMP Cruiser is either a lovable loser, in the nicest way possible, or sweetly immature, like Fry from Futurama. Plus, y’know, a talking robot. Speaking of…
4. Mystery Science Theater 3000
MST3K spin-off of sorts Cinematic Titanic was wonderful, but it couldn’t quite match the high of seeing Joel Hodgson and a robot voiced by Trace Beaulieu cracking wise in space. If that sounds appealing to you, and even if you’re Team Mike, you’ll be happy to know that Joel plays a long-haired, jumpsuit-wearing astronaut, and Trace is his sassy mechanical sidekick, A.R.T.
5. Freaks and Geeks
Freaks and Geeks, which you’re required to say was canceled too soon (or else…), was full of well-drawn out relationships, between the titular cliques, or Mr. Rosso and his students, or Coach Ben and Bill’s mom, that it’s easy to forget one of the more obvious ones: Sam and Lindsay. I’m an only child, which I’m usually fine with. Then, I see the Weir children lovingly bug the hell out of each other, and I wish my parents had sex more than that one time (I’m assuming). Their brother-sister rapport is one of the best things about Freaks and Geeks, as is Soni and Rous’ sibling rivalry on Other Space. Their general archetypes aren’t anything new — he’s friendly and fun loving, she’s steely and take-charge — but it’s the specifics that make them fun to watch, like the way he looks up to her, or when she lets her guard down, even for a moment.
Still not convinced? Maybe AT&T Lily IN HELL helps.