Paul Feig, creator of the cult fave Freaks and Geeks and director of Bridesmaids, has launched his new science fiction comedy series Other Space on Yahoo Screen. All eight episodes of the first (hopefully not last) season are up now – so binge viewers can take in the entire kit ‘n’ caboodle in one evening (should they have the collar balls). It’s an exciting time for series as the advent of new “channels” such as Yahoo Screen allow shows like this to see the light of day – even after they were passed on by major networks.
To summarize: in the year 2105, the Universal Mapping Project (UMP) has given the reins of one of its classic starships, the Cruiser, to an untested yet oddly laid-back captain Stewart Lipinski (Karan Soni) – a future hipster-wannabe with an odd but effective method of command. It’s a dream mission for Lipinski even though the public is no longer concerned with space travel due to its inability to find anything interesting in the universe beyond dust and rocks. As the Fates would have it, on their initial foray into outer space, the ship collides with a dimensional portal that strands them. Mayhem and comedy ensue.
The small crew (for the small budget series) consists of Karen (Bess Rous), Stewart’s older sister who resents the success of her younger brother yet learns to embrace her role as second to his command; the captain’s life-long friend Michael Newman (Eugene Cordero), who yearns for attention; Tina Shukshin (Milana Vayntraub – of AT&T fame), the girl Stewart longs for and hired despite her questionable navigational skills; the computer avatar Natasha (Conor Leslie), who was originally programmed to play blackjack; mommy’s boy Kent Woolworth (Neil Casey), the ships’ s science officer; Zalian Fletcher (Joel Hodgson from Mystery Science Theater 3000), the ships’s tech officer who suffers from radiation induced brain-damage that leaves him in a hippy-like state; A.R.T., the wise-cracking low-tech robot buddy of Zalian (naturally – voiced by Trace Beaulieu), and Chad Sampson (Dave Franco), the forward guy from the auxiliary deck.
The show has a charm of its own while making various winks and nods at past science fiction series and comics that genre fans will dig, and while some of the jokes may make you groan, on the whole every episode has several good laughs. Crew chemistry is solid and their acting abilities are great, which is a very good thing as the low budget requires this to be more of a “talking heads” series than an eye-candy space opera chocked-full of special effects. The writing can be juvenile and silly, or smart, sharp and biting. Give it a shot if you haven’t already. You may never view fudge the same way again.