Recently I was in a bookstore, where I overheard one employee making fun of another’s embarrassing taste in comedy. “So you have like, a dumb sense of humor,” she said, “This is really revelatory.” The TV show she thought was so laughably bad was Broad City. Her coworker weakly tried to defend what some might call The Best Most Important Comedy I Can Currently Name Particularly When, Like Now, I Am Dumbed with Rage by How Smug This Store Clerk Was, but the girl stopped him. “I watched the pilot?” As if she had minored in Bevers Studies at NYU. “So, I got it.”
I think we can all agree, as reasonable human media consumers, that we should not be able to judge a show by its pilot (and also that the pilot of Broad City is great, and that that store clerk is probably now dead from her own self-satisfied wrongheadedness, having walked directly into traffic because she thought she knew where she was going but thanks). In many later-great cases, shows can’t even be judged by their abbreviated first seasons — the first six Offices, the first six Parks and Recs, even the first five Seinfelds. When comedies are heavily character-based, reliant on audience familiarity and actor chemistry, they necessarily take time to gel.
This brings us to Other Space and its 8-episode first season, currently streaming on Yahoo! Screen.
Some appetites (mine, maybe yours?) were whet for Other Space after reading the New Yorker’s profile of Allison Jones. Jones is a low-key comedy icon, the casting director responsible for the big breaks of everyone from Seth Rogen to Jonah Hill to basically the whole cast of The Office. The New Yorker followed her as she cast Other Space for her dear old friend, Ghostbusters: The Lady Reboot director and Freaks and Geeks co-creator Paul Feig. She was tasked with assembling a top-notch cast of relative unknowns to play Captain Stewart Lipinski and his inept, young crew, and she did it. Really well.
But, as The Office, Parks and Rec, and Seinfeld proved, that is just the first step. And I bet the second season of Other Space would really be something to talk about.