I didn’t binge-watch “Other Space” all in one sitting, but it only took me a few days to get through the eight-episode season of this quirky science-fiction comedy. I thought it was terrific, and I’m hoping against hope for another season. I don’t know if that’s likely, since creator Paul Feig (who originally pitched this show to NBC, years ago) is now better known for movies like “Bridesmaids.”
This isn’t for everyone. It’s somewhere in the neighborhood of “Red Dwarf” or even “Futurama” — a playful comedy which has some fun with science fiction tropes.
The thing that caught my eye in advance was the participation of not one but two veterans of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” Joel Hodgson plays a live-action role, while Trace Beaulieu (Dr. Clayton Forrester and one of the voices of Crow T. Robot) is the voice of another robot, named ART. The show also, strangely enough, has actors from two different AT&T advertising campaigns. Karan Soni plays the closest thing the show has to a central character, and he played one of those two technicians who appeared in several different ads about AT&T upgrading its network. (“Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”)
Milana Vayntrub, meanwhile, is nearly ubiquitous (unless you watch everything by DVR and skip through the commercials) as Lily, the perky AT&T wireless salesperson.
Anyway, the show is set in an future where space travel has become sort of routine. There’s a space agency called the Universal Mapping Project, or UMP, but most of Earth has lost interest. There are still those with the itch to explore, however, including the cheery, eternally optimistic Stewart Lipinksi (Soni) and his hard-driven, ultra-competitive sister Karen (Bess Rous). Stewart, somewhat improbably, gets command of his own ship, with his furious sister as one of his crew members. But Stewart, Karen and their largely-incompetent, misfit crew have just begun their journey when they get bumped into an unknown alternate universe. They must find a way to stay alive — and keep from killing one another — until they can figure out how to get back home.
The whole ensemble cast is excellent, including the names already mentioned plus Neil Casey, Eugene Cordero and Conor Leslie. Hodgson seems to be having a ball as the ship’s somewhat-addled engineer.
It really is fun, if you’re any sort of science fiction geek, and I really do hope they get to make another season.
Here’s the first episode. You can watch others at the Yahoo! Screen web site or by installing the Yahoo! Screen channel on Roku and similar devices. (“Community” is also available there.)