MOONBASE 8

(L-R): John C. Reilly as Cap, Tim Heidecker as Rook and Fred Armisen as Skip in "Moonbase 8."

The USA is going back to the moon in the near future. The moon and space have captured our imaginations for decades, and longer. The new Showtime series “Moonbase 8” stars Fred Armisen, Tim Heidecker and John C. Reilly as a team of NASA “astronauts” living and working on Earth in a simulated moonbase.

Jana Winograde, president of entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc., said, “In a year when we have all been forced to come to terms with life in close quarters, we are happy to have landed this offbeat take on life in captivity with dreams of escaping to something grander. While the show was produced before the pandemic, its subject matter is timely – and thanks to Fred, Tim, John and Jonathan, its humor is timeless.”

These bumbling men try their best to maintain their base, which is located in the desert in Winslow, Arizona. They are eager to make it work so they will be chosen to go to the moon. Cap (Reilly) is an out-of-work helicopter pilot from Hawaii who has mountains of debt and a failed marriage. The moon is his escape from all of these hardships. Skip (Armisen) is trying to follow in the footsteps of his father who had worked at NASA. And Rook (Heidecker) is a religious fanatic who joined the program to spread religion throughout the universe.

These guys are the antithesis of well-trained astronauts. They do not even know what the letters N-A-S-A stand for. They want to get to the moon and they try their hardest to figure out how to manage life on their little base, but it’s not easy.

The show came about because the three actors wanted to work together. They brainstormed via texts on how they could do that and what kind of show would put them all in the same room at the same time. Lo and behold they came up with the idea of a moonbase. Moonbases are springing up around the planet so the idea had merit. What they ultimately came up with was to create a farce about a business that is serious and fraught with life and death at every turn.

In the six episodes of the season the men must learn to work together to solve problems and figure out whether they can actually make it on the moon. Being isolated from friends and family takes its toll but the idea of actually going to the moon spurs them on. Teamwork and friendship is what this is all about, albeit in a comic way. The episodes are reminiscent of the Christopher Guest movies and filled with funny situations.

“Moonbase 8” premiered this week on Showtime.