Carell's middling Netflix comedy series Space Force and his starring role in Jon Stewart's poorly reviewed second movie Irresistible this summer are in stark contrast to 2005, when he starred in The Office and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. "As it turned out, 2020 would be no one’s year, though the pandemic can’t entirely be blamed for why Space Force and Irresistible fell so remarkably flat," says Alison Willmore. "They are projects that would play as anodyne in regular times — the turbulence of the summer in which they premiered just making their relevance-adjacency more obvious. But both are also anchored by performances from Carell that feel lost, as though he weren’t confident in, or even aware of, the intended tone for either project. He comes across as curiously reluctant to be the punch line of the joke — as though somewhere along the way, he just lost his taste for playing the fool. And Mark R. Naird, the general Carell plays in Space Force, and Gary Zimmer, the Democratic strategist he plays in Irresistible, sure seem like they’re meant to be fools. Or at least, foolish, characters who’ve risen to the top of their respective military-political mechanisms by being devoted to their work and never picking up their heads long enough to consider what their work means to the country."