Disney and National Geographic present a new take on “The Right Stuff” for Disney+. It was already a book and a movie, so how ‘bout a miniseries (and one executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio)?
Alright, I’ll cut to the chase: why do we need ANOTHER version of this story? I know all about the Mercury 7, their training and frustrations, their spouses and children, the “LIFE” magazine deal and the missions. Disney, through ABC, even tackled all of this just five years ago with the underrated miniseries “The Astronaut Wives Club”.
While watching the first two episodes of “The Right Stuff”, I experienced severe deja vu. There’s absolutely nothing new here – even though the actors, set pieces, costumes and visuals are different on a basic, surface level.
Alan Shephard is the cocky womanizer. John Glenn is the more poised one who plays well to the camera. They, and the other chosen five, question whether or not they’re ready to make history and allow the U.S. to become a prominent player in The Space Race. Their lives at home become obsessions to the American public, though the men wish for their privacy.
The only times I experienced a sense of surprise were listening to the obvious music choices, like “Go Johnny Go” and “Beyond the Sea”. We shouldn’t be force-fed into the late ‘50s/early ‘60s like this. Oh, and maybe hearing “s*it” several times. Even though “The Right Stuff” is on Disney+, adult language and sex are not considered “science fiction”.
The best line of dialogue comes in Episode 1, when a female hotel clerk points out to the candidates that “You all look the same.” When it comes to practically every space project zooming out of Hollywood these days… ditto.