The premise of Stars on Mars, which premiered on Fox on June 5, is very simple: celebrities go to space camp. The longer explanation is that it is a reality show in which 12 celebrities pretend to be on Mars for 24 days and compete to see who is the strongest, bravest, smartest and most competent crew member, earning the title of ‘Brightest Star in the Universe’ . .”
Stars on Marsceleb cast is a hodgepodge of fairly remarkable names, all introduced as they arrive in the airlock to the base, trying to make sense of the new digs and the HAL 9000-esque “AI” hosting them. It’s standard meet-and-greet reality show stuff.
But Marshawn Lynch needs no such introduction. He appears bouncing on a Mars rover with former Seahawks teammate Richard Sherman, the only paired introduction on the show. While Sherman worked as an analyst for Prime Video’s football coverage, Lynch seems to be the clear star of the moment. Everyone else’s talkhead interviews illustrate what they think of the show: Sherm says he’s happy to have a teammate; Modern family star Ariel Winter says she wants to get more comfortable with play herself. Lynch’s segments are pure commentary gold.
He is upset about the bed situation (“Yes, the sleeping arrangements on Mars are nasty as fuck”). He’s ready to act as base commander and rescue the stranded 12th Mate (“We need to send a team… It could be Beyoncé,” he wisely notes). Even outside the cutaways, Lynch is always good to hit a comedic beat, whether it’s beating Lance Armstrong for not being a real athlete—because riding a bike is easy, in Marshawn’s book—or just passing out in the quarters of his private commander.
For those following Lynch’s post-NFL career, this comes as no surprise. He already took home the title of top guest Murder townand he was furious guest star on a Bear Grylls show. He popped up West world And The competition; he fought the Predator! Hell, you just have to look at Lynch’s iconic NFL career to remember that the man has always known how to work a spotlight to his advantage.
The show also seems to know this: in a talking lead interview, Vanderpump Rules star Tom Schwartz refuses to call Christopher Mintz-Plasse by his name Super bad character name, since he’s probably heard it yelled at him since he was a teenager. Go to Marshawn Lynch and say “Hey, McLovin!” Even comedian and fellow Mars friend Natasha Leggero wonders how she’s supposed to be Mars’ house comedian with him around.
If Lynch isn’t on Stars on Mars, the show is fine, if not remarkable. The first episode features many softball challenges, with the celebrities pretending to be on Mars and taking on the “real life” challenges of astronaut life. The show has the production values of the escape room of your dreams and (at least in Episode 1) the reality show thrill of a C-tier competition show. There are a few notable moments, as Winter thought Lance Armstrong was Neil Armstrong or Tinashe calling Tallulah Willis a typical nepo baby. These are the kind of things that punctuate so many reality shows on the network. Stars on Marstest will be whether the challenges and celebrities manage to stand out while thinning the herd.
But there is already a clear standout. Whoever wins this space camp reality show contest is largely irrelevant. One star already shines much brighter than the rest, and that’s Marshawn Lynch.
New episodes of Stars on Mars airs on Fox Mondays at 8 p.m. EDT.
Stars on Mars proves Marshawn Lynch is the very best reality star
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