The Orville

So I originally was going to give this series a pass. I'm not a fan of Seth McFarlane's sows, and the original promos made it look like Family Guy...IN SPAAAAACE! And I thought "hard pass".

But chronic illness and free time got the better of me. Turns out, I'll watch a lot more TV if I have nothing better to do with my time. And the first season was...okay. A lot of the episodes seemed clumsy, there was still too much Family Guy, and the best episodes had been done better by Trek before.

The promos for the second season made it look less...Seth McFarlane. So I checked out a few episodes and it's...actually good? I don't think I'm actively in love with it, but it's had a much better quality of episodes and some pretty stand-out ones. McFarlane even penned one of my favourites, which surprised me, because most of the ones I've liked have been from Trek alums.

Any fans? Anyone hate it? Is it getting better, or has my threshold for TV just dropped over the years?

It's pretty okay. It showed me that there actually is a bit of a distinction between "Seth macfarlane comedy" and "Seth macfarlane comedy that Seth actually gives a crap about".

The comedy wasn't always my cup of tea, mind, but I found the show fairly watchable. May catch up with it sometime when I have more freedom.

I kinda' got bored with it. The first episode is the one that's meant to bring you in, so you know they put their best jokes in it. And I laughed like twice, so I know the other episodes won't be as funny.
I suspect Seth didn't want to do Trek Family guy movies like he did Star Wars, so this was the compromise. Which is fine, but its kinda' one note and tires quickly.

I've seen the first five episodes of season 1 when they came out. That's about it.

It's...okay, at best. Of those episodes, I think "About a Girl" best sums up the problem I have with this show. On one hand, the episode wants to deal with a serious issue (gender reassignment, prejudice, etc.) On the other, an actual catalyst in the episode is Bortus literally seeing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and thinking "Rudolph turned a disadvantage into an advantage! My entire outlook on life, drilled into me via generations of mochlan societal expectations, has now been arbitrarily overturned!"

Like, it's trying to combine humour with gravitas, but they clash together horribly. Or, "If the Stars Should Appear," Claire recites some poem at the end of the episode, but the captain (and by the captain, I mean the writers) just can't shut up and have even more wisecracks. Humour absolutely has its place in sci-fi, but it's used to the extent that it sometimes clashes with what's going on on screen.

I really liked the episode where Dr Claire and Isaac got together.

It reminded me of all the joker and edi stuff from me2 and 3

I really liked the first season. It's hardly anything meaningful but it was a fun show about likeable people having adventures in space. And I think that's really the appeal. Everyone in the crew just seems so dang nice. Captain Mercer, Bortus, Alara, Kelly... they seem like the type of people you'd actually want to explore space with.

The second season so far is still good but they're leaning a bit too hard on relationship drama. The episode with Dr. Finn and Isaac was really good but otherwise it's just not that exciting to focus on Bortus' marriage troubles.

Also a shame about Alara's actress leaving, not that I have anything against her replacement.

Hawki:
I've seen the first five episodes of season 1 when they came out. That's about it.

It's...okay, at best. Of those episodes, I think "About a Girl" best sums up the problem I have with this show. On one hand, the episode wants to deal with a serious issue (gender reassignment, prejudice, etc.) On the other, an actual catalyst in the episode is Bortus literally seeing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and thinking "Rudolph turned a disadvantage into an advantage! My entire outlook on life, drilled into me via generations of mochlan societal expectations, has now been arbitrarily overturned!"

Like, it's trying to combine humour with gravitas, but they clash together horribly. Or, "If the Stars Should Appear," Claire recites some poem at the end of the episode, but the captain (and by the captain, I mean the writers) just can't shut up and have even more wisecracks. Humour absolutely has its place in sci-fi, but it's used to the extent that it sometimes clashes with what's going on on screen.

I think you should at least give episodes seven (Majority Rule) and episode 12 (Mad Idolatry) a try before you write the series off.

For those of you who haven't watched it yet, the newest episode "Identity" is probably the best episode yet hands down.

Wasn't Orville supposed to be so much better Discovery?

trunkage:
Wasn't Orville supposed to be so much better Discovery?

It is. Doesn't mean it's a masterpiece but it's still superior than discovery.

undeadsuitor:

trunkage:
Wasn't Orville supposed to be so much better Discovery?

It is. Doesn't mean it's a masterpiece but it's still superior than discovery.

Interesting. I've started watching Discovery season 2 before Orville. I also only watched Orville when playing a game because its just so meh. It doesnt deserve my full attention.

undeadsuitor:
For those of you who haven't watched it yet, the newest episode "Identity" is probably the best episode yet hands down.

I was going to comment last night before I saw Identity pt 1, and I'm pretty glad I didn't, because....

Given it's a TBC, my opinion may change with part 2, but I think I prefer "Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes" and "All the World Is Birthday Cake."

trunkage:
Interesting. I've started watching Discovery season 2 before Orville. I also only watched Orville when playing a game because its just so meh. It doesnt deserve my full attention.

The main advantage Orville has over STD for me is that I'm not going to pay for All Acccess. Even if I liked Discovery, it'd be the only show they feature I'd watch. If it was streaming on Netflix or whatever, I'd probably give it a shot, but a seven day free trial won't matter even if I do like it, so....

Something Amyss:
So I originally was going to give this series a pass. I'm not a fan of Seth McFarlane's sows, and the original promos made it look like Family Guy...IN SPAAAAACE! And I thought "hard pass".

But chronic illness and free time got the better of me. Turns out, I'll watch a lot more TV if I have nothing better to do with my time. And the first season was...okay. A lot of the episodes seemed clumsy, there was still too much Family Guy, and the best episodes had been done better by Trek before.

The promos for the second season made it look less...Seth McFarlane. So I checked out a few episodes and it's...actually good? I don't think I'm actively in love with it, but it's had a much better quality of episodes and some pretty stand-out ones. McFarlane even penned one of my favourites, which surprised me, because most of the ones I've liked have been from Trek alums.

From what I've heard, it was conceived to be Seth's own Star Trek love letter to begin with, but there was no way it was getting greenlit, so that's why the promos and the first season were what they were. As it goes on, he wants to shift it to be more and more like a proper Trek.

Any fans? Anyone hate it? Is it getting better, or has my threshold for TV just dropped over the years?

I've not seen it yet, but I plan to based on the word going around the community. It blows Discovery out of the water, at least.

trunkage:
Wasn't Orville supposed to be so much better Discovery?

It is, hands down. Discovery had bits of potential, but failed to do anything with it and continues to circle the drain. The real issue is that it is Trek in name only. If they actually had better writing and just called it Discovery, it might have some potential.

Leg End:
From what I've heard, it was conceived to be Seth's own Star Trek love letter to begin with, but there was no way it was getting greenlit, so that's why the promos and the first season were what they were. As it goes on, he wants to shift it to be more and more like a proper Trek.

I just figured he was paying a proper homage to Star Trek by having an awkward origin!

>.>

No, but seriously, that makes a certain kind of sense. I'm not sure if it's true, but I could see the people with the purse strings being slow to get behind McFarlane doing anything not like what they were already paying for.

Something Amyss:

No, but seriously, that makes a certain kind of sense. I'm not sure if it's true, but I could see the people with the purse strings being slow to get behind McFarlane doing anything not like what they were already paying for.

Oh absolutely. If a dude is making you bank by making raunchy comedies, no matter how profitable he might be the people paying for it aren't exactly going to bank on that person doing something completely different.

Truthfully, I hope they never completely get rid of the humor. While there's a ton of less than stellar jokes, a lot of it kinda humanizes the cast in a sort of....Mass Effect 3 Citadel DLC kind of way.

undeadsuitor:

Something Amyss:

No, but seriously, that makes a certain kind of sense. I'm not sure if it's true, but I could see the people with the purse strings being slow to get behind McFarlane doing anything not like what they were already paying for.

Oh absolutely. If a dude is making you bank by making raunchy comedies, no matter how profitable he might be the people paying for it aren't exactly going to bank on that person doing something completely different.

Truthfully, I hope they never completely get rid of the humor. While there's a ton of less than stellar jokes, a lot of it kinda humanizes the cast in a sort of....Mass Effect 3 Citadel DLC kind of way.

There have definitely been bits I've enjoyed. I liked the callback in Identity to the practical jokes from a prior episode, because when Isaac removed and hid Gordon's leg (and they found it) I was highly amused. It's funny, and it fits with the idea of an alien who doesn't grasp humour attempting to do so. To somewhat horrifying--if reversible--results.

I definitely don't want them to go the grim and joyless route.

Something Amyss:

undeadsuitor:

Something Amyss:

No, but seriously, that makes a certain kind of sense. I'm not sure if it's true, but I could see the people with the purse strings being slow to get behind McFarlane doing anything not like what they were already paying for.

Oh absolutely. If a dude is making you bank by making raunchy comedies, no matter how profitable he might be the people paying for it aren't exactly going to bank on that person doing something completely different.

Truthfully, I hope they never completely get rid of the humor. While there's a ton of less than stellar jokes, a lot of it kinda humanizes the cast in a sort of....Mass Effect 3 Citadel DLC kind of way.

There have definitely been bits I've enjoyed. I liked the callback in Identity to the practical jokes from a prior episode, because when Isaac removed and hid Gordon's leg (and they found it) I was highly amused. It's funny, and it fits with the idea of an alien who doesn't grasp humour attempting to do so. To somewhat horrifying--if reversible--results.

I definitely don't want them to go the grim and joyless route.

Speaking of Identity

Also speaking of more joy, going back to the Krill episode the opener is Bortus telling the crew that his species can eat anything. Which they then proceed to test out by getting him to eat a random assortment of objects for laughs.

I'm enjoying it so far. I admit I'm a Family Guy fan (yeah, I know, but I've been watching it since high school) so maybe I'm biased but the characters are interesting and it feels like an old-school space romp kinda show. Some episodes are hit or miss but they seem pretty open to tackling some heavy ideas, even if they don't always hit the mark. And even if the humour isn't your bag, it's not too overwhelming, I think.

undeadsuitor:

Speaking of Identity

That would be awesome and explain several questions I have.

Also speaking of more joy, going back to the Krill episode the opener is Bortus telling the crew that his species can eat anything. Which they then proceed to test out by getting him to eat a random assortment of objects for laughs.

It's interesting to me that Mochlans are both one of the primary sources for humour and the primary source for social commentary.

I really enjoy it. It's very campy at times and is rather... "basic" with how it tries to apply philosophy, but it has been tackling interesting philosophical debates and not trying to offer a "this way is the best way and if you don't do this then you are evil" but does explore some nuances and the solutions offered by The Orville are often not perfect, but are at least an attempt at improvement.

Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes was a great episode and really hit hard. Ending with Billy Joel's She's Always a Woman set the mood perfectly.

 

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