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As many critics have pointed out, this isn't a spoof of Star Trek. It's
not exactly an homage either. The best way I can describe it is that
MacFarlane wanted to make a Star Trek show that recalls that
franchise's earlier days, back before it became an action blockbuster
film series and before the TV shows started becoming dark and grim and
edgy. MacFarlane is making his own version of the original Star Trek,
and he is a new Captain Kirk. All the optimism and sincerity and
lightheartedness of that show is here, and in many ways it's kind of
wonderful. I'm honestly surprised something like this exists.
There's some off-color humor, but it's never (so far at least) particularly offensive, or at least its offensiveness pales in comparison to many of McFarlane's other works. Still, it's distinctly him, so it's not going to be appealing to everyone.
In any case, I've really enjoyed The Orville. It's not a perfect show. Some of the jokes do fall flat. But I love its spirit. I love that someone is actually trying to make a Star Trek show that isn't just filled with explosions, space battles and gritty action. You should check it out and make up your own mind. Maybe you'll hate it, but maybe not. It's fun and kind of sweet and I'm happy it's a thing, however weird and unexpected it might be.
Once again the "professional" critics still think that even in the
trying times we're living in, we want everything to be dark and gritty.
They are stuck in the 2000-2010 decade where everyone was floored by
Christopher Nolan's Batman performance and the Debut of "Walking Dead
which ushered in the pop culture's shift to a darker take on fiction.
The critics don't understand those of us who want to go back to a universe where nobody has to work hard for food, shelter, water, and health. Everything you need is generated out of an abundance of energy, you can go wherever you want in the known galaxy, and there's a sense of wonder, awe and adventure. We want a future where people aren't mindless, humorless drones going about their day, a future where most of your energy and focus goes on the people you care about and an enrichment of your hobbies, skills, and knowledge, not the drudgery, fear, monotony, and negativity of everyday life. Star Trek fans have been hungering for a series like this since TNG ended in 1994. 23 years was far too long a time to wait, but the wait is finally over!
Aside from a pilot drinking a beer while flying, no interaction between the crew, no matter how crass or juvenile they get with each other, seemed to be all that much more unlikely than a normal interaction between co-workers. It makes the crew relatable and is not that hard to believe would be how humans in their situation would use humor to form bonds and diffuse stressful situations.
As this was the very first episode, there were some moments where improvements could have been made in dialogue or pacing, but overall it was a great show. Besides, it took Star Trek TNG more than a whole season before "growing a beard" and finding its stride.
Somewhere between ST: TOS and TNG, fleet personnel became high-minded,
super-moral, flawless beings... a picture of who we should be when
we're at our best, but not a true reflection of who we ARE. And then
you remember how human TOS people were -- bickering, flawed, sometimes
racist or rude.
The Orville's first episode is funny, but it's not a parody. It puts people with personalities of friends and co-workers you already know and love (or hate) into roles they might actually have aspired to in the future. They're a bit irreverent, unprofessional, perhaps a bit childish with a sense of office humor, drama, and politics. But, it's not over the top.
It's a little bit ST: Atlantis, a little bit Guardians of the Galaxy, a bit of Galaxy Quest, and a LOT of Star Trek. It's not Shakespeare, but it's fun, yet grounded. I've only seen the first episode, so no way to know where it will go. I recall the first episode of ST TNG was pretty rocky, and I think this is off to a better start. Give it a shot!
The Orville is a show with potential. I liked how it didn't try too
hard to be funny. In fact, it reminded me more of a Star Trek episode
than Family Guy. I suspect there will be many comparisons to Galaxy
My concern is the audience. To appreciate this show, I think you need to be both a science fiction and crude humor fan. I'm one of these people, but I'm not sure if there are enough of us to support the production. Hopefully, we'll be seeing a lot more of The Orville.
Star Trek discovery was also released, and I have to say, this show comes closer to what I expect in a Star Trek series.
No spoilers. I liked it. Like the original Star Trek it is character
and story driven which I am sure will anger the people who think they
are Science Fiction fans but don't know what science fiction is. People
who have never read a book by Sturgeon or Simak and think Science
Fiction is SciFi shoot'em ups with lasers.
I know there will be those who want to see "Family Guy In Space;" grow up. MacFarlane did. This is an independent, free standing piece of storytelling and MacFarlane is using storytelling elements instead of special effects or body function jokes. It is a show for grown-ups.
Ray Bradbury said Science Fiction is putting ordinary people into extraordinary situations and seeing how they respond. Sisko was the perfect embodiment of that concept and "The Orville" appears to follow that lead.
The first episode did a good job of establishing character roles and plot. They also did an excellent job of hinting as several subplots. All in all, it is like Star Trek in story but with a Next Generation maturity. Thank goodness MacFarlane does not have a Roger alien!
JarJarAbrams officially destroyed StarTrek when he made his disgusting
reboot of StarTrek in 2009. That is literally true. He purposely chose
a story that literally erased all events that happened in all the years
the StarTrek series and movies took place... except perhaps StarTrek
Enterprise. Of course he not only erased the timeline, he erased
everything good and distinctive about the StarTrek universe and
everything that made StarTrek special.
The new STD (StarTrek Discovery) continues that tradition of destruction by changing pretty much everything. Garbage, just total garbage.
Seemingly to put the final nail in the coffin of StarTrek, this Orville series was released on Fox TV just a couple weeks before STD. Since the show was created by a gross comedian Seth McFarland, everyone assumed Orville would be a horrible, gross, cheap, crappy-looking parody of StarTrek designed to mock StarTrek.
##### WRONG ##### After four episodes, Orville is more like StarTrek than StarTrek! The production quality is mind boggling! No low budget here! Crammed full of the most gorgeous sets, fabulous aliens, makeup, and wardrobe, spectacular special effects, orchestra music... the works! Far, far better than anything StarTrek ever created.
Freaking awesome. How is this possible? Well, I did not know before that it turns out this Seth McFarland guy has been a long-time huge fan of StarTrek. And Orville is not a parody or mock of StarTrek but a super flattering love letter by way of imitation.
Of course they had to change the names of characters and races to avoid violating StarTrek copyrights, but they absolutely captured the essence of what made StarTrek special... the sensibility, great characters, great stories, and a positive, hopeful future.
To be sure, Orville has its weaknesses. First and foremost, now and then Orville contains a bit of crude humor. After 4 episodes they appear to be learning "this doesn't work", and the crude humor is gradually being scaled back.
In contrast, the light humor is mostly excellent. For an example, see the bit about "the dancing hombre in the holodeck" in episode 3 (and the wry annoyed reaction from the captain).
What's amazing is... they stories are excellent science fiction AND contain excellent thoughtful social situations that are not force fed down your throat (like everyone else does these days, including STD).
After 4 episodes the quality is shocking when you realize it took the other series two or three years to gain their footing. And they are approaching superb by their 4 episodes? !!! Wow.
This is a can't miss. Watch it every Thursday night, but first find a way to watch the previous episodes to get up to speed on characters and the look and feel of the show.
Gads, I so hated Seth McFarland.
Gads, I so loved this StarTrek homage.
Although it is a send up of Star Trek, but it never goes overboard with
silliness, and surprised by it coming from Seth Macfarlane, the creator
of Family Guy and American Dad. When the comedy is there it's funny,
there are some dramatic moments but they are few and far between.
The characters all play off each other perfectly, just have a great chemistry. The sets look like they borrowed from Star Trek : The Next Generation. The sci- fi elements is pretty effective. And I got all this from the first episode. I hope it go on awhile, cause it's good to see a send up of Star Trek, although there was Galaxy Quest(1999), there where not that many Star Trek parodies. I'm glad The Orville has come around, and hope it will last a few more seasons.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a fan of science fiction and I love to laugh and that's why Galaxy
Quest is a movie I hold in high regards to this day. When I saw the
trailers for this series, I thought; there making Galaxy Quest into a
TV show and MacFarlane is producing it? A recipe for disaster... Or so
I thought, much to my bewilderment, this series was actually funny and
they didn't gloss over the characters. There's actual development. It
was refreshing. The show balances drama and humor in a delicate fashion
that makes it hard to believe that this is Seth's work. Don't get me
wrong, I'm actually a fan of his humor, but his story telling has
always lacked a certain facade. The story is about Captain Ed Mercer
who gets assigned to a mid-level Intergalactic ship. Where he is
appointed his ex-wife as his Executive officer. At it's core the show
thrives on it's entertainment value and that is a trait that shouldn't
be overlooked. If they can keep the sense of humor and pacing of the
series, I believe we are in for a fun ride and at the end of the day
that's all we can ask for. If you haven't already, I would recommend
seeing Galaxy Quest before/after you see this, there are uncanny
similarities and I for one loved it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have been excited about this show for a long time. I am both a fan of
Star Trek and Family Guy, and I also have great respect for Seth
Macfarlane as a man of science and logic, (as weird as that sounds from
a guy made famous for a character such as Peter Griffin).
The one major thing that is important to note is that regardless of your personal feeling about Seth Macfarlane, you can enjoy this show. You don't have to like his style of humour. The focus is on the story and introducing the characters in the first episode, and very little time is wasted on getting everything moving. The comedy is spread out well enough that it's present and enjoyable without taking away focus from the show's intent.
Star Trek has always been a great franchise but the shows can be dark and depressing, and seem to ignore some basic human tendencies, (Lieutenant Malloy having to pee was interesting because we never saw a Starfleet officer step away from their post to relieve themselves). It works for Star Trek because of the incredible storytelling, characters, and philosophy. However, The Orville gives a lighter take on the concept without glossing over human nature.
We're only one episode in so it's simply a first impression and it's hard to make a solid judgement, but I like the characters so far, I enjoy what Seth Macfarlane is trying to accomplish with this ode to Star Trek, and I am optimistic for its future.
So..why does The Orville exist? 2 reasons: Seth McFarlane saved Fox TV
and they owe him a ton of favors, and he wants to make a fun Star Trek
esque show in a 21st century full of bleak and dark serials. I happen
to agree with Seth: there's been a dearth of optimistic sci-fi since
BSG and DS9, and as much as I love Ronald Moore's storytelling, there's
nothing wrong with some optimistic and fun sci-fi, even if it is a bit
And for the most part, The Orville hits the nail on the head. It's pilot is fun and rompy. Has very Star Trek-esque camera pans and that grand space feeling. It's got some great CGI work and good action scenes. The monster-of-the-week plot was predictable but good in that typical villain Star Trek way. The solution in defeating the enemy ship was fairly creative, too.
What's missing? Well....its hollow. So far, the characters are fairly blank slates with nothing interesting attached to them other than some quips and bickering. The pilot did nothing to develop anyone.
To be frank, I don't blame the pilot too much. Star Trek type shows usually have 2 hour long pilots to develop out the scenario and the foundations of the characters. Given the constraints, Seth and co. only focused on developing out the scenario.
For now, I'm cautiously optimistic about the show. This is the only episode written by Seth to my knowledge, with the majority being written by Sci-Fi vets. If that's the case, there's a lot of promise here given the set pieces and action already on display.
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