The Orville

"Old Wounds"

1.5 stars

Air date: 9/10/2017
Written by Seth MacFarlane
Directed by Jon Favreau

Seth MacFarlane (Capt. Ed Mercer), Adrianne Palicki (Cmdr. Kelly Grayson), Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Claire Finn), Scott Grimes (Lt. Gordon Malloy), Peter Macon (Lt. Cmdr. Bortus), Halston Sage (Lt. Alara Kitan), J. Lee (Lt. John LaMarr), Mark Jackson (Isaac)

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

When you're a guy with the clout of Seth MacFarlane, sometimes you just get to have your way. Sometimes that means spinning Family Guy into an animation empire. Sometimes that means you get to reboot Cosmos and have it hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. And other times, I guess, that means you get to make the most expensive and unbalanced mishmash of a fan production of Star Trek ever conceived.

Don't get me wrong: I think MacFarlane is a versatile and often funny talent. (The guy has made mountains of cash for Fox and seems like he should be making Broadway musicals, although apparently he has no desire to.) But continuing to churn out Family Guy episodes — in what looks like a life sentence — is probably not the most personally rewarding thing after so many years.

MacFarlane's affection for Trek, particularly The Next Generation, would be clear to anyone who has watched his other shows or movies. (He's sprinkled countless references into them, featured the cast members in voice and acting roles, and apparently has Patrick Stewart on speed dial for whatever MacFarlane happens to be working on.) Making his own Star Trek show was apparently the one thing he always wanted to do. Well, he didn't get to make Trek exactly, because CBS had its own thing it wanted to do (and, oh, by the way, it premieres in a couple weeks). But he has made a TNG clone called The Orville. I hope making it was everything he hoped it would be, because watching it is, well ... not.

Based on the weak and unimaginative premiere episode, "Old Wounds," I have no idea if this is something that can ever work or if time will allow MacFarlane to work out the bugs — or if the audience will stick around to find out. The Orville of the premiere is a show at a constant tonal war with itself. It's billed as a sci-fi comedy-adventure-drama and I'm sure the intent is to take all those elements and get the best of all of them. Unfortunately, the end result here borders on catastrophic — like if you put all those things into a blender and just ended up with a mass of slime, like whatever that random thing is MacFarlane's character steps on that has the voice of Norm Macdonald.

The primary motivation behind this show appears to be a burning nostalgia for TNG paired with contemporary one-liners and smart-ass dialogue in the spirit of one of MacFarlane's other enterprises (no pun intended — or maybe it was, I don't know). The problem is the smart-ass dialogue is usually in direct conflict with the sincere intentions, while the TNG homage has been ripped off wholesale to the point you wonder how CBS/Paramount doesn't have lawsuits pending. (I mean, really — where's the line?)

This isn't a "reimagining" of a well-known universe. This is a blatant carbon copy with simply the names changed. Warp drive? Ours is quantum drive. United Federation of Planets? Ours is the Planetary Union. You have Klingons? We have Krill (who look like the Jem'Hadar). We both have starships, shuttles, uniforms with insignias, corridors, bridges, captains' ready rooms, things that look like phasers and tricorders but might not be called those things, and aliens with prosthetic makeup.

But why go to the trouble of spending all this money to take a trip down memory lane if you aren't going to bother to rethink what the universe itself is or how it works? Where's the unique point of view and take on the material? It takes place 400 years in the future, just like TNG did. It makes a Great Big Deal about giving us the first shots of the ship's exterior, and gives us a swelling musical score (by Bruce Broughton) that's earnest in the extreme but emotionally lands flat because it can't help but feel like a slavish rehash. The visual effects are pretty good — although not great as CGI goes in 2017. The bright, elaborate sets and production design, like everything else, takes its cues from TNG — but this all feels overly pristine and antiseptic to the point of looking fake. These are big sets, not a lived-in starship. The uniforms I will say look terrific: Like everything else here, they're aping Trek rather than rethinking it, but the costume designers have managed to put an attractive spin on it.

The plot of "Old Wounds" — and I can't stress this enough — is perfunctory beyond words. Some of this is admittedly inherent to origin-story pilot episodes, but The Orville doesn't seem interested in working very hard. MacFarlane's character, Ed Mercer, comes home one day to find his wife (Adrianne Palicki) in bed with an alien, who proceeds to explode blue liquid all over the room. Okay, then. "One year later" we learn that he's divorced, been in a constant funk ever since, and just going through the motions of his job. Admiral Halsey (Victor Garber) recounts all this to Mercer in a scene of boilerplate exposition, then awards Mercer command of the exploratory vessel USS Orville. I guess being mediocre in your career is a way to get promoted in this version of Starfleet. Subsequently, Mercer meets his crew in a scene that alternates exposition with tepid one-liners as if to say, "This is all very standard, so let's throw in some sarcasm to distract you while undermining our own serious intentions."

That happens a lot. Ironically, the jokey repartee (with occasional dick joke or cliched reference to how leaving the toilet seat up is a problem with women, amiright?) are what feel like they were borne most naturally from this show's creative vision. When Mercer talks to the bad guy over the viewscreen and the guy isn't in the middle of the frame and Mercer feels the need to point it out, the moment feels like it actually grew from something genuine about this series' sensibility — from MacFarlane's too-cool-for-school persona of ironic detachment. What feels constantly like pretending, unfortunately, is everything else, from the sci-fi to the action to the universe-building, the latter of which — to be fair — is in the embryonic stage.

One could say solid universe-building is the key to any current sci-fi series, even one with comic underpinnings. That's likely what will ultimately make or break The Orville. Unfortunately, MacFarlane's team has dug itself an early hole by essentially taking everything from Star Trek and just changing the terminology, which does not offer a promising example of creative vision. This is a flat retread cladded over with comic dialogue, and the marriage is fraught with visible seams.

MacFarlane — along with his co-producers, including Trek veterans Brannon Braga and Andre Bormanis — are very clear in their nostalgic intentions. This is a retro-aesthetic series that actually puts the title of the episode in quotation marks right there on the screen, and fades to black for commercial breaks rather than cutting to black like nearly everything else begotten of this century. Look, this is TNG!, they are saying in capital red underline.

But then they provide a completely bare-boned sci-fi concept (a device that can speed up the passage of time, and, say, grow a tree from a seed instantaneously) followed by bland, prolonged shoot-em-up action ("the device" becomes a MacGuffin when the evil Krill decide they want to steal it to use as a weapon). The obligatory shootouts — between two ships as well as between people running around — became lazy standbys on Voyager and Enterprise. The Orville staff (which includes the guy who co-ran both those shows, for crissakes!) would've been wise to have learned that lesson. Meanwhile, Braga should know that speeding up time has been done plenty of times before, including most similarly in "Timescape," which he himself wrote 24 years ago. This is what they call "derivative." Granted, everything is ultimately unavoidably derivative; the trick is in finding a way to make it seem not so. One at least hopes that is a goal here.

The supporting cast of characters represent a big question mark at this point. Adrianne Palicki's abilities were well documented on Friday Night Lights, but defining her as the guilty party in the hero's failed marriage (and all the eye-rolling tropes of bickering-exes that go along with it) isn't a winning start. Still, MacFarlane manages to avoid sabotaging the character beyond repair. Scott Grimes (of ER) is reliable as the comic best-buddy persona, but having him undermine the new first officer by informing the rest of the bridge crew she's a "bitch" is a bridge too far, unless you're ready to completely sell out this show's credibility (such as it is) for glib score-settling comedy. Penny Johnson Jerald (who of course brings considerable DS9 cred) represents wise experience in the abstract but has little here to do. Halston Sage plays a young character whose alien strength makes her the resident superhero. Peter Macon has the "alien outsider" role that at this point probably most resembles Worf (he's from a single-gender species, which is reportedly going to be of noted significance in the third episode). J. Lee plays a guy who really wants to drink soda on the bridge and promises he won't spill on the console. Mark Jackson plays the robot Isaac (for Asimov?) who, as robots go, feels like he was found somewhere in a design sketch book lost in 1965. Mercer calls Isaac a "racist robot," I guess because MacFarlane always likes to mine humor from racism (see Family Guy, et al).

As for MacFarlane casting himself as the lead, let's just say the jury's out and it will all depend on what he's called upon to do as an actor. MacFarlane has his range, but it has always been a narrow one of a deadpan quipster of limited sincerity and emotional response. That's not likely going to be enough to carry a (sortuva) drama series. I guess the question is whether the show will ever call on him to do more than that and whether he can answer such a call.

Look, you can do comedy in sci-fi, absolutely. Guardians of the Galaxy is hilarious. But it also has specific characters who are well enough drawn and with personal plights such that you can care about them. There's nothing like that so far in the flat and hollow Orville. The only thing we get in "Old Wounds" is a cliche broken marriage that feels like it was recycled out of countless other TV shows and movies. Everyone else is a near-cipher, while the sci-fi and action would charitably be called unimpressive. The humor is kind of there, but certainly not making me laugh out loud. It all adds up to less than the total sum.

Maybe this will get better. Star Trek shows have a long history of taking a while to get out of the gate. But networks have a long history of impatience, and audiences even more so these days because of infinite choices. The Orville had better find a workable balance quickly or it's going to have a short mission — for me and probably everyone else.

Note: Don't expect future reviews to be nearly this detailed, unless I'm feeling especially inspired. I wanted to provide some detail for the premiere, but from here on out it's going to be much more condensed.

Next episode: Command Performance

◄ Season Index

126 comments on this review

Del_Duio
Sun, Sep 10, 2017, 9:28pm (UTC -6)
Well I watched some bits of it here and there, honestly it wasn’t too great and didn’t hold my interest very much. There seemed to be too much dead space where they just kind of stood or sat around without saying anything. I like MacFarlane’s American Dad show very much so I know he can do a good series but this one just seems “off”.

The production values are pretty good though. Also an inside joke moment where the guy who played Bashir’s Dad says he works with making better genetically enhanced plants or something. There’s no way that was a coincidence. Overall it wasn’t really funny and it wasn’t really otherwise interesting. They also used that camera side to side pan trick WAY too much it was annoying hahah.
J.B.
Sun, Sep 10, 2017, 10:21pm (UTC -6)
It was pretty rough. It feels like it can't decide whether it wants to be a comedy or a dramatic series and tries to do both, with mixed results. Mostly because the comedy isn't funny and McFarlane isn't a good enough actor to pull off the drama. I'll stick around for now because it does fill that place in my heart that longs for more TNG (which this show often reminds me of, especially earlier seasons) and maybe in future episodes, they'll get things right.

There are things to praise, of course. The production values are good. The music in particular was terrific. Could you imagine if DS9 had been scored like this?
Rahul
Sun, Sep 10, 2017, 10:36pm (UTC -6)
Sorry - just reposting here -- posted initially under the "General Discussion"

Re. the 1st episode of "The Orville" -- not my kind of sci-fi. Not a fan of this kind of cheap, silly humor. Opening scene with this lady cheating on her husband with some blue alien...just not what I want in sci-fi.

I actually only heard of the show a few days ago from this site and decided to check it out instead of watching Cowboys vs. NY Giants.

Sure hope Discovery is not like this, i.e.) Star Trek using this kind of loose, unprofessional language. I understand it's a Seth MacFarlane thing but I'm not a fan of his. I still have my fingers crossed for Discovery.

Pretty basic plot, a basic battle scene and some stupid aliens. Reminded me of Austin Powers when the captain was talking to the captain of the enemy ship and he asks him to move to his right so he's in the center of the viewer. And then they talk about marriage.

So this is really some kind of cheap humor sci-fi and if I judge it based on the criteria I use for judging Trek episodes, I'd give it 1.5 stars. I don't think I'll go out of my way to catch "The Orville" next week.
RedSportsCar
Sun, Sep 10, 2017, 11:37pm (UTC -6)
I watched the premiere...

My only reaction is that I am baffled as to how this got made. It evoked absolutely no emotional reaction in me whatsoever. I think I chuckled once, so no-go on the comedy either.

I have nothing against Seth MacFarlane... I'm grateful for the sincere work and the financial commitment he made to the remake of 'Cosmos,' which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I will remain baffled. I won't be watching any more of them, because... well, just NOTHING. I felt afterwards like I feel after eating an Egg McMuffin. Not sick, not upset, not impressed, not really anything.
bhbor
Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 2:06am (UTC -6)
What can I say, I went in with low expectations and finished the episode actually liking the premiere. I hear a lot of people complaining (not just on this site) that its a show that can't decide whether or not it's Star Trek or Galaxy Quest and hits only awkward notes in between, but honestly I kind of just dug it for what it was.

I wonder if this show will come off more 'Star Trek' than Discovery... I hope not. Either way, I'll tune in for now..
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 6:44am (UTC -6)
Okay, so how do I watch this thing (preferablly legally) if I'm outside the USA?

Both the positive and negative reactions have just made me more curious.
P.S.
Me thinks "Orangutan" is a spammer trying to advertise his blog (which seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the Orville).


Rahul
Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 6:50am (UTC -6)
Just to offer my $0.02 to Jammer: don't waste your time reviewing "The Orville" -- if you have limited time, just focus on Discovery.

"The Orville" to me is just a Star Trek spoof -- or some kind of cross between Austin Powers and Star Trek. Really not worth your precious time.
Darren
Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 7:53am (UTC -6)
Considering this was a pilot episode, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am looking forward to the next outing. The first half was naturally a bit slower than the second, yet the character introductions in the former actually went pretty well. In particular, Capt. Mercer's meetings with the senior staff revealed what will hopefully become endearing characters--for instance, the truly caring Dr. Finn, and young yet earnest and sincere security officer Lt. Kitan. And throughout, while Lt. Malloy came off as immature and a bit of a jerk, you still get the sense that he's an okay guy, when it really comes down to it. (Lt. Lamar seems quite decent; Lt. Cmdr. Bortus warm beneath a tough exterior; while too little was revealed about Isaac to know much for now.) And while I had feared the whole "bitter exes" dynamic between Capt. Mercer and Cmdr. Grayson, really, it, so far, was handled with a sincerity that elevates it beyond some mere ongoing gag. (For now, I'm invested in their professional relationship given the overtones of the past, and of course their personal one as well.)

Past the relatively-painless setup, the second half really picked up, and while the plot wasn't terribly original, it was certainly passable. More importantly, it gave a few of the characters moments to shine. Lt. Malloy's skills and professional worth were validated in a particularly sincere scene between him, Lamar, and Bortus, while Kitan got to show off her unique skill set more than once. And as the crew learned the nature of their mission and confronted the crisis, I couldn't help but feel than these were indeed professionals, ready and willing to render aid and dutifully complete their work.

Tone-wise, the comedy and drama meshed a lot better than I had begun to fear. Some of the jokes were admittedly a bit juvenile, yet some of them felt less like comedy to me than ... authenticity. These characters really felt like real people, and some of the "comedy" was largely responsible for that. And while the stakes were sufficiently high during the crisis, the whole affair was quite ... fun. This was a pilot I'll have no problem re-watching.

Perhaps I'll post more spoiler-ish thoughts later on--or maybe not, I'll see--comparing this to Star Trek, and remarking on some moments evocative of other shows and movies. Either way, this was an enjoyable hour, and now, I'll just be keeping my fingers crossed for the next few outings (particularly as The Orville presumably tackles some "morality play"-style and allegorical storytelling.)
Darren
Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 7:58am (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi:

Fox has the complete episode available on their website. However, if it has some sort of region lock on it, then unfortunately that won't work for you. Here's the link, just in case:

https://www.fox.com/the-orville/
von Bigglesworth
Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 11:30am (UTC -6)
Hmmm... the episode is okay. With pilots tending to be quite weak and with the rather negative reviews of the episode before it aired, I went into the episode with grounded expectations. I thought the episode, however, did quite well, with the aim obviously to provide the immediate setting and characterization rather than plot or universe building. Some of the criticism seems to be aimed at the lack of comedy, but I don't think that it helped that we've all seen the comedic scenes before, in the trailer.

It's light-hearted Trek and it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but writing the show off after just one episode is daft. Imagine if we all did that at Encounter at Farpoint.
Q
Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 1:21pm (UTC -6)
7,7/10 on IMDB. Audience score 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. "Not bad at all", as captain Mercer says.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 2:09pm (UTC -6)
Wow... just wow!

Just seen the pilot, and I liked it very very much.

Ironically, the juvenile humor is the weakest part of the show. But I found the sci fi world to be believable and the actual plot to be quite intelligent (the solution to their problem in the end was really *really* cool).

Also, the production values are downright incredible. The visuals, the music, everything. And the futuristic setting just looks... REAL. Not dystopian and dark, but also not so bright and sterile as to look artificial (TNG, I am looking at you).

In short, the Orville gives as a version of the 25th century I would very much love to live in.

As for people trying to compare it to Star Trek: It's a foolish comparison. It's more like a live-action Trek-futurama-spaceballs hybrid and somehow - it works.

I've heard reviewers claiming that this series doesn't know what it wants to be, and I disagree completely: The crazy amalgam of ideas which make the Orville is exactly the source of its charm. Moreover, the pilot succeeds in catching this unique vibe and atmosphere from the first minute.

So a big thumbs up from me for this pilot. As the Klingons would say: It was GLORIOUS.

Looking forward for next week's episode.
(and I really hope, given the terrible "official" reviews, that this show won't be canceled after a half a season)


Brad
Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 5:46pm (UTC -6)
I'm in agreement with many of the other reviews in that I found the show unoffensive, but ultimately uninspiring. There were a few chuckles, a few more awkward pauses and several more, just, sloooooow moments. I'm a patient sort, so I'll give it another chance, but I'm not hopeful.
Tempeh
Mon, Sep 11, 2017, 10:10pm (UTC -6)
I wasn't that entertained, but it's the first show. Hopefully one day I'll read this comment, and feel happy that the show lasted 7 seasons.
Kevin
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 7:21am (UTC -6)
In agreement with those who found it just sort of...blah. It's not bad enough to be offensive, but not good enough to be inspiring. I was sort of entertained for an hour, but if I never saw another episode I don't think I'd care. I'll probably watch another one or two and see how I feel after that.

Overall, Jammer's criticism that it's too close to Star Trek is my biggest problem. It's not a Star Trek homage, it's basically just Star Trek, but trying to be funny (occasionally), except the comedy doesn't really work. I have a very strong feeling most episodes are going to feel like 2-star TNG episodes: entertaining in the moment, but ultimately forgettable when the hour is up.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 10:33am (UTC -6)
@Kevin

"I have a very strong feeling most episodes are going to feel like 2-star TNG episodes: entertaining in the moment, but ultimately forgettable when the hour is up."

You say this as if it's a bad thing...

If they can maintain the story-telling level at "2-star TNG", this is going to be a very enjoyable ride.

At any rate, treating the Orville as a TNG clone is silly. Sure, the tech and the setting seem to be near-identical, but the tone couldn't be more different. The Orville is a much more light-hearted show than TNG, and I mean it in a good way. The pilot was FUN, dammit, and quite refreshing (juvenile dick jokes not withstanding).

And quite frankly, I think this is exactly the kind of sci fi show we need these days: Light, optimistic, fun. Not every show needs to be deep or profound, and I think the Orville does what it intends to do very well.

Del_Duio
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 11:58am (UTC -6)
The problem with the show is that unlike TNG the comedy here (when it does pop up) feels really forced. Most of the funny bits from TNG are funny to me because they don't shove it in your face at a strange moment and go "See, now laugh because THIS is funny!"

Good TNG funny feels natural-

*The Klingon who tries to armwrestle Data and then headbutts him.
*Data's Spot poetry
*Tiny Riker in the holodeck
*"Mister Broccoli"
*Q, to Worf: "Eat any good books lately?"
*Tomulak, to Picard: "How long are we going to stare at each other across the Neutral Zone??!"

Bad TNG funny

*Any of the Joe Piscipo jokes
*Data, to Bev and Troi: "And have you noticed our boobs are firmer?!" (paraphrase)
*The entire 'Masks' episode (ba-da-boom!)

--

And if we're doing comparisons to another short-lived Fox sci-fi show that was canceled way too early (Firefly) I'll say Orville has no shot in hell it makes it past 6 episodes without a ton of reworking.
Michael
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 12:08pm (UTC -6)
Coming from a background as a trekkie since 1985, i enjoyed it. Tonally, it has more in common with Peter David's ST: New Frontier novel series. I enjoyed the cast's chemistry, I was fine with the humor, and I enjoyed the trek references. I was actually most bored with the fights, mainly because of overload from all the years and years of trek. Most of the problems I had with the plot, I ascribe to it being a pilot.

Hey, someone here will know: where have I seen the building used in location shooting for the science outpost? Did they use it for Starfleet Command on ENT?
Jammer
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 12:13pm (UTC -6)
"Orville's" chances for survival make for an interesting question, and probably have little to do with its quality. Things are different compared to when "Firefly" aired. Networks might have more patience. Plus, I believe all 13 episodes for the season have already been shot, so it seems less likely that they won't all air, especially in light of the fact they are probably willing to give MacFarlane a lot of leeway.

The most likely scenario in light of bad ratings (if that's the case) would be the show airs its 13-episode first season and then is not renewed, like other recent Fox sci-fi shows (cf. "Almost Human").

Anyone see how the ratings of the show were on Sunday? I didn't check yet.
Trajan
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 1:50pm (UTC -6)
The show has just been picked up by Fox Channel in the UK. No air dates yet.
Panagiotis Karatasios
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 3:55pm (UTC -6)
I really enjoeyd it. Not because it was great ( it was not) but because, finally, i saw an optimistic future. I' m so tired eith dark and gritty visions of the future.
Brian
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 4:26pm (UTC -6)
What's this- bare boned, shallow sci fi high concept episode in a show with Brannon Braga on the staff? Who would have thought? He's the last person I was hoping to see bringing out a new space opera show... why not bring old Rick Berman back while we're at it? I would LOVE to see Ronold More make a return to the genre however... was hoping the new Star Trek would be run by him.

Mainly commented to say that if you want to see sci fi space opera combined with comedy done (mostly) right, you should watch Farscape. It takes the cake as far a this is concerned, including a deeply imaginative take on the genre with great aliens (yes they use puppets but they work great, no this is not muppets in space), a group of people on a ship with their own separate agendas- not a military force, and more. Any other Star Trek fans like it?
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 4:37pm (UTC -6)
@Panagiotis Karatasios

"I really enjoyed it. Not because it was great ( it was not) but because, finally, i saw an optimistic future. I'm so tired eith dark and gritty visions of the future. "

I agree. It was like food for a starving man, and starving men cannot allow themselves to be picky with their menu.

So yeah, "the Orville" wasn't that great if we take it on its own. But after nearly 20 years of this niche being completely abandoned, it feels like a fresh breath of air.

BTW I can't help feeling completely elated at the timing of this show's release. It's like a huge middle finger (Seth would be proud of this analogy) towards CBS and their snobbish attitute toward their own fans. And they really *really* deserve it.


Paul M.
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 5:26pm (UTC -6)
Can't say I'm surprised. Brannon Braga's name should have set off all the alarms the moment his involvement was announced. Everything I watched with him at or close to the helm was terribad: Voyager, Enterprise, that Dinosaur thing a few years back, Salem...

He's probably a good organizer and gets things done no matter what, which is Number One quality to have in Hollywood. It's all about moving things along.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 5:48pm (UTC -6)
Oh, come on...

What about all the good TNG episodes under Bragga? Cause and Effect? Parallels? The movie First Contact?

Even most of the problems of "Enterprise" weren't even his fault. All the stupid stuff (Temporal Cold War, TNG-like plots, transporters and phase pistols) where decreed by the network.

Besides, if you really want Orville names that set of alarms, here's a biggie: Seth MacFarlane. Family Guy in space? That would never work... Yet I loved the Orville (probably because Seth toned his signature humor down considerably for this show).

In short, if you disliked it - fine. But saying "Oh, with Braga's name it just had to be bad" is just silly. Especially considering the fact that Braga had very little to do with the final product. He didn't write the pilot episode. He is just "executive producer" which is - pretty much - nothing when it comes to creative input.

(It appears that Braga did write the 3rd episode, though. And this *is* worrisome given the subject matter of that episode. Treating gender issues as a high sci-fi concept is almost certainly going to end in disaster...)
Jammer
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 7:54pm (UTC -6)
An executive producer title does NOT necessarily mean "no creative input." It CAN mean that, but it just as often in TV can mean unlimited input. In fact, the EP is often the showrunner. I am not sure of Braga's status on the show, but my understanding is he has a significant role on the writing staff.
N
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 7:59pm (UTC -6)
I'm surprised it has such bad reviews, I suspect a lot of that is because it was so heavily marketed as a comedy and because reviewers (non-Trek fans especially) didn't know what to make of it. OK, it was lightweight, but it's supposed to be. I thought it was fine, 7/10 - it's sincere and I'm fine with that, and the pilot was pacey with effective scene-setting. OK, so Bortus is Worf, the aliens are the Jem'Hadar via the Remans from Nemesis, and the effects aren't as good as DS9's were 20 years ago. And I too don't know how they can get away with it from a legal perspective. But for me at least, it's much better both as a show and as a Trek show than Enterprise ever was.

I think Orville is gonna get a ton of Trek fans on board because it just has that vibe and reverence, you know. It's about the tone. It's almost like a dog whistle that goes over the heads of reviewers but activates something in the hearts/chromosomes/positronic brains of Trek fans. It's Trekkie catnip, a sincere and light-hearted love letter to Star Trek that's approachable and has a low entrance barrier to non-fans too. There's been an increasing trend in 21st century TV drama for shows to be written on the lazy basis that a) "dark" automatically equals good, even though this isn't at all the case b) "twists" are good storytelling, when in fact they're the opposite, and c) that shows keen to repeatedly deliver "shocking" moments (ie. scripts seemingly written using a template of "what's the most shocking thing that could happen at this particular juncture?" as standard, in order to maintain constant suspense and engagement without ever earning it) are good storytelling when in fact they're the opposite. I love dark/serious sci-fi when it's well-written - DS9 is by far my favorite Trek and I adore Black Mirror, which is about as dark/serious as it gets - but other modern shows including the rebooted Galactica haven't worked for me due to the above 3 fallacies in the writing, which have become all too common since the millennium. Darkness for darkness's sake is bad writing, twists for twists' sake is bad writing, and shocks for shock's sake is bad writing - no matter how many shows over the past 15 or so years have tried to convince us these are good writing.

As mainstream entertainment, I think Orville is critic-proof - people will watch it in sufficient numbers, and both the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and the IMDB user rating speak for themselves. It's TNG for our low-attention-span generation, a friend called it "fast food Star Trek" and I think that's a perfect description. It will plow along with consistent enjoyable popcorn mediocrity without ever reaching the heights of even Voyager's finest hours but without ever becoming terrible either, because when a show doesn't take itself 100% seriously there's a limit to how bad it can go. It's without the potential to be as good as TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY because it won't be able to take itself seriously enough or have enough character depth. (It's inconceivable that The Orville could produce anything like Lineage, Far Beyond The Stars, The Inner Light etc.) Yet this dramatic deficit notwithstanding, the fact it's not a comedy is its biggest strength, because Macfarlane has plowed that furrow until the soil has turned to dust (Family Guy hasn't been genuinely good since season three 15 years ago, and the less said about Macfarlane's other animated shows the better). It says something about Macfarlane that having first achieved success with a shameless copy of The Simpsons his new passion project 20 years later is a shameless copy of Star Trek. Neither he nor the show have ideas or a worldview. But I think a bulk of the fandom is going to desert Discovery for The Orville for the same reason people preferred TOS/TNG to DS9. Dayglo optimism, low entrance barrier, alien forehead and reassuring morality play of the week - you know what you're getting. In a streaming marketplace of high-quality serious sci-fi serials that have high word-of-mouth and also pull in millennial audiences - The Expanse, The OA, Stranger Things, Black Mirror, the various Marvel series - I think that Discovery's going to fall between worlds by not being Trekky enough for Trek fans and not being contemporary, gritty or original enough for today's streaming audiences.
Jammer
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 8:41pm (UTC -6)
I am intrigued by this notion that "The Orville" will get a pass simply because of what it is not -- that is, dark Trek -- and simply because of what it *is in theory*, that being lightweight optimistic episodic Trek.

But to me, to give it a pass just because of what it theoretically is ignores the merits just like this supposed notion that people think "dark" sci-fi is good simply because it's dark.

Whether it's dark or light is not what makes it good or bad.

The "Orville" premiere was very ... not good. The plot was completely pedestrian, the jokes weren't very good either, and the sincerity and the glibness constantly undermined each other. If you had the storyline beats of "Old Wounds" as a TNG or VOY episode (with the MacFarlane humor removed), it would be derided as a piece of crap. And yet that's okay simply because it doesn't take itself seriously? If that's the case, they'd have been better off simply making it the 30-minute Trek spoof that the marketing sold it as. And I guess our standards have fallen to those of what Kevin Sorbo constantly said about what people wanted from "Andromeda" after Robert Hewitt Wolfe was fired.

Interesting indeed. I can't say that it's an unreasonable prediction. We shall see.

(Also, there's nothing contemporary or gritty about "Stranger Things." That's a nostalgic throwback that's living in the past if there ever was one.)
MadS
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 8:51pm (UTC -6)
Just watched it. I like it enough to keep watching. The cast has good chemistry, the visuals are great, and I thought the second half of the episode was better than the first half, plot-wise, which seems promising. Loved the visual of the tree destroying the space ship! I liked the friendly, modern banter, though a few of the full-on jokes were a little too obvious for my taste. Not that I'm so discerning a viewer. I for some reason thought that whole exchange about him getting up to to pee 3 times during the night was so funny that I laughed when I saw it in the preview and then again when I saw the episode.

In fact, I thought the preview was quite amusing the first time I saw it, but few of the jokes were funny upon hearing them for the second time, when watching the episode. So I won't really get the "full comedy experience" until the second episode, since this one was mostly spoiled. I'm not sure if it was because the jokes were spoiled or not, but especially during the first half of the episode, I definitely had the same feeling that others have stated. . . the tone is confusing and it doesn't know if it's more drama or comedy. And it almost does the drama better.

I also found, as others have stated, that the world in which it takes place and the vocabulary which they use are so similar to Star Trek that I almost found it distracting. But on the other hand, hopefully they can use the energy they didn't waste on world building or creative new permutations of technobabble to make sure the plots stay interesting and the jokes funny.

Anyway, it's pretty much impossible for someone to make a sci-fi comedy without me watching it. Especially one that obviously loves Trek as much as I do. I guarantee I'll end up watching every episode of this that airs, because there just isn't enough light-hearted, fun sci-fi for me to be picky.
Cosmic
Tue, Sep 12, 2017, 9:58pm (UTC -6)
"BTW I can't help feeling completely elated at the timing of this show's release. It's like a huge middle finger (Seth would be proud of this analogy) towards CBS and their snobbish attitute toward their own fans. And they really *really* deserve it."

Hmm. It seems like some people have an axe to grind with Discovery/CBS and are using Orville as a prop for that frustration. I will point out that FOX isn't exactly renowned for being a respectable network when it comes to Sci-Fi shows and their viewers either, so this "haha take that CBS/Discovery" behavior comes off as misconceived and mean-spirited.

Everything I've personally seen from Orville comes off as very bland and not entertaining. The scenes/jokes don't hit at all, the characters seem flat and uninteresting, etc. If people are actually enjoying it, then great! I hope FOX doesn't cancel it and it gets a chance to better itself. Now if I end up liking Discovery, I won't be like "Ah yes, that "fake Trek" show Orville" is hosed now!", etc. because that would be weirdly selfish and spiteful of me. There's no need to push a personal agenda/narrative, because the two shows can co-exist.
Panagiotis Karatasios
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 3:57am (UTC -6)
Jammer

as omicronpetatheti said if you are starving then you are not much interested for the quality of the food. I'm simply very very tired with dark and gritty science fiction. which is the only kind we see the last 10-12 years.
Jason R.
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 5:25am (UTC -6)
I haven't had a chance to watch the Orville, but to those starved for lighter scifi you may like the Lexx, a series from many years ago but that still holds up today. It had an initial run of four movies (basically a mini series in four parts) and then three regular seasons.
James
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 7:52am (UTC -6)
I rather enjoyed the pilot. I like that the interactions between the characters are not at sterile as those on Star Trek. In some ways these people feel more real to me. They bring their own personal perspective (and bias) to work and gossip when the boss isn't around. We all do it to some extent. I also appreciate that it isn't dark and gritty. Among all the procedural cop dramas, and BSG style remakes, it is time for something light and fun. It is not a show that is meant, nor needs to be analyzed to death. Just turn it on, and enjoy.
Cosmic
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 7:55am (UTC -6)
Also, people were wondering about the ratings for this episode and apparently they were pretty solid. Good news for the people who enjoyed it.
N
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 8:18am (UTC -6)
To make my standpoint a little clearer, I believe a significant proportion of the fandom wants comfort food, albeit in different ways and for different reasons. You'd think fans would be excited to have a new Trek series, but people have been consistently attacking Discovery almost since it was first announced - whether the ship design, the redesigned Klingons, Bryan Fuller leaving, the delay, it being set in Trek's past as opposed to the future, it looking too "depressing" and actiony, the "diversity", the lack of optimism etc. I feel like a certain proportion of the fandom is priming themselves to hate it, and I do think there are gendered and racial aspects to that among a subset of the fandom given the casting. When the Orville trailers were posted, there were immediately tons of comments underneath saying things like "it looks better than Discovery" and "this looks like Star Trek. Discovery doesn't". On the Discovery trailers there are similar comments, and almost all the top-rated comments are negative.

Can we meaningfully separate the opprobrium surrounding Discovery - which hasn't even aired yet! - from the negativity that DS9 consistently received (and still receives) from a share of the fandom, and should we even try, given that (unlike all other Trek shows) both are darker, serialized shows with a black lead? After a couple of conventions I visited in recent years, where I talked with several people who treated DS9 like it wasn't Star Trek while fawning over Enterprise, I have a pretty low opinion of a fair portion of the fandom and I think there are a lot of people out there who a) already know that they don't want and won't like Discovery, for reasons that are already apparent to them before the show has even started airing b) won't find The Orville as bad as Jammer and the majority of professional reviewers did, ie. the difference between The Orville in theory and in practice won't be especially significant to them, as indeed it wasn't to me. I believe there's a greater appetite for lightweight, glitzily produced bros-in-space Trek than there is for a complex and tonally sombre prequel featuring two non-white female leads. I have no idea whether Discovery will be good or not, and I totally agree that tone is a neutral - something can be dark and good, dark and bad, light and good or light and bad - but I think there is a thirst out there for optimistic Trek set in a glitzy future that doesn't take itself too seriously, and The Orville will come closer to quenching that thirst than Discovery for most.

"Regressive listeners behave like children. Again and again, and with stubborn malice, they demand the one dish they have once been served. A sort of musical children's language is prepared for them: it differs from the real thing in that its vocabulary consists exclusively of fragments and distortions of the artistic language of music." - Adorno wrote this in 1938 about dumbing-down in commercial jazz, but I think it can apply to fandoms generally. You get a lot of people in fandoms who consume fetishistically, treating the object of their fandom as a comfort blanket of tropes - they just one that one reassuring staple served to them again and again. Fast food.
N
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 8:27am (UTC -6)
A bulk of the fandom greatly preferred Enterprise season 4 to season 3, even though in season 4 the writing and execution were often poor, indeed well below the standard of the second half of season 3. But by and large, the fandom didn't care about season 4's bad writing, they just wanted their Trek tropes served. People still speak about ENT S4 as if it was fantastic when it really wasn't. So that's what makes me think The Orville will be fine - that love of tropes for their own sake, which goes hand in hand with a rejection of darkness and complexity (whether DS9, ENT S3 or ST:D).
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 8:56am (UTC -6)
@Cosmic

"Hmm. It seems like some people have an axe to grind with Discovery/CBS and are using Orville as a prop for that frustration."

Hardly.

"Some people" are simply thrilled that there are alternatives and that we now have a choice.

If Discovery succeeds, that will be great. But now it's success will depend on actually delivering the goods. Now CBS can no longer treat us as junkies who will gobble up any sh*t they feed us, because there's a new dealer in town :-)

TL;DR Competition in Business is good for the customers.

@Jammer
"If you had the storyline beats of "Old Wounds" as a TNG or VOY episode (with the MacFarlane humor removed), it would be derided as a piece of crap. And yet that's okay simply because it doesn't take itself seriously?"

Speaking only for myself: No.

If I thought that the story-telling on the Orville was a complete piece of crap, I wouldn't be watching it. There's nothing enjoyable about watching crappy stories, regardless of what universe they are set in.

And you're right, "Old Wounds" would have been terrible as TNG/VOY epsiode. The story and style simply don't fit the Trek universe, which is exactly why I'm baffled by the common notion that the Orville is some TNG-clone.

Sure, in some ways it is very similar to TNG. But in other ways it is vastly different... in some areas, one could even consider the Orville to be a kind of anti-Trek. So trying to judge an Orville episode as if it were a TNG episode is just silly.

Indeed, the question of whether the pilot would have made a good Trek episode is irelevant. The real question we should ask ourselves is whether the pilot works within the premise of the Orville itself.

So what's the premise of the Orville? It's a light-hearted show about people like you and me having crazy space adventures on a space ship, in a bright optimistic future.

That's it.

And I think that the pilot did a pretty good job as an epsiode of such a show. It won't get any awards, but it was certainly good enough to win me over.
Robert
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 9:12am (UTC -6)
@N - I agree with a lot of what you say, but I think a lot of it misses the mark. First ENT. I don't know that S4 is worse that S3. It's really, really different. But what people liked about it was that it did what the show should have been doing all along. Found the Federation. With Star Wars a prequel needed to be Anakin's story. With Star Trek I think the prequel needed to tell us how something critical to Star Trek's mythos happened... but they didn't want to do that. And I'll get to that in a minute.

First off, full disclosure, DS9 is my favorite show ever. The only other show that comes remotely close to having the same place in my heart is Buffy. I bought the DS9 DVDs when I was a poor college student and they were $600. I saved up for a ridiculously long time and sold some of my other stuff to Gamestop and whanot. I bought TNG when it was down to closer to $250 and I had a lot more money. So that gives you an idea of how I feel about dark shows with black leads, DS9, etc. And though I am a white male my second favorite show is Buffy. So a black lady in the lead spot on a dark show is totally fine for me.

So I'm going to tell you why I soured on the idea of Discovery. First we'll go with what I consider it's biggest problem. It's a prequel. Prequels suck unless they are written by somebody who wants to fill in the blanks in a cool way. Writers don't seem to like that. The first sin of Enterprise was starting with a temporal cold war. Time travel is involved! The future can still be in peril even though we're in the past!!! Time can change! Maybe the Federation will never be formed! Well screw that noise. Really? The best you can do to raise the stakes is that Picard/Sisko might get erased? Well I guess that's a pretty good idea since you don't plan to make us care about any of THESE characters? Right?? And then their second sin was wanting to make TNG episodes even though it went against their premise. Ferengi! Borg! Really guys?? You know that TNG made first contact with those races.... DS9 and VOY tried to make TNG episodes too. They sucked. You guys aren't going to do any better. At least DS9 figured it out fast.....

So I'm going to tell you right off the bat that I'm going to be shocked if Discovery doesn't rebel against their premise and retcon crap so they can have popular TNG things that shouldn't be there. So ya... I think maybe people enjoyed ENT S4 because Coto was actually enjoying writing a prequel. And he was the first one.

So for starters I hate the idea that it's a prequel.

Next up. We're off network now! We can be racy!!! Ooooh!!! I can't wait to see what a decontamination scene off network looks like!! You know those are the only reason we're still in the past right? Because in the future they don't have the decontamination rooms..... I started watching Star Trek TNG with my Dad in 3rd grade. So pretty much screw this. Is there some good reason Discovery can't be a family show? I know some of DS9 was a bit dark for kids but do we need to get racier than that? I don't. How boringly edgy....

And then there's CBS All Access. Which they can pretty much shove up their asses. If Discovery gets fantastic amazeball reviews and Jammer 4 stars half of it I'll buy the damned blu rays after the season is over. But All Access? Nope. Not happening.

And that's before I get into the nerdy nitpicking like WTF do the Klingons look like that???!!

As for Orville? I decided not to watch that when the review mentioned exploding blue ejaculate in the first scene. Discovery is trying too hard to be mature and Orville apparently isn't trying hard enough. Sigh. At least I have my DS9 DVDs.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 9:27am (UTC -6)
@N

"Can we meaningfully separate the opprobrium surrounding Discovery - which hasn't even aired yet! - from the negativity that DS9 consistently received (and still receives) from a share of the fandom, and should we even try, given that (unlike all other Trek shows) both are darker, serialized shows with a black lead?"

You gotta be kidding...

What does "having a black lead" have to do with anything? And most of the people who bash Discovery actually loved Deep Space 9!

BTW Why are we having a discussion on Discovery in an Orville discussion board? If you're really interested in having a discussion on this, there's already one going on the "Discovery Trailer" page. Then again, we've already beaten this horse to death a dozen times over there, so why even bother?
N
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 11:11am (UTC -6)
"And most of the people who bash Discovery actually loved Deep Space 9!"

It's not meaningful to bash a show that hasn't aired yet. Like critiquing a book you haven't read based on a few excerpts shorn of context.
N
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 11:13am (UTC -6)
www.metro.co.uk/2017/05/26/a-star-trek-fan-reveals-sjw-fears-and-why-he-cant-stand-the-words-diversity-and-tolerance-6664284/
www.metro.co.uk/2017/05/25/star-trek-fans-decry-discoverys-diversity-forgetting-gene-roddenberys-vision-of-inclusivity-6660755/
Chrome
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 11:34am (UTC -6)
"It's not meaningful to bash a show that hasn't aired yet. Like critiquing a book you haven't read based on a few excerpts shorn of context."

While I agree with you to some extent, I think people can at least bash the show on its premise without watching it. What gets annoying is when people come in to voice their opinions on every argument in a show/movie while simultaneously refusing to watch it. It's like if you hate it so much, why are you spending so much time on it? (Happened too much with ST: Discovery, to be honest).
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 11:48am (UTC -6)
@Chrome "It's like if you hate it so much, why are you spending so much time on it?"

Maybe because it is part of a franchise that I do love?

You can bet that if "Discovery" wasn't a Star Trek series, I wouldn't have said a word on it.

And of-course, I've already explained this like a thousand times on that other thread.

Oh, and by the way, why are we discussing Discovery on an Orville thread again? Yeah, I know, I've already asked *that* question too.

Chrome
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 11:53am (UTC -6)
Actually, I meant to say ST:Beyond, in which case I totally agree with N. I'll try not to engage such posters since they seem to enjoy the attention from it.
Panagiotis Karatasios
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 3:36pm (UTC -6)
So if we don't like DS9. we are racists!! Wel i haven't thought thatbefore!!!!!
Cosmic
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 4:35pm (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
""Some people" are simply thrilled that there are alternatives and that we now have a choice."

That's totally fair, but a show where the characters are randomly calling each other b**** and saying "Ha, that dog was licking it's private parts!" doesn't strike me as a *good* alternative to Star Trek. But hey, if people enjoy that sort of writing, then more power to them.

I once had roommates who watched American Dad everyday and they would just stare at the screen as the jokes passed by.... Seth MacFarlane's writing tends to go in one ear and out the other. So, to me, his brand of writing is not a worthy replacement to a good Star Trek show.

I'm hoping they'll really step up their game in the upcoming episodes, but I'm not holding my breath.

"If Discovery succeeds, that will be great. But now it's success will depend on actually delivering the goods.

TL;DR Competition in Business is good for the customers."

Can't argue with that.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 6:33pm (UTC -6)
@Chrome

"Actually, I meant to say ST:Beyond, in which case I totally agree with N. I'll try not to engage such posters since they seem to enjoy the attention from it..."

You might want to try harder.

I'm not replying "because I enjoy it". I'm replying because your insinuations are annoying and my finger itch to respond.

But no more. Since obviously nobody here (including you and me) finds this off-topic tangent to be enjoyable or productive, I'm bowing out of this "discussion".

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 7:26pm (UTC -6)
@Cosmic

"That's totally fair, but a show where the characters are randomly calling each other b**** and saying "Ha, that dog was licking it's private parts!" doesn't strike me as a *good* alternative to Star Trek."

Oh, I agree with you.

But the Orville is much more than those stupid juvenile jokes. As I said in my first post on this thread, these jokes are by far the weakest part of the show (though some of them did get a chuckle out of me).

And I really do love everything else about that show: The bright future, the zany futurama-style plot, the flawed "anti-Trek" crew.

So yes, I do think that the Orville is a pretty good alternative.

Besides, I'm more willing to forgive a dog licking its balls than swallow all the stuff that Discovery has already done wrong (which is quite a feat, given the fact that IT HASN'T EVEN BEEN AIRED YET). Robert already explained beautifully *some* of the problems with DIS (DSC?), and he barely scratched the tip of the ice-berg on that one.

At any rate, hopefully in the future we'll have better options to choose from. But even then, I may very well continue to watch the Orville for fun, because I *do* find it enjoyable.


"I once had roommates who watched American Dad everyday and they would just stare at the screen as the jokes passed by.... Seth MacFarlane's writing tends to go in one ear and out the other. So, to me, his brand of writing is not a worthy replacement to a good Star Trek show."

Yeah, but Seth really toned down his usual humor for the Orville - both in frequency and in style. It's like he was trying really really hard to change his usual ways when doing this show (which is a life dream of his), but couldn't bring himself to get rid of those jokes completely.

And to be honest, I'm not even certain that the remaining low brow jokes are damaging the series. Yes, they are stupid and juvenile. But somehow, when I consider the context of all the other (genuinely good) elements of the show, the humor kinda grew on me. It's funny... but after watching the pilot, I just can't imagine the Orville universe without an occasional dog licking its balls and a Malloy "drawing many penises on many things". Dunno why, but that's how I feel about it.

Chrome
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 9:12pm (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

I never mentioned you, but apologies if you took it that way.
Yanks
Thu, Sep 14, 2017, 9:54am (UTC -6)
I caught the premier. Some good humor... but the potty mouth stuff could cease at anytime and the series would be better for it.

Very interesting reading your review Jammer. You seem to have the same take as most of the critics at Rotten Tomatoes. (11% from the critics but the audience is at 88%) I agree That undermining the XO was pretty stupid.

Seth is obviously a huge trekkie, the appearance certainly gives off a trek vibe. I personally like something that looks good. I'm tired of dark-this and dark-that.

Penny Johnson looks pretty good. I saw her last in 'Castle' and she wasn't looking to good there. Different type role for her here.

I think I'm gonna like the characters.

Enjoy your Arbor Day ....

Papa smurf....

Chuckle...

I'll give the cast time to grow. I think that possibly the worst casting might be Seth. He might have better served the show as a background character. We'll see.

Should be an enjoyable ride. I really don't get all these scathing reviews. It wasn't great, but I've seen worse. He is trying something new here.... if not totally new, then certainly not anything we've seen in awhile. Galaxy Quest was a single movie, it's got to be hard to try and mix comedy and SCI-FI in a series.

Looking forward to a male a-sexual alien laying a couple eggs. :-)
Del_Duio
Thu, Sep 14, 2017, 12:04pm (UTC -6)
In comparison to TNG of course DS9 was darker but the way everybody seems to make it sound it's like Sisko & co were on suicide watch 24/7.

I love DS9, it's my favorite Trek by far. And there were LOTS of light moments to it. I wish it were remembered for being an overall good show in stead of just the 'black sheep, oh so dark and gritty blah blah'.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Sep 14, 2017, 1:06pm (UTC -6)
@Del Duio

"I love DS9, it's my favorite Trek by far. And there were LOTS of light moments to it. I wish it were remembered for being an overall good show in stead of just the 'black sheep, oh so dark and gritty blah blah'."

How prevalent is this negative view of DS9 anyway?

I thought the general Trekkie consensus "is* that DS9 was great show, and the nay-sayers were a very tiny minority. Is this impression of mine wrong?


Robert
Thu, Sep 14, 2017, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
When DS9 was on many people were negatively comparing it to TOS, TNG and VOY. Now? I almost think it's a universal consensus that DS9 was awesome and has aged the best. Some people might enjoy other ones of course (personal taste and all that), but it's a small minority that actually thinks DS9 was BAD. Whereas VOY and ENT are very divisive.
Peter G.
Thu, Sep 14, 2017, 3:21pm (UTC -6)
Of my friends that are Trek fans (a half dozen, maybe) the general consensus is that DS9 is the best series of them all, with one person preferring TNG but still liking DS9. I'm the only one of us that puts TOS on par with DS9. Of the group, not some are nu-Battlestar fans while others of us are indifferent or hate it, so the 'dark tone' isn't the selling point for us for any means. In fact, I never even considered DS9 to be a 'dark show' until I saw it memed over and over on boards like this. I generally consider the tone of the show to be enthusiastic and positive, with a few notable exceptions such as "In the Pale Moonlight" and "The Siege of etc." But for each of those there's an "In the Cards" or a Ferengi episode, so at best it's a wash in terms of the extremes. What sets the show apart is that it questions the simple purity of some of the moral themes pronounced in TNG, and I don't consider that kind of lucid inspection to be dark or even grey. It's just intelligent and adult.
Chrome
Thu, Sep 14, 2017, 3:44pm (UTC -6)
@Del_Duio

I always thought of DS9 as a companion show to TNG, with the former going to more detail about the frontier of the Federation where Starfleet didn't have a big presence. Anyway, I usually think of TNG and DS9 as being very good and other later Treks, especially Enterprise, being the Black Sheep with more generic sci-fi shows.
Trent
Thu, Sep 14, 2017, 4:16pm (UTC -6)
I thought the core plot of this first Orville episode was pretty silly: we travel to a planet, learn of a superweapon, the Krill land shock troops, the Krill are defeated in space. Super weapon is destroyed. There is no imagination or creativity in any of this, other than the brief idea of a giant tree destroying a starship.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Sep 14, 2017, 6:07pm (UTC -6)
So here's the million dollar question:

Which episode did you enjoy more when you first so it: The Orville's pilot or "Encounter at Farpoint"?


Brian
Thu, Sep 14, 2017, 7:32pm (UTC -6)
After watching this show I have to say I prefer Farscapr's take on being a space show with humor much more than this show- it is funny while still taking itself seriously, and not in a glib kind of way. Definitely worth checking out for any Trek fans who haven't seen it and like the idea of mixing humor with sci fi.
Cosmic
Thu, Sep 14, 2017, 7:33pm (UTC -6)
Well, not to sound overly harsh, but Trent isn't wrong about this episode's D-grade Sci-Fi plot. It honestly felt like a thin excuse to string along one silly gag after another. For the pilot episode, Seth didn't really try to make a plot, universe or a race (the Krill are... bad guys.... yes, very interesting) that are worth all that much in terms of creativity.

"Which episode did you enjoy more when you first so it: The Orville's pilot or "Encounter at Farpoint"?"

Two pilots that were aiming for very different things. Farpoint was trying to re-introduce an established universe to an audience, Orville so far has mostly copy/pasted Trek's ideas and used them as a way to throw out juvenile jokes.

I don't plan to watch The Orville's pilot ever again, whereas I've re-watched Farpoint fairly recently in the past year. Both aren't "good" on their own terms, but I enjoyed Farpoint more, because it actually has something to it when it comes to the plot and it's characters.
pfk505
Thu, Sep 14, 2017, 10:03pm (UTC -6)
Loved it. But then again I'm a fan of Star Trek AND shit humor / dick jokes. So I'm the target audience.

Honestly, I'm not sure if it was the marketing but I can understand peoples issues with the tone. But for me I saw it as a light-hearded, slightly edgy comic send up of Star Trek and nothing more. I don't think it will ever be a "drama," and I honestly hope it doesn't. Will definitely keep watching.
Cosmic
Fri, Sep 15, 2017, 12:07am (UTC -6)
@Brian
"After watching this show I have to say I prefer Farscape's take on being a space show with humor much more than this show- it is funny while still taking itself seriously, and not in a glib kind of way. Definitely worth checking out for any Trek fans who haven't seen it and like the idea of mixing humor with sci fi."

Absolutely. I've been thinking a lot about that show after seeing this pilot episode.

I would even suggest something like Stargate SG-1 or Atlantis if people were looking for other light-hearted Sci-Fi shows. They're not exactly the "greatest" shows in my opinion, but they can still be fun.
Yanks
Fri, Sep 15, 2017, 5:45am (UTC -6)
FarScape rocks.

But that is a different kind of humor than they are going for here.

I just realized I didn't grade this. I'll go 2 stars.
Scot
Fri, Sep 15, 2017, 10:31pm (UTC -6)
Seth MacFarlane's love of Star Trek is well-known. I, for one, was counting on that reverence to show itself in this show. I was in no way disappointed. I really did feel like I was watching Star Trek. While the casual dialogue was a little bit off-putting, I still found it to be very human. I enjoyed the acting, the characters, and the visuals. The sets were a little too clean for me, but that's trivial. All in all, I found it very enjoyable and I'm looking forward to future episodes.
SlackerInc
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 4:12am (UTC -6)
Mark me down with the "thumbs up" crowd.  I thoroughly enjoyed this.  No, as N said, it's unlikely to reach the heights of the very best Trek has offered.  But if it's consistently as fun as the pilot episode, I will be a very satisfied viewer.

Jammer, it's your site (a site I greatly appreciate), and it's your prerogative if you want to sneer at those of us who don't agree with your negative opinion.  But I can't be the only one who bristled when I read "I guess our standards have fallen to those of what Kevin Sorbo constantly said about what people wanted from 'Andromeda' after Robert Hewitt Wolfe was fired."  I was a fan of early "Andromeda" and hated to see what it became.  But I just disagree with you about the quality of this pilot.  Can't people disagree with your take, without it meaning we are drooling imbeciles?  You seem to be implying otherwise.

I really liked what OmicronThetaDeltaPi said:

"Sure, in some ways it is very similar to TNG. But in other ways it is vastly different... in some areas, one could even consider the Orville to be a kind of anti-Trek. So trying to judge an Orville episode as if it were a TNG episode is just silly.
Indeed, the question of whether the pilot would have made a good Trek episode is irelevant. The real question we should ask ourselves is whether the pilot works within the premise of the Orville itself."

And I absolutely believe it does.  I feel like this show is already very comfortable in its own skin.  I give it three and a half stars out of four.

Now, is anyone interested in actually chewing the fat over details of the episode? I'm game for arguing over whether or not it's good, mind you; but can't we do both?

Specifically, I wanted to muse on what the experience of being killed by the "time ray" was like for that poor woman.  Logically, it seems like she should have had an incredibly boring experience along the lines of what we have seen in a couple "Black Mirror" episodes, except that she couldn't really move to any significant degree, and had to just stare upward at a scene of the other characters looking completely still--but maybe every year or so (from her POV) shifting position ever so slightly.

But then of course we can nitpick all kinds of aspects of how she died.  For instance, I question how she even aged as she did: shouldn't she have died of thirst nearly instantly (from the POV of those outside the "bubble")?  Clearly we're not supposed to think about it that hard.
Cosmic
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 7:40am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
"But I just disagree with you about the quality of this pilot. Can't people disagree with your take, without it meaning we are drooling imbeciles? You seem to be implying otherwise."

I think you're reading too much into his comments. He isn't wrong that certain people seem to be REALLY generous when it comes to this simple pilot episode. Unless you seriously enjoy the humor that it is presenting, there's not a whole lot to take away from this show at the moment.

I mean, I can't personally fathom why someone would give it 3.5/4. It just seems insanely high for a show that is more than a little uninspired when it comes to creativity. Like Jammer stated in his review, Seth just took whole concepts from Star Trek and hastily switched around the wording. The Krill are Saturday morning cartoon bad guys at the moment. I honestly feel like a 10 year old could have come up with something more inspired than those guys. Does the man then deserve kudos for being lazier than a piece of fan-fiction?

What were the big compelling take aways from the characters?
- The pilot is an arrogant jerk (who drinks and drives, that was... insanely not funny to me). Super unlikable, imo.
- The guy next to him likes to drink soda at work. OK.
- Bortus is a play on the stoic alien character, but with zilch to define himself with at the moment
- Robot who hates humans, so a spin on Data... but we got basically nothing from him in this episode
- Alara, a young security chief who is stronger than humans + she got to have that cheesy jump near the end of the episode
- Kassidy Yates as the Doctor, she made a testicle joke and said someone was dead later on in the ep. Not much there.
- The XO, she cheated on her husband (that quality always looks good on a character) and then helped him get his own ship later on because... reasons? Regret?
- Ed, not much of anything to this guy other than that he acts like Seth MacFarlane in a uniform. Oh and he hates the idea of marriage now.

I already mentioned my thoughts on the paper thin Sci-Fi plot that was used to tie everything together, something that would get savaged if this was an actual Trek episode.

So why a 3.5/4? I am genuinely curious at this point. I keep seeing people say "most of the jokes are bad, but it was fun!". OK well the jokes/gags were most of the show, practically every scene had a joke to it. The critical points I made are things that would sink Discovery or any other regular Trek episode, but certain people seem to ignore that and treat Orville like it's some kind of masterpiece after a single episode. It just doesn't make sense to me.
navamske
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 10:14am (UTC -6)
@Paul M.

"Everything I watched with [Brannon Braga] at or close to the helm was terribad: Voyager, Enterprise, that Dinosaur thing a few years back, Salem..."

By "that Dinosaur thing," do you mean Bossa -- er, Terra -- Nova? I thought that was pretty good and was disappointed when it was canceled.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 1:52pm (UTC -6)
@Cosmic

"He isn't wrong that certain people seem to be REALLY generous when it comes to this simple pilot episode. Unless you seriously enjoy the humor that it is presenting, there's not a whole lot to take away from this show at the moment."

People have already explained what they take from it: The bright future visuals, the everyman feeling of the crew, the sci fi plot and completely crazy resolution, the general light-hearted tone.

Was it a great episode? No.

Was it an enjoyable ride that left me wanting more? Hell, yeah!

As for the "simplistic sci fi plot": That's not a problem unless nothing else of interest is going on. Given that this is a 45 minute pilot which has to familiarize us with the characters and the setting, I think that "simple" actually works best here. Besides, I just adored the zany resolution. I mean, how often do we get to see our heros destroy an enemy ship with a f***-ing tree?

Happy Arbor Day :-D
Cosmic
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 4:07pm (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"People have already explained what they take from it: The bright future visuals, the everyman feeling of the crew, the sci fi plot and completely crazy resolution, the general light-hearted tone."

And people have already pointed out the various issues with all of those things, but I guess Orville gets a free pass on just about everything.

I bring up the issues with a lot of the gags/jokes (which were revealed in the promos anyways) and people go "Yeah, the humor was dumb, but..." The humor was a large part of the show, you're ignoring a huge amount of the episode. Take that away and you have characters that are (so far) bland/unlikable and a universe/story that largely feels uninspired. The tree resolution was kinda cool, but it doesn't excuse all the points that have already been stated.

I think this is what Jammer was getting at, in that this drop in standards feels like something out of the post-Wolfe Andromeda era. I guess people are eager to turn off their brains these days and that's totally fair.

Ironically, some of the Orville fans seem eager to nail Discovery down for every little detail, but when it comes to discussing Orville's faults they just wave it off and say "Whatever man, it was fun". OK then.
NCC-1701-Z
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 4:27pm (UTC -6)
Cosmic: "Ironically, some of the Orville fans seem eager to nail Discovery down for every little detail, but when it comes to discussing Orville's faults they just wave it off and say "Whatever man, it was fun". OK then."

Well, Orville was marketed as a parody while Discovery is the "real thing". One would probably judge Airplane! or DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations" differently if one were viewing it as a serious movie/episode vs a light hearted parody. However, I see your point - just because something is a parody doesn't give it a free pass if it's a bad product and just not funny.

I've kept going back and forth on this ep. I really wanted to like it, but the humor just felt too juvenile for me overall. Still not ready to call it a "failure" though.
NCC-1701-Z
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 4:31pm (UTC -6)
Case in point: When I first saw "Trials and Tribble-ations" in high school I thought it was stupid. That was before I knew it was intended as a tongue-in-cheek tribute. Rewatching it with that in mind, I now consider it one of my favorite DS9 episodes.

Context can help, but it's not a complete free pass. If the final product simply isn't entertaining ... *plop*
Cosmic
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 5:21pm (UTC -6)
@NCC-1701-Z

"Well, Orville was marketed as a parody while Discovery is the "real thing". One would probably judge Airplane! or DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations" differently if one were viewing it as a serious movie/episode vs a light hearted parody."

Sure, but the problem with that argument is both Orville fans and Seth himself have stated that the Orville is a Sci-Fi Adventure show with comedic elements and not a straight up parody. And it is definitely a show that aspires to have both dramatic and comedic elements. So, I don't think the "Airplane!" comparison is appropriate here.
SlackerInc
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 6:55pm (UTC -6)
@Cosmic: You're just doing the same thing.  Your whole comment amounts to your saying that you are stupefied in disbelief that so many of us like it.  Therefore, we must either be dishonest, dumb, or just lacking in taste.  Right?  I don't see any other way to read it.  You even say in a later comment "I guess people are eager to turn off their brains these days".  I disagree that this is why I liked it, and I consider that an insulting thing to say.  Go ahead and insult those of us who liked it, but don't further insult our intelligence by pretending that's not what you're doing.

And FYI: 3.5/4 stars is not a "masterpiece".  That would be reserved for 4/4 star reviews, and maybe not even all of those.  I haven't seen every episode of every Trek series, but the episodes that come to mind as "masterpieces" of those I've seen so far include "City on the Edge of Forever", "The Measure of a Man", "The Inner Light", "The Lower Decks", "Meld", "Death Wish", "Remember", and "Distant Origin".  (BTW, I watched all of DS9 when it originally aired, and greatly enjoyed it; but I don't remember individual episodes.)  Of those, the only one I could imagine being of a type we might possibly see on "Orville" is "Lower Decks".  But that remains to be seen.

@navamske I too liked "Terra Nova", although it had some problems (most notably, the people who were portrayed as something like "Injuns" in a classic cowboy-Indians style story).  I was definitely sad when it was cancelled.
Cosmic
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 7:23pm (UTC -6)
@Slackerinc

"Your whole comment amounts to your saying that you are stupefied in disbelief that so many of us like it. Therefore, we must either be dishonest, dumb, or just lacking in taste. Right? I don't see any other way to read it."

Well that is your problem then, because I don't believe it was me or Jammer's intention to offend anyone with our critical observations.

Maybe re-read my comments, because it's me sharing my views and trying to understand this sort of overwhelming praise for a show that (to me) has juvenile humor and shoddy writing. I was never saying it's "wrong" for people to like the show, but I honestly feel like some people are giving the episode far too much credit. That's just my take.

And I still don't see any reason as to why you rated it a 3.5. That is still extremely high, close to the top of the scale. I would say a 2-2.5 would be a more level-headed rating for this premiere, with myself leaning more towards a 1.5 or 2, because most of the humor/writing fell completely flat for me.

Glad you enjoyed it though. Try not to take other people's opinions so personally.
SlackerInc
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 7:50pm (UTC -6)
I rated it a 3.5 because overall, I found it "delightful" to watch! Do you rate things a 2-2.5 when you find them delightful?
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 7:53pm (UTC -6)
@ Cosmic

"And people have already pointed out the various issues with all of those things, but I guess Orville gets a free pass on just about everything."

No. It simply means that other people have different tastes and priorities, as to what they regard an "issue" or not.

Case in point: Star Trek itself has lots of issues. Any Trekkie with an ounce of self-awareness could write a thick book on the silly tropes and unrealistic premises of the Star Trek Universe.

So does that mean that the typical Trekkie gives Star Trek "a free pass on just about everything"? (read that last sentence again, pause, and reflect at the hilarious absurdity of those words)


"I bring up the issues with a lot of the gags/jokes (which were revealed in the promos anyways) and people go 'Yeah, the humor was dumb, but...' The humor was a large part of the show, you're ignoring a huge amount of the episode."

Well, first of all, not all of humor was dumb. You're probably refering to the vulgar jokes, but that's just a small fraction of the humor content of the episode.

Secondly, just because something is "dumb" does not necessarily mean it wasn't funny. I mean, "Malloy has drawn a lot of penises on a lot of things" is hardly high-class material, but the deadpan way that Seth said that line made me laugh out loud.

Thirdly, the entire episode gives a humorous vibe even when there isn't any gag or joke actively "playing". You can feel the comedic atmosphere in the air all the time (with the exception of a few scenes were it would - indeed - be inappropriate). And I enjoyed this light-hearted tone very much.

"...Take that away and you have characters that are (so far) bland/unlikable..."

That's a matter of personal taste.

I, personally, happened to like the characters and their dynamics.

"... and a universe/story that largely feels uninspired."

Again - personal taste.

I really dig the Orville-verse. If nothing else, it's 25th earth is visually beautiful (far more beautiful than any version of earth we've seen in Star Trek, by the way).

But you already knew that. I mean, why would you think anyone is going to "give the show a free pass" unless they dig the setting?

"The tree resolution was kinda cool, but it doesn't excuse all the points that have already been stated."

I agree.

If you don't enjoy any of the humor and disliked the characters... well, then there isn't really a reason for you to watch this show, is there?

Just remember: Other people may enjoy different things than you. That doesn't make their standards necessarily "lower". Just different.

"I guess people are eager to turn off their brains these days and that's totally fair."

Oh, come on now. That's a pretty condescending statement, isn't it?

A fairer statement would be that people are eager to get a specific kind of entertainment (in this case - bright sci fi) and don't particularly care whether it is 'brainy' or not.

This, mind you, does not mean that we would have accepted ANYTHING. The show still needs to be good on its own terms, which the Orville - I think - is.

Or at least, the pilot was.

There are still many ways they can botch this, especially given the synopses of the next two episodes. Those two might turn out to be a disaster... then again, this is what I thought about the pilot as well, and I was pleasantly surprised.

I guess we'll see how well (or badly) it goes tomorrow.

"Ironically, some of the Orville fans seem eager to nail Discovery down for every little detail, but when it comes to discussing Orville's faults they just wave it off and say 'Whatever man, it was fun' ".

Perhaps because Discovery is part of a 50-year-old franchise that already has plenty of ground rules in place?

But really, nobody is nailing Discovery "for every little detail". People are nailing it mostly for showing disrespect to the source material (as well as disresepect for the fans themselves).

And you know something? The Orville, with all the juvenile humor and "brainless" vibe, still shows far more respect to the Star Trek legacy than Discovery. Right there is another reason I love this show (and another reason why I wouldn't have given it a pass if it were crappy. Crappy TV does not make for good homages).

Of-course, it remains to be seen whether the Orville can respect its *own* legacy and continuity as the season progresses. If they start changing random things between episodes without any good reason, my appreciation for the show will drop considerably.

"Maybe re-read my comments, because it's me sharing my views and trying to understand this sort of overwhelming praise for a show that (to me) has juvenile humor and shoddy writing."

Then I hope my reply helped you understand this conundrum a bit better.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 8:02pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc
"I rated it a 3.5 because overall, I found it "delightful" to watch! Do you rate things a 2-2.5 when you find them delightful?"

I too would have rated it a 3.5 (or even a full 4) if the comic delivery was less uneven. Everything else was near-perfect in my view.

I mean, when you make a comedy and botch nearly half your jokes with bad timing in such a spectacular way, that should cost at least a full star.

Classic example:

The dog thing. It could have been hilarious, but (a) the gag was too long and (b) the dialogue that resolved it was to on-the-nose.

At least that's my take on it. YMM (and probably does) V.

Cosmic
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 8:31pm (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc

"I rated it a 3.5 because overall, I found it "delightful" to watch! Do you rate things a 2-2.5 when you find them delightful?"

No, but you didn't really explain why you found it that delightful, especially in regards to the critiques that people have laid out against the episode. I guess that is my issue with the high rating. But if you really feel that way about it, then more power to you.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"No. It simply means that other people have different tastes and priorities, as to what they regard an "issue" or not.

Case in point: Star Trek itself has lots of issues. Any Trekkie with an ounce of self-awareness could write a thick book on the silly tropes and unrealistic premises of the Star Trek Universe."

True. Doesn't mean that people should write off the actual creative shortfalls of Orville. As I stated, these are things that would be brought up for any other episode of Trek. Orville wants to be a "dramedy version" of Star Trek, so I'm only judging it by it's own ambitions.

"I, personally, happened to like the characters and their dynamics."

I already outlined my thoughts on the characters on an earlier comment. I'm not sure where people are drawing their positive feelings from on these guys.

The Scott Grimes pilot character is particularly terrible - thinks it's funny to drink and drive and randomly call a person a b****. Yeesh.

The "dynamics" are super basic at this point, but to be fair, it's only been one episode.

"Well, first of all, not all of humor was dumb. You're probably refering to the vulgar jokes, but that's just a small fraction of the humor content of the episode."

You're understating the amount. There was an ejaculation joke, testicle joke, several pee jokes, a boner quip, the aforementioned penis joke and a dog licking it's private parts. It was a good amount of the humor, not all of it though. IMO -
the sooner they drop *that stuff*, the better, because the rest of the jokes were mostly harmless.

"Oh, come on now. That's a pretty condescending statement, isn't it?

A fairer statement would be that people are eager to get a specific kind of entertainment (in this case - bright sci fi) and don't particularly care whether it is 'brainy' or not."

I don't think so at all. I've watched certain shows/movies in the past that I've enjoyed more by turning off the critical part of my mind. Popcorn entertainment - it's not a new concept. Even though I did that with Orville's pilot, I still came away from it with a mostly negative opinion.

I'll give the next couple episodes a shot, but it'll be a quick drop for me if they don't drop the terrible gags and the writing doesn't sharpen up. I've seen some clips from the upcoming episode and it looks a little bit more promising than the pilot.

"Then I hope my reply helped you understand this conundrum a bit better."

A little bit. It was a good response. I'm still dissatisfied with the double standard that I occasionally see from fans of the Orville pilot in regards to the "Discovery and Orville" topic. Both shows will have their own merits/faults and I hope both shows are worth watching.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 11:05pm (UTC -6)
@Cosmic

"Orville wants to be a "dramedy version" of Star Trek, so I'm only judging it by it's own ambitions."

I don't really care what the Orville "wants" to be. I judge the series by what it really is.

And a quick look at the show's characters is all you need to realize that it isn't any "version of Star Trek".

Yes, it is a homage to Star Trek. Yes, it is inspired by Star Trek. But you'll never "get" what the Orville is all about as long as you insist that it is some kind of Star Trek clone.

Because it isn't. It is so different in tone and character, that trying to review an Orville episode as if it were a Star Trek episode is simply pointless.

For one, the Orville is far less cerebral and more light-hearted. For another thing, the characters behave like present-day military men on a vessel away from home - dick jokes and all.

For some reason you see these things as weaknesses, completely missing the fact that they are the main point of the show! Thats the whole premise of the darn thing!

And if that's not your cup of tea, fine. It just means that this show is not for you. But complaining about these things is like a non-Trekkie complaining about the "too perfect characters" in TNG or the fact that most aliens in Trek look humanoid and speak English. It's just silly.

"I already outlined my thoughts on the characters on an earlier comment. I'm not sure where people are drawing their positive feelings from on these guys."

There's a difference between liking the way characters interact with one another onscreen, and wanting to be their close buddy in real life.

And I think they've actually managed to pack quite a lot of punch to the crew's interaction with one another, given that they only had 45 minutes to do it.

Sure, it wasn't super-deep or layered or anything, but the whole thing was fleshed-out quite nicely. I feel that I know exactly how these people relate to one another, which is a pretty impressive feat to accomplish given (a) the time constraints and (b) all the other stuff that happened in the episode.

"You're understating the amount. There was an ejaculation joke, testicle joke, several pee jokes, a boner quip, the aforementioned penis joke and a dog licking it's private parts."

Alright, that's about 7.
(and some of these are more vulgar/tasteless than others. I mean, the dog thing was completely tasteless, even though had the potential to be funny. But Bortus's "that is unfortunate" dialogue is as tame as it can get)

Now, how many non-vulgar jokes and gags where there?

Off the top of my head, I could easly list 14 stand-alone jokes and gags (started listing them here, then realized what a huge spoiler that would be, and deleted everything)

Then there are quite a few classical situation comedy bits, like the argument between Ed and Kelly when she first comes on board.

And of-course, all the various in-jokes that tie into actual Star Trek: From the launch sequence (a clear parody of every Enterprise launch sequence known to man) to Bashir's Dad doing work on genetics.

So no, the vulgar humor wasn't that big a part of the episode. Maybe 1/3 of the jokes, and perhaps even less.

And as I've already stated, "vulgar" does not always mean "not funny". The one-liners, especially, were nearly always hilarious (at least - they worked for me). The biggest groaner was the dog bit, and even that could have been salvaged with a more subtle punch line (something along the lines of "Malloy: did you see... LaMarr: Yup.")

"Even though I did that [brain on popcorn movie mode] with Orville's pilot, I still came away from it with a mostly negative opinion."

This, right there, should have told you that your entire theory of "people liked the Orville because they were eager to turn off their brains" was completely off the mark.

Oh, and I find it utterly hilarious that you've used that argument to defend Jammer's POV on the Orville, when this very same Jammer gave 3 stars to "Star Trek: into Darkness" (while simultaneously acknowledging how stupid that film was, in the very same review)

Talk about double standards...

"I'm still dissatisfied with the double standard that I occasionally see from fans of the Orville pilot in regards to the "Discovery and Orville" topic. Both shows will have their own merits/faults and I hope both shows are worth watching."

It's hard to have "a double standard" when the two things we're comparing are so different from one another.

Discovery is an official Trek installment, and the main criticism against it is that it doesn't respect the established 40-year continuity of the Trek-verse. The second main criticism against it is that it looks too dark and gritty for the liking of many Trekkies.

The Orville, on the other hand, is a brand new series which isn't an "official" anything. It is a very weird blend of a few different styles, but it also happens to scratch that "optimstic bright sci fi" itch that so many of us have suffered from in the past decade. An itch, I must add, that Discovery doesn't make ANY effort to address.

So please explain to me: How is our treatment of these two shows "a double standard"? It certainly seems consistent to me.
SlackerInc
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 11:42pm (UTC -6)
FTR I have no preconceived animus against ST Discovery.  I will evaluate that show on its own merits once I have seen it.  I avoid previews like the plague (which is why none of the jokes in "Orville" had been ruined for me), so I know nothing about it.

"Just remember: Other people may enjoy different things than you. That doesn't make their standards necessarily 'lower'. Just different."

Amen.

"Oh, come on now. That's a pretty condescending statement, isn't it?"

Watch out, now Cosmic will accuse YOU of taking people's opinions too seriously.

"The dog thing. It could have been hilarious, but (a) the gag was too long and (b) the dialogue that resolved it was to on-the-nose.
At least that's my take on it. YMM (and probably does) V."

I think we actually pretty much agree--I'm just dinging it less than you are for the offense.  Another example of something I didn't like was the helmsman talking about wanting to wear shorts on the bridge, when they are still in immediate danger.  I think that although the show already seems pretty comfortable in its own skin from the jump (a contrary opinion, I realize), it can be the best version of itself if it saves the jokey stuff for moments when the tension is not as high.
Cosmic
Sun, Sep 17, 2017, 12:05am (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Jeez. You really want to get into it for some reason. I guess I set you off in some way. I figured I had politely closed up the conversation quite nicely and said my piece, but OK.

"I don't really care what the Orville "wants" to be. I judge the series by what it really is.

And a quick look at the show's characters is all you need to realize that it isn't any "version of Star Trek".

Yes, it is a homage to Star Trek. Yes, it is inspired by Star Trek. But you'll never "get" what the Orville is all about as long as you insist that it is some kind of Star Trek clone.

Because it isn't. It is so different in tone and character, that trying to review an Orville episode as if it were a Star Trek episode is simply pointless."

Orville is a Sci-Fi adventure show that borrows HEAVILY from Star Trek. Jammer clearly outlined how the show takes whole terms from the Trek universe and simply changes up the wording. Replicators, Holodecks, Federation, Starship that explores space, alien races, etc. etc.

What is pointless is trying to argue with those facts. It is, in a lot of ways, a Star Trek clone. Why are you trying so hard to deny that? It could be seen as a positive or a negative. I tend to side with Jammer in that it currently comes across as creatively limiting/lazy.

"So no, the vulgar humor wasn't that big a part of the episode. Maybe 1/3 of the jokes, and perhaps even less."

Understatement, but believe whatever you want to. It was prominently there for quite a bit of the episode. My examples were a good amount of the jokes. Trying to lessen the amount of bad vulgar jokes seems to be a way to defend the show, so whatever makes you happy. They are there.

"This, right there, should have told you that your entire theory of "people liked the Orville because they were eager to turn off their brains" was completely off the mark.

Oh, and I find it utterly hilarious that you've used that argument to defend Jammer's POV on the Orville, when this very same Jammer gave 3 stars to "Star Trek: into Darkness" (while simultaneously acknowledging how stupid that film was, in the very same review)"

Well, even when I tried to just watch it *without* analyzing it, it was still bad. So it makes it look even worse in my book. It wasn't even good popcorn entertainment, but other people seem to love it. To each their own.

"Utterly hilarious"? Yeesh. You talk about condescending comments and then say stuff like this? Give me a break, I haven't been anywhere near this rude to you in my own comments.

I wasn't even trying to defend Jammer's POV, I was simply trying to explain myself. Are you trying to discredit Jammer's own opinion by bringing up his STID review? Get a grip.

Yes, Orville is basically popcorn entertainment or I'm sorry, "less brainy bright Sci-Fi" or whatever term fits best in your world. You could argue that a lot of the JJ-verse is as well. Moving on....

"Discovery is an official Trek installment, and the main criticism against it is that it doesn't respect the established 40-year continuity of the Trek-verse. The second main criticism against it is that it looks too dark and gritty for the liking of many Trekkies.

The Orville, on the other hand, is a brand new series which isn't an "official" anything. It is a very weird blend of a few different styles, but it also happens to scratch that "optimstic bright sci fi" itch that so many of us have suffered from in the past decade. An itch, I must add, that Discovery doesn't make ANY effort to address.

So please explain to me: How is our treatment of these two shows "a double standard"? It certainly seems consistent to me."

Light tone = I like this. Dark tone= I don't like this. The show isn't even out yet, so for all you know, the continuity issues could be meaningfully addressed in some way. That is the thing, some Discovery critics are getting so hung up on the details for a show that isn't even out yet. TNG didn't look anything like TOS did, it updated it's look too. Easier to swallow because it was 80 some years in the future, but still, very different.

The dark tone might be overstated in the trailers/promos for the series. Even if not, it does not automatically = the show is bad. Treat a light toned Trek-style series as something amazing, treat a dark toned Trek show as something terrible. Double standard. The tone is not what you want from a Trek show, so that adds fuel to your criticism. A lot of the treatment in your own comment is based on tone and in Discovery's case, without actually seeing a full episode from that show.

I would've greatly preferred a lighter Trek show and Orville is currently no "replacement" for something like that, nor would I want to pretend otherwise.
Cosmic
Sun, Sep 17, 2017, 12:16am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc

"Watch out, now Cosmic will accuse YOU of taking people's opinions too seriously."

I said *personally*, but alright. I already replied to you in a cordial way and explained what I meant.
Andy's Friend
Sun, Sep 17, 2017, 4:46am (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, @Cosmic,

For the record, I have not seen the Orville. Just want to point out a misunderstanding on the part of Cosmic.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi: “So please explain to me: How is our treatment of these two shows "a double standard"? It certainly seems consistent to me."

Cosmic: “Light tone = I like this. Dark tone= I don't like this. (…) Treat a light toned Trek-style series as something amazing, treat a dark toned Trek show as something terrible. Double standard.”

Cosmic, that is not the definition of double standard. An example of double standard is this:

1 - Treat a *light toned* Trek-style series *with a Western, English-speaking crew* as something amazing.
2 - Treat a *light toned* Trek-style series *with a non-Western, non-English speaking crew* as something terrible.
...even if everything else (story, sets, music, etc.) is exactly the same.

Here, you no longer have one standard, but two, that both must be met to make you happy. It is when you discover that to someone, it is not only a matter of A, but also B, when all that someone's great speeches of A turn out to be hollow unless also that tiny, little, hidden B -- that you may accuse them of double standards.
Cosmic
Sun, Sep 17, 2017, 5:23am (UTC -6)
@Andy's Friend

Oh, I see. Big apologies to Omicron and anybody else if I got it incorrect. I always presumed that a 'double standard' meant having two differing opinions due to a hidden favoritism of one quality over another. My mistake, I figured I was using it correctly.

Well, my point is, I often see a severe favoritism towards "bright Sci-Fi", when compared to something that resembles a darker one. Even though I would much prefer a lighter tone in Discovery (and a post-Nemesis timeline), I try not to let that color my view of it. For all I know, it will all make sense when it comes out and it will all work in it's favor, not against it.

I see some fans of the Orville pilot going on about the bright visuals as being a main selling point for them. I understand that, but it shouldn't negate any sort of critical feedback that is levied against the show (either of them for that matter).

A *main criticism* shouldn't be about tone, it should be about the actual quality - is the show good at what it sets out to do?

That is all I was getting at.

(Jammer had already hit on this point as well in an earlier comment)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Sep 17, 2017, 8:34am (UTC -6)
@Cosmic

"I always presumed that a 'double standard' meant having two differing opinions due to a hidden favoritism of one quality over another."

It is.

You've just restated what Andy's Friend said in different words.

But where's the "hidden favoritism" here? People are openly saying that they prefer thing A (bright sci fi) over thing B (dark sci fi). They are not saying thing A is objectively better. They just say that they enjoy it more.

(and this, by the way, has nothing to do with the criticism on Discovery. See below)

"A *main criticism* shouldn't be about tone, it should be about the actual quality - is the show good at what it sets out to do?"

Exactly. I completely agree. A show should be judged by how well it does what it sets out to do.

Now let us see:

"Discovery" is supposed to be a prequel to the Star Trek we know and love. Look at all the promotional materials we have so far and tell me: Is there any chance at all that it will be "good at what it sets out to do"? The dark tone is just a tiny symptom of a much bigger problem.

OTOH The "Orville" is a Trek-inspired Seth McFarlane sci fi comedy. Knowing Seth McFarlane's renown style, can you honestly say that this show doesn't deliver on what it was set to do? I mean, criticising a McFarlane production for the juvenile humor is like criticising Star Trek for being all spacy and futury. You may not like what the Orville is doing, but it does what it does pretty darn well.

In short, you seem to mixing two different things here:

(1) The personal preference of many people for "bright sci fi"

(2) The Trek-specific points of criticism against Discovery.

These two items don't really have much in common. You don't see people panning GoT just because it is dark. I may not watch the show myself because I don't like the style, but this isn't synonymous to saying the show itself is bad.

I hope this clears up the confusion.


OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Sep 17, 2017, 8:55am (UTC -6)
Oh, and one more thing:

TV viewers show favoritism all the time. That's an integral part of being a fan of something.

How many Trekkies out there dislike nearly everything about Discovery, yet are commited to see it "just because it is Star Trek"? Probably more than those who opted out "just because it is dark".

See, this thing goes both ways. And there's really nothing wrong with it, as long as we're talking about the personal choices of the viewers.

The problem only starts when people confuse their personal tastes with objective facts.
Paul M.
Sun, Sep 17, 2017, 2:29pm (UTC -6)
I can't take almost any of the conversation in this thread seriously. Really, I can't. There are literally dozens of negative comments here about Discovery, a TV show WE HAVEN'T SEEN YET! We know NOTHING about it except that it seems to be darker in tone and has redesigned Klingons. Oh, and USS Discovery has holes in her saucer. We don't know A SINGLE THING about the quality of the scripts, directing, and editing. We don't know what it's about except that Klingons will be prominent. WE. DON'T. KNOW. SHIT!

And here we are, writing and reading comment after comment about how unTrek this whole thing is. It's disgusting. More than disgusting, actually. And sooooo effing unoriginal. I have to witness the same drivel regarding every single sequel/prequel/reboot/adaptation. There are always hordes of CoreFans(TM) carrying torches and pitchforks who are out in force to safeguard the Purity of the Holy Flame and smite the Heathens who would desecrate the The One True Thing. It's so trite and old and seen a million times before. Where do these people get the strength and perseverance to so endlessly twist and hate and prejudge that which they supposedly cherish the most? I will never ever understand this mindset.
methane
Sun, Sep 17, 2017, 4:11pm (UTC -6)
I did decide to watch the rebroadcast of this earlier this week.

Like others have said, I was struck by how little creativity was put into the universe. There's a difference between being inspired by Star Trek & pretty much just doing Star Trek with different labels. The latter is what we see here. If nothing changes, it will be difficult to take seriously as a drama. It will always be 2nd rate Star Trek, rather than 1st rate something new.

The plot here is straight-forward; not awful, but not original or memorable. None of the crewman are real characters yet, just a sentence or two description. They may become interesting characters later, but there's not really anything to go on yet. The most screentime goes to the captain, and the only thing we really know about him is that his wife cheated on him & he's not thought of as a good captain.

The show was somewhat stronger as a comedy (making it look so close to Star Trek helps the comedy). I did laugh several times, but there were still many jokes that didn't land.

I'd give it 1.5 - 2 stars. Unless the writers have some twist they will spring on us later (our "Federation" has a civil war!), I don't have high hopes for the future of this show. I will probably keep watching for awhile...but likely while fooling around on the computer.

----------------------------------------------------------

"FarScape rocks.

But that is a different kind of humor than they are going for here."

Well...Farscape could be just as crude as this episode. They certainly weren't afraid of making fun of bodily functions. But their humor was always more organic than Orville's shown. Actually, in terms of tone, Farscape is probably a good comparison to Orville, in that both want to mix humor and drama. Farscape could do both really well. Orville's pilot episode doesn't give me hope that it will do either well. Farscape also seemed fresh and original, despite the fact that it uses many familiar science fiction elements*. Orville went out of its way not to seem original.

To be fair, Farscape took about half a season to start to click. But it always felt like it had more potential than this Orville episode shows.

*Farscape might not seem as fresh to people starting it now, as the first Guardians of the Galaxy film felt like a Farscape rip-off (I haven't seen the 2nd movie yet).

-------------------------------------------------------------

"Everything I watched with [Brannon Braga] at or close to the helm was terribad: Voyager, Enterprise, that Dinosaur thing a few years back, Salem..."

Looking over his credits, I was interested in "Threshold, "FlashForward" & "Terra Nova", to some extent. "Terra Nova" was probably the worst; I think the writers were told it had to be kid-friendly, and they felt that meant bland and unchallenging. I'm not predisposed to hate something Braga's involved in. However, if he's involved in a Star Trek clone, I would like to know what new inspiration he's had since he last worked on Enterprise.
Cosmic
Sun, Sep 17, 2017, 4:58pm (UTC -6)
@OmegaThetaDeltaPhi

"It is.

You've just restated what Andy's Friend said in different words."

Haha. Alright, cool. It's one of those things where it all made sense in my head, but it still doesn't fit with what I'm trying to say. No matter. I'd rather drop it at this point.

"Exactly. I completely agree. A show should be judged by how well it does what it sets out to do."

Great! Which is one of the big reasons why I take issue with the pre-judgments that I've seen regarding Discovery. Some fans (not anyone I've necessarily seen around here) are deciding to write off the show just because the Klingons look different. That kind of attitude baffles me. Give the show a chance and if it works, it works.

""Discovery" is supposed to be a prequel to the Star Trek we know and love. Look at all the promotional materials we have so far and tell me: Is there any chance at all that it will be "good at what it sets out to do"? The dark tone is just a tiny symptom of a much bigger problem."

Absolutely. You're not giving it enough credit.
- It has great production values, even if the aesthetic is currently dark and not TOS-like.
- The main cast seems very capable
- The new ship designs look a lot better than what we've seen in the early promotions
- Some of the writing seems inspired (Sarek's line - "You must challenge your preconceptions or they will most certainly challenge you." Deep cut reference to a previous Trek show!)

While the look of the show might not line up perfectly with how some fans want it to be, the heart could still very much be in the right place.

As I've stated, the promos might be of the first handful of episodes and there will be plenty of exploring and interesting "light" Trekkian stories in the other parts of the season.

This is getting OT though, feel free to continue talking about it on the Discovery thread.

"OTOH The "Orville" is a Trek-inspired Seth McFarlane sci fi comedy. Knowing Seth McFarlane's renown style, can you honestly say that this show doesn't deliver on what it was set to do?"

No, not yet. The humor fell flat for me and outside of that, the more dramatic moments and the thin Sci-Fi plot were bland and didn't work for me either. Did you expect me to say otherwise? The show isn't even close to good yet in my eyes, shows very rarely are after their first episode, which is why this insane amount of praise comes off as really weird.

"I mean, criticising a McFarlane production for the juvenile humor is like criticising Star Trek for being all spacy and futury. *You may not like what the Orville is doing, but it does what it does pretty darn well.*"

So because that brand of humor is his trademark, that somehow excuses it? It's not open to criticism? I don't buy that. And Orville isn't there yet in terms of execution.

Perfunctory Sci-Fi plot about a time ray with currently bland/unlikable characters and a universe that is hastily ripped straight out of Star Trek with very little to call it's own - If that is what I come away with, that is not them doing it well. Just my current take. I hope it improves in the upcoming episodes.

Did you like the pilot character? Did his drinking and driving and calling people a "b****" behind their back make him seem like a great guy? He's not the kind of character that I would want to watch on a regular basis.

I still think some of you are giving way too much credit to a show that has *barely aired*. It's the opposite of the Discovery treatment - too hard on a show that isn't out yet, too easy on a show that currently is.

"The problem only starts when people confuse their personal tastes with objective facts."

Agreed. Doesn't always seem to be the case these days.

Let's just try to leave it at that. We seem to be on the same page on a lot of things, we just also have different approaches to television shows.

I am looking forward to checking out Orville's next episode, mainly just to see if it improves a LOT on what it has put forward, because it is not there yet and I'm not understanding when people say otherwise. Giving the show a fair shot, because it's what I would hope to see from Discovery critics as well.

It'd be nice if people tempered their praise for this show with the same level of critical thinking that they seem lay on Discovery, but oh well. Complicated topic.
SlackerInc
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 12:04am (UTC -6)
@Cosmic: "[O]ther people seem to love it. To each their own."

It's good to see you recognize this.  It was a lack of such recognition that irked me previously, both from you and Jammer.  And I don't see your previous comments as "cordial" in any way (pro tip: telling someone to "lighten up", "don't take things so personally", or other words to that effect, is never going to be appreciated).

"I see some fans of the Orville pilot going on about the bright visuals as being a main selling point for them. I understand that, but it shouldn't negate any sort of critical feedback that is levied against the show (either of them for that matter)."

FTR, that is not the case for me.  I was a huge fan of the first couple seasons of the BSG reboot, as well as of SGU.  Both featured very dark visuals, and that was fine by me.  I like "Orville" simply because I found it very entertaining.  At times it was because it made me laugh (like the ogre in the "holodeck"); at others it was because it was exciting (the battle to make it back to the shuttle; the space battle and crazy maneuvering to get the shuttle back into the bay).

@Paul M: I actually agree with you about the prejudging of ST Discovery.  You won't see me doing it, and I'd go so far as to say it's off topic in this thread.

"Did you like the pilot character? Did his drinking and driving and calling people a 'b****' behind their back make him seem like a great guy?"

I liked him--which is to say I enjoyed him.  Whether he's a "great guy" is not really the measure of what I enjoy in fiction.  Fictive TV shows full of "great guys" would likely be boring.
SlackerInc
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 12:15am (UTC -6)
P.S. @Cosmic: I only noticed the last paragraph of your comment just above mine after I commented, so apologies for the serial posting but there is no option to edit. Accusing people who like "Orville" of not applying much critical thinking to the show is exactly what I've been bugging about (with you and Jammer) all along. I'm pretty confident in my ability to apply critical thinking to the media I consume. And I did not turn off said thinking when I watched this. That is why, for instance, I criticized the "can I wear shorts" joke as coming at the wrong time in the narrative: critical thinking.

I applied my critical thinking to my evaluation of this show, just like I do to other shows I watch. That led me to not be able to go all the way to a four star grade (as I would to "Breaking Bad", "The Wire", or the last two seasons of "The Leftovers"). But it was still so enjoyable that it earned that three-and-a-half stars, on par with shows like "Game of Thrones" or "Gilmore Girls". It's not a purely objective measurement, obviously; but nor is it done without careful consideration. You have come to a different conclusion. You and I might also come to different conclusions if we were discussing music (do you think Neutral Milk Hotel is one of the greatest bands ever? I do) or painting (I love Willem de Kooning). But would you be so bold as to declare my tastes in those fields absurd or disingenuous?
Cosmic
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 1:53am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc

"It's good to see you recognize this. It was a lack of such recognition that irked me previously, both from you and Jammer. And I don't see your previous comments as "cordial" in any way (pro tip: telling someone to "lighten up", "don't take things so personally", or other words to that effect, is never going to be appreciated)."

Well, I made a general statement about people potentially treating Orville as popcorn entertainment. It wasn't a personal attack on you or anyone else. It's just me trying to sess out what I find to be an overly positive reception to an episode that I didn't like.

And I was being cordial, especially considering that you took an off-hand general statement to heart. I already explained that I meant no offense, so no worries. :)

"FTR, that is not the case for me."

Interesting. Well, I do see other people mention it a lot, so it seems to matter a lot to some of the Orville fans. The Ogre bit was kinda nice, mainly because it reminded me of those holodeck programs that Worf and Riker would run together.

"I liked him--which is to say I enjoyed him. Whether he's a "great guy" is not really the measure of what I enjoy in fiction. Fictive TV shows full of "great guys" would likely be boring."

No, you're right (ex: Game of Thrones - Littlefinger is an "enjoyable" character to follow), but so far the pilot guy is pretty insufferable. For me, a lot of his humorous moments/quirks ended up being some of the cringiest in the entire episode.

"Accusing people who like "Orville" of not applying much critical thinking to the show is exactly what I've been bugging about (with you and Jammer) all along. I'm pretty confident in my ability to apply critical thinking to the media I consume. And I did not turn off said thinking when I watched this. That is why, for instance, I criticized the "can I wear shorts" joke as coming at the wrong time in the narrative: critical thinking."

Great! Glad to hear you're not giving the Orville "special treatment" in terms of it's storytelling or writing. That is all I'm really asking from people. I had a lot of issues with it myself, but I am looking forward to checking out the next couple episodes. At the very least, I want to see the episode that Jonathan Frakes directed.

In other places on the net, I've brought up my valid criticisms with the episode and have had people wave it off and say something like "Whatever, it was fun". Talk about a conversation stopper.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 2:08am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc

"I actually agree with you about the prejudging of ST Discovery. You won't see me doing it, and I'd go so far as to say it's off topic in this thread."

Won't comment on the first sentence :-)

But I agree completely on the second. Next, people are going complain that "the nay-sayers are butting into every discussion", even though (a) it was they who brought the specific subject up and (b) they actually brought it up on a thread for another show.

There *is* a Discovery discussion thread, people (and really, I don't think this "debate" should be taken there, either. Have pity on that dead horse, will ya?)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 2:43am (UTC -6)
@Cosmic

"And I was being cordial, especially considering that you took an off-hand general statement to heart..."

I'm sorry, but you weren't.

And that "off-hand general statement" was a running theme through your posts. I found it very off-putting and more than a tad disrespectful.
Cosmic
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 2:55am (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"I'm sorry, but you weren't.

And that "off-hand general statement" was a running theme through your posts. I found it very off-putting and more than a tad disrespectful."

I'm sorry, but as I said before, your comment that one of my arguments was "utterly hilarious" was off-putting and more than a tad disrespectful. It also wasn't cool to lump one of Jammer's reviews into the conversation. You did nothing to explain yourself on that one.
SC
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 7:09am (UTC -6)
It wasn't that bad. The design of the aliens was decent, as were the costumes. I liked the plot and the fully grown tree was clever and visually impressive. If only Seth had lost the childish humour and written some clever humour instead.

It's basically him living out his dream as a starship captain, and I thought it was okay. It could be a lot better but it was fun.
Cosmic
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 8:29am (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

Actually, forget I said anything, because the off-putting thing for me is being called out yet again in regards to a conversation that I've politely ended - more than once, btw. It's a little weird at this point.

Please stop. Thanks.
Yanks
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 10:44am (UTC -6)
methane,

"Well...Farscape could be just as crude as this episode. They certainly weren't afraid of making fun of bodily functions. But their humor was always more organic than Orville's shown. Actually, in terms of tone, Farscape is probably a good comparison to Orville, in that both want to mix humor and drama. Farscape could do both really well. Orville's pilot episode doesn't give me hope that it will do either well. Farscape also seemed fresh and original, despite the fact that it uses many familiar science fiction elements*. Orville went out of its way not to seem original."

FarScape, especially when it started out, wasn't trying to be funny. WE thought the quirks of their "universe" had it's funny parts. Orville is a different attack here, they ARE trying to be funny as they tell a story. The Orville is billed as a comedy/SCI-FI mix, FarScape was not; nor should it have been.

"To be fair, FarScape took about half a season to start to click. But it always felt like it had more potential than this Orville episode shows."

It took about half a season to get used to :-) Man, it was light-years different than anything else. I probably would agree about potential. I think we've already seen what we are going to get with The Orville. Not saying that it bad, but I don't expect a character like Scorpios to show up.

*Farscape might not seem as fresh to people starting it now, as the first Guardians of the Galaxy film felt like a Farscape rip-off (I haven't seen the 2nd movie yet).

-------------------------------------------------------------

"Everything I watched with [Brannon Braga] at or close to the helm was terribad: Voyager, Enterprise, that Dinosaur thing a few years back, Salem..."

Looking over his credits, I was interested in "Threshold, "FlashForward" & "Terra Nova", to some extent. "Terra Nova" was probably the worst; I think the writers were told it had to be kid-friendly, and they felt that meant bland and unchallenging. I'm not predisposed to hate something Braga's involved in. However, if he's involved in a Star Trek clone, I would like to know what new inspiration he's had since he last worked on Enterprise.
Yanks
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 10:46am (UTC -6)
This is where an edit function would be nice.

Disregard everything after my Scorpios remark.

Sorry.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 10:53am (UTC -6)
@Cosmics

"Actually, forget I said anything, because the off-putting thing for me is being called out yet again in regards to a conversation that I've politely ended - more than once, btw"

When did that happen?

You basically said: "I see you took offense for no good reason, so let's close the discussion. Oh, and by the way, here is my last word: [more of the same condecending stuff]"

And you're seriously calling this "politely ending the conversation"?

But whatever.

From now on, I'll respect your wishes and not drag this any further.
Peter G.
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 12:18pm (UTC -6)
I finally got around to watching "Old Wounds" last night. I don't normally review episodes, but what the heck. Maybe like some others I have a dream that MacFarlane lurks here and will take my review to heart (uh-huh). I'll preface this by saying that despite never having seen a trailor I felt I knew what I'd be getting coming in, because MacFarlane seems interested in only delivering one product and I figured this would be it, repackaged. I was not wrong. The last major thing of his I saw was "A Million Ways to Die in the West" in the cinema, and that will come into play below.

What The Orville definitely is: a Star Trek clone, very deliberately paying homage to or even simply lifting the setting from Trek. I'd say it's pushing past the point of copyright infringement but let's ignore that since I'm positive about fan films in general. It is also definitely supposed to be a comedy; it's not a serious story with jokes, it is definitively a 'jokey' show. The best comparison I would make isn't with Farscape but rather Red Dwarf, and in more ways than one.

What The Orville is not: well thought-out, meaningful, or intelligent. That doesn't automatically mean bad, by the way, as one can make excellent fluff. But in terms of the show's message, it most certainly IS NOT delivering some kind of important message about humanity, the world, or even the future. It's just a light romp, much like "Million Ways..." And in fact, it shares not only the tone and style of that film, but also MacFarlane's stock characters, most importantly, himself. It's funny to say, but he, himself, seems to be a stock character that he recycles over and over, like a comedian trotting out a bit that got him laughs ten years ago and hopes it still will. If you're a legend like Jerry Seinfeld you do that because the audience clamors for it. If you're not, you should be writing new material and re-inventing your material all the time. The Orville seems to indeed tell a message about the future: that everything is recycled.

Both "Million Ways..." and The Orville share a style in common: they have anachronistic characters who speak and act exactly like modern people (usually stoners), set in an era where it's entirely out of place. If I had to define The Orville in one sentence, it would be Dumbasses in Space, not unlike the film classic Prometheus. Miss Piggy would blush. The one-note joke of people having banal values in the face of incredible events is central to both of these MacFarlane ventures, and on a personal note it comes across to me as a kind of self-aggrandizement. It feels like MacFarlane has a person style of comedic delivery and manner, and has decided to people the past and the future with puppets of his own humor. I don't get the sense from either of the helmsmen, for instance, that they're their own people; they seem to be mouthpieces for 'MacFarlane humor'. The only statement being made there is "I'm awesome, right???" The self-deprecating humor only seems to emphasize the narcissistic nature of the writing as being more or less MacFarlane having everyone involved act out a fantasy of his.

Back for a moment to the topic of what message this show seems to convey, if anything it's a depressing one. It basically says that people are who they are and will never change. It even seems to celebrate that fact. They will be making lame penis jokes until kingdom come and will care more about drinking soda than helping people even in four hundred years. That may look funny on paper but to me it's scandalous. It's one thing to say 'this isn't Trek', but if anything its content is defiantly anti-Trek, spitting on the idea of humanity advancing over the centuries and becoming something better. Can better humanity have dirty jokes? You bet. Will it care more about making jokes than teaching values? I hope not. It's depressing to think of the people in the reality of this show. Red Dwarf was also all about taking the piss out of values and formality, but the difference there was that Lister's behavior was definitively understood as being out of place and irreverent. The actual joke there is how ill-suited he is to running a space ship, and how preposterous he is in that setting. But The Orville has none of this irony and simply takes it in stride that the helmsmen of our future's finest are crude, assholish (by their own admission) and seem utterly unenthused by anything going on. They look downright bored most of the time. This is what the future looks like? Really? I know that's the entire joke, and it's a joke with the audience at the butt of it (get it? I can partake of body humor too). And a brief sidebar about the drinking and driving scene: it's can't be passed off as 'just a joke'. It's not funny. I thought none of the jokes in the show were funny, but that's not my main beef. The scene didn't show a guy with a problem (even portrayed in a fun way), it portrayed a guy Too Kool for School, who is so superior to ordinary people that he get totally handle his liquor. This message isn't merely that he's a goof but is good at his job anyhow; you can't control the message like that. What people will take away from it is what many already believe: drinking and driving isn't good for *other people* because they suck, but *I can totally handle it* because I'm a badass just like this guy. It is literally an instruction that rules are only for lame people. People will watch a show like this and come out with an idea that this is being condoned, and especially kids/teenagers who idolize sci-fi characters are going to want to emulate it. It's not just sloppy, or even irresponsible writing: it's disgraceful. Seth may think he's a Trek fan, but if this is his way of showing it the legacy doesn't need him.

Overall I thought the humor was uninspired, the characters flat, and mostly just existed as props for MacFarlane's jokes. The visual effects were 'ok' but not interesting in their own right, and the space battle was choreographed with all the subtlety of a whale dropping on your car. The only nifty bit was the "donkey" maneuver, but even then it's just a direct lift of bits from the DS9 alternate universe Defiant-Klingon battle, and from Babylon 5 where the Rangers demonstrate the exact same technique of flying super-close to an enemy ship. So it's an ok idea, although still completely derivative. I found the aliens kind of bland, and although I liked the idea of an asshole robot on board it was neutralized by the fact that everyone else was an asshole too, so he didn't stand out much in that regard. The fan service of including Kasidy and Mr. Bashir is cute, but honestly winking and nodding at the audience should be a sign a respect and yet not much in the episode was respectful, so that's a fail to me in terms of it making a difference.

My #1 gripe is MacFarlane himself. I don't think he's funny, but you know what - that doesn't matter. It doesn't have to be funny to me to be good. Characters trying to be funny and failing can still work. The problem is what some others have pointed out: this guy is a godawful actor. He can barely deliver even basic lines with any kind of conviction, no less gravitas. The scenes of him discovering his wife in bed with Papa Smurf (an illogical anachronistic reference) and then meeting her again years later contained no emotional backstory, no feelings to speak of, and was just a jabber-fest of quirky lines. I don't know if MacFarlane has ever gone through a horrible divorce before or not, but as an actor he's simply not skilled enough to portray that kind of thing. It's actually embarrassing to watch him try, to be honest. In an acting class with beginners one will often be a little embarrassed for them as they try to do difficult acting work and fail utterly, but that's cool; you're all there to learn and get better. When that same thing happens on screen of a big-budget show, oh man. It's really hard to watch.

My overall rating on the Jammer scale: 1 star, for reasonable (but far below DS9 or Voyager) production values and at least a semblance of cast camaraderie as they tried to make the comedy scenes work.
Robert
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 12:25pm (UTC -6)
@Cosmic -

"Great! Which is one of the big reasons why I take issue with the pre-judgments that I've seen regarding Discovery. Some fans (not anyone I've necessarily seen around here) are deciding to write off the show just because the Klingons look different. That kind of attitude baffles me. Give the show a chance and if it works, it works."

What does works mean? For me... in order for this show to work it will have to heavily respect existing canon. Is it possible to do that AND redesign the Klingons. Sure. Is a good sign? No it is not.

And ya, it's sort of OT here but.... I feel like in a lot of ways for many of us it's going to be ORV or DSC (or possibly neither). They are vying for the position of what we want in a Star Trek successor. I'm becoming increasingly sure that neither of them is going to be what I personally would want out of a Star Trek successor, but we'll see. I'll continue to monitor the situation.

But regardless I expect a lot of compare/contrast over the next year. And I don't know it that's OT.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 2:44pm (UTC -6)
"They are vying for the position of what we want in a Star Trek successor. I'm becoming increasingly sure that neither of them is going to be what I personally would want out of a Star Trek successor..."

I don't think there are many people out there who are seriously claiming the Orville is a worthy Star Trek successor.

But you gotta admit, it hits many of the right notes that Discovery doesn't. And it's not a bad show. If people stopped expecting the Orville to be as deep or meaningful or complex as old-school Star Trek, they would enjoy it a lot more.

I'll close with a bold prediction:

Within a few years, you'll get your "worthy Star Trek successor" and it will be breath-takingly wonderful. Either CBS straightens-up in the face of the competition and starts producing offical Trek worthy of the name, or some new excellent show will fill the same niche.

After the Orville opened the way, what I've just said is inevitable. It is just a matter of time.
Robert
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 3:16pm (UTC -6)
I don't mean successor in the sense of worthiness, I more mean that many of us have waited a really, really long time for something that scratches that itch. I bailed on ENT in S2, so for me the last time I was regularly watching Star Trek was like 2003? After having done so for almost 15 years straight?

So when I say successor I more mean for the audience.

"But you gotta admit, it hits many of the right notes that Discovery doesn't. And it's not a bad show. If people stopped expecting the Orville to be as deep or meaningful or complex as old-school Star Trek, they would enjoy it a lot more."

Ya, this! This is what I mean. So far the Orville sense of humor is putting me off of it, but it's hitting a lot of the right notes that DSC doesn't sound like it will. That's exactly what I'm thinking.

Some people will watch Orville because they want the "light hearted exploration". Some people will watch DSC (though I've personally been calling it STD, so maybe I should stop finding Orville's humor so off putting...) because they are desperate for new Trek and may or may not find what they are looking for.

"Within a few years, you'll get your "worthy Star Trek successor" and it will be breath-takingly wonderful. Either CBS straightens-up in the face of the competition and starts producing offical Trek worthy of the name, or some new excellent show will fill the same niche."

Sign me up. I don't care if it's a modern TNG or a modern DS9... I'll take it.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 4:10pm (UTC -6)
Robert, you've said earlier that you decided not to watch the Orville. But from your later posts, it seems that you decided to give the series a chance.

Did you change your mind? If so, I'll be really interested in hearing your opinion on episode #2, which - in my view - is actually about something (two "somethings" actually).
Cosmic
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 5:15pm (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"When did that happen?"

I said in my last big comment: "Let's just try to leave it at that. We seem to be on the same page on a lot of things, we just also have different approaches to television shows."

Also said earlier "I figured I had politely closed up the conversation quite nicely and said my piece, but OK." and closed with "Both shows will have their own merits/faults and I hope both shows are worth watching."

"You basically said: "I see you took offense for no good reason, so let's close the discussion. Oh, and by the way, here is my last word: [more of the same condecending stuff]"

If you actually had a problem with one of my points, I feel like you would've brought it up then, not after the fact. SlackerInc's issue with it felt genuine, this kinda felt like spiteful faux-outrage. If you were *actually* offended by one of my points, then I'm sorry. I meant no offense to anyone.

And it's not a condescending thing, it's a "Give it a rest and agree to disagree" thing. If you actually read my comments, I've been complimenting on your replies and points throughout them.

"From now on, I'll respect your wishes and not drag this any further."

Thanks. I appreciate that. As I've said multiple times now, I'm looking forward to giving Orville more of a chance - I hear the next episode is better than the pilot.
Mouse
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 12:01am (UTC -6)
Despite its many warts, I kind of loved this. McFarlane gets to star in his own trek fanfic and that's charming. It wasn't great. But I dig it anyway.
SlackerInc
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 4:39am (UTC -6)
@Peter G: "It is also definitely supposed to be a comedy; it's not a serious story with jokes, it is definitively a 'jokey' show."

You can't argue taste: if you hated it, I can't say you're wrong.  So this is the one point in your "review" that I will contest.  "Supposed to be" is in the intent of MacFarlane, and he said:

"Star Trek has chosen to go along a different path or try something different than what they’ve done before, which is great. But it’s also left a wide, open space for the kind of episodic science fiction that they used to do, and I still have a huge appetite for that. I feel like a lot of people, a lot of fans do as well."
Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2017/09/16/seth-macfarlane-on-the-orville-going-boldly-where-no-tv-show-has-gone-before/#619d85c05357

Unless you think he takes earlier Trek shows as comedies?

I think this becomes more clear in the second episode, by the way.  There are jokes there, but overall it definitely leans toward the "dram" in "dramedy".  In particular, the whole crisis the young lieutenant faces regarding her first command can hardly be said to be the stuff of comedy.
Peter G.
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 8:54am (UTC -6)
@ SlackerInc,

I can't claim to read his mind, but from that quote it sounds to me that MacFarlane is referring to the *structure* of the show: new plots each week, no long arcs, quasi-resets with the characters (maybe), and being able to even watch episodes out of order and have it still be ok. But he doesn't seem to be speaking about the *tone* of the show. And episodic can be anything from a sitcom to a cop drama, so by stating he wants the TNG/TOS episode structure that still leaves open what kind of show it will play as. To me his style is definitively comedy, even though he tries to push serious material in with it. But even comedies tend to include serious material, so that doesn't break the definition. Having seen some of MacFarlane's work (not all) it seems to me that his pieces never stop being comedies. No matter how hard he tries to have the 'serious factor' cranked up at times, the context of the piece being basically silly seems to never go away. He basically can't not write comedy, and that's fine, he's a comedian. Nothing wrong with that, I only mentioned it because I really, really don't see the Old Wounds as a dramedy. I haven't seen the 2nd ep yet and am debating whether I should, but I'd be very surprised if MacFarlane weaned himself off of writing comedy scripts. To be honest, it would play to his weakness if he did, as serious material isn't what he's got in him to portray in my opinion. He's better off keeping it a comedy show.
Jason R.
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 9:13am (UTC -6)
I have been debating whether or not to see this show. The premise is interesting, but my main hesitation is MacFarlane. I don't hate the man or his work. I have liked Family Guy at times and was even a fan of his offbeat Oscar hosting performance.

But there's no question when I watch his stuff, even when I enjoy it (like with sone Family Guy or American Dad) I feel dirty like there's this ugly film over his material and I feel soiled for watching it.

MacFarlane's characters aren't just irreverent or silly or parodies (like with Simpsons or Futurama) they're contemptible, even ugly. I echo Peter's point that MacFarlane's ethos is really the anti Trek. He takes something banal and really nasty in the modern culture, amplifies it and then projects it onto everyone, everywhere. It's not souless - it has a soul and it's vile and depressing.

Much of his work seems an exercise in persuading the audience that we're all as vulgur, vapid and empty as he is (or wants us to think he is). I also think alot of his stuff is straight up misogynistic, and that's not an accusation I make lightly.
Chrome
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 11:20am (UTC -6)
@Jason R.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I was thinking of writing something similar, but I don't think I could've done it as eloquently. I might eventually check this out because my wife loves MacFarlane's humor and won't watch any ST besides the movies. But, I'm more excited about Discovery, especially after reading the published episode summaries that OTDP posted the other day.
Robert
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 11:29am (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi - I haven't watched it yet, no. I like the idea of what they are trying to do... but Seth MacFarlane's humor meets TNG doesn't sound any more delicious to me personally than chocolate and olives. That said, I'm not totally opposed, just watching the ratings/reviews and thinking on it. I do get that there are things it's doing well though.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 4:47pm (UTC -6)
@Jason R.

You might be surprised.

The typical "McFarlane humor" is *very* toned down in the Orville. It's still there, of-course, but it's far less cringe-worthy then - say - Family Guy.

And keep in mind another thing: For some odd reason, the really heavy McFarlane-type jokes tend to cluster in the beginning of the episodes. So before you decide to quit the show after 5 minutes of watching, remember that the first 5 minutes are not representative of the whole thing.

(I have no idea why they're doing it in this way, but it happened in both episodes 1 and 2 so I assume it's intentional)




OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 4:49pm (UTC -6)
@Chrome

"But, I'm more excited about Discovery, especially after reading the published episode summaries that OTDP posted the other day."

Those were not "episode summaries". They were guesses made by the press based on the episode titles.

Sadly, you won't see any "episode summaries" before the premiere on Sept. 24 due to the review embargo.
Chrome
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 4:55pm (UTC -6)
Yes, the titles too. Thanks for reminding me.
SlackerInc
Thu, Sep 21, 2017, 3:29pm (UTC -6)
So far, the joke volume also seems to be decreasing over the season as well. The second episode had fewer than the pilot; and all accounts from critics who got advance episodes are that the third episode is VERY serious.

@Jason R: I know just what you mean about the "ugly film" and it's very well put. That led me to stop watching "Family Guy" years ago, even though I laughed at it (and often felt dirty, as you say). So far with this show, I feel that not only are the jokes much fewer (and on a decreasing trajectory), they don't seem nearly as ugly/dirty. FWIW, JMO.
Brian S.
Fri, Sep 22, 2017, 4:00pm (UTC -6)
I liked the pilot episode enough. Not blow-me-away great, but watchable and entertaining enough....even if a little groan worthy.

I think the best description of --and hope for--The Orville is not TNG, but rather a serialized Galaxy Quest.

Galaxy Quest wasn't great or earth-shattering, but it was good and watchable (and importantly, re-watchable).

GQ was most definitely a copy/homage/parody of Star Trek. It had some good humor, some bland humor, and also some juvenile groan-worthy humor....but it worked.

Despite being an obvious comedic parody, GQ also had its own feel and managed to be interesting in its own light. In between jokes, it had some heart and some enjoyable drama/non-parody moments. The writing, acting, and story were all done quite well.

That, I think, is the path the Orville needs to follow.

For me, the big question here is: How long can you make a parody copy of a copy work for?

Galaxy Quest was entertaining.....for about 100 minutes. I'm still entertained by the Orville after ~120 minutes. How well is The Orville schtick going to hold up after 7 hours? 13 hours? 20 hours?
Eric
Tue, Sep 26, 2017, 10:59pm (UTC -6)
Jammer, I couldn't disagree with you more. I loove sci-fi comedy: Red Dwarf, Futurama, Rick & Morty, and now this. It's funny and entertaining. Your problem is is that you're jaded and you overthink everything.
JonJon
Thu, Sep 28, 2017, 8:00pm (UTC -6)
I'll say one thing after watching episode 1 and 2 of STD and all 3 episodes of The Orville its absolutely refreshing to watch something that is more light-hearted and positive than 98% of all the garbage that Hollywood has regurgitated over the last 10 years with their 'remakes of remakes' and dark, brooding, shaky cam, dystopia, over-dramatic, taking everything way to serious, etc etc etc.
It's nice to watch a show that leaves you with a 'feel good' feeling after instead of having to watch all this 'dark' crap and feel like you want to go slit your wrists.
We are constantly bombarded with negative crap on a constant daily basis so this is a nice escape.
The numbers speak for themselves with the audience giving The Orville 89% and STD 63%

As of right now this is where things stand but we'll see how things go for the rest of the series
The Orville 7 out 10
STD 5 out 10
Paul Allen
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
Followed jammers reviews on my 700-odd episode rewatch of the ST universe series. So glad he's reviewing The Orville and letting people comment, feels good. :)

First episode was quite enjoyable, makes me want more. :)
intro2001
Sun, Oct 1, 2017, 12:41am (UTC -6)
I get the comments on the first show - it's SO much humour that some people are uncomfortable with (lots of drug & fart humour passed off as something witty) And honestly, even on that level, it's 'meh' at best - Ratings seemed to be sufficient it will have a season or so to get it right.
I can appreciate that Seth Mcfarlane LOVES Star Trek and this is a love-letter to TNG.
The trailers for Star Trek: Discovery made it look so bad that I really was looking forward to Star Trek as a comedy - It's just not that funny.
FlyingSquirrel
Tue, Oct 3, 2017, 1:39pm (UTC -6)
I watched the pilot over the weekend. I thought it was okay as light, breezy sci-fi, though I'm not sure I'll keep watching or how likely it is that it will last more than a season or two. One way I could see it working, however, is if they stay with the idea of exploring what life is like for the third- and- fourth-stringers of Starfl -- er, I mean, the Planetary Union. Past Trek series (I haven't started watching Discovery yet) have focused on crews that are either selected for their supposed exceptional qualities (all the Enterprises) and/or are in a particularly unique and critical situation (DS9 and Voyager). But what about the crews that don't get all the most important missions and are just doing their best at more ordinary assignments? That could get boring, of course, but it might be good if the characters are interesting enough and they find the right approach to the humor.
Brontodon
Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 8:17pm (UTC -6)
I've noticed that on the desk in his office (i.e., "ready room), Mercer has a little model of the original Wright brothers flyer. Presumably the Orville takes its name from the younger Wright brother. Does anyone know why this is so?
Dusty
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 11:31pm (UTC -6)
I'm going to opt out of this one, and here's why. I have never found Seth MacFarlane to be funny, interesting, or even particularly talented. I think 'Family Guy' is an unfunny, lazy, and downright nasty show that oozes contempt for its audience. I think his success is thoroughly undeserved, and I have not an iota of interest in seeing him try to carry off a live action Star Trek parody / ripoff / homage / mishmash or whatever it's supposed to be. Even if the show's temperament and humor are substantially different from 'Family Guy' - which seems apparent - I feel like I'd be somehow condoning or encouraging him by watching. And I'd really prefer that Seth, and the whole style of humor he's developed and popularized, just go away.

But for those of you who are watching and will continue to do so, I hope that you find something to enjoy in 'The Orville'. :D
SarahMae
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 4:45pm (UTC -6)
Jammer's reviewing this weird piece of televised fan fiction?

...

Dang. I was out after the pilot (which...not great), but now I might actually have to watch this thing after discovering these.
SlackerInc
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 6:22pm (UTC -6)
@Dusty: I appreciate your honest commentary, because I think it illuminates what is going on with the critics, whether consciously (meaning dishonestly in their case, because unlike you they won’t admit it) or unconsciously. The reviews would be quite different, I firmly believe, if McFarlane’s involvement were secret (meaning, I suppose, he would have to play the captain as an alien, behind a mask or heavy makeup).
Skonto
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 8:54am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc

'The reviews would be quite different, I firmly believe, if MacFarlane’s involvement were secret'

I agree with this statement 100%. People hear the name Seth MacFarlane, and immediately think of Family Guy, which is understandable. And it seems most people either love or hate Family Guy and that clouds their judgement of this show.

It's nothing like Family Guy, other than the occaisonal crude joke, and if he wasn't involved, I'm sure it would have been recieved very differently than it has been.

Personally I like Family Guy and American Dad, but I think The Cleveland show and his movies have all sucked, so I don't love him or hate him, and I'm judging the show on what it is, not by who made it. Too bad some people can't do that.

For this episode, I give it 2 stars. Not that good, but not that bad.

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