Posts Tagged ‘The Orville

24
Oct
17

It’s Pilot Season – 2017

The Fall 2017 television season is upon us. And that means we’re inundated with the worst the networks have to offer. Each year brings us new series; a few will be great, but most will be unwatchable trash. There’s far too many horrible series out there for me to review them all. So, I’ve decided to watch the three pilots that had the most promotional advertising of this season and review them. Please note, my reviews are not necessarily what I think of the entire series, but simply my thoughts on the pilot episode.

The Orville

Unabashed Star Trek fan Seth MacFarlane’s new series sees him as the captain of an intergalactic vessel charting the galaxy in a comedic fashion. I am absolutely not a fan of MacFarlane’s work. Family Guy is one of the most insipid, vacuous excuses for a TV show of all time. Ted was nothing more than a live-action version of his crassest jokes with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. So, I was not looking forward to this series. On the other hand, I, too, am an unabashed Star Trek fan, and since we haven’t had a Star Trek series on TV in 12 years, I decided this was as close as it was going to get, so I gave it a shot. (Yes, I am aware Star Trek Discovery started this year, but I’m not going to pay for CBS’ shitty streaming service to watch it.)

To my surprise, The Orville wasn’t half-bad. The concept is exactly the same as what you’d find on Star Trek. MacFarlane captains a starship filled with a variety of alien species as they explore the universe. The main gag here is that MacFarlane’s first officer is his ex-wife, whom he hates because she cheated on him. The show presents her as maybe not all that bad, but it’s hard to feel sympathy for her since she’s a cheater. MacFarlane gives a restrained performance, pretty much playing himself and not Peter Griffin. He’s even likable, as he is sensible with the crew and his actions.

The pilot episode features the crew discovering a time-altering device, which is coveted by the deadly alien species, the Krill. They battle it out on land and in space, and use the device to save the day. The writing was pretty solid, the action was serviceable, and the interactions of the crew were believable. But this is a comedy, right? Yeah, there is a hefty helping of comedy, but it doesn’t get so loopy as to take the audience out of the show. They don’t have cut-away gags, and they don’t have any jokes about present-day Earth politics/people. Most of the jokes arise out of the situation, and nothing feels totally out of place. Thankfully, MacFarlane left all his shit jokes for his other projects.

The Orville was much better than I expected, and I plan to check out the next episode. It certainly felt more like Star Trek than the reboot films, and that is definitely a good thing.

Verdict: Average

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