[Poll] Star Trek: Discovery vs. Orville


That is a crap list, and you have to watch ads. Hulu gives me recent shows from multiple networks at least and it includes Orville.


So I’m of German Irish heritage and joke about eating sausage all the time. Also about distant family being Nazis, drinking, things being inefficient (in an over the top German accent), it goes on.

So I’m an internalized racist against myself?

I married into a Mexican family. Its tacos and tequila shots and mariachi music at every family gathering. People poke fun at Mexicans all the time for these stereotypes. Are they racist because they fit the stereotypes?

Is it only racist if its a criticism or negative? Is it intent? Is it if it makes even one person uncomfortable? If its well delivered? The tone its delivered in?

Seems kinda complicated to me. I’m not sure it can be easily defined, or recognized.


A common definition involves power dynamics. Being German isn’t really associated with a centuries-long history of oppression, colonization, and other forms of power theft. On the other hand, due to things like the Spanish invasion of Central America and the ongoing mistreatment of Latinos in the US stemming mostly from prejudiced attitudes by the empowered classes here (mostly white), being Mexican is far and away associated with less power, usually at the hands of whites.

A lot of folks don’t love these power-based definitions. I don’t even adhere to them all the time and I’m the liberal superapocalypse. But yeah.


I can understand where that definition is coming from.


So you’ve got an interesting dynamic when it comes to Asians in particular. While there’s absolutely a history of oppression there–bringing in Chinese immigrants by the truckload to build our railroads as cut-rate labor in backbreaking conditions wasn’t great, and the folks throwing away their life savings to pile into a shipping container operated by probable-sex-traffickers on the 20% chance they’ll actually reach our shores alive and unenslaved aren’t having a lot of fun), but you could argue that in general, Asian-American populations have done remarkably well for themselves in the US, accrued a lot of wealth and education, and are generally viewed positively. The wildly imbalanced power dynamic there isn’t as clear as it is with, say, blacks.

But on the flipside, Asian Americans, if I recall some numbers i read ages ago well, aren’t terribly well represented in upper management/control type positions and do still face some negative stereotypes (dick jokes ahoy!). Hell, even our “positive” stereotypes–all Asians are good at math!–can be damaging; imagine how shitty it feels to be the Asian kid at class who sucks balls at math. In the same way that patriarchal power dynamics can be damaging to men: men are STRONK, seems great, until you realize no one ever taught you how to express your feelings of sadness and pain in a healthy way as a kid because boys aren’t supposed to cry and now you’re blowing $1000/mo on your therapist and gun range habit.


This made me laugh out loud. Thank you sir.

Thanks for linking to that list @Razgon. There are some older shows on that list that I did plan to check out some day. The Good Wife got good reviews, for instance, and they have all the episodes available. I watched the first season of Everybody Hates Chris back in the day, and they seem to have all seasons available. As much as I loved Frasier back in the day, I don’t think I can justify the time cost of revisiting it. But there’s other shows from an older era that I’d be curious to at least try out. Like they have all the episodes of Family Ties. In the 80s, when I caught an episode or two, I thought it was hilarious. But I wonder if it would hold up. Same with Beauty and the Beast from the 80s. When I used to watch as a kid, I loved that show, but I only saw the first season, I think. But I do wonder if that will hold up. I kind of doubt it, but hey, one of the writers on the show was GRRM, so maybe the writing still shines through?


I’m here to serve!


Yeah it’s very complicated. I guess when it comes down to it’s “try not to be a dick” is a good rule, right? The only thing is sometimes people tell you if something bothers them, sometimes you don’t know you’re doing a thing that’s wrong until someone else tells you it’s wrong. No big deal, right?

It’s a little different when you ‘make fun of yourself’. I think the important thing is who you make fun of. For example, I am Hispanic-Chinese, I joke about ‘Spanish time’. The other party has to decide if I’m making a joke saying I’m one of ‘us’, then it’s kinda ok. If I’m making the joke saying it’s one of THEM, and that WE are better than those people, then it’s not so nice.

As for the ‘good at math’ thing I don’t like it now because I realize the problems with ‘model minority.’ It’s like being brought up to the front of the class and being told you’re a teacher’s pet, you’re sooooo much better than those uppity blacks and lazy browns. Why don’t they learn how to behave well? I’m not saying this is the intent of everyone who brings it up, but it certainly is part of the effect.

edit: also to be in thread, I skipped E2 just to watch E3 and still not convinced. Laying an egg, ugh I can’t roll my eyes enough.


Episode 4 was good, much better than the Egg/sex change 2 parter.


The results of this poll convinced me that I had to give Orville a chance.

In some ways I was pleasantly surprised:

  • It’s a future where everything is white. This is such a fundamental part of Star Trek that I can’t imagine how anyone would get it wrong, but they often do. Unless you’re deliberately trying to make your show dark (DS9), put lots of bright lights in it.
  • Seth MacFarlane and the people working for him know their Trek. They did everything possible to follow in the footsteps of the old shows, from the music to the filming locations. He worked in many homages with a subtlety that I didn’t expect from him.
  • MacFarlane knows his reality TV. Out of everything he had to choose from, that one fight from Real Housewives of New Jersey was the perfect thing to pick. OMG, the Giudices and their antics, amirite?
  • The dick and fart jokes didn’t bother me too much. But this wasn’t what worried me about him.

However, my fears proved to be correct in a lot of ways:

  • The characters are not the kind of losers I can identify with, like on Red Dwarf. They’re just boring, trashy people. Anyone who’s social life revolves around “remember that one time I was drunk/high” stories is not interesting to me.
  • Star Trek could be heavy-handed at times, but MacFarlane smashes his audience with steel gauntlets. The first half of episode 4 had less subtlety than Soviet propaganda. I have no idea about the second half, because what was the point of watching? I get it. Global warming is bad. I don’t need to be convinced. Why watch the end of it? Just to see more stereotypes of rural Americans?
  • MacFarlane is doing all the writing himself, but he’s not a person who has ideas worth exploring. He’s just a guy who writes cartoons who was lucky enough to get famous.

He’s done a great job setting up the show, but to me it’s unwatchable until he brings in some other writers. What Orville needs is a Gene Coon who can take the show that somebody else created and actually write decent episodes for it.


Wait, you thought episode 4 was about global warming? I didn’t get that at all. Fascinating

For me it was a straight up remake of a Classic TOS episode.

What was the original about, then? Certainly not global warming. It was the 60s, maaaaaaaan. It was more about rejecting blind authority and thinking for yourself.


When I see religious hillbillies with shotguns refusing to accept the scientific truth that they’re doomed unless they change course, it reminds me too much of 2010s culture wars. The TOS episode is still relevant because it’s not stuck in 1968. At least I don’t think it was. I wasn’t alive back then, so maybe there’s a lot of TOS that went over my head.


Religious hillbillies have been refusing to accept truth for a lot longer than 7 years.


Well they were all hillbillies, it was the cult stuff that differentiated them. So if anything it showed that hillbillies CAN think for themselves and whatnot (i.e. the resistance).

I didn’t see any parallels to global warming.


That was hilarious, thanks for linking that :D

Oh no guess I am racist

Oh and voted Orville. Bit of hit and miss with humor there but I enjoyed it a lot, particularly second and third episodes. Discovery not as much.


@Paul_cze if you are laughing at jokes belittling another race and you are proud of it and happy to announce it publicly then yes indeed you are a racist. Pretty much a textbook definition of a racist.

If you made these types of jokes in a workplace, you would be reprimanded and then if you continued you’d fired. Or at least you would in any workplace worth working in or any workplace a member of the targeted minority group would want to work in. I’m not sure you think it’s okay for Seth MacFarlane to be making them on national television. Or maybe you’d be perfectly happy watching someone at your workplace make these types of jokes at a co-worker’s expense – which again, pretty clearly means you are a racist.

From the US Government’s EEOC.



I am laughing at jokes that make fun of stereotypes about all kinds of people and races including my own, yes.

Also, fuck off with your highhorsy wrongthinking bullshit.


If you smirk at Eddie Murphy’s impression of a Jamaican guy picking up your girlfriend, you are a racist.

If you chuckle at Margaret Cho’s jokes about an overbearing mother, you are a racist.

If you ever laugh at Homer trying to feed Ali’s statue of Ganesh a peanut, you are a racist.

If you guffaw at anything in Blazing Saddles, you are a racist.

If Sacha Baron’s portrayal of Borat makes you laugh, you are a racist.

If Harold and Kumar’s jokes about Indians and Asians make you snigger, you are a racist. Wait, you can’t use the word snigger as a synonym for laugher, that’s racist.

Am I getting it so far? Cause I laughed at all those things. What jokes am I allowed to laugh at with out being a racist? Can we get a list or rule clarification? I want to make sure I’m not a racist.


This is probably not going to convince any Seth-haters, but its an interesting interview with Adrianne Palicki (cast member).

There’s such an earnest optimism to this TV series that’s not around much anymore. Did you know that you’d be exploring the hopeful side of sci-fi?

PALICKI: Seth will tell you that he got so sick of all these dark, futuristic movies about devastation and the world ending. Why can’t we have a future that is about space, and that’s interesting, goes to different worlds and planets, and is bright and happy? That’s how I felt when I watched the pilot, originally. I felt like I was watching a show from my childhood, in the late ‘80s, sitting there with my parents and having that hopeful, good feeling. To me, that was what drew me to it. It’s hopeful, it’s bright and it’s happy.


Maybe not convinced, but I will say it’s the first thing I’ve read that makes me think it might be worth my time.