The Orville - Seth MacFarlane takes on Star Trek


I agree completely. Both of the doctor’s sons have had episodes that were at least partially focused on them, and both actors did a great job in every episode where they were featured. They act like real kids, with real kid reactions to their situations, and while that may seem simplistic and obvious, given the level of the script writing and adult acting on this show, it’s no small feat.

That said, The Orville tends to lean on the doctor and her family a little too much. ST:TNG was great in part because it often put members of the bridge crew and/or supporting cast in situations where they had to rely on each other to escape/resolve a situation and learn/discover things about one another while doing so, and in turn it made viewers connect with and like the crew more. The Orville doesn’t do this very effectively. It’s had a couple of moments, mostly with Commander Grayson, Lt. Alara and now the new security chief Lt. Keyali, but honestly, they could shoot Seth MacFarlane’s character or the wacky pilot guy in the head and I wouldn’t miss them the following episode. Even Bortus is starting to get boring.




The entire cast is better than MacFarlane, including the redhaired pilot I kind of detest and the black engineer who used to be a pilot that they keep forgetting to make interesting (and I can remember neither of these characters’ names).


i like the pilot and engineer but they are underused. in the first series they had some cool banter in a ‘lads bantering whilst inexplicably flying spaceships’ kinda way.
I hope they somehow reset and get isaac back. I enjoyed the bits where he just deadpans the fuck out of a scene, like referring to the doctors ‘less intelligent child’, and giving her parenting tips.

I feel like the show needs 4x as many actual funny lines than it has. I don’t need space battles or threats in this show, we have DS9 re-runs for that stuff. I’m here for the memes and poking affectionate fun at TNG.


That’s part of my problem with The Orville. It wants to be a space comedy but it also want to be taken seriously so it half asses its way through by trying to walk a line. Either embrace the weirdness and funny or make a legitimate sci fi series, trying to do both just doesn’t work for me.


Frustratingly, Scott Grimes is legitimately a great actor so the blame for his character has to lie on the show.

I watched the episode after people on here raved about it and in fairness, it was one of the best the Orville has had so far. But the limitations of the characters actively detracted from the episode. I fast forwarded through the long doctor-children scenes because it was just a bland pastiche of tropes with no depth, nuance or subtlety.

The show also continues to be routinely stupid (Ty escapes from the ship easily. Orville has no guards. Kaylons have no guards. Kaylons have no monitoring systems. Kaylons are short sighted androids that can’t see further than 40 feet. Orvilles sensors can detect everything ever but only when someone presses the button ‘find human child’ or ‘find skeletons’).

This just highlights why the Orville is frustrating. It can be good, it could be great, it’s usually banal and mediocre.


The Orville continues to be mediocre. While far from great, this was one of the better episodes, having actual things happening that aren’t just suburbia-on-a-spaceship. So that brings the episode count this season to approximately 50% decent and 50% terrible. The very definition of mediocre.

Having said that, I’m not gonna stop watching as long as they keep making it and they at least maintain that 50% ratio. It’s still 50% more ST:TNG-clone than I’m getting otherwise.


See, this is the real crime. All the dumb shit about TNG that is in the episode, as listed (kid escapes ship easily) can be made a joke of, but they just dont bother. Its like there is a major argument and power struggle in the writers room between someone who wants to write sci fi and someone who wants to be funny.
Red dwarf (UK version) managed this so much better (first 5 series, i cant speak to the new ones). It was a comedy show that happened to be in space, and regularly mocked the tropes, like the episode where they evacuate the ship because they detect 5 black holes ahead, which turn out to be some grit on the scanner scope.

I hope they sort out a direction for it by series 3, but FWIW I find it very watchable. I actually really like seth as captain, and Ive finally got over the first officer being distractingly good looking.


Heh, and for what it’s worth, I think I feel exactly the opposite of you, Cliff. If the show could just divest itself of the last few vestiges of MacFarlane’s shitty humor and shitty acting and just be the glorious TNG wankfest imitator-flattery it obviously wants to be so badly, it’d be fine!


Yeah, seems like the series is in this weird place, MacFarlane is a Star Trek fan, I dunno if the series can’t be serious Star Trek because MacFarlane is the Family Guy dude and that’s what sold the series, or if it’s truly what he wants to make, a Star Trek like series with Family Guy jokes.


I’m between you two. I like the balance they’ve found this season of being a TNG flavored show with the occasional pointed or running joke spice mixed in there.

This week in the TOS rewatch thread, we’re watching the Pon Farr episode where Spock has to go back to Vulcan to kill or screw something, and I couldn’t stop laughing, thinking about Bortus needing to go back for his peeing ceremony.


This whole Kaylon arc makes me think that someone read the Three Body Problem before writing this script. “Gotta exterminate the other guys before they exterminate you!”


Well that was a hell of a thing.

I think I can handle one pee corner gag per episode in exchange for what I just watched!


Great episode. I liked that Isaac had a role but wasn’t a deus ex machina to the situation.


It’s pretty incredible how, these days, one episode of a weekly network series can have the special effects we saw tonight.


That was a great episode. It would have been better if they wrote Pee Corner Guy off the show.


Please tell me Ty isn’t being set up as the Wesley Crusher of the Orville.


For some reason the tonal wonkiness doesn’t bother me. I like the lame, sometimes jarring humour, and I like the Star Trek homage. It’s just the odd flavour the show has, and I find it to be quite homely. It’s of a piece with the way the show doesn’t always go the way you’d expect, but sometimes does. It’s predictable, then it isn’t. It’s not trying to tick boxes, it just tells little stories.

But holy shit, for a tv show that was some impressive CGI (particularly their entry to the Kalon homeworld, quite beautiful), and a nicely orchestrated space battle!


I agree with all of this. The pee corner gag got a laugh out of me, I thought it was funny they even addressed all those people stuck in a shuttle bay.


“Alright, buddy. Time to wash your mouth out with Gordon!”

Yeah, I like the show. While it’s not peak awesomeness, the last couple episodes have really helped get it a lot closer.