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The Orville - New Sci Fi Comedy from Seth MacFarlane and Director John Favreau


Television

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I'll just add this to my list.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
wait, it was a repeat after..2 episodes?

No repeat. I was trying to say that in order to make sense of the main plot of Ep. 3, all GreenDragon needed to know about the episode he missed was the bit about the egg.


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Browman wrote:
weird that they started on a Sunday then shift to Thursday after two episodes. That seems like bad planning.

It was intentional. They goal was to get the football audience to stick around for the show, then hopefully follow when they moved it to Thursday. Thursday they will see if it worked.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Iceman1077 wrote:
Browman wrote:
weird that they started on a Sunday then shift to Thursday after two episodes. That seems like bad planning.
It was intentional. They goal was to get the football audience to stick around for the show, then hopefully follow when they moved it to Thursday. Thursday they will see if it worked.

Don't shows need to actually be established and have a decent following before people are likely to care enough to track changes in broadcast time?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm always happy when a show I like moves from Fox Sunday to any other day since football won't screw it up. I don't get why the other networks that air football don't seem to have this issue, but Fox has for literally decades (or as long as they've aired live sports).


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CBS has the same problem. In-season, Madam Secretary and Elementary might be on at their regular times, or 20-30 minutes late...at least CBS still shows the whole episode, unlike FOX running over 50 minutes worth of The Orville, but the effect is the same if you're using the DVR and planning to watch later.


So the second episode was better than the pilot. Aside from the cringe-worthy egg jokes in the beginning -- which seems to be the Captain's thing -- the rest of the episode was a pretty decent Star Trekesque show.

I'm willing to give it some rope to see how it plays out, especially now that they've moved it away from football.

Sovereign Court

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And the reality tv joke was awesome


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Third episode: Outstanding. The humour was in small doses sprinkled throughout and the show was much more serious. It was a well-done episode that brought out a lot of Star Trek: Next Generation feel, or Babylon Five, which have both covered dealing with other cultures traditions and beliefs.

No quick and easy win for the "good guys" and lots of nice acting. I really liked this one and am very hopeful for the series.


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Agreed. Have to wonder about the endless familiarity with/fascination with 20th/21st Century pop culture by this point...Kermit, that particular Rankin-Bass Christmas special, all those reality TV shows.

The various Trek series did it, of course, just never quite so specifically. B5 did have at least two specific references: Daffy Duck, and the 1990'2 model motorcycle Garibaldi was rebuilding (the show stated that the last gasoline powered motorcycle had been built in 2035.) But that series wasn't set as far into the future as The Orville or any of the Treks.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Damon Griffin wrote:

Agreed. Have to wonder about the endless familiarity with/fascination with 20th/21st Century pop culture by this point...Kermit, that particular Rankin-Bass Christmas special, all those reality TV shows.

The various Trek series did it, of course, just never quite so specifically. B5 did have at least two specific references: Daffy Duck, and the 1990'2 model motorcycle Garibaldi was rebuilding (the show stated that the last gasoline powered motorcycle had been built in 2035.) But that series wasn't set as far into the future as The Orville or any of the Treks.

Also, in B5, Garibaldi simply had 20th century culture as a hobby, it wasn't like everyone did.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I really liked episode 3, some very good thought provoking stuff, with no clear right and obvious answer, and agree it shared things with some of the better Trek or B5 episodes.

I also made the realization that many of the characters are much more directly twisting ST:TNG characters than I had realized at first.

1) In the Orville, the captain has his ex as his 1st officer and they still have lots of intimacy and bickering instead of Picard's arm's length relationship with Dr. Crusher.
2) Isaac is a robot who's happy being a superior mechanical being, compared to Data wanting to become more human-like.
3) Bortus is a Moclan, which seems similar but different to Klingons - a bit less warlike, but similar in both features and following tradition.


That was interesting. I suppose it wasn't any more preachy than a ST:NG episode.
I wonder though, why they didn't pursue a line of thinking about addressing the variation among individuals, instead of focusing on the biological differences? Kelly got close to that, but didn't seem to drive it home.

Sovereign Court

Welp, slowly turning me around.

Shadow Lodge

More of that less blue gunk jokes


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JoelF847 wrote:

I also made the realization that many of the characters are much more directly twisting ST:TNG characters than I had realized at first.

1) In the Orville, the captain has his ex as his 1st officer and they still have lots of intimacy and bickering instead of Picard's arm's length relationship with Dr. Crusher.
2) Isaac is a robot who's happy being a superior mechanical being, compared to Data wanting to become more human-like.
3) Bortus is a Moclan, which seems similar but different to Klingons - a bit less warlike, but similar in both features and following tradition.

All good points. Note that despite not being warlike themselves, the Molcans' major industry is weapons manufacture.

4) Idiot helmsman Gordon instead of kid genius Wesley Crusher.
5) Dr. Finn (Irish name) instead of Dr. McCoy (Scottish name).
6) Yaphit/Odo? No, probably not.


I liked it very interesting only thing is I thought Adrianne Palicki acting fell a little short at times. plus the counter argument she was giving was built kind of weak. only good argument for her side was proposed by the female Moclan.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

THe orville answers the question: what would happen if real people, which is probably what we're doomed to be for the foreseeable future, had star trek technology and started roaming around the galaxy

That's what makes it more interesting to me. Seeing how the crew acts like real people as opposed to character stereotypes like too many version of Star Trek imo. That's whats missing from Star Trek the human element imo. One of the Orville crew home planet is a polluted, industrial geared towards making weapon based based planet. Complete with live live fire exercises going on. It's not something one sees in Star Trek.

From the looks of it though Fox seems to want to kill it some I'm not too hopeful on the state of the show.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Thing From Another World wrote:
From the looks of it though Fox seems to want to kill it some I'm not too hopeful on the state of the show.

Still bitter about Firefly?


JoelF847 wrote:

I really liked episode 3, some very good thought provoking stuff, with no clear right and obvious answer, and agree it shared things with some of the better Trek or B5 episodes.

I also made the realization that many of the characters are much more directly twisting ST:TNG characters than I had realized at first.

1) In the Orville, the captain has his ex as his 1st officer and they still have lots of intimacy and bickering instead of Picard's arm's length relationship with Dr. Crusher.
2) Isaac is a robot who's happy being a superior mechanical being, compared to Data wanting to become more human-like.
3) Bortus is a Moclan, which seems similar but different to Klingons - a bit less warlike, but similar in both features and following tradition.

All good reasons why I like the Orville and will add a number to your list.

4) Alara is my favorite. They come up with a good backstory for her abilites. Who can shrug off a punch from Bortus and crush a square of titanium with her bare hands. Yet also be written as vunerable and unsure of herself. Again not something one sees much in Star Trek tV series imo.

I always found Picard keeping Dr. Crusher at arm length weird. Especially when it was obvious they both cared for each other.


Lord Fyre wrote:


Still bitter about Firefly?

Shows get cancelled.

It's one thing when the ratings are terrible. It's another when it's obvious a network is going out of it's way to kill a show. Moving the show all over the place in terms of time slots. Putting it on when other more popular shows are airing. Maybe I'm wrong.

I have seen it done before. Their was a martial arts series called Raven it was a unexpected hit. They did the exact same thing. What really killed it was when the network in desperation began airing new episodes at 1 or was it 2am in the morning.


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Iceman1077 wrote:
Browman wrote:
weird that they started on a Sunday then shift to Thursday after two episodes. That seems like bad planning.
It was intentional. They goal was to get the football audience to stick around for the show, then hopefully follow when they moved it to Thursday. Thursday they will see if it worked.

And probably in part that people that like McFarland's shows are used to tuning in on Sundays. They couldn't leave it on there because a large part of their Sunday lineup returns there on October 1.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
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I have to say I really like the show so far. I am not even a big Trek fan...but I like this better. The characters just seem more real to me.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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IS the music taken directly from ST:TNG? Or just really really really really really really really similar?

7. That one dude likes soda, Deanna Troy liked chocolate.

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I have mixed opinions of the show so far.

It tries to have a mixture of drama and comedy, but fails at both. The comedy feels dry like most of Seth MacFarlane other work in the past few years. And the show's writing lacks the maturity to approach tough subjects, which makes the drama difficult to take seriously.

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SmiloDan wrote:
IS the music taken directly from ST:TNG? Or just really really really really really really really similar?

It is not taken directly, for legal reasons. The music is, however, intentionally very similar.


I cant stand fly boy friend of the captain's. I cant think of a single scene thats better because he is in it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The Orville is like if a federation ship was crewed by normal people. Not pie in the sky "we have enlightened ourselves" humans, but normal humans, and other aliens with real character flaws. I've liked it so far, but it hasn't 100% sold me yet.


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I am sold 100%.

And it only proves my point that if you want Star Wars and Star Trek done right, get Seth Mcfarlane.


Episode 3:
Among the most derivative Trek themes I see McFarlane went with human morality is the right morality trope.


Wut? universal morality isn't universal?

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Orville Redenbacher wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Episode 3:

The worst part is that both MacFarlane and the characters lack the maturity to approach this subject. The characters in Star Trek are highly educated men and women of science, art, history, and philosophy. They frequently study and apply history and culture of the past to intelligently approach ethical, moral, and technical problems of the present and future. At the very least, these characters possess the qualifications to question alien cultures and traditions, even when it wouldn't be ethical for them to do so.

In contrast, the characters in the Orville are idiots. Only the doctor acted with any level of sensitivity, respect, and scientific mindset. The characters' arguments lack any degree of scientific rhetoric with their dialogue obviously written by someone with absolutely no education in debate or critical thinking. Crucial facts about the biology of the alien race are never brought up at all. For this race, being female could literally be a birth defect or a genetic disorder. For all we know, it could be like a curable version of Downs Syndrome or a genetic disorder that causes intersex in humans. This is highly relevant information that's never explored.

It takes smart people educated in science, engineering, and history to write good science fiction. Unfortunately, Seth MacFarlane doesn't meet these qualifications. I hate to sound like a MacFarlane hater as I loved his work in Johnny Bravo, and the early seasons of Family Guy were pretty good, too. But science fiction doesn't seem to fit his background, and it definitely shows in the Orville.


Or, it'd be nice not to be super preached at. It handled it well, all things considered. IMHO, of course.


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The very words that they used to describe the normal "male" Moclans and the very unusual "female" Moclans probably made it very difficult for the non-Moclan characters to see what was really going on. Based on what I saw in the episode, "male" Moclans appear to be hermaphrodites with superficially masculine characteristics while as best I can tell the few "female" Moclans we saw are asexuals with superficially feminine characteristics.

I wonder whether the humans on the Orville might have reacted differently if they were told that the child had been born sexless?

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David knott 242

See, that's one of the problems with the episode. That's very important information relevant to the dilemma that's never explained or brought up.

Episode 3:

And if the episode was written better, the characters would have researched this prior to going to court and publically criticizing a foreign culture with radically different biology than their own. Instead of, ya know, just shrugging and saying "lol these aliens are sexist weirdos."


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I believe that your critique of the crew of the Orville, Cyrad, is exactly why they reacted and acted the way they did. They are not the mature, highly educated beings from the Enterprise with a grounding in all sorts of Humanities. Rather, they are "real people" -- many of whom are the bottom of the barrel for the service, it seems -- who reacted emotionally, without a ton of research and tons of public speaking/lawyer experience.

It's actually nice to see characters out of their depths in these situations rather than the paragons that we've come to expect from the crew of the Enterprise. The Orville's crew fumbled through as best they could and instead of the usual happy ending that one expects from those shows you got a more realistic and grey ending.


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David knott 242 wrote:

The very words that they used to describe the normal "male" Moclans and the very unusual "female" Moclans probably made it very difficult for the non-Moclan characters to see what was really going on. Based on what I saw in the episode, "male" Moclans appear to be hermaphrodites with superficially masculine characteristics while as best I can tell the few "female" Moclans we saw are asexuals with superficially feminine characteristics.

I wonder whether the humans on the Orville might have reacted differently if they were told that the child had been born sexless?

Probably as their point was that the child should determine their gender when they reached a age that they could.

(Also...I figured that the 'egg' was artificial that both parents contribute genetic material to...they self describe as male and female...so there are probably not hermaphrodites)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

In earth biology, females generally have few large sessile gametes with self-sustained energy sources for the potential zygote, and males generally have many small mobile gametes.

In human society, female and male are social constructs that often correspond to their biological counterparts.

Alien physiologies and social constructs (particularly linguistic)potentially have no direct correspondence to those of Earthly entities.

Shadow Lodge

SmiloDan wrote:

In earth biology, females generally have few large sessile gametes with self-sustained energy sources for the potential zygote, and males generally have many small mobile gametes.

In human society, female and male are social constructs that often correspond to their biological counterparts.

Alien physiologies and social constructs (particularly linguistic)potentially have no direct correspondence to those of Earthly entities.

our social construct is an exageration of our biology. If a species has the same basic biology its culture will follow likely follow a similar pattern, at least until reason and rationale come on line THEN maybe there's a chance. Maybe.

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knightnday wrote:
I believe that your critique of the crew of the Orville, Cyrad, is exactly why they reacted and acted the way they did. They are not the mature, highly educated beings from the Enterprise with a grounding in all sorts of Humanities. Rather, they are "real people" -- many of whom are the bottom of the barrel for the service, it seems -- who reacted emotionally, without a ton of research and tons of public speaking/lawyer experience.

The issue is that the show tries to tackle sensitive topics and mix drama with its comedy. That doesn't work as well when your characters are immature fools. It ends up making the show look immature with cringe-worthy levels of insensitivity as a result. A shame as this episode had great ideas squandered by bad writing. Remember that we're dealing with a writer who thought likening post-op transgenders as sex offenders was a "sympathetic portrayal of a [transgender] character." The show doesn't play it up for laughs as much it as should either. There were only about two scenes in Episode 3 that had any real comedy.

So far, I also don't find the characters "real" or relateable. Most of them feel more like cartoon characters.


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I would say if this was an issue that McFarlane wanted to tackle, making the aliens too unrelateable would have been counter-productive (and maybe it was). On the one hand, if maclons can reproduce without needing a female gender (or biological sex, if one wants to split hairs), then what was his daughter then, really? Was she an evolutionary throwback? What purpose biologically does a female serve in maclon society? Is a male really a male in such a situation? If two males can donate genetic material to an offspring without the need of a female's eggs, are they really even males, as far as we understand it?
Is this really even a trans issue at this point, or just nosy humans butting into things they didn't understand?


Kryzbyn wrote:
Or, it'd be nice not to be super preached at. It handled it well, all things considered. IMHO, of course.

I don't care about the preaching its the fact its always humans who are right and aliens who are in the wrong. Just once it would be nice if it went the opposite way. On the other hand, attributing moral dilemmas to aliens and not humans makes it easier to examine the behavior outside a human context. I get the value of that storytelling, I just think its a well beaten path at this point. Also, I agree with Cyrad that the writing has a lot of room for improvement.

Shadow Lodge

Orville Redenbacher wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Or, it'd be nice not to be super preached at. It handled it well, all things considered. IMHO, of course.

I don't care about the preaching its the fact its always humans who are right and aliens who are in the wrong. Just once it would be nice if it went the opposite way. On the other hand, attributing moral dilemmas to aliens and not humans makes it easier to examine the behavior outside a human context. I get the value of that storytelling, I just think its a well beaten path at this point. Also, I agree with Cyrad that the writing has a lot of room for improvement.

Right. Thats the entire point of science fiction or myth or animal allegories. You can talk about a thing without talking about it directly. If the aliens are ragging on the humans you lose that.


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Episode 4: Another Star Trek-feeling episode with only minimal touches on the comedy elements. It wouldn't have been out of place on any of the other space shows and the idea has made the rounds on Star Trek and Doctor Who at the very least. Still, not bad and the show continues to improve.

It is nice to see that The Union has less of a bug in their rears about a Prime Directive/non-interference clause when meeting other cultures than the Federation. It removes some of the more stilted problems that the Enterprise and company had to slog through and allows the Orville crew to do what fans have yelled at the TV for years.


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Orville Redenbacher wrote:
I don't care about the preaching its the fact its always humans who are right and aliens who are in the wrong. Just once it would be nice if it went the opposite way. On the other hand, attributing moral dilemmas to aliens and not humans makes it easier to examine the behavior outside a human context. I get the value of that storytelling, I just think its a well beaten path at this point. Also, I agree with Cyrad that the writing has a lot of room for improvement.

Oddly, I didn't get the 'humans are right and aliens are wrong' vibe from this episode...I got 'both sides think they're right, and both sides have serious flaws in their arguments.'

This particular episode has engendered (see what I did there?) more discussions of the topic among my friends than most NextGen episodes managed, and I think of that as a sign of success.

I also agree, however, that the writing needs improvement. Comedic drama is a tightrope, and I'm hoping Orville can manage that balance.

Sovereign Court

Episode 4 was pretty cool. I liked it.


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I like Star Trek: Orrville. For one thing, you don't have to pay for a single show.

However, I have a gut feeling that it is doomed due to bad expectations. A lot of people think "Oh, It's Seth MacFarlane. It's a comedy!" In reality the show is like a quarter to a third comedy and the rest is straight. I think it's a good mix and it really works, but the marketing probably had people thinking it was going to be funnier, so it was disappointing. Other people who might enjoy it may not have watched because they thought it was going to be more comedy.

JoelF847 wrote:
Also, in B5, Garibaldi simply had 20th century culture as a hobby, it wasn't like everyone did.

When you look at most of the Trek series, it seems like 90% of Starfleet Academy is 20th Century earth history. Even many of the aliens were conversant in it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Before Firefly was a thing, and I first heard about it, I was worried because I thought Joss Whedon relied too much on pop culture references in Buffy. He proved me wrong. He was able to have witty dialogue without referencing any 20th century pop culture.

For Orville, they have to reference 20th/21st century pulp culture because we, the audience, don't know anything about 22nd and 23rd century pop culture because it doesn't exist yet. You kind of have to hand wave it. It's expecting a lot for the writing staff of an SF TV show to create fictional pop cultural references that are funny for an audience unfamiliar with them.


Orville Redenbacher wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Or, it'd be nice not to be super preached at. It handled it well, all things considered. IMHO, of course.

I don't care about the preaching its the fact its always humans who are right and aliens who are in the wrong.

Err, that was absolutely not the case in Episode 3. In fact, what the episode showed is how faulty humanity is, feeling they have a superior ethic in that regard than the Moclan culture, dismissing the idea that for Moclan society with a very different idea of gender identity the decisions made by the Moclans was actually the right thing.

In that episode, the Orville crew were the bad guys. And I think that was a very refreshing thing to see in the context of a Star Trek-but -not-Star Trek-for-legal-reasons show


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SmiloDan wrote:

Before Firefly was a thing, and I first heard about it, I was worried because I thought Joss Whedon relied too much on pop culture references in Buffy. He proved me wrong. He was able to have witty dialogue without referencing any 20th century pop culture.

For Orville, they have to reference 20th/21st century pulp culture because we, the audience, don't know anything about 22nd and 23rd century pop culture because it doesn't exist yet. You kind of have to hand wave it. It's expecting a lot for the writing staff of an SF TV show to create fictional pop cultural references that are funny for an audience unfamiliar with them.

That's easy to do when you blatantly steal your ideas from Japan.

But that's for a different discussion. :-)

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