Some thoughts on the Orville


First off, I don’t watch much media. On OTA TV I watch ‘the Orville’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ with occasional ‘Supergirl’. Pay media I watch ‘CBS all Access’ (of course) for ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and really gotten into old episodes of ‘Mission Impossible’ (they amazing hold up after all these years). Other web is mostly Youtube; ‘Trekyards’, ‘LGR’, ‘Issac Arthur’ and smattering of other sites.

So you see I’m very particular what I watch. If I watch something it has got to either entertain me of inform me. Not much media does that anymore. Most media either bores me or annoys me.

Begin soap-box (mode);

The most annoying is the news. Not that I think cable news is fake, as a certain orange organic substance keeps claiming, its just that there is only so much real ‘news’ that happens in a day and repeating the same news 1567 times doesn’t make in more informative or relevant. If fact, the more that ones watches the news to more one can get a really distorted view of life. Everything is broadcast as a ‘life shattering event’. Bull crap, most of the stuff on the news has little of anything to do with day to day life. If more people would stop watching the news there would be a lot less anxiety in the world.

End soap-box (mode);

Oh ya, this was about ‘The Orville’. As it’s been said, watching ‘The Orville’ is like watching a 2017 version of ST:TNG. This is no surprise since as one of the principle  producers is Brandon Braga; who was involved in shows like ST: Voyager, ST: Enterprise and ST: TNG as either a writer or producer. The show has a light feeling to it and, usually, has an uplifting messages. This is rather refreshing in these day and times where most Sci-fi media leans toward the gritty and dark. By and large the crew gets along, jokes and seems to have a good time on the bridge. (This would have made Gene Roddenberry very happy who dictated no conflicts of bridge crew in TNG.). In reality you would think a crew which spent most of it’s time on the bridge together would begin to have a rapport. Side note: shows that lean too heavily on conflict of it’s major characters always struck me as much fun to  watch as a family bitch-fest. Even though I enjoyed the BSG reboot sometimes is was a bit painful to watch.

Still, this is 2017 and ‘the Orville’ does at times seem a bit too cutesy and Pollyannaish for it’s own good. Guess I have been hardened over the years by the likes of BSG and DS9.

Seth Macfarland, the shows creator (and big Star Trek and Stars fan) is also the creator and producer of the ‘Family Man’. You can see some of the influences of that show with the constant references to 20th and 21st century pop culture. This does add a bit of comedy to the show but still, would people 500 years in the future be referencing things this far back? It would be like us making comic references to characters in the middle-ages, who would get it? Also, this will age the show poorly. 10-20 years from now do you think jokes about ‘American Idol’ will be funny or if people will even know what you are talking about?

Talking about Seth Macfarland, he’s turned out to be a fairly reasonable actor. He comic timing is sharp and his emotional characterizations are believable.

Rest of the crew, not bad. Although the only character that has really grabbed me is Bortus. I’m still waiting for more character development of the rest of the crew. Would really like to know more about Kitan and Issac (maybe some more about their planets).

Speaking of Isaac, I hope they don’t fall into the trap of letting one really smart character to solve all the problems like TNG did with Wesly and Data. It would be refreshing to see Issac really screw up once.

The Planetary Union is the Federation, nuff said.

And what review (or thoughts) would be complete without mentioning the hero ship; the Orville. Very nicely done design. I really want a model of this as soon as it’s released. The use of Alcubierre drive rings for the FTL is a nice touch. I also noticed the rest of the ships in the Orville universe also use some variation on rings, nice consistency.

One bit of tech that is missing is a transporter, that is good. If they had added a matter transporter system I think it would have crossed the line and made it too Star Treky (it almost crosses the line as it is.)

As for the rest of the tech, it looks believable and mostly consistent. Nothing really stands out in my mind as really whiz-bang but also no real WTFs either.

One big issue I have is with the story lines. There are usually a lot of large plot holes in the stories that you could fly a Krill destroyer through. One that rather annoyed me recent was Bortus claiming his whole planet is male then lays a egg. Um, if you lay an egg, you are female no matter what you look like.

from Webster:

Definition of female

1 a (1) :of, relating to, or being the sex that typically has the capacity to bear young or produce eggs
So, there you have it, some random thoughts about ‘the Orville’.
Live long and… Um whatever.





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