I’ve had “The Orville” recommended to me time and time again, but have been apathetic to give it a go. Seth MacFarlane is at the helm and while I don’t hate him, I’m not a huge fan either. To describe “The Orville” is relatively difficult, because it switches gears. Often. Season 1 is a very different show than season 2. I’m not convinced that’s bad or good, but it does consider some reflection.
Essentially we are introduced to a crew of misfits in the “Union” (not Federation) led by MacFarlane. While it feels somewhat like a “Star Trek” parody it’s not. It does take most of it’s open jests at the Star Trek verse, but there are references to just about every science fiction show or film to date. Visually it’s bright and fun and for the first season so is it’s mood. Humor and tongue in cheek are the theme with some action and mostly a lot of teehee.
I blew through the first season in a day. It was fun, so much fun! And funny. The character’s are all stereotypes based on previous science fiction characters and even their names (most obviously LaMarr and Malloy) are little nods toward some of the Star Trek world. There’s a ton of star power in guest appearances (notably Charlize Theron and Rob Lowe) and there is an immediate chemistry among the cast.
Things take a peculiar turn in season two. Everything gets a little more serious and there are episodes that give each crew member a spotlight. But most of the season focuses on relationships. Relationships that you wouldn’t necessarily glue together. I like all the odd couples, but I’m not sure where or why the shift happened. Towards the end of Season 2 I was really missing the fun of the first season. That being said Season Two was still really quite good, but it’s difficult to adapt such a shift in the shows entire mood.
Warp Speed Ahead?
“The Orville” doesn’t break any new ground. There’s no new stories here. No character archetype that hasn’t been explored to death. There’s no theological or existential concepts that will bend your mind. That being said, I really like the show. The character’s are a ton of fun and so is the show. For some pure entertainment where you can just shut your mind off for an hour “The Orville” is perfect. If you aren’t a big science fiction fan it’s probably not going to be your bag, but I dig it.
“The Orville” is now streaming on Hulu
Star Rating 3.5/5