Review The Orville (2017)

Doctor Omega

Moderator
Charlize Theron Guests On FOX’s “The Orville”


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In a surprise announcement, actress Charlize Theron will reunite with her “Million Ways to Die in the West” director and co-star Seth MacFarlane for a guest starring role on the sci-fi comedy series “The Orville”.

The “Star Trek” spoof boasts a “Galaxy Quest” tone and feel. Set four centuries in the future, the story follows a down on his luck divorcee (McFarlane) who finally gets the chance to command a starship, only to find out the first officer assigned to his ship is none other than his ex-wife (Adrianne Palicki).

Scott Grimes, Penny Johnson Jerald, Peter Macon, Mark Jackson, J. Lee, Halston Sage, and Norm Macdonald co-str while Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”) helmed the pilot.

Details of Theron’s role are being kept under wraps but her episode is expected to air this Fall. This will mark only her second TV role following a guest arc over a decade ago on “Arrested Development”.

Theron did executive produce Netflix’s short-lived “Girlboss” and is serving in the same role on the streamer’s upcoming David Fincher crime drama “Mindhunter”.

It caps off a busy year for the actress who played the villain in “The Fate of the Furious” and has “Atomic Blonde” opening in cinemas next week.
 

Hux

Member: Rank 6
It might work better as a one-off movie (Galaxy Quest receiving royalties) but as an on going sitcom, the joke could wear thin pretty quickly.
 

Gavin

Member: Rank 6
VIP
It might work better as a one-off movie (Galaxy Quest receiving royalties) but as an on going sitcom, the joke could wear thin pretty quickly.
Depends. If they focus on story and character with humour it could work ongoing. If they focus on spoofing Star Trek, they'll run out of jokes very quickly.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
“Orville” To Fill Star Trek’s Aspirational Hole


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Despite obvious resemblances to both “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Galaxy Quest,” those involved in Seth MacFarlane’s new Fox sci-fi dramedy series “The Orville” aren’t worried about being sued for copyright infringement.

Set four centuries from now, “The Orville” follows the human and alien crew of a ship that tackles the battles, politics and workplace drama that comes with traversing the galaxy.

The ‘Trek’ comparisons are apt as MacFarlane is a notable TNG fanboy, while veteran Trek producer Brannon Braga is on the crew. About potential legal issues, Fox TV Group chairman/CEO Dana Walden says:

“We’re not really concerned. We obviously have a big legal team. We vet things, so it’s not like we’re just flying by the seat of our pants out here. Seth’s intention is to do something that clearly pays homage to Star Trek, that clearly was inspired a lot by Star Trek.”

Certainly the cast and crew involved have a mission with the new series, and that is to fill the ‘aspirational sci-fi’ hole that “Star Trek” firmly occupied but has since abandoned to chase a more “Star Wars”-style audience with the film reboots and the upcoming “Star Trek: Discovery” series. MacFarlane says:

“I miss the…aspirational place Star Trek used to occupy. They’ve chosen to go in a different direction… They can’t all be Hunger Games. There is some space for aspirational… I miss the optimism. I’m tired of being told everything is going to be grim and dystopian…I miss the hopeful side of science fiction.”

Asked about comparisons to “Star Trek: Discovery,” MacFarlane says both shows “could not be more different” tonally and the Trek franchise is “continuing in the new direction they’ve chosen to go with that franchise; we’re more old school.”

“The Orville” premieres on FOX on September 10th.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
How The Orville Is Bringing Back Classic Star Trek-Style Television


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Fans expecting Fox’s The Orville to be a straightforward satire of Star Trek have the wrong idea.

Creator and star Seth McFarlane isn’t looking to make a parody of Star Trek, he’s looking to pay homage to the franchise by telling new stories in the classic Star Trek style, but with more jokes. That’s why the series’ episodes run for 60 minutes instead of 30.


“If this were a half hour, it would be kind of cut and dry what this is,” MacFarlane said at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “Because we’re an hour long show, the story has to come first. It can’t just be gag gag gag gag gag. There has to be some reality to where the comedy comes from. If you break down where the jokes come and how they lay out, you’ll notice there really isn’t anything that exists in the Spaceballs/Family Guy realm. It all comes out of who the characters are that adhere to the reality of a science fiction world. Nothing ever goes into that Mel Brooks realm and that’s by design. We really do see it as a sci-fi comedic drama. We allow ourselves room for levity in ways that a traditional hour long sci-fi doesn’t. We’re trying to break some new ground here. Whether or not we’ve succeeded is up to the viewers.”

Critics who have seen the first handful of episodes noted that the tone shifts quite drastically, especially in the show’s very serious third episode, but that is by design.

“The following episode is actually fairly light,” MacFarlane said. “There’s no pattern to the first three. One of the things I always look to as a Star Trek fan, there was an episode that was a big two part episode about the Borg. It was followed up the next week with a story about Picard going home to France to visit his brother at the winery. It was the same show and the stories couldn’t be more different in tone. This is how TV should be. You should be able to write any kind of story each week and surprise your audience, but your characters remain intact and true to who they are.”



SLIDE 1/2
What The Orville Borrows From Star Trek
And just like those previous Star Trek series, The Orville’s episodes will be self-contained, episodic adventures rather than the serialized drama format that is so popular on television today that even Star Trek: Discovery will be using.


“The show is not serialized,” MacFarlane said. “You can watch episodes out of order and still get a fulfilling viewing experience.

"That’s something I kind of miss about TV. Everything expects me to invest in it since day one and we’ve lost that hour-long beginning, middle, and end except for procedurals, but that used to be how TV worked. If the characters are always the characters and they don’t behave based on story, you should be able to tell different kinds of stories.”

SLIDE 2/2
What The Orville Borrows From Star Trek
One more thing Seth McFarlane is borrowing from Star Trek, especially Star Trek: The Next Generation, is its optimistic view of the future.

“I miss the optimism,” he said. “I’m tired of being told that everything is going to be grim and dystopian, people are going to be murdering each other for food. I’ve had enough of that. I miss the hopeful side of science fiction.


"That kind of goes back to the roots of the genre. What can we achieve if we put our minds to it? That flourished in the ’90s. Some shows did it in a more cheesy fashion, and others like Star Trek made it a little more legit, but that was the way to do a sci-fi show back then. Now things are very grim. That was a conscious choice because I miss that flavor of science fiction. It’s a space that’s waiting to be filled in this day and age when we’re getting a lot of dystopian science fiction which is great. It can’t all be The Hunger Games, a nightmare scenario.”

The Orville premieres Sept. 10th on Fox.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
One more thing Seth McFarlane is borrowing from Star Trek, especially Star Trek: The Next Generation, is its optimistic view of the future.

The above quote has won me over already.

The dark and depressing looking DISCOVERY, on the other hand, is losing me more and more by the second.
 

Gavin

Member: Rank 6
VIP
Based on everything I've heard and seen so far Orville is on my "much watch" list. Discovery is on my "maybe check out a couple of episodes and see" list.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
I would love to see them do riffs on specific classic episodes.

City On The Edge of Forever might never look the same again.

A shame that Paramount could potentially be spoilsports if it all gets too specific. And especially if it beats that Discovery thing in the ratings.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
The Orville: For Star Trek Fans


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One of the actors who will be appearing on The Orville, which makes its debut this month, spoke about potential fans who would be coming from the Star Trek fandom.

Speaking with Screenrant, Mark Jackson, who will be portraying Isaac the Android, a Kaylon from the planet Kaylon, made an interesting statement when asked about worries that the show won’t make it past its first season. “I can’t let it [worry me] is as I have no control over that, so there’s no point in worrying about it,” he said. “I think they’ll make their decision whether to keep it going very quickly; it’s been a very expensive show to make so a lot of people want to make it work but we’ve had a lot of buzz. At San Diego Comic-Con, we had a lot of people queuing who wanted to get into our panel, and because it’s Seth I think people will give it a go. I think a lot of the Star Trek fans, disgruntled about not having Star Trek for years [will turn to our show].”

When reminded that Star Trek: Discovery will also air this month, so soon there will be new Star Trek, Jackson said, “There is but that’s only going to be available online and you have to pay a subscription for it, so I think there’s going to be a few disgruntled Star Trek fans who will love this show, as well as Seth MacFarlane fans, so we’ll have quite the mix.”

Look for the premiere of The Orville on FOX on Sunday, September 10. After the premiere, the show will air on Thursdays.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
FOX’s “Orville” Is A Hit Despite The Reviews


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In terms of critical acclaim, comedian Seth MacFarlane’s new sci-fi dramedy “The Orville” is going to be one of the worst received new shows this year.

Premiering the other week, the series has scored just a 35/100 on Metacritic with reviews slamming it as a blatant “Star Trek” rip-off just with fart jokes and a surprising self-seriousness.

In terms of ratings though, the series debut proved a surprise hit with zone-adjusted ratings for the show’s debut pegging it at a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating and 8.6 million viewers.

That figure matches the debut of NBC’s “This Is Us” and FOX’s “The Mick” last year, the highest-rated launches last season (excluding the post-Superbowl launched “24: Legacy”).

In its target men 18-34 demographic, and outside post-Superbowl launches, the show’s debut was the highest rated broadcast hourlong series debut since “Gotham” four years ago.

How much of that audience will stick around for subsequent episodes and will it be enough for further episode orders – we’ll have to wait and see.
 

Doctor Omega

Moderator
“Orville” Is FOX’s Biggest Hit Since “Empire”


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The proper numbers are in and last Sunday’s premiere of FOX’s “The Orville,” Seth MacFarlane’s space adventure series, scored a 3.5 adults 18-49 rating and 11.3 million in Live+3 ratings. That’s up by 30% from its Live+Same Day rating.

That also makes “The Orville” FOX’s highest-rated hourlong series launch since “Empire” in 2015 both in terms of general audiences and the key demo MacFarlane appeals to – men 18-34. In Live+3 it’s also on par with the network’s biggest launch of last year – the half-hour “The Mick”.

The premiere was also FOX’s most-streamed drama launch in three years, drawing 650,000 viewers across Fox Now and Hulu, behind only the 865,000 who tuned into the debut of “Gotham”.

The live-action, one-hour space adventure series is set 400 years in the future and follows the exploits of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory spaceship. Its crew, both human and alien, face the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the problems of everyday life.
 

Gavin

Member: Rank 6
VIP
Saw the first episode a few days ago and I have to say that overall I enjoyed it. The humour is a little more low brow than I generally go for but the jokes aren't overwhelming either. The focus is much more on the story with some one-liners thrown in. You can see the Star Trek influence. It would only take the addition of a transporter and some of the sillier jokes taken out to be a natural fit in the Star Trek universe. It literally feels like a Star Trek script with some changes in terminology and jokes added.
 

Welnoc

Member: Rank 1
I'm not a huge fan of Seth MacFarlane but I am really enjoying The Orville.

I'm tired of serialized television and its demands along with the dark dystopian outlook we see so much of today.

We need some bright and optimistic television to watch --at least I do. The Orville fills the bill.
 

ant-mac

Administrator
Staff member
I'm not a huge fan of Seth MacFarlane but I am really enjoying The Orville.

I'm tired of serialized television and its demands along with the dark dystopian outlook we see so much of today.

We need some bright and optimistic television to watch --at least I do. The Orville fills the bill.
Once upon a time, STAR TREK filled that bill too...
 
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