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Thread: The Orville

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    Default The Orville

    I'm kind of surprised we don't have a thread on this already. Seth MacFarlane is writing and starring in a live-action sci-fi drama/comedy called The Orville, which is a clear take on Star Trek with an hour long format and suspiciously familiar ship design aesthetics. It premieres on Fox (and will therefore probably meet the fate of Firefly) on Sunday. They've been playing their cards fairly close to the chest re: plot and scenes, but there are two trailers.



    For what it's worth, MacFarlane says he's trying to capture the old style aspirational sci-fi of early Trek, and that basically all the jokes in the first episode are in the trailers. I'm hopeful that this might actually be good.
    Last edited by Renegade Paladin; 2017-09-07 at 08:14 PM.
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    Default Re: The Orville

    A full season of hour long episodes seems like a bad format for parody. There's only so many jokes you can tell and then you have to actually be a good sci-fi show.

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    I like the design of the spaceship and the uniforms. Well-freshened nostalgia there.

    That's about it. What the trailer shows of the characters, the humor, and the plot, doesn't capture my interest.

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    Default Re: The Orville

    That... actually looks way better than the ACTUAL new Star Trek show. (I mean, there appears to be a starship battle of some sort - and i can tell what's actually going on), it appears to be an ensemble cast and the SFX look quite good.)

    I might actually track that down if I can and try and see at least the first episode at some point (if/when it makes it to this side of the pond).

    I would appreciate it if folk might provide a few (spoiler-free) thoughts on it after it shows over there.

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    Default Re: The Orville

    Quote Originally Posted by An Enemy Spy View Post
    A full season of hour long episodes seems like a bad format for parody. There's only so many jokes you can tell and then you have to actually be a good sci-fi show.
    If it's a really earnest parody, you can get away with it, since you take a decent story and then sprinkle jokes on it. But yeah, I assumed it was going to be half-hour episodes.

    Now I'm really curious. Hope for the best...

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    Default Re: The Orville


    Well, wish he actually made Star Trek version of this. Maybe Orville as a coward with fake reputation.
    Or Rincewind for "mild" version.
    Edit: Consider the quality of Family Guy, tendency to strawman, and such; I have a bad feeling about this. Maybe it would be Space!Flashman.
    Last edited by t209; 2017-09-07 at 09:38 PM.
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    Default Re: The Orville

    Quote Originally Posted by An Enemy Spy View Post
    A full season of hour long episodes seems like a bad format for parody. There's only so many jokes you can tell and then you have to actually be a good sci-fi show.
    Fortunately for all concerned, it isn't being pitched as a parody, but as a drama/comedy in its own right. MacFarlane said that basically all the jokes in the first episode are in the trailers; it isn't supposed to be wall-to-wall slapstick.

    Second trailer (here because only one video per post and I didn't want to double post):

    Last edited by Renegade Paladin; 2017-09-07 at 09:49 PM.
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    Default Re: The Orville

    I gained interest in this when I read about the concept, and then lost interest as soon as I heard written and starring MacFarlane. For whatever reason his humor and mine just don't match. I never liked Family Guy, American Dad, or The Cleveland Show. And after that I haven't bothered with anything he's done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    I gained interest in this when I read about the concept, and then lost interest as soon as I heard written and starring MacFarlane. For whatever reason his humor and mine just don't match. I never liked Family Guy, American Dad, or The Cleveland Show. And after that I haven't bothered with anything he's done.
    I suspect this will not be the same as his cartoon shows; the format doesn't at all lend itself to that sort of humor and I believe he's smart enough to know that. Jon Favreau certainly is even if MacFarlane isn't. A Million Ways to Die in the West might be a better model.

    There's also the fact MacFarlane appeared on Enterprise. The dude's a hardcore Trekkie. I'd at least give it a shot.
    Last edited by Renegade Paladin; 2017-09-07 at 10:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    That... actually looks way better than the ACTUAL new Star Trek show.
    Yeah, but that's a bar so low an ant can hurdle it.

    Hopefully, the premiere isn't going to get too boned by the NFL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    I suspect this will not be the same as his cartoon shows; the format doesn't at all lend itself to that sort of humor and I believe he's smart enough to know that. Jon Favreau certainly is even if MacFarlane isn't. A Million Ways to Die in the West might be a better model.

    There's also the fact MacFarlane appeared on Enterprise. The dude's a hardcore Trekkie. I'd at least give it a shot.
    Ted and A Million Ways to Die in the West aren't particularly good omens for the comedy either, imo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Hopefully, the premiere isn't going to get too boned by the NFL.
    If there's one thing I remember about Deep Space Nine being on after football back in the 90s, it's that the NFL cutting off the first fifteen minutes is practically a given.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    If there's one thing I remember about Deep Space Nine being on after football back in the 90s, it's that the NFL cutting off the first fifteen minutes is practically a given.
    That's why NFL games often have some kind of throwaway programming after them. I've left the TV running after many a Seahawks game to find some show about pets or something on. Though on the West Coast at least the NFL Fox games are over long before 8:00.
    Last edited by An Enemy Spy; 2017-09-08 at 07:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kraftcheese View Post
    Ted and A Million Ways to Die in the West aren't particularly good omens for the comedy either, imo.
    A Million Ways to Die in the West was what finally made me realize that MacFarlane has forgotten how to do comedy. The downturn in Family Guy was a bad sign, but there was always the possibility that he might have been reinvigorated moving onto something else (like Groening was with Futurama). Sadly, this was not the case.

    If it hits and gets rave reviews, I might consider watching it. I doubt it will though. MacFarlane failing to be funny for at least the past five years is too long a down streak. He's in Eddie Murphy territory now.

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    Well, it looks like Fox is going to repeat the first episode on Tuesday. So hopefully one of those will be untrammeled.

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    As in redenbacher's popcorn?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    As in redenbacher's popcorn?
    No, Redenbacher is the guy who invented the airplane. You're thinking of Orville Jiffypop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    I'm kind of surprised we don't have a thread on this already. Seth MacFarlane is writing and starring in a live-action sci-fi drama/comedy called The Orville, which is a clear take on Star Trek with an hour long format and suspiciously familiar ship design aesthetics. It premieres on Fox (and will therefore probably meet the fate of Firefly) on Sunday. They've been playing their cards fairly close to the chest re: plot and scenes, but there are two trailers.

    ...

    For what it's worth, MacFarlane says he's trying to capture the old style aspirational sci-fi of early Trek, and that basically all the jokes in the first episode are in the trailers. I'm hopeful that this might actually be good.
    Given that MacFarlane is involved here, I suspect this to be roughly comparable with the X Movie franchise.

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    Honestly, I may give this show a shot. I have no expectations so if it's good I'll be pleasantly surprised
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    I haven't seen the trailer yet, but considering MacFarlane is the star I have serious doubts about the quality of the show. He is an absolutely terrible actor. His voice acting is good, but when it comes to his facial expressions and normal acting he's really bad. He basically ruined every scene in A Million Ways to Die. It was really jarring to me. Admittedly, he might have got better at it, but I have my doubts.

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    I keep seeing ads for this on TV (what little I even watch) and YouTube. It looked like a forgettable show the moment I laid eyes on it. Then I saw Seth MacFarlane's name on it (didn't recognise his face from anything) and am now actively against seeing even a single episode of the thing. Live-action space shows are hard enough for me to get into, without that face and voice attached. If it's semi-watchable, that's fine, but there's literally every other show in the genre available, so "probably forgettable" and "has MacFarlane in it" are all the reason I need to avoid it.

    And that's the end of me "complaining" about a show I wasn't going to watch, wouldn't have liked anyway, and don't particularly care about the genre of.
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    Default Re: The Orville

    Welp, the early reviews are pretty scathing.

    I think the harshest is IndieWire, who literally titled their review "‘The Orville’ Review: Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Star Trek’ Rip-Off is Creatively, Morally, and Ethically Bankrupt."

    Which is a little rougher than I expected, honestly. Wow.

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    Honestly, I got a bad vibe off the trailer. Galaxy Quest did it better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    Welp, the early reviews are pretty scathing.

    I think the harshest is IndieWire, who literally titled their review "‘The Orville’ Review: Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Star Trek’ Rip-Off is Creatively, Morally, and Ethically Bankrupt."

    Which is a little rougher than I expected, honestly. Wow.
    So, it's basically Star Trek, written by a comedian who has forgotten how to be funny, trying to be both serious and funny at the same time, and failing to do either.

    Sounds about right.

    Also not surprised that the moralizing was hamfisted. Star Trek was never exactly subtle, but MacFarlane's rants on Family Guy (via the mouth of Brian typically) were often downright offensive even when I agreed with his basic premise.

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    The idea of Seth McFarlane doing a parody of Star Trek doesn't appeal to me at all--for one thing, I've never really liked his humor. But if it's also supposed to work as a SF adventure, well, that's interesting. I'm not saying it'll be good, just that if it depended on McFarlane's joke writing, it wouldn't have a snowball's chance of working for me, but if there's more to it than that, it's not doomed to be bad (though my expectations are still low). Taking a genre show and adding humor but still making it enjoyable as a genre show was the formula for Maverick, after all, though off the top of my head, I can't come up with other examples that were successful both critically and ratings-wise.

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    Default Re: The Orville

    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    If there's one thing I remember about Deep Space Nine being on after football back in the 90s, it's that the NFL cutting off the first fifteen minutes is practically a given.

    Also I hate NFL.



    Quote Originally Posted by Giggling Ghast View Post
    Honestly, I got a bad vibe off the trailer. Galaxy Quest did it better.

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    I think this is going to suffer from viewers being confused by its tone. The trailers all show a comedy, but the reviews and its creator's self-description have it aiming towards something more dramatic and straightforwardly Trek-like. So, those in it for Family Guy-type humour might find themselves bored while the Trek crowd could easily be ignoring it altogether because why would you expect more from a MacFarlane production?

    Honestly, I think MacFarlane getting this together as part of his sincere affection for the Star Trek franchise is kind of great and I wish the people who owned actual Star Trek were that passionate, but after finally getting that dream off the ground I also think he should have then created some distance from it -- to not be swept up in living out his own fantasy.
    Last edited by Kitten Champion; 2017-09-10 at 06:02 PM.

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    Default Re: The Orville

    I only got to catch the last two thirds of the premiere, but I found it enjoyable. MacFarlane's acting didn't seem jarring at all, and in any case it's set up as an ensemble cast; he isn't carrying the whole thing. It leaned a lot of some of the more common sci-fi tropes, but so does basically all sci-fi. If you don't like science fiction, you won't like this. If you don't like MacFarlane's comedy, it doesn't feel like his comedy, because it's primarily drama; the humor is character driven rather than joke driven.
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    I thought the first episode was a resounding 'meh'. Not terrible, not great, just meh. Most of the funny stuff was in the trailers. And I thought the 'Happy Arbor Day' bit was pretty good. Most of it kind of fell flat, though. Also, hasn't the robot character who despises organic lifeforms been done to death? And were the Krill a reference to Idris Elba's character in Star Trek Beyond?

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