Several excellent TV shows have recently wrapped up and the new season of premiers are arriving close behind them. One that I find myself very excited for is Orville which premiers Sunday on Fox.
To give you a glance at my own perspective with the genre, my dad used to own all of the Star Trek original series on tape, and he would watch it with me. Often. So, I grew up with the original Star Trek, as well as Next Generation, Enterprise, and most other science fiction television. Let’s just say, if there’s a spaceship in it, I’ve probably seen it.
That being said, I am very optimistic about MacFarlane’s fresh idea for space travel.
Seth MacFarlane has created a science fiction adventure that (for once) won’t take itself seriously. From the commercials, I saw a combination of unique comedy, but also a potential for some serious heartfelt moments. I love that! I am so excited to see a science fiction show about traveling the universe and seeing some weird things, and actually acknowledging in a comical way that those things are weird.
Comparing this to Star Trek, a show that took itself too seriously, they made it especially difficult when they tried and failed to make sinister aliens. Even with a show like Farscape, which has many comical elements to it, they never made too much of an effort to sympathize with the audience when weird alien crap was happening. It’s weird. It’s alien. Deal with it.
I feel like Orville is going to be different on that front.
ACTUALLY RELATABLE CHARACTERS
Not only will it allow us to adjust to alien situations by showing their cast react, but also it’s making the whole crew act like real people.
In the trailer, MacFarlane and his ex-wife are arguing, and the pilots are listening in. One of the other characters mentions that they shouldn’t be talking about their superiors, and then the pilot says, “Oh no, we’re talking about this. This is a thing.” That is something my friend would say. Actually, that’s something I would say.
I feel like these characters aren’t the professional space explorers that we’re used to, and that could lead to some A+ couch time.
DECENT SPECIAL EFFECTS
From what we see of the space battles, the creatures, and even in the background of certain scenes, the special effects budget was not cut short. Although, I do appreciate that there are occasionally real models used where possible.
I appreciate this so much! Using real models and makeup in places where it can be realistic saves the budget for the really big space battles.
I don’t know about you, but when I watched Star Trek with insanely gorgeous air headed models, and their leader, William Shatner, it made me distance myself from who they were trying to play. Orville doesn’t have a bunch of air headed models like they did. These actors are funny, interesting, and not so attractive that it’s the only thing you pay attention to.
Of course, there’s the ex-wife, played by the absolutely gorgeous Adrianne Palicki, but she’s a decent enough actress that it’s not a huge problem. Plus, we’ve seen in Agents of Shield that she can handle her actions scenes, which would be very entertaining.
There are critics who say this show has no direction. Is it a comedy? Is it an adventure? I say, why pick? Some of the best shows are a combination of both. Another critic said that the comedy was sparse enough that it distracted from the adventure, rather than contributing to it. Although that is a possible concern, I see it contributing more to the characters than making the adventure irrelevant.
One thing that could really ruin this show is the fact that it’s being made on Fox. The same villains who cancelled Firefly! Also, John Doe, The Finder, Drive (with Nathan Fillion), Brisco County Jr., Arrested Development, Futurama, and many others. Those are just the ones I liked!
From what I’ve seen so far, Orville definitely deserves a first look with its premier. It’s a weird, funny, and heartfelt looking show, and I hope that it lives up to all that it could be.