Show Review: The Orville

The cast of FOX's "The Orville" pose with their ship, the USS Orville.

Seth MacFarlane and FOX create a decent sci-fi television show that shouldn't exist. It's big on chuckles and even bigger on wasted expenditure, but shallow where it matters.

The science fiction nut in me watched along, all smiles, during the series premier of The Orville. But it wasn't until the episode was over that I took a moment to scratch my head and ask myself, "What was that?" Underneath its initial layers, The Orville is nothing more than FOX's preemptive strike against CBS and Star Trek Discovery. It's a slightly funnier and drastically shallower version of Star Trek, and ultimately, has no business being produced nor aired. Of course, we can't judge the entire series based on one episode, but concurrently, we've seen enough to know what is what. If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, then it certainly must be a shittier version of Star Trek. And you only get one chance to make a first impression.

The Orville feels like the world's most expensive and best produced parody, ever. Except that it's not a sketch comedy skit. It's a television show. With A Lot of Expensive CG. Can you imagine how pissed off sci-fi fans would be if someone created a film that was almost identical to Star Wars but was just different enough, only that, It Wasn't Star Wars? Certainly, there are more humorous shows out there. And most definitely, there's better sci-fi out there. Which leads us back to our original question. WHY? What purpose does this show serve, other than to take up broadcast space and waste bandwidth? Why would anyone, regardless of their sci-fi junkie status, want a slightly funnier, much shallower version of Star Trek? Who would want this? Who would prefer this over any Star Trek? Old or new?

The craziest part of it all is that, some person or group of persons, somewhere, sat around, discussed this concept, thought it would be a good idea, and greenlit it. And thus, the man hours and the production dollars flowed like the great flood. None of which will ever be caught in a reservoir for future use, providing no benefit to mankind, whatsoever.

It's not a bad show...If you like cool, futuristic planes and somewhat-witty banter among beings of intergalactic origins, you'll like The Orville. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a show more, while simultaneously contemplating the reason for its being.

The Orville is just there. "Meh" as one of my Instagram friends politely put it, is a fantastic way to sum up the concept behind The Orville, as well as its premier. It's neither here nor there. It's neither good nor bad. It just is. And perhaps a mediocre existence in a world full of substandardly choices, makes The Orville an acceptable piece of entertainment.



Image: 20th Century Fox

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