The Orville

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  • #220550

    Jonsmad

    i wish i could fly, way up to the sky, but i cant.

    Oh no wrong Orville, this Orvile. American FOX network Seth Macfarlane live action sci fi star trek comedy spoof series coming September. 13 episodes.

    https://youtu.be/d8aUuFsXRjU

    #220556

    KyoSo

    So, Star Trek with awful Family Guy jokes then?

    #220557

    Ben Paddon

    It looks to have more of a Hyperdrive feel to it. But, y’know, maybe a little less shit. Though saying that, there’s a lot about Hyperdrive that I liked. I just wish it’d been funny.

    So far, everything I’ve seen for The Orville looks promising, and it’s got US Trekkies’ hopes up far more than Star Trek: Discovery does, so… I dunno. I remain cautiously optimistic.

    #220559

    Darrell

    I liked A Million Days To Die In The West. Like, a lot. Am actually looking forward to this a fair amount, definitely more than Discovery.

    #220561

    Seb Patrick

    “Can I have a mint?”
    “Those are marbles.”

    #220562

    Seb Patrick

    Seriously, I just watched a minute and a half of a trailer for a comedy thing and I was still waiting for the jokes.

    #220565

    Plastic Percy

    Asthetically, it looks good. I wonder if the ship is powered by Seth MacFarlane’s smugness.

    #220567

    Mr-Stabby

    Interviews with Seth say that the one thing he tried to inject into the show is the 1990s Star Trek optimism of the future. That’s why I think Trekkies are looking forward to it as much if not more than Discovery.

    I won’t judge it by the trailer, because Fox will have made the trailer. If you saw Fox’s original trailers for Firefly, one of my favourite shows of all time, it made the show look SHIT.

    It may still be shit, but i’m going to give it a try.

    If it’s any good, expect Fox to cancel it about 2 episodes in :)

    #220576

    Ben Paddon

    Fox are historically rubbish at trailers.

    #220580

    KyoSo

    There’s jokes that fall flat, and there’s jokes that make me think “What intelligent adult could possibly find this funny?” Seth MacFarlane’s work consistently falls into the latter category for me. Even ignoring that, his shows tend to lack even coherent storytelling, instead having plots driven by randomness. I’m convinced any English professor worth his salt would tear you a new one for writing something as narratively lazy as his shows tend to be. Structurally, they remind me of the shit I wrote when I was like ten; stories that can be summarized as “This happened, then this other thing happened, and then we forget about all of it because then THIS unrelated thing happened!”

    The satire is at best glaringly obvious and not remotely subtle, at its worst horrifically backwards and offensive in its treatment of serious issues. The “parodies” usually just consist of the most basic Baby’s First Fourth Wall trope subversions (which they helpfully explain to the audience), or taking a famous characters and making them talk about poop or masturbation. It astounds me when people defend his stuff as “smart” or “sophisticated” when it’s some of the most hackneyed comedy I’ve ever seen. As an aspiring comedy writer myself it legitimately makes me angry to see him make a quadrillion dollars forging a media empire off his garbage writing while millions of people praise it as sophisticated and claim I “just don’t get it”.

    I do not have high hopes for the man doing a Star Trek parody, especially not after how Family Guy-esque that trailer felt. I get that comedy doesn’t trailer well, but those aren’t just weak jokes; they’re pretty awful.

    #220581

    Mr-Stabby

    I will say that the trailer did seem Family Guy-esque trailer as you say. Even in the style of delivery of some of the gags. The whole anti-banana ray gag is bizarrely delivered exactly like it would be in Family Guy itself. Almost robotic in the SETUP….PUNCHLINE with no natural pause.

    #220582

    GlenTokyo

    Visually it’s amazing, but they’re going to be hiding behind “it’s a parody” arguments for the entire run if the trailer is anything to go by, so much cribbed from both TNG era and Kelvin Trek.

    Jon Favreau gives me some hope but mostly I’m just annoyed it’s got Seth McFarlane in it, he does literally everything, no doubt he has talent even if his sense of humour is a bit bland, but does he have to be the lead in everything he does?

    He’s like Dennis Waterman on steroids.

    #220584

    Seb Patrick

    I’d love to know who the fuck buys his swing albums.

    #220585

    Darrell

    I do. The first one got me through a really tough summer a few years ago and the Christmas one is a proper joy.

    I could defend my fandom of MacFarlane’s body of work all day, but given the prevalence and vehemence of the spite against it online, full of projection, hyperbole and nihilism, and alongside it a similar amount of vitriol aimed at those who enjoy said work together with a summing up of why they’re objectively wrong AND morally flawed, I just find myself with zero compulsion to. Ditto The Big Bang Theory which is similarly frequent fodder for poison-pen ‘thinkpieces’.

    In a different world I’d happily debate the merits of these things, but we’re in a world that would too quickly stigmatise people as uncouth/undesirable for enjoying certain TV sitcoms so it’s a fandom I have to internalise.

    #220586

    Darrell

    (That wasn’t meant to be shitty to anyone here btw, I’ve just had enough of being pantomimed booed for enjoying an entertainer)

    #220587

    Dave Wallace

    I was saying Boo-urns.

    #220588

    Mr-Stabby

    I must admit i’ve occasionally read these opinion pieces on shows like Family Guy, Big Bang Theory and also shows like The Simpsons, and started regurgitating those same opinions. The obvious ones like ‘Family Guy has lost its edge’, ‘Big Bang Theory used to be a show about nerds, now it’s Friends with shoe-horned in Star Trek gags’ ‘The Simpsons should have been cancelled years ago’ etc etc.

    It’s certainly trendy to knock these shows now. But i then catch myself watching a new episode of ‘The Simpsons’ and thinking, wow this is genuinely actually very good. This deserves far more attention than its getting. Same with Family Guy. Big Bang Theory has certainly changed from its roots, and i must admit i don’t enjoy it anymore. But I’m not going to say it’s a bad show. When you watch some of the REALLY terrible comedies that appear on TV, Big Bang Theory is a masterpiece compared.

    No matter how good it turns out to be, ‘The Orville’ i think will be ripped apart. We’ll see if it manages to survive that. Can you imagine if Series 1 Red Dwarf would go out as a new show today. We wouldn’t be here now!

    As for the Seth swing albums, must admit i’ve never heard them, but Seth singing with Frank Sinatra Jr in those Family Guy episodes shows he really does have a terrific singing voice.

    #220589

    KyoSo

    Oh, I definitely respect MacFarlane as a voice artist. In fact he narrated the preface for this audiobook I’m listening to and I kind of wish he was doing the whole thing. He’s got a very good voice.

    I just don’t think he should be allowed near a script.

    #220594

    Phil

    Family Guy is the laziest lump of shit on television. Which, obviously, is saying something.

    It wasn’t always, but American Dad is the only thing of his that I’ve truly enjoyed and felt impressed by. It’s also probably the thing with the smallest amount of involvement from him, which may be why.

    My problem with him isn’t that he’s untalented (he’s not), unfunny (he’s not), or unlikable (he’s not). My problem is just that everything else his name is on feels lazy. It’s the product of someone (or a team of someones) who doesn’t (or don’t…) care about anything but ticking the same boxes over and over again.

    For someone who doesn’t like him, I think I’m relatively well-versed in his output, as his shows always aired around other things I wanted to watch. I’ve given this stuff more of a chance to resonate with me than I really should have. And, man, his shows have had some inspired gags, but they’re couched in material that ranges from pointless to appalling.

    All of this is to say that I’m confident The Orville won’t interfere with my treating American Dad as the lone exception.

    #220595

    Hamish

    > given the prevalence and vehemence of the spite against it online, full of projection, hyperbole and nihilism

    Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of Family Guy, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

    #220596

    KyoSo

    Family Guy is the laziest lump of shit on television. Which, obviously, is saying something.

    I’m glad somebody else said it, because I was still afraid to go there in case I offended somebody.

    For someone who doesn’t like him, I think I’m relatively well-versed in his output, as his shows always aired around other things I wanted to watch.

    A friend of mine very deliberately finds supposedly well regarded Family Guy episodes and forces me to watch them so we can tear them apart. “PTV” is supposed to be a “classic” but was ungodly awful, and the episode genuinely felt like they started with a series of random gags and tried to build a story that gave them an excuse to use them all. The so-called satire on censorship really annoyed me, because they seemed to be very genuinely trying to make a point that the FCC’s censorship was preventing them from doing sophisticated comedy about adult topics – but then every time they’d resort to the cheapest, filthiest middle school bathroom humor to illustrate what the FCC wants to take away.

    This show is literally aimed at fourteen year olds. I refuse to believe its genuinely targeted at an adult audience, unless that audience is stoned.

    #220597

    KyoSo

    And the marbles gag?

    The way to do that joke is to have him under-react to learning he’s been eating marbles or start choking in an over the top manner, not spit them out like a normal person. It still wouldn’t be funny, but it’d feel less of a hackneyed non-joke.

    #220606

    Ben Paddon

    I’m not the biggest fan of Family Guy – you won’t hear me bash how lazy it is, mostly because I have friends who work on the show and I’ve seen first-hand how much effort goes into making an episode, but certainly it’s not to my particular tastes.

    Surprisingly, this is probably the only place I’ve seen negative reactions to The Orville. The response to the trailer among my friends has been optimistic, even among people who can’t stand Family Guy. Pretty much everyone I know who’s a Trekkie is looking forward to it.

    #220607

    GlenTokyo

    I’m a trekkie, and generally I give all sci-fi a go, but what puts me off about this is solely the casting. Seth McFarlane, I wouldn’t begrudge him being in it but he’s the main character, and he’s so obviously Seth McFarlane that it takes me completely out of it, as do some of the other US TV mainstays that are supporting it, I’ve seen some of their work and they’re fine and I’m sure they will be in this but it just seems like they picked who was available rather than who was best.

    Obviously not seen it yet so I might change my mind, but my general feeling is this could have been properly good if they’d gone for a cast that needed it more.

    Definitely looking forward to Discovery more.

    #220608

    performingmonkey

    > Surprisingly, this is probably the only place I’ve seen negative reactions to The Orville.

    Yeah, it’s been 99% positive I’d say. I think part of that is the general dismay over what we’ve seen, thus far, from ST:Discovery and how refreshing the Orville seems in comparison.

    The slating the McFarlane ‘brand’ comes mostly from pseudo-snobbery or jealousy. Though IMO the very best comedies/comedians are the ones who aren’t ‘got’ by everyone. You know they are taking enough risks to take the step up to the next level, in the process becoming fucking awesome at what they do and not caring for the opinions of the beige set.

    #220640

    Ben Paddon

    Another factor, I think, is that we (that’s us!) have been hurt before. We were hurt by Futurama’s return, which wasn’t quite up to par. We were hurt by Hyperdrive. We were hurt by bits of X and XI. We – collectively, us lot, us G&Ters – have a lot to be skeptical about. Especially when what we’re being presented with is a new scifi-comedy from the guy who brought us the “Prom Dumpster Baby” song.

    But – but! – I remain cautiously optimistic. Even though some of the jokes feel a little Family Guy-y. Even if the premise can apparently be summed up as “Hyperdrive meets Ink”. I want to believe that this is a show that was put together out of a love of scifi, of Star Trek, and of a desire to make some really, really good scifi-comedy.

    I want to believe, damnit.

    #220641

    KyoSo

    I’m going to be watching the first episode with friends at some point so we can loudly comment on why it doesn’t work. BUT, if it turns out to actually be a fun show that just had a shit trailer, then we can just enjoy the show. As much as I’m expecting the whole pilot episode to feel like that trailer comedy-wise, I wouldn’t be that surprised if FOX just took the dumbest jokes to advertise the series with. Plus, pilots are often super broad on purpose, because that’s more likely to get sold to a network. Then once they have a show, the creators are free to be more sophisticated.

    Really depends on how much the actual day-to-day writing of the show is handled by MacFarlane. He most likely wrote the pilot or was one of multiple writers, but I can believe that other writers could make this show into something good even if it doesn’t start out that way. I feel like he has the right ideas for how to do a Star Trek-style show, and better understands what Star Trek is supposed to be than the Kelvin films have, but I just don’t think he’s remotely the right person to write the actual scripts.

    I want this to turn out to be good, because sci-fi comedy is an under-utilized genre. But I’m not expecting anything particularly clever out of the pilot even if the show finds its feet in coming episodes.

    #220642

    Mr-Stabby

    I’m hopeful of the fact that it’s actually being directed by Star Trek regulars like Jonathan Frakes (who actually directed the better of the TNG films). I can’t imagine him agreeing to direct something if it actively insults TNG or is just bad. But then again he did direct the Thunderbirds movie…

    #220645

    KyoSo

    It’ll probably look very nice, if nothing else.

    #221288

    KyoSo

    I watched the pilot. It was complete fucking garbage.

    #221289

    Ben Paddon

    I also watched the pilot. It struggled.

    In terms of the story presented, both from an individual episode and show arc perspective, I actually didn’t hate it. It felt suitably Star Trek, which is absolutely what Macfarlane and co. are going for. In terms of pilots I’d say it’s stronger than the Enterprise and TNG premieres. If the A story had been the plot to an episode of TNG or even TOS I think I would’ve enjoyed it well enough.

    The humor is… okay. It’s fine. It’s also sparse – one gets the impression that Macfarlane isn’t really looking to make a comedy, but rather a one-hour scifi show with occasional comedic elements. Shows like that can and do work – Firefly is a key example – but unlike Firefly, The Orville’s two leads lean in to the comedy (when it happens) as if it’s a sitcom, and that’s probably going to cause confusion down the line. Firefly felt real. The Orville feels like it hasn’t decided which side of the fence it wants to land yet.

    Which is weird, because we know exactly what kind of show it is. It’s Star Trek, but with Real People in it. I’d go so far as to suggest that maybe Macfarlane pitched this to CBS/Paramount for a Trek series, got turned down, then took it home to file off the serial numbers and re-pitch it to Fox. That’s not strictly speaking a problem, and the premise they have is an interesting one that could work very, very well if they can hit the mark. I’d argue they actually pull it off a couple of times in the episode.

    The problem, though, is that lack of consistency. The tenor of the jokes varies from “real thing that happens and is just funny” to “hey, we’re in a sitcom!” – that’s a huge problem when the humor isn’t supposed to be the focus of the show, and it leaves The Orville with a very uneven pilot.

    At its best, The Orville veers close to Star Trek territory. At its worst, it’s Hyperdrive with double the runtime and half the jokes. I’d like to see it get better, because I think TV needs hopeful scifi right now, and Star Trek: Discovery looks very much like it’s going to be a grim affair, particularly when compared to the bright colors and clean walls of The Orville. If the show can nail that Firefly humor balance and keep coming up with compelling Trek-esque storylines, maybe it has a shot.

    I wouldn’t mind them knocking it on the fucking head with the sexist jokes, though. There were a couple of jokes in the pilot that just felt so dated. Toilet seat jokes? Come on, the only thing you should be borrowing from the 90s is the TNG/DS9/VOY production aesthetic.

    #221295

    Pete Part Three

    Seth Macfarlane made something that’s shit, huh?

    #221304

    Warbodog

    I’ll stick with Black Mirror’s take. No idea what that’s going to involve apart from some entertainingly sexist outfits (“what’s wrong with being sexy?”) I’ll assume it ends up even grimmer than Discovery.

    #221314

    Mr-Stabby

    I think Ben’s review is probably the closest to what i would write. Saying it’s complete shit is unfair and untrue. There is a lot to like in ‘The Orville’ and i came away from the episode having enjoyed it overall, but it really needs to decide what kind of show it is. The straight sitcom lines that were in the trailer were scattered throughout the show and they jarred with the tone of the show overall. The comedy that was underplayed worked better, and hopefully that’s the way they’ll play it going forward.

    We have to remember, this was a pilot! We on this forum know every well that Red Dwarf’s pilot was a complete mess. Star Trek TNG’s entire first two seasons were a mess. This was probably better than pilots of all those shows.

    #221320

    Darrell

    Haven’t seen the Orville pilot yet, but Ben’s comment about it originating as an actual Trek pitch is true. In 2014 MacFarlane was attempting exactly that with Paramount and it’s not difficult to join the dots from there.

    #221323

    Seb Patrick

    >We on this forum know every well that Red Dwarf’s pilot was a complete mess

    Do we? I mean, for starters, Red Dwarf didn’t have a pilot.

    #221324

    Dave Wallace

    And secondly, Red Dwarf didn’t have a pilot.

    Now I realise that technically speaking that’s only one flaw but I thought that it was such a big one that it was worth mentioning twice.

    #221326

    Toxteth O-Grady

    I was about to say the same. Isn’t a pilot a show that’s designed to be used as a test, to give the network an impression of what the series will be like?
    It’s not necessarily the same thing as ‘Episode 1’.

    Also ‘The End’, if that’s what you’re referring to as the pilot, did a great job of setting up the premise; the humour; and the characters; almost immediately IMO. Not the best episode ever, but certainly not the worst in Series 1 (and funnier than anything post-series 6).

    What exactly is the interesting premise of The Orville? The trailer makes it appear to simply be like Star Trek but with jokes. (I’m not suggesting there isn’t an interesting premise – I’m genuinely asking)

    #221330

    quinn_drummer

    Having watched the first episode, it’s pretty solid sci-fi, Star Trek-esque, with some pretty terrible jokes.

    I actually really enjoyed it, the humour is broad but it lives things up where Star Trek can sometimes feels a little stuffy, but the writing was fairly strong, decent concept, really really good SFX, liked the story.

    If the rest of the series is on par with this episode it’ll be worth following.

    #221335

    Ben Saunders

    Toxteth – that’s supposed to be the definition, I think, but many shows I’ve seen end up using the term “pilot” to just mean “the first episode” – Doug himself does this in the Remastered documentary, and both Chuck and Friends seem to be unable to make their mind up between calling the first episode “Pilot” or giving it a proper title.

    Just checking, I always thought they called the first one “Chuck versus the Pilot”, but now apparently it’s called “Chuck versus the Intersect” or “Pilot”.

    The first episode of Lost is called Pilot.

    #221337

    Mr-Stabby

    > Do we? I mean, for starters, Red Dwarf didn’t have a pilot.

    Not officially, but I’m referring to the original recording of ‘The End’. it may have not been officially a pilot, but if we term pilot as an unbroadcast first episode of a show which is used to see what works and what needs to be changed, then the original recording of ‘The End’ is really a pilot, even if it wasn’t intended to be. And as much as we love the show now, and as good as the final recording became, that original show is weak.

    Having said that, i suppose i don’t know if that first episode of ‘The Orville’ was the first recording of the show made or not. But my original point after all this was that it’s unfair to judge a show entirely on first episode, and that seems to be what people do these days. I think there’s enough there for me to continue watching the show.

    #221338

    Ben Saunders

    I can say I’m guilty of watching the first episode of Back, Mitchell and Webb’s new sitcom, and denouncing it as mediocre and “to be forgotten”. I’ll watch the second episode but I don’t have much faith in it.

    #221340

    Toxteth O-Grady

    Yeah, I think a series should definitely be given time to find its feet, rather than being written off too early in its run.

    Look at Seinfeld and The Simpsons as examples of how poor their pilots / first episodes were compared to how great they later became (and then wince at how they later jump the shark).

    I just think ‘The End’ is actually a pretty strong episode, all things considered.

    #221341

    Ben Saunders

    The End is very good and very funny, but the original assembly of The End was dire and depressing before they reshot large swathes of it. It ends up being one of the fastest paced episodes of Series I – after re-watching I and II recently, I’m stunned by how slow it all is, and how the laughs are fewer and further between (but still very strong)

    #221343

    KyoSo

    What exactly is the interesting premise of The Orville? The trailer makes it appear to simply be like Star Trek but with jokes. (I’m not suggesting there isn’t an interesting premise – I’m genuinely asking)<bllockquote>
    It’s Star Trek but the cast is made up of bickering children and stereotypes. The dialogue is ungodly annoying and unfunny, and the world is made up of nothing but Star Trek conventions without any interesting twists on them. There’s nothing remotely interesting or creative to be seen.

    There is a lot to like in ‘The Orville’

    Um…where? If I wanted the half-baked sci-fi I’d watch a mediocre Star Trek episode, and if I wanted unlikable characters spouting terrible jokes I’d watch The Big Bang Theory.

    #221344

    KyoSo

    Reposted because I utterly fucked the tags on my first try:

    What exactly is the interesting premise of The Orville? The trailer makes it appear to simply be like Star Trek but with jokes. (I’m not suggesting there isn’t an interesting premise – I’m genuinely asking)

    It’s Star Trek but the cast is made up of bickering children and stereotypes. The dialogue is ungodly annoying and unfunny, and the world is made up of nothing but Star Trek conventions without any interesting twists on them. There’s nothing remotely interesting or creative to be seen.

    There is a lot to like in ‘The Orville’

    Um…where? If I wanted the half-baked sci-fi I’d watch a mediocre Star Trek episode, and if I wanted unlikable characters spouting terrible jokes I’d watch The Big Bang Theory.

    #221346

    Ben Saunders

    I couldn’t take anything with Seth MacFarlane playing the lead role seriously enough to care about the plots, the exception being American Dad, mostly because I don’t need to look at his smug fucker of a face

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