Gini Koch has another binge watch episode.
We thank her for her contributions and time she puts in for us on this binging. And we love her unique outlook on life especially on some of the material she has chosen. Some of it I didn’t even know existed on DVD.
We have done a few of those things and it can be exhausting.
Let’s see what she has to say about something a little more contemporary, this time it is The Orville.
The Orville, created by and starring Seth MacFarlane, is a science fiction show set 400 years into the future, where a crew of misfits and screwups, along with some actually competent people, is off going where man has, mostly, already gone before.
MacFarlane is Captain Ed Mercer, who has a fractious relationship with his ex-wife, Commander Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) who also happens to be the commander, aka his First Officer, on the Orville, a not-so-great ship which is Mercer’s last chance at captaining. Can he handle it? And can the crew?
Ed and Kelly fight, flirt, learn things about each other and their relationship – including the fact that it might not actually have been Kelly’s fault she cheated on Ed – all while also succeeding and messing up. Both succeed, both mess up, though not always at the same time.
The crew has the usual collection of different “races” – most of them distinctly humanoid, though Yaphit, voiced by Norm MacDonald, is not and pretty much steals whatever scenes he’s in. We have the young, tiny girl who’s hella strong; the android from a planet of robots who’s essentially on the Orville as a sort of goodwill mission; the pilot who’s a drunken bum but the best there is; a navigator hiding his high intelligence and abilities; and more. They could be grating. But they actually manage to mesh together pretty well.
Whether you like the humor or not is going to depend a lot on if you like MacFarlane’s sense of humor in anything else he’s done. I do. I don’t love all his work, but I enjoy enough of it that giving The Orville a chance was worthwhile. And I’m glad I did. The first season is only 12 episodes (it’s been renewed at least for Season 2) and they fly by. I was left wanting more, even though the season ended properly, which is a sign of a good show.
There’s romance, and not just the “what’s going to happen with Ed and Kelly” romance, action, messages that, like all good science fiction, mirror things going on in our own world, and fun along with that humor. The sets, costuming, and makeup are first rate, and nothing feels cheesy that shouldn’t. Yes, it’s MacFarlane so some of the humor is potty humor, and there are some mild sexual situations, so maybe pre-screen it before you let the little ones settle down in front of the screen. But otherwise, it’s just a fun little romp.
This series was talked about as a Galaxy Quest-type TV show. It’s not, not really. What it is is a loving throwback to Star Trek, made by people who clearly loved TOS and TNG deeply, with humor added in. I enjoyed the hell out of it and I can’t wait for Season 2.
5 stars out of 5
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