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Old 12 Sep 2017, 11:56 AM   #676661 / #1
lpetrich
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Default The Orville: a bad Star Trek ripoff?

Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville isn't the spoof Fox advertised. It’s much weirder — and worse. - Vox
The Orville Review: Seth MacFarlane Star Trek Rip-Off Morally Bankrupt | IndieWire

From the first link:
Quote:
1) The Orville is Star Trek fanfiction that will not (or cannot?) acknowledge that it is Star Trek fanfiction

2) The Orville is neither comedy nor drama

3) The Orville is an hour-long show for no real reason

4) The Orville’s earnest attempts at social relevancy clash with MacFarlane’s typically glib style

Bonus round: The Orville’s existence is the least confusing thing about it
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The best way to describe “The Orville” is “What would happen if a guy who spent years writing animated dick jokes for television got the opportunity to make his own ‘Star Trek’? Oh, and what if his parent network gave him millions to make that happen?” It is a show that will be baffling for people who have never seen an episode of “Star Trek.” And for fans of the franchise, who know intimately how a “Trek” series feels, it will be downright disturbing.

“The Orville” chronicles the adventures of Captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) and the loyal crew of the U.S.S. Orville (seriously, it uses the prefix U.S.S.) as they soar through space on some unexplained exploratory mission in the far distant future. There are humans, and there are good aliens, some of whom are crew members, and there are bad aliens, who get fought in space battles. There’s also Ed feuding with his ex-wife Kelly (Adrianne Palicki), who now serves as his commanding officer despite the fact that that’s probably a terrible idea. But otherwise, it’s a simple show about decent people traveling through space and occasionally saying funny things.
So it's not even a very good ripoff of Star Trek. Not like Babylon 5.
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Old 14 Sep 2017, 03:17 AM   #676725 / #2
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seth MacFarlane has something to do with it, so I have no interest at all. The man creates horrendous comedies, so that he creates mediocre at best dramas is no surprise at all.

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Old 15 Sep 2017, 02:26 PM   #676798 / #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediancat View Post
seth MacFarlane has something to do with it, so I have no interest at all. The man creates horrendous comedies, so that he creates mediocre at best dramas is no surprise at all.
I've never watched anything that he has created, so I can't say.

Also, having the First Officer be his character's ex-wife seems like a bad staffing decision -- and a setup for bickering that is supposed to be funny.


But this is interesting: 'The Orville' packed with Star Trek alums

Seth MacFarlane himself: ENT Ensign Rivers
Penny Johnson (Dr. Claire Finn, ship's doctor): DS9 Kasidy Yates
James Horan (Sazeron): TNG Barnaby, DS9 Ikat'ika, VOY Tosin, ENT (?)
Jonathan Frakes (director): TNG William Riker
Robert Duncan McNeil (director): VOY Tom Paris
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Old 18 Sep 2017, 08:24 PM   #676892 / #4
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When it came on last night after the football game, the wife, who admittedly is not a sci-fi fan, remarked to me as I reentered the room that if the first 30 seconds were any measure, this was a terrible show. I'd not heard that much about it and assumed it to be a comedic ripoff, and I'm long since burned out on sitcoms, so was never that interested to begin with. We found something else to put on.
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Old 19 Sep 2017, 01:00 AM   #676898 / #5
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I've watched the first two episodes and have mixed feelings about them. I find Seth MacFarlane very funny at times, but he relies too heavily on sexual and scatological jokes--always guaranteed to get laughs from a primate audience--to make me want to spend a lot of time watching his stuff. This is very light comedy fare that is intended to be a sendup of Star Trek. Nothing more. Having the first officer be the estranged wife of the bumbling captain is good for a few laughs. Don't take it seriously. It isn't genius material, but there are far worse comedies out there.
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Old 19 Sep 2017, 01:25 AM   #676901 / #6
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I can't work out what it's supposed to be- not enough laughs to be a comedy, too broad to be a drama.
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Old 19 Sep 2017, 09:21 AM   #676910 / #7
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I agree with all of the above, apart from two things.

I rather like it, in between the uneven tone and scatology.

I think it is very deliberately meant to be a homage to the original series rather than a parody. At this point it is rather uneven, but I can see a possibility of it settling down into something quite good. The combination of Roddenberry's original optimistic vision with Mcfarlane's good natured but slightly silly 'realism' just might be a winning combination.

Give it half a dozen episodes and it will either crash and burn or find a sweet spot. It's almost a pity that it couldn't be pulled into the original franchise because it would work a lot better without having to repaint all the tropes.
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Old 19 Sep 2017, 02:54 PM   #676917 / #8
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It's not a ripoff. It's supposed to be a parody. I haven't watched enough to tell if it's successful at that, but the general consensus I've seen is that it's not really all that funny.

If it comes on Netflix or some other streaming service, I'll probably watch it and judge for myself.
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Old 26 Sep 2017, 03:53 PM   #677198 / #9
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I'm shocked it isn't better than it is. I don't just mean in tone or dialogue. The set design; costume design; CGI. It's all really unimaginative, so if it is supposed to be parody, I guess it strikes a chord in comparison to the first few seasons of TNG, but it's too subtle for it to be effective. It just looks like they hired second-rate creatives, so if it is parody it needs to be much broader in the acting/storylines/dialogue to compliment the lack of imaginative design.
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Old 26 Sep 2017, 06:48 PM   #677212 / #10
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It's a bad rip-off of the movie Galaxy Quest, which was a good parody of Star Trek. All this series lacks is the wit, the charm, the empathy for fans, and the excellent cast of Galaxy Quest. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0177789/combined
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Old 27 Sep 2017, 06:58 PM   #677263 / #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
so if it is supposed to be parody
here's the thing: it isn't.

it's a comedic homage, NOT a parody - there's an important distinction here.

myself and my friend who are generally big fat nerds and fans of nerdly things like star trek (not just of the shows but of the broader culture around them) have found the orville to be utterly delightful, because if you really know your star trek you see direct references to it everywhere in this show - not just thematically or production wise, but in dialogue and scenes.
there's a hilariously ridiculous amount of reference based gags here, and if you know ST well enough to catch them all it's pretty funny.
additionally, this show really captures the spirit of ST quite well, of a future where the human race tries to be better and blahblah utopia etc etc optimism.
lastly, overall i'd say this show is basically "imagine TNG if everyone on TNG reacted to everything like an actual person would instead of like some heroic marble statue"

having said all that, i can totally see how this show would be weird and rather stupid if you're not a huge ST geek.
if you're not catching all the references, this show suffers from the same problem a lot of mcfarlane's work does: he mistakes references in a comedic situation with comedic references, IE the show will just randomly do a direct re-enactment of a scene from star trek without a setup or punchline, and the fact it was a scene from star trek (but not in star trek) is supposed to be the joke, i guess?

anyways i just pretend that this the ship where the webseries "Starship Icarus" is taking place, and then wish they'd made more Icarus because that was everything this show could/should have been but isn't.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlhE...hirhQtEzF-W2Ay)
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Old 27 Sep 2017, 10:58 PM   #677290 / #12
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Welcome to the board, prideandfall! I get your point about comedic homage, because that is the way MacFarlane has been describing it. Most of the humor makes no sense at all unless you are familiar with Star Trek and also something of a fan of that genre of optimistic/idealistic TV soap opera. The humor is often very subtle and very understated. I still find it very light fare, but it has its amusing moments.
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Old 29 Sep 2017, 04:10 AM   #677371 / #13
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All right, I watched it tonight and it didn't suck too badly.
Some ST echoes.
Still not much in the way of humour.
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Old 02 Oct 2017, 07:27 PM   #677521 / #14
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having watched ST: discovery over the weekend i can now that say the officially branded ST franchise continues to be utterly fucking abysmal, the orville is about 10,000,000 times better than ST: discovery, and the orville is also the closest thing to star trek that has been on TV probably since at least voyager.
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Old 04 Oct 2017, 02:31 PM   #677629 / #15
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Yabbut, Voyager sucked donkey nuts.
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Old 04 Oct 2017, 07:21 PM   #677638 / #16
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Quote:
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Yabbut, Voyager sucked donkey nuts.
yes, but it was at least a star trek show that sucked donkey nuts, as opposed to be a show that sucked donkey nuts and just had the ST logo slapped on it.
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Old 04 Oct 2017, 07:44 PM   #677639 / #17
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While I have never tried donkey nuts, I enjoyed Discovery immensely. At this point, it's not very Star Trek, but it's solidly written, well acted and has some great SFX.

Ironically, the ST branded show almost seems to miss the point of Star Trek while the non branded show seems to have a real grasp of what matters about ST (with added dick jokes).

I'm enjoying both more than I should.

Mind you, the thing I've enjoyed the most recently is this:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-r...s-rory-kinnear

with this as a close second:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07bp62s

So I'm not remotely to be trusted.
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Old 06 Oct 2017, 07:07 PM   #677748 / #18
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Watched it again, probably for the last time unless the only alternative is something with helicopters and machine guns, and I finally figured out what it is:
Friends - in Space.
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