TV Guide asked in an article Why do Critics hate The Orville and Fans love it? Silly question really as fans of something generally like it. The Orville is Seth MacFarlane Star Trek parody of sorts, that is both riffing on the series and expanding on it. Set on the USS Orville, a ship that MacFarlane’s Ed Mercer is captaining. Also on the ship is Scott Grimes Lt Gordon Malloy, Penny Johnson Jerald’s Dr Claire Finn, J. Lee Lt John LaMarr (who has a secret intellegence) and Adrianne Palicki playing MacFarlane’s ex wife Commander Kelly Grayson.
Right well The Orville has a sweeping, swaggering sense of its own importance. Unlike Star Trek, The Orville is stuck rigidly in the present. It wants to be a commentating force on sociological phenomena, as in episode ‘Majority Rules’, which focuses on social media and the like era we are in ( Charlie Brooker’s Dark Mirror did the same, better). It wants to be a force for social justice as in ‘Command Performance’, where it discusses the option of gender roles and power reflections in society. Then it also wants to be exploring our future world ‘Into the fold’ sees how modernity and morality are both essences of social perception. In the end I have to be honest, it lacks a lot of nuances of Star Trek. MacFarlane is not a skilled mediator of ideas. He believes in shouting the point at you. This can work in some episodes. ‘Cupids Dagger’ is very telling on male identity and territory issues. It does this well. However overall the season burns light, lacks clever ideas and becomes soft television. If that is what it set out to achieve then it does this very well!