Seth MacFarlane: ‘The Orville’ VS ‘Star Trek’

Cli-Fi

John J. Falco
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#1
Let the games begin! Seth MacFarlane suggests Star Trek is going in the wrong direction. He might be right. Discuss...

“I miss the…aspirational place Star Trekused to occupy,” MacFarlane said. “They’ve chosen to go in a different direction,” he said, describing that direction as dystopian. The space Star Trek, MacFarlane maintained, now is “unoccupied.”

“They can’t all be Hunger Games,” he said. “There is some space for aspirational.” The Orville, he said is “an attempt to fill that void.”
Seth MacFarlane: ‘The Orville’ Occupies Sci-Fi Space ‘Star Trek’ Left Behind En Route To Dystopia
 

BAYLOR

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Parson

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I so like this comment however: "One critic said the show does not feel like “today’s science fiction,” wondering why he made a show that looks and feels like the 90’s. “Because I miss the optimism,” MacFarlane responded. “I’m tired of being told everything is going to be grim and dystopian…I miss the hopeful side of science fiction.” " I also miss optimism in S.F. There is enough pessimism in the news for anyone to digest.
 

Cli-Fi

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I so like this comment however: "One critic said the show does not feel like “today’s science fiction,” wondering why he made a show that looks and feels like the 90’s. “Because I miss the optimism,” MacFarlane responded. “I’m tired of being told everything is going to be grim and dystopian…I miss the hopeful side of science fiction.” " I also miss optimism in S.F. There is enough pessimism in the news for anyone to digest.
Yeah it's one of the few reasons why I am having such a hard time with some of these new shows lately. There's realism (the expanse) and unexpected black comedy and then there's just plain grit, blood and guts. I like the black comedy dramas to a point. But if they crank out breaking bads after breaking bads, I won't be able to take all that. There's some shows like Dexter or Game of Thrones I just couldn't get into and I barely am enjoying the Handmaid's Tale. (though it is great!) I'm not sure I want Star Trek to become like a game of thrones. That isn't the point of ST. ST is supposed to be uplifting, diplomatic, and optimistic. So I think it's great that Seth is trying to fill that void. Because he's right. That's not on TV at the moment.

Even the uplifting and optimistic shows always look backwards.
 
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#5
These critics and reporters seem kinda challenged. If Star Trek tried to sue Orville, then every magazine and TV show from the 30s to the 60s could just as easily sue Star Trek. Besides, the people who see it as closer to a Galaxyquest-like parody of ST are correct. It looks closer to GQ than ST. However, the FOX CEO isn't doing anyone any favors. We're "not really" concerned? We have "a big legal team"? So, "We're a little concerned and we may have done stuff wrong but we don't think we'll suffer any consequences"? I don't think that's what she meant to say. She should have just said, "No concern at all. Frankly, your question is silly."

Anyway, I would prefer a (lightly) serious spaceship show but I'll take any kind I can get. A comedy may be an extreme antidote but I do agree that there's way too much grimness and darkness and I look forward to something a little more fun. I hope it is like Galaxyquest in that the story may be self-referential and primed for comedy but is still something that has some sort of dramatic engagement. I wasn't interested in this at all (never have cared to watch any of MacFarlane's stuff), but watched the trailer recently and the concept and tone kind of clicked. I love the bit at around 1:45.

So it's FOX and it's SF and I'm going to watch it which means it will almost certainly be cancelled before the first season's over[1] but maybe MacFarlane has his hooks deep enough into FOX that it'll survive if it deserves to. And I think this should really work for Adrianne Palicki (although it's odd that this will be the second show in close proximity where it's had a speculative premise and she's playing a fiery ex-wife). If it's really successful, maybe we'll get a spinoff called The Wilbur. Or The Redenbacher.

[1] I really have to question FOX's judgment in airing two episodes way before Premiere Week and having that follow FOX's NFL Game of the Week (meaning it's opposite Sunday Night Football) and then moving it to its regular spot (opposite Thursday Night Football). So few people will be looking for it or anything like it at the time, those who are in the lead-in audience will change to SNF and those who don't get lost in the schedule change will still not watch it opposite TNF. And those who do come in on Thursday for the first time will likely not know what's going on, having missed the first two, so will turn it off. Typical FOX. But who knows, maybe it'll work somehow.
 

BAYLOR

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Yeah it's one of the few reasons why I am having such a hard time with some of these new shows lately. There's realism (the expanse) and unexpected black comedy and then there's just plain grit, blood and guts. I like the black comedy dramas to a point. But if they crank out breaking bads after breaking bads, I won't be able to take all that. There's some shows like Dexter or Game of Thrones I just couldn't get into and I barely am enjoying the Handmaid's Tale. (though it is great!) I'm not sure I want Star Trek to become like a game of thrones. That isn't the point of ST. ST is supposed to be uplifting, diplomatic, and optimistic. So I think it's great that Seth is trying to fill that void. Because he's right. That's not on TV at the moment.

Even the uplifting and optimistic shows always look backwards.
It's on Fox which is network not known for its patience with science fiction shows that fail to deliver them big ratings numbers.
 

MWagner

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#7
I found the Orville far more entertaining than Discovery. And it's more than just a comedy - it genuinely captures the optimistic spirit of exploration of TNG. It also features more genuine science-fiction than Discovery. For its part, Discovery feels like a grimdark YA melodrama with a patina of Star Trek. Watched four episodes and dropped it.

Oh, and I can watch the Orville with my kids. Not so with Discovery.
 

BAYLOR

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If they concentrate on telling good stories and can the unfunny sophomoric humor. Then the show will have a long run.

I don’t care for. Seth MacFarlane the comedian. But as serious actor, he’s quite good . I like Captain Ed Mercer and and the rest of the cast.(y):cool:
 
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#10
I really don't see how a comedy qualifies as "optimistic". That's like call The Life of Brian devotional. You can't mock and embrace something at the same time for your audience. The message of the Orville is that any sort of optimistic SF is a joke.
 

picklematrix

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Seth mcfarlane can apparently do something good when i puts effort in
Im glad there's one show on air that isn't grimdark and dramatic.
 

Vince W

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#12
The first series was tiresome. The jokes were terrible and and while there was potential in the series, I couldn't finish it.

MacFarlane tries hard, but not everything he does has to be a 'comedy'. If he's taken Orville seriously, he might have accomplished something amazing. As it was he just did something ho hum.
 
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#13
Comedy isn't a terrible thing, but ST preserves the 4th wall by letting the audience laugh with the crew, while MacFarlane wants you to laugh at his crew.
 

BAYLOR

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#14
Comedy isn't a terrible thing, but ST preserves the 4th wall by letting the audience laugh with the crew, while MacFarlane wants you to laugh at his crew.
If he make the crew a running joke , the audiences for the show will go away.
 

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