The Orville is better than Star Trek: Discovery


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/12/the-orville-is-better-than-sta.html


#2

Uh oh! Prepare to get your nerd rage on! :wink:

I’ve yet to see either, so I’m looking forward to what all the Star Trek geeks think of them both.


#3

I haven’t gotten to ST:D, but the Orville is great – the first couple of episodes were a little uneven, the pacing especially, but I think it’s come along well. I don’t know if it was McFarlane’s plan, but something about this seems to suggest he sold it to the network as “live action space Family Guy” and then, once they committed to building him sets and CGI and all, said, f— it, I’m going to do a funny and serious SF show.


#4

As much as I hate to admit it, I have to agree. And I am definitely no fan of Seth McFarland. But Discovery is a kinda like the DC universe. Dark and foreboding. The Orville is more fun to watch. It doesn’t hurt the the executive producer is Brannon Braga - who worked on much of Star Trek Next Generation.


#5

I can live happily with both.

1dbabaec088f6a455ad6ecfd2f4eeaf5


#6

For me, the key to The Orville is that the various Star Trek shows always showcase the Federation’s best and brightest; best ships, best crew. The Orville is not that. The ship is an insignificant drone in their fleet. The crew is also-rans and second-chances holding down a job. They crack jokes and screw around because people at work crack jokes and screw around. But otherwise, it’s fairly Trek-like. Not every episode is awesome, but they all have OK ideas, and about half of them are great start-to-finish.


#7

Likewise, i don’t really watch any TV unless i can easily stream everything on Netflix… sometimes i use Hulu but not often. Trek isn’t on any of those platforms so it’s a hard pass for me, The Orville i don’t know if its on Hulu… i haven’t looked.


#8

The Orville is funny without being annoying, and serious without being too heavy. I love the broad-stroked interesting characters. It’s smartly written without being too preachy. It’s FunTrek™.


#9

I agree. I think Discovery is more enjoyable if you pretend it’s not a Star Trek show. It works pretty well as a cool, generic sci-fi show if you don’t try to figure out how it fits in the greater Trek universe.


#10

I haven’t seen the Orville but mostly because I’m not a Seth McFarlane fan. His humor just doesn’t seem funny to me. I’ve seen DSC and it’s been an uneven show which I hope gets better because the interactions between Burnham and Saru are probably the best I’ve seen since DS9 (I love TNG but DS9 had the better character arcs, sorry).


#11

I like your comparison. All this DARK stuff is hit or miss. If you’re not into it, it seems pretty silly. We’ve liked Discovery, but not as much as we’d hoped. It’s like one endless psychodrama played out at length.

My family has enjoyed Orville more. We like the way most of the episodes work as stand-alones, as TOS did. Some of them have that predictability that never really bothered us in TOS, you know, “Oh, I just know what’s going to happen because of this… let’s see how they play it.”


#12

Looking forward to hearing people viewpoints, since I also haven’t gotten around to watching either of these. I am sympathetic to the notion that too many shows of late are dark and gritty and full of anti-heroes… That said, I don’t really care for the “fuck all paid critics” tone of the linked video.


#13

I have yet to see ST: Discovery, but have faithfully watched every episode of The Orville - even paying for it. AS a lifelong Trekkie/Trekker, I think it deserves credit for rejuvenating the ST-verse and injecting some humanity, mundanity, and humor into it, while still keeping with Roddenberry’s vision of a better future.


#14

just because its an homage didn’t mean the uniforms had to be so crappy.


#15

Looking forward to hearing people viewpoints

IMHO:

Discovery is better than I was expecting. A decent SF drama. Their Klingons are total shit and shouldn’t have happened. Thank Gene it’s on basic cable here in Canada because I’m not going to pay just to watch it.

Orville would be far better without the Family Guy jokes. It’s a turn off for me.

ETA that they’ve both been “Oh, that’s on now? Ok, let’s watch it.” shows for me and not something I make an effort for. Make of that what you will.


#16

ds9-sisko-looks-that-way


#17

RLM called, they want their shtick back…
and the sweet release that only death can bring.


#18

STD had a terrible pilot and its version of Klingons are awful villains. Since the Klingon-Federation War is the all-consuming focus of the series, poor villains are a bit of a poison pill. However, the series has improved somewhat mainly because the Federation characters have gotten more interesting. The second episode with Harry Mudd was legitimately excellent. The cast is talented, but the writing ranges from decent to pretty bad, wasting that talent as well as excellent effects and music.

I canceled my CBS All Access membership, but I’ll reactivate it for a month to binge watch the second half of the first season. That’s less than a dollar an episode, so I can stomach it. They have nothing else of interest to me.

I do recommend that anyone who signs up choose the premium membership without commercials. Their video player app is fairly buggy when it’s trying to load the commercial breaks while keeping track of the episode stream.

Orville is quite good. It’s a little uneven, but some of the episodes, including the latest, have been genuinely excellent examples of Star Trek exploring contemporary themes in a subversive way. I’m frankly amazed it’s Seth McFarlane’s brainchild. I knew he was a Trek fan, but I had no idea he could tap into the 90’s Trek zeitgeist so well. And he’s largely avoided my main gripe about 90’s Trek (with the notable exception of DS9), the particle of the week. In that one way it’s somewhat closer to the original Star Trek of being an anthology of ideas, but it’s got the humanist outlook of TNG. Basically, Orville is a better version of TNG, much better than Voyager and Enterprise, but not as good as DS9 or the original Star Trek. It’s handily better than STD though, at least so far. If I had to pick one, I’d pick the Orville.

Someone (maybe it was here) described Orville as being what a sitcom would be like if the people in the Star Trek universe watched TV. That seems pretty on point. I could definitely see Starfleet personnel kicking back after a long shift and watching it.


#19

I actually wish the jokes in the Orville were more like Family Guy jokes; most of them seem like jokes that didn’t make the cut for Family Guy.

I like a lot about Discovery, but not the Klingons - they don’t even look like Klingons.


#20

DS9 was really the first Star Trek show to put emphasis on long story arcs instead of tightly written standalone episodes. They even brought in writing talent from TV Soap Operas.

One thing I actually kind of miss about Next Generation and TOS was that you could just enjoy a single episode on its own or even watch them out of order without missing much. Few narrative drama shows seem to be written that way anymore.