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    The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

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    Paeter
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    The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  Paeter on September 19th 2017, 9:54 am

    I loved the pilot, as I've already expressed. Watched ep 2 last night and was... very confused.

    Where did all the jokes go? To me it largely felt like an unusually light/silly ep of classic 90's Trek. Certainly not like a Seth McFarlane rapid-fire-from-left-field comedy. In fact it struck me as super formulaic Trek. Like they wrote the episode saying "Okay, let's totally make fun of this kind of Trek episode", then wrote the first draft to get the cliches down but forgot to put in most of the spoofing and jokes!

    Is this just me being no fun again? Or did anyone else feel the difference between the two eps?


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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  jorowi on September 19th 2017, 10:52 am

    I haven't watched it yet. I'm waiting for more episodes to come out before I start watching. I'm not a huge Seth fan.

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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  AdamCollings on September 19th 2017, 5:16 pm

    Don't have access to the show myself, so haven't been able to see it, but the chatter on my facebook feed generally tells me that people were disappointed with the pilot, but loved the second episode.

    The people behind the show are wanting to do more than just parody or spoof. They are wanting to create a sci-fi show, filling the gap that they feel was left behind when Star Trek went off the air.

    These articles may give a little insight

    https://trekmovie.com/2017/05/22/seth-macfarlane-the-orville-will-be-more-star-trek-than-futurama/

    https://trekmovie.com/2017/07/30/interview-seth-macfarlane-on-how-the-orville-is-filling-the-void-star-trek-left-behind/

    https://trekmovie.com/2017/09/14/interview-brannon-braga-on-how-the-orville-pays-tribute-to-star-trek-while-setting-a-new-course/

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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  Reed Benson on September 19th 2017, 9:23 pm

    I'm just now watching the first episode on FOX's website in between spurts of lesson planning for the rest of the week. I'll chime in when I'm caught up.
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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  Paeter on September 20th 2017, 10:16 am

    AdamCollings wrote:
    The people behind the show are wanting to do more than just parody or spoof. They are wanting to create a sci-fi show, filling the gap that they feel was left behind when Star Trek went off the air.

    Ooooh. Read some of what you linked to. Guess this might not be my kind of show after all. But if they keep dramatically shifting episode tones from "spoof" to "legit retro nostalgia" maybe some fan somewhere will make a list of which eps are the "spoofs" and I can just watch those someday down the line. Or maybe they will settle into a consistent tone I can still enjoy at some point. That last ep was just too on the nose in its imitation of 90's Trek for me. I lived through that time and I loved 90's Trek at the time I watched it. But I've long since moved on to styles and tones of storytelling I enjoy more.

    Bummer. Oh well.


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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  mindspike on September 20th 2017, 5:27 pm

    This is very much the sci-fi show I've been waiting for. It's far more Galaxy Quest than Star Trek. The first episode looked like it was trending the way of McFarlane's other work. The jokes were generally off color and the characters acted more like caricatures of their archetypes than real professionals. The comedy was set up sitcom style instead of deriving from contrast and character beats. Still I had high hopes. Pilot episodes are often very different from the show that eventually gets signed, but they still get released, especially with niche shows, because they're so expensive. This is why I generally look to episode 2 to set the dominant tone of a show.

    I'm very pleased.

    By episode 2, the characters have stopped sniping at each other like reality TV stars, a joke they lampoon at the end of the episode. The comedy in this episode now derives from the contrast of the ludicrous with the familiar. A character goes on maternity leave.... and the fallout left me rolling on the floor until the end of the episode when it opened up a whole new world of drama. The captain and XO get put in a zoo as specimens of "normal" humans, and immediately revert to their pattern of married life until they get rescued and become professional spacers again. The youthful and inexperienced officer gets put in charge and immediately asks for help and takes orders from her superiors just like a professional sailor (!) until the end of the episode when her immaturity allows her to defy orders and resolve their conflict against the super serious "superior" species in a way that nailed both the audience and its critics dead on.

    I love this show. Seth McFarlane is witty and engaging as a comic, much like Robin Williams was. And like Williams, he really needs someone to reign him in and keep the funny from turning blue. In the featurettes that promote the show, McFarlane talks about how they really wanted to create a show that preserved the optimism, innocence, and sense of discovery associated with the genre, shying away from dark, gritty, and disturbing material.

    Of course, if my history with Fox is any indication, this show is doomed. R.I.P. Firefly, The Cape, Terra Nova, and many more....


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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  Reed Benson on September 29th 2017, 4:38 am

    You know, I liked both the pilot and the second episode, even though they were pretty different in tone for the most part. I find myself caring about the characters and interested in the universe. I think it's the light, optimistic atmosphere that draws me in. I didn't watch any of the 90's Star Trek series very regularly when I was a kid, but the episodes I did catch tended to be dark and kind of depressing, at least for my tastes at that time. But I loved Galaxy Quest, and think part of it was because the visuals were brighter on top of the comedy. The Orville seems to be like Galaxy Quest taken a little more seriously (and not nearly as meta). It also helps that, so far, it rarely reminds me of Seth McFarlane's other work, most of which I'm not a big fan of.

    Another thing I think I like is that it's new. When my friend tried to get me into Star Trek in elementary school, it seemed daunting because of all the history it had that I wasn't familiar with. The Orville is just starting and currently building its world, so I can be there from the beginning to see it develop.
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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  Paeter on September 29th 2017, 10:03 am

    I enjoyed the third ep much more than the second. Might have been my expectations adjusting, but I think there were a lot more jokes than the second ep, but still not near as many as the pilot. Still, if Episode 3 is the normal tone, I'll probably at least keep tuning in while doing dishes or playing a game.

    Wow, they went heavy handed on the LGBT agenda, though! And yet the metaphor was so mixed and inconsistent it totally broke down. In fact if thy would have turned up the humor a bit more I might have wondered if they were spoofing Trek's tendency for liberal social commentary.

    The one thing I applaud them recognizing is the existence (or need for) a "universal" moral code that transcends and holds accountable all cultures. It was quick, but still in there!


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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  Reed Benson on September 30th 2017, 2:58 am

    Paeter wrote:Wow, they went heavy handed on the LGBT agenda, though! And yet the metaphor was so mixed and inconsistent it totally broke down. In fact if thy would have turned up the humor a bit more I might have wondered if they were spoofing Trek's tendency for liberal social commentary.

    Yeah, it was kind of convoluted. In the end, I thought it came out more as a feminist agenda than an LGBT one, despite the outcome of the trial.

    The formula now seems to place the jokes around the beginning, then go into the drama, and end on a funny and/or poignant note.
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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  AdamCollings on October 1st 2017, 5:28 pm

    Paeter wrote:Wow, they went heavy handed on the LGBT agenda, though!

    As soon as I saw in the trailer that they had a character from a male-only species, I knew they'd be doing this. Pretty standard for any sci-fi these days though.
    Interestingly, a Christian writer friend I know praised this episode for giving voice to "both sides of the issue". I take it that wasn't something that came across to you?
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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  mindspike on October 1st 2017, 7:52 pm

    AdamCollings wrote:As soon as I saw in the trailer that they had a character from a male-only species, I knew they'd be doing this. Pretty standard for any sci-fi these days though. Interestingly, a Christian writer friend I know praised this episode for giving voice to "both sides of the issue". I take it that wasn't something that came across to you?

    Actually, I don't think the "baby sex change" episode really had anything interesting or relevant to say one way or the other. Both the sociology and the science were set up as straw men that the producers then failed to even burn. I found it to be the kind of voice that feels the need to protest and make a statement, but doesn't really know what it's protesting or what statement it's trying to make. It's the kind of argument I see made time and again not by people who are spiritually bankrupt, but those who are spiritually confused.

    Just for clarity....

    The bad science: a single-gender species must be hermaphroditic. There can be no such thing as a transgender operation on a species like this.

    The bad sociology: world history has demonstrated that civilizations that become morally bankrupt or culturally homogeneous soon cease to function as a society. Both of these qualities were demonstrated by the Moclan (?) planet.


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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  Paeter on October 2nd 2017, 12:26 pm

    mindspike wrote: Both the sociology and the science were set up as straw men that the producers then failed to even burn. I found it to be the kind of voice that feels the need to protest and make a statement, but doesn't really know what it's protesting or what statement it's trying to make.

    Yeah, this. (Thanks for the words, Mindspike!)

    I didn't notice the science side, but yeah, it felt like it wanted to say something but either didn't know what it wanted to say or didn't know how to create a metaphor consistent enough to say it.


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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  Paeter on October 2nd 2017, 12:30 pm

    AdamCollings wrote:
    Interestingly, a Christian writer friend I know praised this episode for giving voice to "both sides of the issue". I take it that wasn't something that came across to you?

    Well, my memory sucks. Especially one week later. But I think the reference from X-Wife/O to a universal code of ethics at least in part represented the more conservative side of "the issue" (whatever the exact issue was). There may have been some other weak representation of the conservative side, but I don't remember what that would have been.



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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  Reed Benson on October 2nd 2017, 8:59 pm

    I'm not usually good at parsing these things, especially when I've got other things on my mind (which I do most of the time). But I felt that the ending was meant to convey that the Orville crew was right to defend the female-ness of the baby, even though they lost, and that the Moclans are just backwards.
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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  Paeter on October 3rd 2017, 9:57 am

    Reed Benson wrote:I'm not usually good at parsing these things, especially when I've got other things on my mind (which I do most of the time). But I felt that the ending was meant to convey that the Orville crew was right to defend the female-ness of the baby, even though they lost, and that the Moclans are just backwards.

    Yeah, I may be reading too much into it, but I felt like we were supposed to be haunted by the ending, and are supposed to think about how hard it will be for that child to grow up as a man that feels like (and in fact IS) a woman with a man's body forced on her. And that, of course, feeds directly into the LGBT topic, where we are, because of this TV show, supposed to change our opinion on certain aspects of the "LGBT Agenda", however that may be defined in a given instance.

    Of interest to me, in the background of all this, is the fact that the main Moclan officer guy changed his view... after watching a TV show. It clearly had a comical element to it, but I can't help but wonder if the writers are exposing their own belief that entertainment can and should be used to change minds on controversial subjects.

    I suspect entertainment can at least reinforce a pre-existing opinion, but man, even doing the kind of work I do, I would hope that people aren't actually changing their minds on controversial issues soley because of a piece of fictional entertainment. And yet that may be the world we live in to some extent.


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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  Paeter on October 3rd 2017, 11:13 am

    Hoo. Just finished Ep.4. Don't know if I'll stick with this show much longer.

    This time, "Rudolf" is teaching us that belief in God is strange because the origin of the universe can be explained by (insert technical, smart-sounding references to an insufficient hypothesis, spoken by the character known for always being "right").

    Then, let's underscore a lack of scientific grounding among our writers by having a protaganist suggest that space, which has a beginning and is increasingly expanding, might be "infinite". (Because infinitely large things continually get...uh...even MORE infinite as they expand.) Come on, I was a best a B student in science. This has GOT to get a more nuanced treatment if even I'm seeing holes.

    We're also reminded that people (like these poor ignorant religious folks) can come to believe false ideas if they lose track of what really happened in the past. (Which of course would mean that history is free to be revised to dismiss anything of a supernatural nature from the realm of plausibility or even possibility.)

    And boy, those dictatorial theocracies are a dime a dozen, aren't they captain? Gosh, it almost seems like that's what all religions must be by their very definition!

    Oddly enough, the ignorant religious folk are having trouble believing that there can be "anything more than what we see". But that's typically the struggle of the naturalist, not the theist. So that was a weird bit of writing I don't understand.

    And finally, and possibly unintended, let's get the voice of Narnia's Christ figure on at the end to let us know that he's not really God.

    Anyway, the jokes also felt sparse and forced to me, which only made the show feel even more like a thinly veiled lesson. I feel like these kinds of "naturalistic agenda stories", which are SO like old Trek, should be made FUN of! But the comedy has switched from lovingly making fun of the genre to wise-cracking between taking these classic formulas seriously.

    Since I really prefer not to spend my free time feeling irritated, I'm not sure I'll watch any more of this show. Might give one more ep a try. But this is two in a row with blatantly obvious liberal/naturalistic messaging at the core of the plot. If the next one is more of the same...

    I don't know. Maybe they'll burn through all of their soap box issues early on and things will shift once they've gotten it out of their systems.


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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  AdamCollings on October 3rd 2017, 6:46 pm

    Paeter wrote:Of interest to me, in the background of all this, is the fact that the main Moclan officer guy changed his view... after watching a TV show. It clearly had a comical element to it, but I can't help but wonder if the writers are exposing their own belief that entertainment can and should be used to change minds on controversial subjects.

    I suspect that's exactly what Seth McFarlene believes, and is trying to do (again, just speculating based on interviews I've read about the show). Certainly, it seems to be what drove Gene Roddenberry to write Star Trek. He took inspiration from Jonathan Swift, author of Gullivers' travels, to use his fiction to make statements about the world he lived in.

    As a story-teller. I don't necessarily expect to change people's opinions through my fiction, but perhaps I hope to highlight that, at least, the theistic worldview is a legitimate one, and shouldn't just be dismissed.
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    Re: The Orville (What Do You Guys Think So Far?)

    Post  Reed Benson on October 3rd 2017, 9:31 pm

    Paeter wrote:Of interest to me, in the background of all this, is the fact that the main Moclan officer guy changed his view... after watching a TV show. It clearly had a comical element to it, but I can't help but wonder if the writers are exposing their own belief that entertainment can and should be used to change minds on controversial subjects.

    See, I didn't even think of that! That's how bad I am at this. Now that you mention it, it become so obvious.  cyclops

    Paeter wrote:This time, "Rudolf" is teaching us that belief in God is strange because the origin of the universe can be explained by (insert technical, smart-sounding references to an insufficient hypothesis, spoken by the character known for always being "right").

    Which character is always "right"? I haven't figured that out yet.

    Paeter wrote:We're also reminded that people (like these poor ignorant religious folks) can come to believe false ideas if they lose track of what really happened in the past. (Which of course would mean that history is free to be revised to dismiss anything of a supernatural nature from the realm of plausibility or even possibility.)

    And boy, those dictatorial theocracies are a dime a dozen, aren't they captain? Gosh, it almost seems like that's what all religions must be by their very definition!

    Okay, this I caught. Hard to not see the anti-religious bias when the backwards people are the only people with any sort of familiar-looking religion. All religious people are Amish or Puritans. Or Amish Puritans.

    Paeter wrote:And finally, and possibly unintended, let's get the voice of Narnia's Christ figure on at the end to let us know that he's not really God.

    Surely it's got to be a coincidence, right? They can't have thought it that far through...right? Am I that much more dense than they are that it didn't even cross my mind?  pale

    I'm just not cut out for this commentary stuff. geek

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