It’s no secret that Seth MacFarlane has made Fox a lot of money with his hit series such as American Dad, The Cleveland Show and his longest running flagship series Family Guy. It is also of note of MacFarlane’s love for both Star Trek and Star Wars, with most of his animated shows satirizing them in some way, shape or form, but in a good, fun way even if they are borderline appropriate.
For the series The Orville, such jokes and humor are not devoid in the series, however dry and sometimes melancholy they can be. The Orville takes place in the distant future with MacFarlane portraying Captain Ed Mercer, who is given command of the USS Orville, a medium sized exploratory vessel. He is aided by his second in command and ex-wife Commander Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki). The crew of The Orville are tasked with various diplomatic and exploratory missions in each episode all the while exploring one another and learning how to adapt to each crew member’s various backgrounds and habits.
From the start you know that MacFarlane is parodying both Star Wars and Star Trek, with more of an emphasis on the latter. Each episode has its challenges, conflicts and climax like your traditional episode of Star Trek, however added with the obvious humor and black comedy by MacFarlane and the rest of the cast.
However the comedy portion of the show seem’s only half-assed. It’s very dry and feels directed, as if it is supposed to be said rather than come off as witty and original. However, The Orville isn’t all fun and games; there is a serious side to this series. There is emotion, emotional conflict and even challenges ethical morals. For many, one wouldn’t have thought of Seth MacFarlane being in such of a series, however the seriousness and commanding lead he projects is almost quite breathtaking and even a breath of fresh air from his animated shows.
The Orville does have its moments and may very well be a leader in mainstream broadcasts in terms of an original series; however with the very populated dry humor and robotic dialogue that plagues the series throughout, The Orville still stands out on its own in terms of originality and fun.