The Orville

The Orville S1 E1-3 (Fox)

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I have to confess that The Orville has left me somewhat confused. As a drama, it’s got too many silly gags in it to be taken seriously. But the jokes are too few in number and not nearly funny enough to qualify the show as a sitcom. It has an earnestness that suggests it wants to be a proper grown-up show, but an insecurity that suggests it feels it can only get away with the attempt if it also laughs at itself. The end result is a show that feels like it wants to be more homage than spoof, only to find itself more of a pastiche than satire.

Created by and starring Seth MacFarlane (famous for Family Guy, American Dad! and Ted), the show is set onboard a 25th-century space exploration ship named the Orville. MacFarlane plays Captain Ed Mercer, whose first officer Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) is also his ex-wife whom he divorced after he found her having an affair with an alien. Much of the early ‘humour’ in the series comes from Mercer’s continual sniping and point-scoring about their acrimonious split, while of course it’s clear to everyone that the two are still somewhat in love. Read the rest of this entry »