It’s funny, but I didn’t have a lot of hope for Seth McFarlane’s love letter to Star Trek, The Orville, but from the very first episode, it was wonderful. This is everything Star Trek should be while not being Trek. The characters are memorable and unique and even if they are played largely for comedy, you come to care about them as people and other assorted critters.
So why did Star Trek Discovery suck so hard? This honestly can’t be that hard to do! But while that question will remain unanswered until my review of that show, this time we look at why The Orville pushed every single one of the right buttons.Ed Mercer looks like he’s ruined his career when he gets a lucky break and the command of the U.S.S. Orville. With his ex-wife as his first officer and his best friend at the helm, Mercer has to prove himself and his crew worthy as every oddball thing you can imagine happens to the ship.
This show proves that there is something seriously wrong among professional critics, as The Orville has a 21% approval rating among critics, but a 91% approval among viewers. I think it’s becoming absurdly clear that there’s something very corrupt in Hollywood and this isn’t the only industry for which it’s obviously true.
Pretty much everything about this show is great. The effects, the acting, the writing, it feels a lot like Star Trek: TNG, which is exactly what it’s supposed to mimic. Now I’m not a huge TNG fan, but I can tolerate it for the great show that we get. It is unabashedly copying the tropes and adding well-deserved comedy to it. It is a spoof of sorts, but even so, it has the feel of a well-polished, well-written show that could survive even if it had nothing that it was paying homage to. Captain Ed Mercer started as a joke, but he’s growing into his own as a true leader and innovator. Kelly Grayson, who initially seemed to be the only choice for first officer, has grown into the role and makes an excellent team with Mercer. They all feel great, even Isaac, the robotic lifeform with the voice that sounds for all the world like Data, has become friends with the crew and a father-figure of sorts for the ship’s doctor’s children. I looked forward to every single episode, just spending time with this crew. That’s not something I can say about a lot of shows.
Luckily, it’s been renewed for a second season and will be back, and deservedly so, no matter what the corrupt critics have to say. This is a fun show, full stop. It’s not perfect, but it’s got heart, it’s got action, it’s got comedy and most importantly, it’s got characters that I’d genuinely want to know if they were real. They feel like a family, not a bunch of people thrown together in front of a camera. Please, keep this show around for as long as they can make it enjoyable, that’s all I ask.