I am not always a fan of Seth MacFarlane, meaning that I think the guy is super-smart and absolutely brilliant but I don’t always like that kind of humour. To give you a clue, I enjoyed A Million Ways to die in the West as long as they were not sticking flowers in Liam Neeson’s […]
I am not always a fan of Seth MacFarlane, meaning that I think the guy is super-smart and absolutely brilliant but I don’t always like that kind of humour. To give you a clue, I enjoyed A Million Ways to die in the West as long as they were not sticking flowers in Liam Neeson’s ass.
However, we decided to give his parody sci-fi series a shot for two main reasons:
a) we seem to be into sci-fi, lately;
b) we needed something refreshing after crawling through the whole Star Trek Discovery. Which was bad. Like really bad.
The Orville features MacFarlane himself in the role of Captain Ed Mercer and the guy is pure MacFarlane: childish but with a good heart, surprisingly competent when under pressure, everybody likes him but has a tendence to defy authority. Alongside him, some surprisingly fair acting, for a parody serie: Adrianne Palicki does a sensible job as his former cheating wife and now commander Kelly, Penny Johnson Jerald (Deep Space Nine) delivers some incredible acting as the Orville’s chief medical officer, Scott Grimes and Peter Macon are simply hilarious and you even have both Charlize Therone and Liam Neeson guest-starring in it, even if at different extents. Also there seems to be very little good series which can do it without Victor Gaber, lately, and this makes no exception. We’re not complaining: we’re always glad to see him.
Aside from the acting, The Orville delivers quality on so many levels. Writing is the main of them. After the first episode, significantly “lighter”, the series reaches incredible political and social depths, ultimately succeding where Discovery failed. Few examples? Episode 2 is about the figt of a “superior” culture to study other cultures as if they were animals. Episode 3 is about a girl being born in a male couple of aliens pertaining to a species where girls are very rare if non existent: their culture mandates a sex change operation for the child, as she will be discriminated if allowed to grow up into a woman. Episode 4 is about a world leaving inside a giant spaceship adrift in space, whose inhabitants fail to aknowledge reality because of their religious beliefs. Episode 5 is about time-space continuum. Episode 6 is about war and where does the right to kill stops during such conflicts. I could go on and list all of them, because all of them have significant depth and lots of them leave you without laughter, just with a giant “well, shit” in your mind. It’s good. It’s what good science fiction does: show you the paradoxes of your own world through the lenses of the bizzarre. And Seth MacFarlane has very bright lenses indeed. Watch it.