Review: Second Episode Of ‘The Orville’ Settles In For Classic Sci-Fi With A Few Comedic Twists

REVIEW: “Command Performance”

The Orville Season 1, Episode 2 – Airs Sunday Sept. 17
Written by Seth MacFarlane
Directed by Robert Duncan McNeill

[NOTE: Review contains minor spoilers]

One of the many storytelling tropes seen throughout the ages is of someone who endures a trial by fire, where they’re thrust into an unfamiliar situation that tests their mettle and ultimately leads them to learn a lot about themselves. It’s this story that takes center stage in The Orville‘s second installment.

When Captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) and First Officer Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) are lured over to an alien ship and ultimately kidnapped, it is up to inexperienced security officer Alara Kitan (Halston Sage), who has been left in command after second officer Bortus (Peter Macon) requests a leave of absence so he can sit on an egg that he and his partner have conceived (yeah, you read that right). Kitan must make a series of tough decisions and figure out a way to rescue her crew mates without causing a major interstellar incident.

The show does something unusual for a program so early in its run: it relegates the two leads to the “B” story, giving the main storyline to Alara and her struggle in dealing with the immense burden suddenly placed upon her. She receives counsel from Dr. Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald) throughout the episode, and while she ultimately does prevail, I felt her epiphany came too easily in the end.  Sage does a nice job showing how vulnerable and terrified Alara is at the beginning and displays nice range as the character becomes more confident later. It seemed clear in the pilot that Alara would be one of the key characters, and putting her front and center early on suggests that she’ll play a large role going forward.

Mercer and Grayson’s dilemma will remind viewers of a couple of different Star Trek episodes as well as The Twilight Zone, and in the interest of not spoiling anything, I’ll leave it at that. The show puts on its own unique spin, though, resulting in some good character moments between the two leads.

Not all of the plot points get wrapped up. The show leaves us with a cliffhanger involving Bortus’ child, which leads directly into the next episode, which will be directed by Brannon Braga.

There is a very amusing scene at the very beginning involving Ed’s parents (Jeffrey Tambor and Holland Taylor in a great cameo), but otherwise the humor is far more low key than what we saw in the pilot. There are several moments of real crisis in the show, and they are treated with complete sincerity. Those who feared that MacFarlane wouldn’t be able to resist pressing the joke button all the time will be pleased with the tone they see here, which feels similar to a TNG-era Star Trek show.

Overall, a good second effort. The show is still trying to find its voice, and it clearly makes progress here.

Orville episode 2 airs Sunday night + 5 clips

“Command Performance” will air on Fox this Sunday at 8:00 pm eastern, following an NFL doubleheader. It then moves to its regular Thursday time slot on September 21st at 9 pm.

Fox has released 5 clips from the episode.


Orville Update: Trek cameo hints, FX & ship details and did you miss Rob Lowe too?

Yesterday morning Seth MacFarlane held an AMA on Reddit and talked mostly about The Orville. When asked if we can expect any Star Trek actor cameos MacFarlane revealed “We got one or two in the lineup.” He also revealed that in the universe of The Orville there isn’t a Prime Directive.

If you are a fan of how things are made you may want to check out a detailed feature on FXGuide about how visual effects for The Orville are made. Fox also released a behind-the-scenes video about the USS Orville model and visual effects.

Finally, did you notice that Rob Lowe played the blue alien in the awkward bedroom scene from the opening of the pilot? Here is a closer look from Lowe’s Instagram.


I believe it is important to have a few surprises coming in the pipeline. Here’s one. #WTF ??

A post shared by Rob Lowe (@robloweofficial) on

Keep up with all the The Orville news, reviews and interviews at


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That does sound better, Mr. Drew. Thanks.

I give the first episode of The Orville a meh. It was neither great or terrible. Trying a little too hard to be Trek when it’s not. That might appeal to some but I find it trying too hard to be something it’s not, trying to be Trek on and off screen. That might appeal to some but ugh, no thanks. Plus I found Seth’s comments about Discovery distasteful and have tained my opinion of him and his show. Just because Discovery “looks” darker does not mean it won’t be optimistic. Just because in 2017 it does not follow 90’s Trek does not mean it won’t have 5 decades worth of Trek essence. His indirect/direct comment is a foot in a mouth move. Go ahead capture that late 80’s early 90’s dentist office Star Trek, your out of date bud. The Orville is bubbly cheese and will pale in comparison to the epicness Discovery will surely deliver. I’ll keep watching Orville because I’ve been waiting for sci fi comedy and this is all we have. Hopefully it will find its footing and distinguish itself a bit more.

“It was neither great or terrible.”

If it’s not terrible, it is great! Because it looks like the Star Trek I loved and missed for such a long time… It doesn’t need to be great to be more to my liking than DSC…

“Go ahead capture that late 80’s early 90’s dentist office Star Trek, your out of date bud.”

Yep, and I’m out of date as well, and so are many others who simply don’t care about current trends that much. It’s the whole point of Orville. It’s about nostalgia, the retro factor… it has to be out of date! It’s a good thing! The present is meh…

Wait, this is sarcasm, right?

Sarcasm? Not at all. Yes, there are people out there who prefer classic 80s / 90s TV shows. The once inherent innocence of television has been slowly extinguished in the aughties by hard TV-14 shows like NuBSG and Lost before TV-MA shows like TWD or GOT completely took over our screens in the 2010s, establishing a new form of bloody entertainment that is obviously infesting Trek as well.

Honestly, I hate the current state of television. We are flooded in loads of fake blood and atrocities by those “TV-MA” shows, that are officially directed at “adults” and “mature audiences”, while in reality they are watched by entire families or by young kids in secrecy via their smartphones… The rise of TV-MA television and R-Rated mainstream movies (Deadpool, Logan, IT) is a major disaster, even from my non-religious, humanist POV.

Anything that remotely reminds me of the good old days of my youth in the 90s is entirely welcome, even if it is nothing but derivated, tongue-in-cheek nostalgia p*rn…

Spot on!

But how can you say it’s more to your liking than DSC if you haven’t seen Discovery yet?

If Orville is “just what you’re looking for” than what you’re looking for isn’t Trek.

What you’re looking for is obviously a comedy. Because it’s not Science Fiction with some jokes, it’s not real Drama with some comedy, it’s a comedy, with a science fiction premise.

And that’s fine. I think it’s great that you like it. And you’re free to dislike Discovery all you want.

But no amount of “Orville is True Trek!” makes it so. No matter you what you may think, Orville is not Star Trek, and is not anything like Star Trek other than stealing some visuals and music.

@Etymologicool: Since smike lives in Germany he probably hasn’t seen Orville yet because it’s not (officially) available there. So basically, he is pitting two shows against each other that he hasn’t seen yet.

For a lot of people who grew up with ST: TNG and reruns of ST: TOS . The Orville is far more Trek than DSC will ever be, for many reasons. The Orville IS a sci-fi drama with a little comedy (your wrong about it if you think otherwise, obviously FOX previews misled you) and TNG and TOS always had light hearted comedic moments, far more than later ST iterations. The Orville has an optimistic positive vision of the future, as in TOS and TNG , humans are doing great and the only real problems are with aliens that haven’t evolved beyond petty BS yet. Later versions of ST are nothing but internal turmoil and petty BS amongst the crew. The Orville is an episodical series with a complete story each week so you can watch the shows in any order without it really making much difference. TOS & TNG were the same, new shows are not made this way anymore. The Orville with its clean set design, graphics and music makes you feel like this is a place you would want to live, with people you would like to be friends with. TOS and TNG made you feel the same way, the Enterprise was home and the characters were some of the most beloved in television history. The new JJ movies look like a hellish nightmare, and the new DSC clips look like a hellish nightmare, nobody would ever want to go thru what any of those people are doing. So, now maybe you can understand why The Orville feels more like REAL TREK to us old folks who actually know what Trek used to be (and still should be in our opinion).

Rewatching DS9 lately, and I think it’s unfair to say the comedy dialed down after TNG. Even in season 4 which deals with heavy stuff like Changelings on Earth and losing the alliance with the Klingons, they still build episodes around Ferengi crashing in 1947 Roswell and Bashir playing James Bond.

I think you are idealizing the TNG years a bit too much. Even as a child I was aware of how disconnected and sanitary the show was. Looking back, I cringe at some of the heavy-handed idealism and schmaltz found on that show. The true brilliance of TNG was the relationship between the characters in times of hardship. I think we should be open to positive lessons coming out of hard or “mature” situations. Give Discovery a chance to do that before you dismiss it.

I don’t know about the rest of you guys but I say good luck to both shows. I hope they are both a success and stick around for the next ten years.

I do, too.

Look, folks, I like Classical music, Jazz, Rock, some Pop, and Cheech and Chong.

I do not equate any of these with each other. They are all different.

All can make me laugh and cry [except Cheech and Chong, which sometimes makes me cry with laughter]. This does not mean that Classical Music is Serious All the Time. It has dark notes, and sometimes mournful themes, but then classical can also cheer me greatly.

“The Orville” is a dramedy, and IMHO, some of the comedy is clumsy, and some of the dramatic moments are clunky, but overall, I enjoy it, and I hope to enjoy Discovery for itself. It will probably have a lot of dark moments, but it will probably have a bit of humor too.

The two shows are different.

That is all.

Some innocent television shows i’d highly recommend to you are ‘Father Knows Best’ and ‘The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis’. And ‘Green Acres’.

:( I hope you know this isn’t a scifi comedy. This show is geared as Seth’s more serious project. (which is why there are many comedy parts).

The first episode reminded me a bit of Encounter at Farpoint (ST TNG S01E01/E02). New ship, picking up first officer on the way to location, crew learning about each other, etc.

It’s not out of date, Star Trek is the history of the future. Styles come and go, and by the 24th century the dentist office Star Trek is what everything looks like. These people trying to make everything dark and gritty are obviously impostors that don’t have a clue about the actual future.

After being disappointed with the first episode, which I turned off halfway through, I’ll be skipping this. Although I’m tempted to watch just to see McNeill’s directing.

@Trek fan 67 — yes I’m interested in see Frakes episode too. I was surprised to read that Braga is directing the third episode, which most reviews claim is the worst of the three they’ve seen. I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ll probably watch this through at least Frakes episode. It’ll be interesting to see how it does Sunday against the Emmys and Green Bay/Falcons on NBC. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the numbers fall, but if those live+3 numbers hold, it’ll be its first real test to pass. Unfortunately, we’re not getting the half-hour fall-off numbers, so no way to know how many viewers like you are turning it off at the half hour. That could be significant for an audience which may be tuning in hoping to see more comedy. From this review it sounds like they’re going to see a lot less, and that could be damaging, especially since the show is about to move to Thursday’ nights, so it doesn’t have to go up against DISC.

The numbers on CBS for the Discovery premiere will serve as a litmus test for its performance on All Access. It has to perform at least as well as the premiere of The Orville — and that’s the easy part. That then has to translate into new subs for All Access and, much like Netflix and Amazon, it’s unlikely that CBS will make available any numbers related to All Access.

That’s just the reality of a streaming service with limited reach in the U.S. against a show that’s available on broadcast, FOX Now and Hulu. Discovery will perform well for All Access but it may have about as many eyes on it as Enterprise.

@Denny C — network and streaming have nothing to do with each other. There are many people who will not watch DISC on network TV at all, but rather stream the whole thing on CBSAA, which is what I intend to do. Moreover, I wouldn’t expect CBSAA to announce steaming numbers any more than Fox, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. does. The era of live ratings, or even live +3 is over. Shows like RIVERDALE on the CW are being renewed with horrible live+3 ratings because of the huge streaming numbers. That’s another reason why trying to tie live TV ratings to the success of a show is a fools errand. It has been since the DVR came into existence. There’s evidence to suggest that the move to time shifted DVR viewing (which was not being tracked) is what caused ENT live ratings decline, not “franchise fatigue”. And now streaming is the new missing piece to the puzzle that will once again change the way programming is developed and launched.

You may be right, and CBSAA will never attract the same size audience they would if they aired it on CBS, or even the CW, or Showtime, and Netflix, or Hulu too. But we’d be foolish to think CBS hadn’t already planned for that. The show is paid for. It’s going to have a broad audience outside the US, where Trek has never been as successful as in the US. It may take a while, but if DISC is good enough, anyone who wants to see it first run will eventually sign up for CBSAA, and help CBS please the stockholders, while getting out from under the model that leaves them beholden to other streaming services, just as they sought to do with the UPN, and their own syndication network before that.

I work in this business. Trust me on this one.

Discovery will be around for years and will be hugely successful for CBS All Access but shows that are exclusive to streaming have fates that are determined utilizing a different metric. Shows that stream exclusively still don’t reach the numbers of the highest rated series on broadcast or cable. Streaming services aren’t quite and while there’s a lot of great content out there and a number of buzz worthy shows, nothing that has broken out to the degree of the top rated shows of HBO, AMC or any of the top 4 broadcast networks. As things stand now, streaming and traditional linear platforms share a symbiotic relationship

As for time shifting, that’s what those Live+3 numbers are all about. A show can premiere with 10 million viewers but then see those numbers jump to over 13 million several days later, for example, when viewers catch up with a show on their DVR’s. Disappointing Live +3 numbers can kill a show.

Despite a declining share, content produced for linear programming still reaches the most viewers and that’s the landscape Discovery currently resides in. CBS no doubt has a number in mind for the number of viewers who tune in with All Access each week but it seems unlikely that they’re expecting numbers on par with “Game of Thrones”, “This is Us” or “The Walking Dead”. This actually works to DIscovery’s advantage in that it gives the show a bit of breathing room.

Discovery will be the breakout show for All Accesses and they’re pulling out all the stop to ensure that it’s a success. If their efforts pay off it will be a game changer for this service and the future of Star Trek.

@Denny C — you work for a STREAMING business specifically? Or the Entertainment business in general? Are you saying that Symphony’s numbers were totally incorrect?

Yes, yes and no, that’s not what I’m saying at all.

At present All Access reaches 2 million subscribers so assuming half of those subscribers tune in to Discovery each week you’re looking at a million plus viewers per episode. That would be a huge success for All Access. By premiering the show on broadcast (and not exclusively to All Access subscribers) they’re ensuring millions of viewers who otherwise would not have been exposed to Discovery. That then potentially translates in new subs (it’s that symbiotic relationship I was referring to).

Star Trek already has brand awareness built in, Discovery will create brand awareness for CBS All Access. All Access has been a slower burn for CBS when they went their own way but, long term, it was the right way to go.

Just want to point out that ratings services have been getting time shifted numbers for quite some time. Back when I regularly looked at the numbers often the time shifted programs mirrored the standard ratings with a few exceptions. There were a few lower rated programs that were among the most time shifted ones. Often shows that aired on low tv viewing nights or that had a bit of a niche or cultish following.

Time-shifted as watched on network TV at different times or the plus numbers? Those represent different things. plus numbers are unlikely to provide much value for advertisers.

If you couldn’t make yourself sit and watch the entire first episode like an adult, but instead “turned off half way through”, then it sounds far more like a childish tantrum than anything else, especially when you’re virtue signalling on here about it.

Tantrum? lol. Sorry, I’m not going to force myself to sit through a crappy show when I’m not enjoying it. I’ll watch something more interesting. How is that a tantrum ziplock? An adult can choose to watch something else… a child is forced to watch something and throw a tantrum when their parents refuse to change the channel.

The show is bad. Looks bad, acted bad, written bad. I don’t blame him for bailing. I keep hoping it will grab me, so I continue to watch. It just looks so cartoonish…

Cancellation is on the Horizon.
Note: Not a title for an upcoming episode.

@Zapp Brannigan,

Wishful thinking.

Variety: ‘The Orville’ Becomes Fox’s Biggest Drama Debut in Two Years in Delayed Viewing

Deadline: ‘The Orville’ Premiere Ratings Rise In Live+3: total viewership … was 11.3 million, up from 8.6 million.

Delayed viewing is great. But it doesn’t pay the bills. It’s actually a good sign of how well it would do as a streaming property.

Delayed viewing does pay the bills. The Live +3 number is as almost as significant as the debut number of any given episode.

Not for advertisers who pay for the show. Interestingly, one article I read stated that CBS and FOX were among the networks most interested in the plus numbers. But watching on DVR means you are most likely not watching the commercials so the advertisers that pay for the shows arent as excited about the 30 day numbers.

I think Networks look at them and tout them to make a show seem more popular. Its a changing business. How do you convert a 30 day viewer into a live viewer? How much does it really mean? If your show is good enough that a lot of people watch it later but not good enough to watch live, what does that really mean?

In the early stage, I’d say good plus numbers for Orville mean a lot of people were curious. They werent interested enough to watch live. But they wanted to see it. So this week, we’ll see if any of them were converted to live viewers.

Ultimately, they need to keep live viewership to pay the bills (unless the Network feels the plus numbers are good enough to warrant a show not making a lot of money because they can convert with syndication).

And ofcourse, none of this matters to Discovery.

Unless the episodes get better than the premiere and Seth’s acting gets better, they are going to lose it’s audience quickly. And you know that FOX has cancelled shows, especially sci-fi, if they don’t produce.

It’s odd.. Fox has canned stuff immediately but in other cases have given shows a chance after less than stellar starts. A prime example was X-Files.

Different era for X-Files. If it debuted today, it likely is an early cancel. FOX gave shows time back then as they were looking for hits.

Incorrect. Even back then many shows that did not performed nearly immediately were canned. X-Files was the exception. Not the rule.

They cancelled Family Guy twice. It will be starting its 16th season soon. ;)

I thought Family Guy was canned the one time and was brought back a few years later due to massive disc interest….

Thank god its kick butt. all the naysayers out there, head back to your 1960s reruns of TOS in its original format.

All I see from them are “this isn’t trek, Gene wouldn’t want this” blah blah blah. You have a trek like series playing on TV NOW! You will have actual trek series in 1 week. Things must change in order for the shows to be successful. If they stayed true to blinky lights and static made/painted sets the shows would be canceled in 2 shows or less.

IDIC people… Embrace the new BOLD step these shows are doing, GOING WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE.

Orville does not pass the Trek sniff test. It is not Trek, nor is it actually Trek-like.

It’s like someone chopped up a tree, cut the trunk into pieces of wood, and built a model of a tree out of them. It may be made of pieces of trees, it may be shaped like a tree, but it’s definitely not a tree.

…nah, TOS fans like me love the orville!
it’s nu-trek loyalists who hate the goodness ;-)

Speak for yourself. I am a TOS fan that is not impressed by Orville. While I enjoy the JJ movies for what they are, I am by no means a “Nu Trek Loyalist.”

Given a choice between any Trek to rewatch forever, I’d probably choose the 6 original Trek movies.

I just think Orville is a crappy show. Period. Doesn’t matter what Trek I like… Orville is a poorly written show trying to be something it isn’t. And MacFarlane’s acting is cringe worthy.


Yep, it’s just piss-poor writing and production. The fact that it’s trying to copy Trek has little to do with it, other than they are doing a poor job of it.

It’s funny, I really thought I would hate MacFarlane’s acting, but I think he’s actually doing a credible job. No, he’s no Patrick Stewart, but much to my relief, he’s not sucking all the energy off the screen like some actors I’ve seen.

I found his acting very wooden and one dimensional.

“Cancellation is on the Horizon.”

The premiere was watched by more than 8.5 million viewers, more than the premiere of Gotham had on Fox back in the day. Gotham is still on, although it’s down to 3 million viewers. I’m sure Orville will hold at least 4 million for a couple of years…

It’s a nice start, and certainly a good sign, but means nothing long term. I could give you dozens of examples of massive premieres that took nosedives by the 3rd or 4th episodes, even a few with big premieres that never finished a full season. “No Ordinary Family” comes to mind, with 10.7M viewers at it’s premiere, but cancelled after its first season.

My prediction?

It will be a middle of the road success, sputter along with little fan-fare for a season or two, maybe thee, neither overwhelmingly loved nor hated, and quietly cancelled due to its high budget and unimpressive ratings.

Seth will claim it was his decision, because the acting portion was taking away from his role as writer and creator of other things.

@Etymologicool — I agree, FOX is going to give MacFarlane a lot of slack. And given the cost of the show, they’re likely going to give at least two season to have enough episodes to syndicate unless the ratings tank horribly. That said, it’s going to have some major competition on Thursday’s regular time slot premiere for the 18-49 demo. BIG BANG on CBS, SCANDAL on ABC, and AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR on NBC following an NFL game. I’m not sure how strong a lead-in GOTHAM will be for it, considering it likely has a very different audience.

Agreed. Big Bang Theory is a powerhouse and CBS has a lot invested in the Sheldon show following. People like their comedies… BBT still has strong ratings. I have a feeling they will eventually move Orville to Fridays like they have done with most of their sci-fi. And Friday is the kiss of death.

Just the act of moving shows around in the schedule (multiple times) has killed shows more than once…

They wanted the football lead in, which served them well last week but this week? Oy that was a long delay. It might hurt them since they are moving next week (or this week, right, there is a 3rd episode on Thursday?)

Interesting that they are moving away from Star Trek’s debut as well.

For some reason, I cannot feel optimism about “Young Sheldon.” And some of the actors, the kid included, look good. It’s just the premise. Sheldon works within “TBBT” as an ensemble character, but as a lead character, even a young’un, I’m not so sure.

The amusing thing about Sheldon’s youth is that his adult self recalls it so clearly, and relates the stories as an adult. So … I may watch, if I’m near a TV, but my response so far to the previews and ads is “meh.”

It has TBBT as a lead in. Unless it is a horrible show, it will be around a few seasons.

I think it will improve, too. These days it’s easy for writers, directors and producers to see what viewers think [by looking at this site, for one example], so they may smooth out some rough edges as they go.

I’ll be optimistic :^)

@Zapp — nah I don’t see it falling that badly. It’ll get a full 13 and probably a full season.

DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD said that the “Orville premiere’s 18-49 delivery tied those of … Fox’s comedy The Mick [2.8 and] … With three days of playback, The Orville … matched the 3.5 for The Mick, which also launched behind an NFL doubleheader.

But while FOX’s comedy THE MICK debuted at exactly the same ratings as THE ORVILLE, 17 episodes later, THE MICK’s last episode of the season got a LOW 1.3 rating, dropping from an ORVILLE similar 10.9 million viewers to a mere 3.2 million viewers.

But THE MICK got a renewal for a second season, part of which FOX attributed to a huge online following, not reflected in conventional TV ratings, as the coveted 18-34 demographic tends to stream content rather than OTA, or via cable/satellite. If ORVILLE manages to pull a similar demographic over its run, then it may very well succeed whether it finds its voice or not, and I would go so far as to say ORVILLE could drop even lower, if for no other reason than MacFarlane’s relationship with FOX. That’s something SON OF ZORN (which also premiered similarly to ORVILLE) didn’t have, despite low but survivable ratings at the end of its 13 episode run, yet was still cancelled.

Another great review by Brian Drew.

“Mercer and Grayson’s dilemma will remind viewers of a couple of different Star Trek episodes as well as The Twilight Zone”

There was also a short story by Bertram Chandler called ‘The Cage’ with a simialr concept.

“When asked if we can expect and Star Trek actor cameos MacFarlane revealed “We got one or two in the lineup.””

YES! Can’t wait to find out who.

Guess it’ll be pushed here regularly.

@PEB — it finally dawned on me, that despite MacFarlane’s involvement, it has some major Trek players behind the scenes. That alone qualifies it as news for this site — the regular “where are they now, what are they up to” articles. So yeah, it actually belongs here. Moreover, it’s likely going to start involving a lot more Trek alums. That said, I’m stunned to basically get a review of the second episode, and it strikes me as excessive. I truly hope we’re not going to see an episode by episode account for the whole season. I’d rather see news stories where the show makes news such as unusually high, or low ratings, or upcoming Trek alum guest stars, etc. Then again, I guess it will give us all a place to discuss the episodes from week to week. It’s funny, but I suppose it makes sense that this site reviews each episode, just the same as they reviewed each of the TOS remasteres (did they also review each TNG remaster?).

I have never been a fan of McFarland’s work (other than music) but he is extremely talented. Maybe this allow McFarland to channel his passion and talent, since he is a Trek lover.

That’s kinda my issue, not that it’s mentioned here but that there’s an in-depth review and images. The focus seems to be on the show more than the Trek alums who comment on it . It just feels weird but that’s just my opinion. I don’t run the site and definitely can’t dictate what’s posted.

I like seeing the episode reviews and am glad we can discuss the show here.

Keep it up TM Staff!

Why is there a review of an episode that hasn’t aired yet? Could’ve included a big SPOILER tag in your title.

Does Trekmovie get screeners from Fox?

Yes, we get screeners from Fox.

Still, better to post reviews AFTER the episode airs.

I guess I’m a little confused why Fox would send a fan-site screeners. Do they send you anything else? Is this a Collider situation where they offer sneak peaks and incentives in exchange for positive reviews?

We made a request to Fox, just like any other media outlet. It’s pretty standard. If your site metrics meet their requirements, you can get access. The threshold for access varies between the various studios/networks.

Lots of respected fan sites get screeners from varying studios.

It’s courting. One of the top fan-sites of the fans they want to tune in to the show I suppose…

They also know that TrekMovie is more likely to give it a positive review.

There is at the beginning of the review.

Nice, I would of never guessed that was Rob Lowe as the alien Kel cheated with.

Be happy and lighten up. After a 12 year television dry spell we have a new Trek and a high budget “homage” to TNG. After nothing for so long (except 4 to 5 years between mediocre JJ Trek), we are in a new Trek television re-birth. Shut up and enjoy it.

I have no issue with anyone who wants to give legitimate criticism of Discovery, or voicing reasonable concerns, and likewise, I’m not going to blindly enjoy what is in my opinion terrible comedy simply because it’s based on Star Trek.

“Shut up and enjoy it” is kind of insulting. I wouldn’t tell even the harshest critics of DSC to do so.

Again…lighten up. You can like it or not like it as I said. We have a small Trek TV renaissance that we could only have dreamed of happening a few years ago. Enjoy that trek is somewhat important again.

The guy who tells other people to shut up is saying to lighten up? Whatever, man…

I agree. People should just like what they like, with no fear of mean spirited ridicule for their choices. Pitting these two shows against each other is just absurd.

“Pitting these two shows against each other is just absurd.”

But it’s only natural. Those two shows represent the opposite ends of what a reborn Star Trek could feel like…
DSC embraces the current trends of gritty, dark and violent genre television while ORVILLE goes down memory lane, trying to reach out to those fans still driven by nostalgia. It’s a major schism within the fandom that will only be deepend as soon as the first couple of episodes arrive.

Everything on TV and in cinemas is changing. The small screen is ruled by highly successful TV-MA shows like GOT, TWD, Westworld or Punisher, which some of us still consider “guilty pleasures”, “video nasties” at best, while the majority of 14-30-year-olds consider them “standard television” these days.

The trend is now arriving on the big screen, with almost every PG-13 franchise blockbuster outside the CBM realms miserably failing at the box office and an R-Rated movie like IT saving the day on a moderate budget!

I wouldn’t be surprised if we got an R-Rated, mid-range Trek movie sooner or later, directed by Eli Roth or Quentin Tarantino. Some people here might even applaud that..

So yeah, there is a MAJOR rift within the fandom of Trek and genre entertainment as a whole, culminating in the DSC vs ORVILLE debate!

I’d disagree. The only reason there is an Orville vs Discovery conversation is the odd choice by this site to provide detailed coverage to a show that has virtually nothing to do with Star Trek outside of some crew/production members.

Plus, it was the people with the irrational hatred of Discovery that decided Orville would be better and they’ve been pushing that narrative ever since.

The shows have no relation to each other anymore than any other two shows. And Im surprised there appears to be detailed reviews of all episodes coming here. Its not Star Trek so I think that an odd choice. But as long as there is, and as long as I can stand to watch it, Ill provide my two cents also!

I am quite sure every fan here can relax because TM will provide in-depth reviews of “Discovery.”

The problem is that the way you start and begin this statement contradict each other. You start with “lighten up!” and end with an angry “shut up and enjoy it.”

Sounds like you’re the one who needs to lighten up.

Shutting up with the negativity goes hand in hand with lightening up. Think before you respond.

Think before you make your initial comment.

More and more it seems like you’re the one who needs to lighten up. Maybe you should seek some anger management classes.

I thought the first episode was a lot better than the trailers made it out to be. I was afraid the humor would be too nonsensical, but it turned out to be mild enough not to get in the way.

@jeff — I actually had the opposite reaction. The pilot was fine. But I found it to be such a bland an uninteresting drama, that the forced humor took me out of any chance of getting drawn into it, precisely because it wasn’t organic to the scenes. Considering the type of humor it is, I would have enjoyed it more if they committed to it, and had me chuckling all the way through. There’s nothing wrong with FAMILY GUY in space, and both Fox and his fans would likely be happier about what they got for their time and money. I know I would be, as I don’t really have the time for a poorly acted, mediocre TV drama in my life. But I’ll give them a chance to find their way, though I have to admit having seen the reviews, I’m not looking forward to sitting through the worst reviewed Brannon Braga directed episode where Bortus sits on a nest the whole episode, to give it that chance …

While I may not have foreseen certain of my life circumstances (my fiancé leaving me at the altar, getting fired from my job because everyone was jealous of my intelligence), I can GUARANTEE you I know what’s going to happen with Orville. I can predict things on today’s media platforms with

(Don’t know why it cut me of there)
Orville will drop in ratings to negative viewers by episode 4, and then be cancelled. This is because

it’s not the 90’s and NOBODY cares about how things used to be done. And only I know how EVERYBODY likes things because while for some unknown reason my personal life is a disaster, I RULE on comment boards on sites like this, where I can

predict everything with total foresight.
Sorry about the posts being cut off, must be someone else’s fault.

Directed by: Robert Duncan McNeill? This should be interesting?

@Jay Claudel — as a Trek alum there’s inherent interest. I think these episodes may be more interesting because of the directors inherent familiarity with the Trek era this is parodying, not just from a directorial point of view, but from 7 seasons of being emerged in it as a character dealing with the day to day motivations and minutia, I would expect they will bring some insight which might be truly funny to Trek fans, which other directors won’t get.

Who I’d really like to see direct an episode would be Armin Shimerman. He’s got so much classical stage experience, that he would bring an interesting perspective to a Trek-like drama, as well as his experience working so many years within the franchise.

If I remember correctly, Robert Duncan McNeill worked extensively on Chuck. So he doesn’t only bring familiarity with Trek, he also has a lot of experience directing a comedy show.

The Orville is lowest common denominator toilet humor garbage.

@Daniel — have you actually seen it? Because it surprisingly, really isn’t.

Yes, I watched the pilot.

I agree to an extent Daniel. Im not sure toilet humor is the best way to describe it. But I know what you mean in it being lowest common denominator. It sort of checked off the list of hilarious things like drunk driving, cheating wife etc.

It was a lot better this week but the worst parts were all Seth-related. The show probably doesnt get watched without him but he will also be the reason its eventually canned.

Where’s the toilet humor? Did I miss the poop jokes?

…wish i had some cannabis edible to go with this episode! =D
looking forward to seeing Sir Patrick guest-starring!

Is it just me or did Alara Kitan grow eyebrows since last week? I think I liked her without them, she looked more alien.

@Praetor Tal,

In a set report from ‘Sioux City Journal’ published last month; they mentioned changes were made from the pilot to make the makeup process easier for the actress:


Halston Sage, who plays an eager security officer, says her headpiece changed from the pilot to give her more range of motion and less time in the makeup chair. “It used to take three or four hours but now we have it down to one and a half,” she says. “The goal was to bring a little more humanity to her character. That piece was so thick in the pilot I couldn’t even move my face.”

Well, shoot. I can look at humans any time I want, give me an alien!

well, I know that mos of the rest of y’all are giving this show at least 1 thumbs down, but I thought it was fantastic. Light hearted, and many of the jokes actually landed for me (which was a switch from “Million Ways to Die in the West”). I liked the scene with the alien on the view screen getting asked about marriage, and I liked the stuff about the two guys up front both being jerks. Also, it was weird and refreshing to have a star trek like universe with Soda. Anyways, that’s my take. Can’t wait for episode 2. :) :)

Maybe they are deliberately paradying TNG Season 1? If they are, it is very good!

The delay on Fox because of the football is going to mess up with the ratings, in addition to Emmy Awards.

Luckily, our own CityTV showed the episode on time. It was a lot better, more drama this time and the episode ended with a sort of cliffhanger.

I thought it was the perfect 60 minuites of TV last week, how could it be a lot better this week? lol

Jokes aside, it WAS a lot better this week. But it made the glaring issues more obvious. I think if it was actually meant as a dramatic show, replaced Seth with a competant actor, it could actually be a decent simplistic take on Star Trek. Its still a mish mash, mostly unfunny, poorly acted, mess.

Edit: YOU thought it was the perfect 60 minutes of TV last week. haha

I have to say, I wish the Trek alum behind this show were doing a reboot of Seaquest. I just watched season 1 today and forgot how much it was like TNG underwater. Bridger was a hell of a captain. They’d get to go full on science, have a Starfleet like organization, the UEO, and have be very much in their element. It would pick up Trek fans and wouldn’t feel like a rip or direct competition by being some space scifi thing. Just my opinion, since I really want someone to reboot Seaquest and put it on Netflix.

First two Orville episodes are really fun. Great balance of comedy and seriousness. Extraordinarily well-produced. Visually fantastic. An unabashed replica of TNG/VOY in every form including an android that purposely sounds like Brent Spiner. And I completely welcome it. A really entertaining COST-FREE hour of television.

But again, the absolute worst place on the Internet to discuss anything Star Trek or Trek related are the comments forum on this website.

There is so much unabashed regular hatred, vitriol and unwarranted criticisms here it borders on maddening.

I really haven’t seen regular positive comments on literally any subject here for a decade. Every JJ movie… every Discovery preview… every fan-film… every TNG/TOS HD upgrade release, etc, etc…

90% of the comments are pure misery from a pack of jaded disenchanted a-holes.

You sort of joined the crowd you ripped with your last comment. So welcome!

Its really only a minority of people who do what you claim. But then again, when you claim the visuals are extraordinary when they are good but not great, are you expecting agreement or are you setting up your own predicted finish?

You’ve essentially made it so anyone disagreeing with you is an ahole. So, maybe you shouldn’t bother posting here?

Your remark about cost-free TV is pretty telling also. I guess you dont pay the cable bill at your home?

TUP, ST:EXP may live in an area like Los Angeles, where you can get all major channels with an antenna. Or whatever thing has been in use since about five years ago? [Twenty years ago I got great reception with an antenna in the LA area.]


I agree. The show is getting better & I do love the balance between drama and comedy.

As for your other point, some have legitimate concerns about the show but the vitriol is coming from couple tr0lls. You see them in every Orville threads, claiming with straight face that they “hope it gets better” but keep trashing the show non-stop.

If someone thinks a show is a mess & horrible, then they shouldn’t continue watching it, move on to something they like but tr0ll will tr0ll.

@Ahmed – please knock off your troll remarks. All it does is make you look like one because what you accuse others of doing is EXACTLY what you do anytime there is anything about Discovery.

If you are personally offended by people not liking Orville, Im sorry for that. If you’re that emotionally connected to a TV show…well, I dont know what to say.

But the people critical of Orville, for the most part, have been reasonable and balanced. believe me, I would not waste ONE SECOND watching a TV show JUST to aggravate you for some reason.

I for one DO hope Orville gets better. Because right now it sucks.

If you’re that emotionally connected to a TV show…well, I dont know what to say.

Ummm, TUP? You are pretty emotionally connected to “Star Trek” aren’t ya? ;-)


I agree the first two episodes were fun. I kinda wish they would lean a little more to comedy, however. But that’s just me. Not a fan of jokes like “cannabis edibles”. Hopefully that sort of thing will be kept to a minimum. But again, that’s just me.

I also agree that there are a few here who cannot help but barge into every thread and throw their hatred and vitriol all over. But that goes along with being an internet thread. So be it I suppose.

You’re not a fan of pot jokes? I assume since pot jokes are really old and lame in 2017, that that was meant for the 2400’s crowd and jokes about pot make a comeback in 400 years.

Could have been worse, could have had a gag about drunk driving. Oh wait, that was last week.

Watched the first episode. It was okay. Episode two… as soon as it was revealed they were in a zoo, I shut it off. That story line was in a Twilight Zone in 1960. No new ideas?

No. There are no new ideas left in Hollywood. All stories have been told. Haven’t you been to movies, watched tv or read any novels lately?

Um, that’s pure tripe, as ARRIVAL showed. Setting that aside, I have no problem with revisiting concepts that have been done before; the question is how they’re executed. The zoo episode didn’t inspire confidence.


A zoo. They really went there. A zoo…ugh.

Then we have modern English cursing by unknown aliens that look like they were on loan from Irwin Allen (the Orville captain and his ex are the first humans the zoo-keepers have acquired) And can they please stop ripping off strains of Horner’s Trek 3 and Wrath of Khan sountrack? Similar with slight note changes. Nauseatingly manipulative.

Well, I did like it better than the first one, what with the replicated edibles and smoking j’s at the opera. Hey, futuristic pot jokes are funny! As for the rest of it, I might have enjoyed it more with some access to said product, though the Frankenberry vs. morning beer kerfluffle was also awesome. But the alien zoo was sooo 1960/1964, and I really didn’t need to see a replay of TNG’s “The Arsenal of Freedom,” which pretty much sucked the first time. So this show still needs to up its game on the serious stuff, and even then I’m not entirely sure what reason it has to exist. But I’ll continue to watch. Hopeless nerd, that’s me.

I am so glad ultra negative ‘cancel it after one episode’ reviewers were not around in 1987. Otherwise we would never have got TNG past a few episodes.
Encounter at farpoint was derided in 87 on first viewing with shouts of ‘this isn’t my Trek’ and ‘how can you have a bald captain?! He’s terrible and certainly no Kirk.’

But, guess what, it got better, a lot lot better.

I’ll give Orville more than a few episodes before I drop the ‘cancel it’ axe.


Snark aside, I don’t want the series cancelled; I want it improved. I believe at this point that its choice of a ‘dramedy’ format is conceptually flawed, but have no problem with being proved wrong, and in fact have a certain amount of sympathy for what they’re trying to do. As with that other show, my impulse is to want to like it, but also to be as critically honest as I can. I hope that’s fair

Michael, while my response was to you, it was more a general frustration with how little time series have to get it right these days before the death knell of cancellation drops.
TNG was a perfect example, aired today it would have been cancelled, and what a waste that would have been, and with it we would never have had many other great series that followed because of it’s success. All because some were only willing to give a series one episode to shine.
And then we have Firefly, cancelled despite being great from the start.

It’s a damned if you do damned if you don’t scenario with TV these days. Roll the dice and take your chances.
I want it to improve also, not a fan of the style of comedy, but I’m willing to give it time to grow and find itself, based on previous experience with other series that also took time to grow, but turned out great.
We’re both coming to the same opinion from different corners I think :)

I could care less if it got cancelled tomorrow or runs 10 years. As much as I loved Family Guy, I eventually got bored and stopped watching. Cant say Orville will ever be a series I’d watch year after year. Its just not interesting enough or genuinely funny like The Office was most of its run or using current shows, Modern Family & Goldbergs.

That being said, we only talk about it here because this site is covering it. If this site covered Law & Order, we’d discuss that too. Once they stop covering it, we’ll likely not mention it much.

“…But, guess what, it got better, a lot lot better.”

Well, that’s certainly one opinion. Can’t share it, however…for a multitude of sins–er—reasons.

You think The Next Generation didn’t improve greatly from it’s pilot episode? Fair enough.

No, he absolutely doesn’t. Don’t get him started. 😊

lol I’m just going to mosey along, now. IDIC and all that jazz…

@Michael Hall,

“and even then I’m not entirely sure what reason it has to exist. But I’ll continue to watch.”

Why? If I find myself not enjoying a series after the second episode for whatever reason, I simply move on to another series. Unlike the 90s, there are tons of shows out there that are available thanks in part to the various streaming services.

If you’re not enjoying ‘The Orville’ then don’t waste your time with the show and watch something else.

@Ahmed – will you take your own advice? Following your expected trashing of Discovery, you will not watch and won’t post here about it? lol

Thing is, if this site is going to post reviews and people here are going to draw some weird connection between the two shows, its going to be talked about. If some of us choose to watch Orville because we hope it gets better or because we want to be educated when having discussions, so be it. What business is it of yours?

I DO hope Orville gets better. So far, its a missed opportunity.

Because I think MacFarlane is talented and can be quite funny on occasion. (Just in case it’s not clear: my appreciation for the humor on this show, when expressed, is genuine, not snark.) Because I owe him, and Braga, for the COSMOS reboot, which was mostly pretty good. Because I think his intentions for The Orville in terms of making it a legitimate SF “dramedy” are sincere, if perhaps misguided.

Mostly, though, because I believe in giving things a chance. I won’t give up on Discovery right away, even if the premiere episode disappoints. Why would I do that with this show?

Fair enough?

Maybe they should rewatch some of Stargate or SG Atlantis to figure out how to mix drama and comedy. This stuff still fells like it forces the awkward comedy down our throats because it is scared to be a full scifi drama show first. Funny thing is, if the show would just *be* a SF drama, the comedy would come much more naturally. Stargate had tons of funny references and jokes and in general just really good comedic dialogue without ever being a comedy.

Looking forward to each and every episode! Loved the first episode, pissed the 2nd was interrupted by stupid football. I have high hopes for Seth MacFarlane’s Orville. And I’m a huge fan of Stars Trek. More, more!

I watched this with my brother last night and at the end of it all my feeling was distinctly neutral. I neither loved it nor hated it. There were a few chuckles (like the very last scene) but I thought the acting was really unbalanced (with McFarlane and Palicki probably being the weakest). The sets looked really cheap to me; they were clearly shooting for a TNG aesthetic but everything looked very flimsy and plasticy, like someone could knock a wall over if they leaned too hard against it. The music was very reminiscent of TNG. The CG effect are, like everything else, decent at best; the ships seem to lack mass and weight. There were some interesting ideas but the execution was average at best. The Trek references abound: replicators, tractor beams, hangar decks, color coded uniforms, bridge layout, etc. My brother joked that Paramount could probably sue for plagarism though to me the humor was more reminiscent of some of the stuff in Babylon 5 than Trek. Maybe the acting will improve with time but having seen one episode, for now I have little interest to go back to this.

@TonyD — you know what the sets looked like to me? Those fabric covered office cubical walls — flimsy and cheap. It’s weird how everything is fabric covered. I was especially surprised to see it on the captain’s chair arms as well.

Fortunately, the football game screwed up my PVR so I missed the middle 10 minutes or so. Caught the second half on replay.

I liked it a lot more than last week’s episode which is faith praise. It still sucks. Perhaps it was better because there seemed like less of it’s weakest link which is Seth. Or perhaps because it gave some spotlight to other characters.

The problems are all the same though. It throws a lot of jokes at you but only a fraction are remotely funny. Its still too long (feels laborious). Seth isnt nearly a strong enough actor to pull off a complicated comedy/drama role.

The silly “modern” gags like the Kermit The Frog, Elvis (there might have been another) were so terrible and out of place and undermined the setting. As much as Seth talks about homage to TNG, the only thing making this a future-based show is that they say it is.

The show would have benefited a lot more if the Seth character was frozen in time from the 90’s and unfrozen 400 years later.

Someone said the guest star aliens last week were the best part because the actors were in on the joke. I get that more this week. But as someone else pointed out, the aliens speaking English could be a gag but using American slang etc for no reason comes across lazy. Like its a sight gag but its lazy.

Also, did they free the rest of the prisoners?

The reality TV gag was slightly funny but its old and not original.

The one gender couple having a female baby is interesting. This is there take on gay couples adopting? I have my doubts it will have anything of substance to say. Because nothing about this show has had anything to say thus far.

And Seth really is the weak point. When he was fighting with his ex about her cheating (and this has become really tiresome and its only episode 2), I nearly burst out laughing. He is not convincing at all.

I liked the plot with the security officer. She’s an interesting character at least.

Yup Tup. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I would go further to say that whenever I see anything outside the ship, shuttle etc., it looks like a Saturday morning cartoon. It makes me wonder if they are meaning to do that. I believe they said it was going to be more dramatic just to get the Trekkers there and just hoped that they would be funny enough to keep us. There are a lot of No’s to those scenarios.

@Spiked – Not every show is going to have the budget to be amazing effects and I think they are passable but not amazing in this show. The sets, to me, look cheap. I get the joke that they are spoofing TNG but unless you’re a TNG fan, you dont get it.

I also get that its a parody but man, it really exists solely due to TNG existing from ship/set aesthetic to theme songs…like man, I know FOX has good lawyers but I’d love to have seen notes from the legal department before this aired.

I actually think they could drop the silly humor and be a more serious “light hearted” drama and be more successful. Successful enough to justify the expense? I dont know. But as a Seth comedy in the vein of Family Guy and American Dad, it’s a failure. Its not nearly funny enough and doesnt have the gimmicks at its disposal to overcome Seth’s rather pedestrian humor.

And again, he’s the weak link in every scene he’s in. They’re doing a fish out of water comedy in the sense nothing about it BUT it’s setting says its the future. All the jokes and gags relate to knowing 20th century pop culture or mentality.

It was only a couple of weeks ago, the anti-Discovery crowd was going insane over the use of “cool”. They must have all passed out while watching Orville due to their brains exploding.

After 2 episodes, it doesnt even seem fresh. There is little satire or sending up happening. The idea of a zoo gave them the one line about animal zoo’s but it sure seemed like that was NOT the point. The point was to set up Seth screaming “We are not Shamu” which was terrible.

I was critical of STID because it seemed like they had these great ideas for action set pieces and then tried to connect them with a story. The same seems true of Orville where Seth has gags and then tries to write a story around them.

The estranged couple locked in a room together so immediately they can mimic a generic morning scene between a couple with problems. ho hum.

And thats really another failing. The pairing of the two leads feels false. The pretense for their break up was lame and stereotypical and as I claimed (to much objection) misogynistic. The plot device that brought them back together was also lame. And the whole thing is just so Seth has a running gag about two former lovers bickering because “hey wouldnt it be funny if Picard and Riker were ex lovers and had these uncomfortable arguments on the bridge making their officers really awkward?” hahahahaha fart

The bickering on the shuttle was awful because Seth always looks like he’s putting it on when trying to be anything but sarcastic or snarky or smarmy. The whole “I think we could have made it” was super heavy handed way of stating what should have been a more thoughtful subtle approach. I mean, you got friggen married so we know you thought you’d make it.

And again the issue in their relationship was he was a hard working man trying to support his family and she was a lying cheating whore. So funny.

They either need to stop pretending they’re doing real drama and ramp up the jokes and absurdity of everything or cut back the stupid jokes and be more dramatic. But Seth remains the biggest issue with this show which, sadly wont change because he’s likely the only reason the show exists (while besides the mere existence of TNG, I mean).

“All the jokes and gags relate to knowing 20th century pop culture or mentality. It was only a couple of weeks ago, the anti-Discovery crowd was going insane over the use of ‘cool.'”

…and before that, the use of the Beastie Boys in BEYOND.

A-yuh. I can buy people being fans of “ancient” culture. Some people have a much harder time of it.

The ‘reality TV’ gag was kinda funny, but doesn’t really make much sense. That’s just data, ones and zeroes, and doesn’t really make for much of a trade against live physical specimens. I doubt the Zookeeper would have actually gone for it.

@Michael Hall

I would have thought the same thing had I taken the show more seriously than I did. As it is, I’m still kinda enjoying it. Wish they would lean a bit more to the joke side but still watchable.

They really do have to pick one and go with it. Because its not working as this weird mix, especially with a lead who cant pull it off.

If they do meta humor [like having the alien move to be in the center of Orville’s viewscreen] and humor that’s from within the situation [humore which isn’t the reason the situation is created, as you pointed out earlier], they should do all right.

I think they’ll get a better sense of what works and what doesn’t.

Oddly, as a feminist, I didn’t read the marital situation the same way. I was perplexed that Palicki’s character wasn’t just as busy [as MacFarlane’s character was with his career] on her own behalf, since she’s a very good officer herself. They argue as if she was doing housework and waiting alone all day for her man to come home [Geeze!].

I didn’t find her having a relationship as her being a “whore”, just an eventuality from her estrangement from her husband. And I am So. Glad. that MacFarlane’s character didn’t use that “whore” word referring to her, because in SM’s other shows, I think that attitude is pretty prevalant, which is what I imagine you mean in your summation of their argument above.

I liked it. Nice shout out to “The Cage” I thought, with the whole Zoo thing, just the right balance of humor and story. I’m liking the cast a whole thus far, and this one was directed by our own Lieutenant Paris! So far I have nothing NOT to like about the show. No, it’s not Star Trek, nor does it need to be. It’s a good shout-out to Trek, and makes for some nice light sci-fi viewing. I’m in.

Like someone else here, I’m just dying to know if they freed all the other zoo inhabitants, or if they’ll go back and do that in a future episode.

I love reading all your hatred here. Your tears fuel me.

Orville’s a great show with a lot of potential. “Command Performance” is like something out of TNG season two, and last I checked nobody has grown a beard yet. It’s Star Trek:Everyman, where the shining, politically correct non-conflicting examples on the flagship are offscreen (if they exist at all), and we’re down in the streets with the rest of the fleet, the normal people. That makes it more appealing to a much wider audience, as the numbers show.

Literally every person I know who *hates* Star Trek has watched The Orville, and liked it! Unless it jumps the shark / nukes the fridge, they will likely keep watching it. It’s Star Trek, without the name brand, and it works for people who don’t like Trek for the sake of not liking Trek.

I’ve never cosplayed, but I might be motivated to whip up a Union outfit just to watch you all twitch at cons.

As much as I’m rooting for Discovery, it will be hilarious to watch you all melt down if it sucks / is blasphemy / etc.

@Bill, you revealed yourself! You had me going for a bit. But the idea you take pleasure in people disliking Orville and will take pleasure in Discovery not being good is far too transparent. You oversold, my friend!

Orville is really good for the simple folk. And I mean that not in a disrespectful way. Its easy to turn off your brain and laugh once or twice every 20 minutes. Because the majority of people here are Trek fans, they are used to or at least want more nuanced, deeper story telling.

It doesnt surprise me that your friends who love Orville dislike Trek. Im not Trek was ever designed to impress the crowd that likes face ejaculating aliens or dick jokes. But there is a market for that! lol

I’m a Trek nerd who happens to like the occasional dick joke, actually. But they have to be good dick jokes. :-)

I too am a fan of both nuanced, deep story telling, but also a fan of a good dick joke from time to time. And “we no longer need fear the banana.” Ha! Loved that line from the premiere.

Variety need not be an enemy. There’s room for both real Trek and its well-meaning light step-cousin.

Many, many years ago Harlan Ellison wrote a script for a TV show called THE YOUNG LAWYERS that featured a joke likening King Kong to the average Joe, who only wants out of life a decent home, a good woman. . . and a fifty-foot banana. The line was written for Lee J. Cobb, an elder statesman stage actor who had originated the role of Willy Loman in DEATH OF A SALESMAN. Cobb refused to say the line, and Ellison, who had venerated him, was crushed. So it goes.

Michael H, I have a feeling “and a 50-foot banana” wouldn’t have got past the TV censors at the time anyway. Alas.

@Michael Hall

I enjoy toilet humor too. Like you, provided it is actually funny. But the risk with toilet humor is if it doesn’t work it brings things down much more than a standard failed joke.

Oh I agree. But when the only hope is the comedy can rise to the dick joke, its not a good start (also, no pun intended).

TUP, I don’t really expect DEEP storytelling. Just hoping for decent storytelling and comedy that arises out of situations, rather than situations/drama to set up jokes.


Who are you talking to? Who’s “you” and “you all?”

This isn’t an article or a thread about hating The Orville.

And the producers of The Orville have stated numerous times that their show is strongly inspired by Trek. So where are you getting the notion that the two shows are at odds or mutually exclusive?

What in blazes are you talking about?

VARIETY — “The Orville” is currently averaging a 2.6 and 7.6 million viewers, DOWN slightly in total viewers compared to the premiere last week.

While the ratings are down over last week, they still have to be adjusted due to a late start time on the East coast. It will be interesting to see if they adjust up or down. As I’ve previously stated numerous times, the ORVILLE faced several challenges this week — in terms of live numbers, namely The Emmys, and A Packers/Falcons matchup. And I’m sure the Hurricane is still a factor. That said it’s encouraging that their falloff appears to be so small. Then again, it does benefit again from a huge lead-in, especially from an NFL game going into overtime where the channel does not get changed.

In reading a few other reviews about the show that indicate the second episode has a much stronger focus on the drama than the comedy, this change in tone could adversely affect future viewers of the show, especially when it shifts time slots to Thursday, where it faces much greater competition for similar audiences. The one metric we’re not being publicly given is the falloff at the half-hour — i.e. how many viewers tune out after the first half-hour. That would do much more for analysis than the average for the hour. I’ve also indicated that the live ratings should drop off simply following a move to Thursdays, though a strong follow through would bode well for the show. The Live+3 numbers are going to be much more helpful in determining that on Thursday. It’s interesting that FOX has been promoting the show this weekend as having been watched by over 16 million viewers. I’m curious where that number comes from, maybe Live +7? Are they counting online numbers? interesting if true, and I’d be especially interested to see how they determine those are unique viewings and not repeat viewings.

Given the move to Thursdays, it’s going to need at least a couple of more episodes to establish a pattern with ratings, both for viewers to follow it over, as well as to get past what the reviewers suggest may be a format change — i.e. a shift from comedy to drama, and whether the MacFarlane fan base will continue to tune in. So by episode 5 or 6, the show should settle in with predictable ratings.

I liked the episode. Better than the pilot. Nice series so far.

Also enjoyed episode 2 much more than the pilot. Humor was toned down nicely. Seth in the opening scene, before the opening credits was quite weak though. I hope that they still push him off the Captains seat or have the show focus more on other crew.
The navigator is also weak.

I don’t like the helmsman that much. I like the navigator a little better.

Really, an officer jumping up and telling someone in command, “You SUCK!!” …?

Glad she sent him off the bridge.

I pretty much agree with this review of Brian’s, too.

Alara’s epiphany is very rushed——Malloy tells her that she and her decision both suck, and then Alara immediately changes her mindset and attitude. But, then again, that is how it happens sometimes in real life. Sometimes, when you’re already doubting yourself, it takes very little to cause you to reverse course. So, the scene plays a bit awkwardly, but, all in all, I have to say fair play.

The show does seem to find its way a bit more in this episode, as the intended tone, mood and tenor of the show begin to crystalize——i.e. how the show intends to walk the line between comedy and drama. The impression that I’m getting is that the show intends to address serious issues (leadership and animal rights, in this episode) in an unmistakably tongue-in-cheek manner. The show is not a complete screwball comedy, but neither is it striving for the degree of realism (or seriousness) that Trek typically strives for. This second episode strikes me, again, as more Galaxy Quest than Trek, in its tone and tenor. But, where The Orville is more akin to Trek is in its allegorical style of storytelling, which was much weaker (or less important) in Galaxy Quest.

This episode is reminiscent of the TNG episode, “Pen Palls” (S.2, Ep.15), in which young Wesley Crusher is placed in command of an away mission, wherein he doubts his own leadership abilities. And to this I would add that Wesley was only placed in charge of a scientific research mission and three other people, whereas Alara is given command of the entire ship and hundreds of people. And there’s a reason why the real-life Navy typically doesn’t place 23-year-olds in charge of big, expensive ships and hundreds of lives. But, whatever.

There’s no discussion of leadership at all. The point the show seems to be making is that it’s OK in the military to blatantly disregard orders (because Hollywood, I guess) and that command decisions should be made by majority vote. Ugh. (“Ugh” at least to the extent they’re aiming for drama, I suppose.)

Yes, Star Trek captains occasionally disobeyed orders. They usually did so for the highest moral reasons (not “I have to make some yukky unpopular decisions”), and were prepared for the consequences. Kirk got away with it largely because powerful Vulcans interceded for him, twice, and he happened to save Earth on the way home to face the music. STID faced exactly the same problem, although even there Kirk faced some nominal consequences.

Alara was one of the few promising characters; no more. Yeah, it worked out OK now, because the zookeepers liked Kim Kardashian. If they were Vians able to exert mind control over the entire crew, not so much.

And the thing is: none of this plotline was funny. This was supposed to be the “drama” in dramedy.

@TRT — very little about this episode was funny. The opening 10 minutes offered a few silly chuckles at best, but quickly soured. Everything about this episode seemed like exactly the kinds of things you wouldn’t want to do in a second episode follow-up to a premiere. All I could think about as I watched this episode unfold was that it was like what would have happened if Picard went off and left Wesley in charge — in the second episode!! Add to that any of the few light moments of humor were steamrolled by an overly serious score, that indicated we weren’t supposed to laugh. And that seemed like a conscious choice by the producers, as if they wrote the jokes to appease the studio and network, then tried to correct it in post. And then they proceeded to do the drama badly.

Every criticism of yours is spot on — but even if they mitigated the peer-pressure aspects of her command decision, how can anyone believe that this crew would be so throroughly invested in their brand new bumbling captain, who presumably shouldn’t even have the command he got (which the pilot episode already confirmed), that they would all be willing to put their lives on the line to save him, in defiance of direct command orders. In Trek parlance, it would be as if a crew mutinied against Starfleet, to rescue a brand new captain, who in his first mission had only gotten the ship damaged and people hurt in a bungled confrontation with the Klingons — from the Borg in Borg space, without any backup. The only reason that story could remotely be told in the second episode is because the captain in question is Seth MacFarlane, and the audience (his fans), already has a personal connection with him. And in what kind of world do they exist where the governing body just leaves it’s people behind? It’s one thing not to send this inexperienced woman and crew on such a mission, but to just give them up for lost?

As a comedy, all of this can be dismissed. Played as a serious drama, the whole thing is beyond ridiculous. So one has to wonder — who is this going to appeal to? If MacFarlane fans were tuning into Family Guy in space, while the pilot held promise of that concept, this episode destroyed that potential. And Trek fans longing for a return to TNG, usually expect better than this. I don’t really see MacFarlane fans hanging in there with this approach, but Trek fans sat through the first two seasons of TNG, so anything is possible.

I didn’t like the second ep as much as I did the first, mainly because Alara heard “you SUCK!” … doubted herself … consulted with the doctor … and listened solely to her peers [and the tequila she drank] and turned to rescue the captain.

I would have been sold if it had taken her a little longer to come to that decision, and with less juvenile peer pressure.

Ratings for the second week was up from last week.

TVLine: The Orville with a stronger NFL lead-in did 7.6 mil and a 2.6, up from its premiere’s preliminary numbers (7.3 mil/2.3).

Stronger lead in. Also anyone tuning into watch Orville for 40 minutes got football. Lol.

I didn’t. My dvr started it right on time. No delays at all.

Does your DVR account for delays? Because football ran very long.

Still feels like an afterschool special in terms of arthritic archaic and downright leaden storytelling. Also the casual and expected disobeying of orders really trivializes that whole end, when you could do a show (or a season) just about the consequences of that, if you so chose. Thought the close ‘beauty’ shots of the ORVILLE miniature were really pretty good, but man, the lighting and camera angles on the live-action is just brightbland yuch.

Did anybody else notice all the TWOK music when the ship approaches the plaent?


Fair points about the storytelling. It’s still somewhat clunky and paint-by-numbers.

And what you said about the casualness of Alara disobeying orders is related to what I’ve been saying about the lack of realism in the show. The Orville clearly wants to be whimsical and fun, but when the characters behave capriciously in serious situations, both the narrative and its theme are undermined and weakened. It’s a tough challenge that MacFarlane and Braga have taken on for themselves, walking the line between comedy and drama in allegorical storytelling. Though, this is only the second episode. They still have some time to work it out.

@kmart — yes I noticed TWOK music. It’s much too close. And that was Joel McNeely. I expect John Debney’s score next week to be even closer. I just don’t even know what to say about the second episode. I found a review on The Tracking Board which sums it up my feelings pretty well in the article synopsis:

The Orville gives us a look into what not to do in your second episode. With a complete disregard to most of what was built in the pilot, The Orville struggles to find any footing going forward. Much of it relied on tropes, confusing references, and at times, a complete lack of comedy. It’s impossible to figure out who this show is for.

The problem is, Seth’s idea of comedy is, in fact, a complete lack of comedy. or at least it seems that way.

I made the same point but they are chasing two different audiences and might alienate both.

It’s a fair point, trying to figure out the branding of the show.

But, on the other hand… While you can accuse The Orville of ripping off cliched TV tropes in its first two episodes, the show en toto is a creature that I’ve never quite seen before. If you were going to slam The Orville as a rip-off of one show, what would that show be? I can’t think of one.

Did I notice that music! Boy did I! Very similar. And a little out of keeping with “The Orville” as a whole, I think. It’s beautiful and solemn, while “Orville” is visually shiny [not in the “Firefly” sense] and occasionally solemn.

Ok saw the second episode. Really liked it. Felt a lot more Star Trekish and was nice to see a character based episode early on.

Held its audience very well from last week with 7.6 million in the fast nationals.

This will be changed a bit as they factor in the weird football effect and more details. Last week the rating went up. I noticed the programming after Orville drew less than half Orville’s number. I’m not sure if that is a reflection of that actual show or the time slot.

If it’s the time slow then part of footballs 18 million would juice Orville. But then Orville should have juiced Simpsons and either didn’t or people tuned out.

I tend to think the number is accurate if not a bit low. Which is a win for fox.

TV BY THE NUMBERS Reports: A wonky start time for episode 2 of “The Orville” caused its ratings to adjust down from Sunday’s early numbers to the finals. The show finishes at a 2.2 rating in adults 18-49, down half a point from its premiere but still pretty solid.

So it’s ratings were down from the premiere (2.3) for the all important 18-49 demographic, and down almost a million viewers overall (6.63 down from 7.32).

Weird, I figured it would adjust up but that delay was crazy. So much for being UP from the premiere. Not unexpected.

Interesting … According to TV By The Numbers, it looks like FOX ran THE ORVILLE Ep. 2, “Command Performance”, again Tuesday night at 9PM, and got a .5 rating and around 1.67 million viewers. They were supposed to air THE MICK and BROOKLYN NINE-NINE.

What’s interesting is TV Series Finale reported the 1/2 hour blocks which should have been THE MICK and BROOKLYN, and something interesting happens — THE ORVILLE started at 9PM with a .5 rating and 1.69 million viewers, then at 9:30 dropped to a .4/1.65 million viewers. Now that’s not a huge drop, but an audience fall-off none-the-less. Hard to say why, though. It could have been people who had already seen it Sunday night, or it could have been people tuning in to see THE MICK — a very different show, and tuned out when it wasn’t on.

Finally found a half-hour breakdown of ratings for the 2nd ORVILLE broadcast from the 17th:

SpoilerTV reports that THE ORVILLE began the 8:30 start time with a 3.5 rating (18-49), and 10.24 million viewers. At 9PM, that rating drops to 1.7, with 5.04 million viewers. Almost half the viewers fell-off from the start of the show to the half-hour mark. So those numbers were averaged together to get 2.2 and 6.63 million viewers data for the hour.

While those are still great numbers, that half hour fall-off is very telling about the audience interest in the show. I’d love to know what the numbers were at the end of the hour.