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Author Topic: THE ORVILLE  (Read 1188 times)

Professor Bear

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #30 on: 02 November, 2017, 08:40:59 pm »
Fox have probably noticed that most people are fucked if they're paying for CBS All Access (including Netflix - BDUM TISH), so it's renew Orville or start from scratch with another spaceship show and hope it similarly mops up those Trek/sci-fi viewers sticking with regular tv packages.

On a completely unrelated note, I remember there being a story - possibly apocryphal - that the reason Charmed kept getting renewed year after year despite only modest ratings was that everyone at the network thought it was shite and they didn't want to look like they were trying to emulate it by pitching or developing their own fantasy show, so by the time that it came to renew shows or commission new ones, no-one had been developing a fantasy show to replace Charmed in the schedules.  The only reason it kept going until the cast asked for a raise was because it was more trouble to cancel it than to keep making it.

blackmocco

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #31 on: 02 November, 2017, 09:11:33 pm »
Fox have probably noticed that most people are fucked if they're paying for CBS All Access (including Netflix - BDUM TISH), so it's renew Orville or start from scratch with another spaceship show and hope it similarly mops up those Trek/sci-fi viewers sticking with regular tv packages.

On a completely unrelated note, I remember there being a story - possibly apocryphal - that the reason Charmed kept getting renewed year after year despite only modest ratings was that everyone at the network thought it was shite and they didn't want to look like they were trying to emulate it by pitching or developing their own fantasy show, so by the time that it came to renew shows or commission new ones, no-one had been developing a fantasy show to replace Charmed in the schedules.  The only reason it kept going until the cast asked for a raise was because it was more trouble to cancel it than to keep making it.

I wonder if that explains how Supernatural has been running for what seems like centuries. And I'm not even bagging on Supernatural when I say that! Honestly, there's clearly a place for shows with modest ratings to survive. I was at the Los Angeles Comic Con last weekend and the actress from iZombie had a line of hundreds of people all day long wanting to get her autograph (and paying $40 a pop). Orville's higher profile than that so I'd imagine if FOX are okay with whatever the budget is and the audience stays constant, Orville's got a future.
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Professor Bear

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #32 on: 03 November, 2017, 11:23:50 pm »
Episode 8 was a good 'un.  Tips the balance between drama and humor a fair bit in the other direction and burns through a whole bunch of Trek tropes like it's auditioning for a JJA movie, but there are a couple of nice touches, particularly BRIAN THOMPSON wearing a wonky alien forehead!  You only think you don't know who Brian Thompson is - trust me, when you see him, you'll know.  This show just needs a Colm Meaney cameo and it's basically justified that second season.
Also, the ship's doctor is raising two kids and the dad is nowhere to be seen - zero chance that isn't a DS9 meta reference.

TordelBack

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #33 on: 04 November, 2017, 11:01:34 am »
So I've been avoiding this until now, but work displacement got the better of me this morning, and I delved into YouTube for a taster. 

I still have no idea what this thing is.  There seems to be about 1 attempt at humour every 5 minutes, usually just a swearword or some bodily function (often eating?), the rest seems like conventional TV SF with decent (occasionally excellent) production values, with all potential for drama undercut by unlikeable characters (McFarlane and Grimes mainly) mugging for the camera while everyone else plays it more-or-less straight, and by the aforementioned aspiration to be a sitcom. 

The tone, and intent, are utterly baffling: would the knowing self-mockery exemplified by Stargate or even Galaxy Quest not have been a better route if so much energy was going to be expended on design, sets and even plots?  Is it really just an attempt to smuggle unlicensed Star Trek in under a legitimate parody clause?  It seems like a really quite depressing waste of effort, or possibly a tragic missed opportunity - I can't decide.  Either way it makes me sad.

Note that this is all filtered through my irrational and possibly unfair dislike of McFarlane's phisiog.
« Last Edit: 04 November, 2017, 11:06:28 am by TordelBack »

The Legendary Shark

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #34 on: 04 November, 2017, 12:21:55 pm »
I quite like it but my biggest problem with it, as you point out, is that it's the wrong kind of funny. Farscape, Stargate and Galaxy Quest all handled humour in better, more narrative-grounded ways. But then, humour is the hardest thing to get right so hopefully they'll nail it in the next season.


Professor Bear

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #35 on: 04 November, 2017, 12:47:44 pm »
You couldn't have The Room if Tommy Wiseau hadn't made it.

I'm still trying to get past the warring tones myself, but the contrast creates some interesting moments of cognitive dissonance that wouldn't happen with a show less beholden to Trek or lacking The Orville's clunky humor.  I guess it's kind of like the famous sci-fi comedy The Martian: yes, this expensive sci-fi drama production with decent actors is a comedy and we're all baffled by this choice of tone, but here we are.
« Last Edit: 04 November, 2017, 12:50:05 pm by Professor Bear »

The Legendary Shark

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #36 on: 04 November, 2017, 02:53:33 pm »
The humour does sometimes leave me in two minds as well. The "grinding with the statue" scene is a good example. On the one hand, the characters are supposed to be(?) too highly trained and responsible to engage in that kind of behaviour but on the other hand that's just the kind of thing people do to show off. It just felt like "we need a way to get our heroes into trouble so let's do something o.t.t."

In the same episode, the comedy arising from wearing the wrong hat seemed to me to fit in more smoothly with the rest of the narrative.

The Orville, in my humble, seems to fall between two stools - maybe Red Dwarf on one side and Farscape on the other. It doesn't seem to know whether it's set in a funny universe or a universe in which funny things happen.

All that being said, I do enjoy this show well enough and wish it all the best.


blackmocco

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #37 on: 04 November, 2017, 03:10:02 pm »
So I've been avoiding this until now, but work displacement got the better of me this morning, and I delved into YouTube for a taster. 

I still have no idea what this thing is.  There seems to be about 1 attempt at humour every 5 minutes, usually just a swearword or some bodily function (often eating?), the rest seems like conventional TV SF with decent (occasionally excellent) production values, with all potential for drama undercut by unlikeable characters (McFarlane and Grimes mainly) mugging for the camera while everyone else plays it more-or-less straight, and by the aforementioned aspiration to be a sitcom. 

The tone, and intent, are utterly baffling: would the knowing self-mockery exemplified by Stargate or even Galaxy Quest not have been a better route if so much energy was going to be expended on design, sets and even plots?  Is it really just an attempt to smuggle unlicensed Star Trek in under a legitimate parody clause?  It seems like a really quite depressing waste of effort, or possibly a tragic missed opportunity - I can't decide.  Either way it makes me sad.

Note that this is all filtered through my irrational and possibly unfair dislike of McFarlane's phisiog.

The thing is, it’s not really a parody, is it? My biggest hang-up with the show is that it seems a bit too smug, clueless and/or lazy to commit itself one way or the other. Seth’s love for Trek (particularly TNG, although I didn’t think he meant first season!) isn’t fake and there are rumors floating around he actually pitched this to CBS as a legit Trek show. (CBS apparently politely declined, as did Paramount a few years back when we tried to give TWOK the Blue Harvest treatment. Let’s not even talk about The Flintstones reboot...) Looks like he just went back to FOX with it and just changed the licence plates.
« Last Edit: 04 November, 2017, 03:12:17 pm by blackmocco »
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Professor Bear

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #38 on: 04 November, 2017, 03:58:12 pm »
To be fair, they never really claimed it was a Blazing Saddles/Naked Gun style parody, that was the critics and the audience getting ahead of themselves to confirm their existing opinions of McFarlane.  They did actually bill it as a comedy drama, and any enduring claims to parody at this point arguably stem from a belief that Fox will pull the parody defence if they're ever sued by Trek's owners.  It's an opinion I may have ventured myself once or twice before considering that CBS/Paramount might have a time proving they have an exclusive copyright on spaceships, planetary unions, and dayglo jumpers.

As I say, I do struggle with the varying tone, but at some point I'll have to cede that this is my own baggage, much as I had to with The Adventures of Brisco County Junior and (coincidentally also starring Bruce Campbell) Ash Vs The Evil Dead.

blackmocco

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #39 on: 04 November, 2017, 04:59:52 pm »
To be fair, they never really claimed it was a Blazing Saddles/Naked Gun style parody, that was the critics and the audience getting ahead of themselves to confirm their existing opinions of McFarlane.  They did actually bill it as a comedy drama, and any enduring claims to parody at this point arguably stem from a belief that Fox will pull the parody defence if they're ever sued by Trek's owners.  It's an opinion I may have ventured myself once or twice before considering that CBS/Paramount might have a time proving they have an exclusive copyright on spaceships, planetary unions, and dayglo jumpers.

As I say, I do struggle with the varying tone, but at some point I'll have to cede that this is my own baggage, much as I had to with The Adventures of Brisco County Junior and (coincidentally also starring Bruce Campbell) Ash Vs The Evil Dead.

I had imagined Seth's muscle in Hollywood was the only thing preventing a lawsuit but more likely, once Orville set up its' stall and CBS saw the two shows weren't going to be identical styles, tones and concepts they probably saw no reason to sue. That probably would have been more of a problem had CBS decided to do a more traditional version of Trek.

Sounds like the show's style has been a tough one to juggle from the get-go. Goodman worked on Family Guy quite a bit and when we asked him what to expect from Orville, he told us to ask Seth as no-one else could nail it down. As for the expectations, yeah, FOX really dropped the ball with their marketing, apparently against Seth's wishes to sell it more honestly, but launching a show is extremely difficult. I guess they figured as long as they get people to tune in, that's all that mattered, not how they got them to tune in.
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darnmarr

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #40 on: 11 November, 2017, 12:30:37 pm »
I've enjoyed this series so far; tonally it's still a bit all over the place but I hope it finds its feet.
( I feel like it's coming from a much warmer place than *ahem* STD )
 BUT- the last episode, (despite a fabbo Kareoke bit at the beginning,) was IMHO the worst one yet.
 Really awful.

Professor Bear

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #41 on: 11 November, 2017, 01:42:38 pm »
To be fair to it, it wasn't the worst episode of The Orville, it was the worst episode of anything.

darnmarr

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #42 on: 17 November, 2017, 11:51:30 pm »
Most recent episode was just as bad; The Orville keeps getting harder to like..:(

Professor Bear

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Re: THE ORVILLE
« Reply #43 on: 18 November, 2017, 01:13:05 pm »
Most recent ep was nowhere near as bad, though this was inevitable given what it had to follow.

The latest pulls off a neat trick that Family Guy has done a couple of times: the main plot follows so many familiar tropes that the viewer has too many options to reliably guess what twist the writer will eventually settle upon (I presume they usually go for the most unrewarding twist because that's what the viewer will least expect).
Interesting to see the same tropes and problems as Star Trek Discovery cropping up (particularly killing off main characters/destroying the ship tipping the writer's hand), yet one of the two gets a free pass - although I'm used to seeing that precarious double standard in these days of nostalgia-led reboots*, and look forward to seeing the Lost In Space relaunch's gnarly 21st century reinvention of the original's communist carrot uprising.


* "The Force Awakens does everything right that The Phantom Menace does wrong!"