The Orville is the latest television creation by Seth MacFarlane, the man who brought us Family Guy. If you are familiar with Family Guy, you would know that Seth loves to make pop culture references and is always poking fun at the Sci-Fi shows and movies most of us grew up on. He frequently uses Star Wars and Star Trek as points of inspiration for many episodes as well as films and games.
The Orville takes place around the year 2400 and features a Union officer by the name of Ed Mercer played by MacFarlane. The series opens up with Mercer discovering that his wife Kelly played by Adrianne Palicki (Agents of Shield) has sought the comfort of another man… and this man is a blue alien. We fast forward a year to Mercer being given his first ship command due to lack of officers after he’s had a rough time dealing with his marriage troubles. We learn that he was an up and coming officer before his life fell apart. After accepting command he quickly conscripts he friend Gordon Malloy played by Scott Grimes as helmsman and sets out to meet his new crew. We get quick introductions of the members and their diverse alien races. We will be learning much about the new cultures as the series progresses I’m sure. The only thing the ship is missing is a first officer. If you seen any of the trailers for the series then you know that postion will be filled by Mercer’s now ex-wife Kelly. This dynamic proves funny right from the get go but I’m not sure if you could sustain the post marriage laughs through multiple seasons.
At this point in the episode you can really get a sense of the Star Trek inspirations and similarities throughout The Orville. The uniforms about the ship are strikingly similar and the interior ship itself resembles something you would have seen before in some type of Star Trek film or series. MacFarlane isn’t the first person to do this but might be the most obvious. Having said all that, I actually love the similarities and the fresh take on a series of this type. The show seems to have a serious side but keeps it light for the most part with comedy you might not catch right away and subtle this that only some might pick up on. It almost has a Scrubs in space feel to it at times. The crew gets into serious matters but seem to solve them in an unorthodox and comedic manner.
This review in particular is primarily on the pilot although the second episode has already aired. With a strong debut, The Orville will most definitely complete its first season. Overall, I highly recommend this series to fans of MacFarlance and Science Fiction that doesn’t take itself too seriously. This series is obviously meant to have fun so instead if picking it apart, just enjoy it!
As always, rate the series here on our site and stay tuned for our podcast coming soon! (if it’s not here already)