The Orville: Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes
January 18, 2019 6:13 PM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Ed finds himself behind enemy lines when he crash-lands on a mysterious planet; Kelly questions why Gordon wants to take the command test.
posted by peeedro (26 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Scott Grimes (Gordon Malloy) and actress Adrianne Palicki (Kelly Grayson) announced their engagement on the day this episode premiered.
posted by peeedro at 6:15 PM on January 18, 2019 [4 favorites]


I just downloaded this episode and the season premiere of Discovery, and I opted to watch this one first.

There's a lot about this show that I would do differently, if I were in charge. But, it definitely fills the 90sTrek-shaped hole in my heart. Maybe not as well as actual 90sTrek did – but, you know, I'll take what I can get.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:16 PM on January 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


I liked the Billy Joel song at the end. I like when shows take an old song you never thought about much and asks you to think about it in terms of the characters of this show. In comparing them it makes you think about both the song and the characters differently and in a richer way.
posted by bleep at 7:56 PM on January 18, 2019 [5 favorites]


Your irregular reminder that if you miss 90's Trek you can go on Netflix and watch it right now. Avoid this dreck.
posted by runcibleshaw at 7:59 PM on January 18, 2019 [4 favorites]


This is just like 90s trek without the embarrassing old fashioned politics and weak female characters. All tv sci fi is drek, but this isn’t gross and weird like the rest of it.
posted by bleep at 8:21 PM on January 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


See, to me it's even worse in those regards. It hasn't learned anything in the intervening 25-ish years.
posted by runcibleshaw at 8:31 PM on January 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


Well but it’s embarrassing in different ways without a lot of gore and screaming.
posted by bleep at 8:51 PM on January 18, 2019


I'm amazed no one's mentioned the whole Lieutenant Ash Janel Tyler being a secret Klingonrill sleeper agent altered to appear human and infiltrate the Discovery Orville plot line. It's like they're deliberately trolling Trek.
posted by Pryde at 9:19 PM on January 18, 2019 [7 favorites]


Pryde - I was refreshing Fanfare while watching the episode to drop that very comment! It's the 'duelling banjos' school of showrunning. I *loved* the idea of a culture that would interpret René Belloq as the hero of 'Raiders', too!
posted by MarchHare at 10:43 PM on January 18, 2019 [2 favorites]


This show is having a run of impressive episodes. Old school Trek bigwig Brannon Braga was one of the writers on this one and it was arguably a little too 90s Trek, playing like a mash-up of half a dozen TNG/DS9/Voyager episodes. But it's been so long since we've that stuff on our screens that I found it charming. We actually had a full-on raygun firefight in a spaceship corridor, with two races of aliens in Michael Westmore-esque rubber heads! For one brief, shining moment, it was as if UPN lived again.

It was also rather daringly corny for the show to ask us to take Billy Joel seriously. I'm not a Joel hater, but he is really not the cool choice these days and the show just treated his music like it was moving and trusted that we'd go with it. And while I didn't exactly weep during She's Always a Woman, I thought the moment did have some real weight. I never, ever imagined a Seth McFarlane show would have a heart.

And speaking of McFarlane, while he didn't write this one his fingerprints were all over it, from Mercer's love of 20th Century showtunes to the earnest debate about atheism versus violent fundamentalism. It's certainly not perfect but it feels like exactly the show he wants to be making, and somehow, some way, it works. Not bad for the "We saw your boobs" guy!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:39 AM on January 19, 2019 [7 favorites]


Your irregular reminder that if you miss 90's Trek you can go on Netflix and watch it right now. Avoid this dreck.

Please don't tell me what to watch, thanks. :) I've seen every episode of 90sTrek at least five times.

The whole "person in the 25th century is really into 20th-century American culture" thing is very much an old-school Trek trope. (If the writers want to telegraph that a character is more refined, then the character will be really into the Western classical tradition instead.) Apparently all artistic evolution ceased around the year 2000, except for the occasional "noodling on a futuristic lyre" concert.

I assume the writers do this because 20th-century American media is relatable to viewers, comes with built-in associations that are useful for characterization and storytelling, and spares the writers from the fraught enterprise of crafting believable futuristic culture.

But it really calls attention to itself after a while. There are many talented experimental musicians, etc. out there, working on the fringes of their artforms. I'm sure many of them would love the opportunity to imagine the alien music, etc. of the 25th century. Why not hire some of them?

(Although, when Trek has attempted to present future-culture, it's been...pretty corny.)

Of course, I'm probably asking for too much from a Seth MacFarlane show.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:56 AM on January 19, 2019 [6 favorites]


You know, I don't ask for much.. if everyone can keep their clothes on and we get some nerdy thought experiments and talking about what a better world could look like while zooming around space, that's great.
posted by bleep at 12:40 PM on January 19, 2019 [3 favorites]


would the person who called the Dark Matter Cartographer as Krill spy from the episode 1 thread please come forward and claim your prize.
posted by some loser at 1:33 PM on January 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


It was Nelson, but I don't know if it was clairvoyance or simply looking at IMDB.
posted by peeedro at 2:15 PM on January 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


I rather appreciated the other Trek callback, the Kobayashi Maru. And the comic relief of Lt. Tharl is growing on me. It's a little gross but not unbearably so. I'm still along for the ride.
posted by scalefree at 2:28 PM on January 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


The whole "person in the 25th century is really into 20th-century American culture" thing is very much an old-school Trek trope.

I had the same thought. While I do love that song, I was wondering why shows never even attempt to craft media past present day to feature for hundreds of years in the future. They try to dream up what future tech is going to look like, why not try to imagine what popular music might sound like in 2200?

And if that's not possible, can't somebody in the future be a fan of something obscure? I'd like to see Capt. Mercer bust out some Bill Laswell or Robyn Hitchcock instead of Billy Joel. Oh well.
posted by jzb at 7:53 PM on January 19, 2019 [3 favorites]


I rather appreciated the other Trek callback, the Kobayashi Maru

The other other Trek callback is that Gordon’s idea of bluffing that there’s a special deflector that will bounce any energy weapon back to the sender is a move Captain Kirk used in the Corbomite Manuever.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:12 PM on January 20, 2019 [6 favorites]


This episode is a solid example of a "you can see everything that's going to happen coming from a mile away" script. This show would be much better if MacFarlane wasn't in it. I just don't think he has any range in live acting. His character is human Brian. Effects are nice.
posted by juiceCake at 12:16 PM on January 21, 2019


why not try to imagine what popular music might sound like in 2200?

McFarlane actually addressed this while live tweeting this episode:
Have you ever seen “future music” done in a non-hokey way by Hollywood? Better to steer clear.

Personally, I think it's ridiculous to think someone hundreds of years in the future will still be listening to music made today. Now excuse me while I go listen to some Bach...
posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:15 PM on January 21, 2019 [5 favorites]


human Brian

Hah! Accurate.

Have you ever seen “future music” done in a non-hokey way by Hollywood?

No, Seth, I haven't – but I don't think that's because it's impossible to imagine future music in a non-hokey way. I doubt it's possible to make accurate predictions about futuremusic – but I do think you could dream up imaginary futuremusic which is at least believable for the purposes of the show (without being hokey).

But if you want to be all like "Hollywood's past attempts at doing X have always been hokey; therefore, our only options are (1) do it hokily again, or (2) don't do it at all", then whatever.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 11:13 AM on January 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


But if you want to be all like "Hollywood's past attempts at doing X have always been hokey; therefore, our only options are (1) do it hokily again, or (2) don't do it at all", then whatever.

That's kind of the driving principle behind this show's existence, isn't it?
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 4:33 PM on January 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


Nobody seems to want to look foolish if their predictions turn out wrong I guess. Strangely, TNG went the opposite direction and made up fake popular culture from the 1940's!!
posted by Megafly at 11:38 AM on January 24, 2019


Nobody seems to want to look foolish if their predictions turn out wrong I guess. Strangely, TNG went the opposite direction and made up fake popular culture from the 1940's!!

If the human race survives and they're still talking about The Orville in that time period, I think he's going to look pretty good overall even if they whiff it on music.
posted by jzb at 1:21 PM on January 24, 2019


If you want cool future music you have to have like, a musical genius visionary to supply the music. Maybe Seth doesn't know anyone like that.
posted by bleep at 1:47 PM on January 24, 2019


Your irregular reminder that if you miss 90's Trek you can go on Netflix and watch it right now. Avoid this dreck.

What a craptacular piece of crap posting.

Sorry, was passing through and had to comment on this.

::returns to watching the dreck::
posted by Atreides at 2:26 PM on January 29, 2019 [4 favorites]


I know it's dumb but I laugh everytime about the Avis joke.
posted by Carillon at 11:11 PM on May 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


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