The Orville: About A Girl
September 23, 2017 7:11 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

The crew of the Orville grapple with how the all-male Moclan culture deals with the hatching of a female child.
posted by Small Dollar (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So the pilot left me "meh"; the second episode was a big improvement, and this...I don't know.

I've been surprised (though glad) that the comedy has taken a back seat to earnest TNG-esque adventure stories. (I think I've laughed at the comic stuff maybe twice so far.)

They are really, really aping the dramatic style of TNG, though. And doing it surprisingly well. On the one hand, it's familiar and comforting, like mac and cheese - and makes me realize how much I've missed 90sTrek. On the other - they're basically copying TNG plots, with minor remixing.

As for this episode's attempt at wokeness - eh, pretty clumsy. Somehow it managed to be both too heavy-handed, and too vague. Seemed like it was trying overeagerly to be a topical comment on trans rights and/or misogyny, without really knowing exactly what it wanted to say.

I do see promise in the show, despite its flaws.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:44 PM on September 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

This episode could have been a disaster. Which I anticipated because I assumed the subject matter was far, far away from something MacFarlane could do well. So I was more than pleasantly surprised that the episode was so darn tootin' good.

It was like a really good TNG episode, likely based on "The Outcast". That's the one where a member of a gender neutral species wants to be female after she falls in love with Riker. But then her government arrests her and reprograms her. That one always bugged me because I could never understand why she wanted to be with Will Riker. Will Riker! He can’t play the trombone, but she was infatuated with him enough to became an outcast among her own people. I get that he was the first man she ever met, but that is still no excuse. Riker is no James T. Kirk, that’s for darn sure. I bet Riker trims his pubic hair to look just like his beard (worst part of Mot's job).

Anyway, this one hit the beats of a standard Star Trek adventure where the crew encounters an alien culture they don't approve of and are faced with an ethical dilemma. It made sense for this to have a bad ending, like "The Outcast". The Moclans weren’t going to give up a long held practice just because some humans showed up (not with Grayson’s terrible arguments, that’s for sure). Moclan society doesn’t make sense if you think about it too much, but that’s also true of a lot of Star Trek.

I really liked the humor. It wasn’t as Family Guy-ish as the previous two, and didn’t involve MacFarlane as much. My favorites were Norm Macdonald the Blob hitting on the doctor, Grayson’s “case of the tits” and Bortus’s reaction to Rudolph.
posted by riruro at 10:30 PM on September 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've seen two and a half episodes so far (thanks, NFL), and I get the feeling this may work well as lighter Star Trek - like tribbles, A Piece of the Action, various holodeck TNGs, etc. - but I can't see it pulling off Measure of a Man, Patterns of Force, Inner Light, or practically any DS9 outside of Quark, Morn, and some Garak. That's fine, I'll take Fun Trek. It's not the silly show I was dreading, and this was about the closest it may get to a meaningful episode. That's a bit disappointing, but Discovery looks like it's going hard on the meaningful side so perhaps this will be the balance I like.

I hated early TNG on firstwatch, too, as I waited for it to find its footing. Still giving this a chance.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:59 AM on September 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

This had everything to be a shitshow, but turned out just a bit clumsy.

They seem to be dialing down on failed marriage jokes, which is a plus, while keeping what MacFarlane did best (strange 20th century pop culture references).
posted by lmfsilva at 8:12 AM on September 24, 2017

Yeah I'm not mad at this one. It wasn't like some masterful story of justice hard fought... but I think that goes along with the premise of this show--what would Starfleet be like with regular people. In its best form this type of show can be transcendent (like Scrubs: far closer to showing what life is actually like in a hospital than Grey's Anatomy).

Regular Trek would have us believe that a (quasi-)military organization full of 20 year olds wouldn't be reprogramming each other's holodeck programs for the lulz.

So like, yeah a normal person with one elective year of law isn't gonna come up with a legal argument for the ages. It's gonna be shallow and clumsy, and of course, it totally didn't work.

I hope the show keeps getting better.
posted by danny the boy at 4:20 PM on September 24, 2017 [5 favorites]

It looks like I fell a week behind, but I watched this last night and I thought it was pretty good. There was only one or two failed marriage jokes which helped, and I liked that they were struggling with the morality of the situation and not finding any perfect answer.

I will keep watching, I don't actually think it is a bad show. Oh, but MacFarlane being serious is cringeworthy. Is he being "serious"? Like is he making a joke about what serious acting is, or is that the best he can do?
posted by Literaryhero at 7:40 AM on September 30, 2017

Oh, but to be totally honest, I have been drinking while watching every episode so far, so my opinion is probably worthless.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:41 AM on September 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm kind of digging Bortus and Klyden's relationship.

Klyden is played by Chad Coleman, The Expanse's Fred Johnson!
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 7:42 PM on October 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by bq at 8:05 AM on October 12, 2017

This episode was a lot better than I'd feared. The last thing I wanted to see was a Very Special Episode about Gender, particularly by Seth MacFarlane, but I thought it was handled sort of reasonably well. I appreciated that The Orville is willing to take on a more controversial and topical subject than Trek ever has.

If they just dropped the dumb side jokes like the blob character from the Borscht Belt and played this straight up but with the occasional sly humor, the tone would work consistently.

Also I finally figured out what the weird warp drive design on the back of the Orville looks like; it's a toilet seat. Lid, seat, and base toilet, three rings.
posted by Nelson at 7:18 AM on October 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

« Older Movie: George Harrison: Living...   |  Fear the Walking Dead: La Serp... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments