Okay, stop it right now, I have had enough, Please stop insulting my intelligence by insisting The Orville is a better science fiction series than Star Trek Discovery. You’re wrong, period. That is not remotely true in any way shape or form. Not only is that not true, but it’s also completely unfair and a little insane to compare the two shows because it’s a classic case of apples and oranges. Why? The fact that both shows are outer space adventures that take place in the future would seem to indicate that comparison is a warranted and valid procedure under the circumstances. However, that’s where the similarities end. (article continues after images)
It’s up to you, pick the one you like or both; just because you only enjoy the one, doesn’t mean you have to put down the other. I find it very irritating when so-called genre fans spend all their time putting down a series or movie they don’t happen to like instead of showing some support for people that are at least trying to bring some good science fiction or fantasy to the screen for our entertainment. What about those of us that happen to enjoy the show you spend so much negative energy into putting down? Has it ever even occurred to you that your snide remarks can have destructive results?
Besides, most of the time it’s entirely a matter of taste; if you like cutesy and dumb humor with lots of one-liners and juvenile gags you will probably prefer The Orville, If, on the other hand, you gravitate towards a more intelligent, engaging and maybe even challenging brand of sci-fi, well, then you’ll probably prefer Discovery. I like both because both shows are fun (I ‘m having fun anytime when I am watching science fiction).
The Orville is a delightful series that surprised me with how well done it was considering it’s a fan tribute done by Seth McFarland who I think, never thought it would be taken seriously by genre fans (I suspect he thought it would appeal primarily to stoners who may be the same people). McFarland deserves lots of acknowledgment for creating a great show, and because to me the more science fiction on TV the better.
The Orville was created as a kind of fan tribute/parody by Seth McFarlane to be an amusing parody of a classic Trek style universe. While Discovery is a much more in-depth exploration of the actual Trekverse and doing it in an extraordinarily intelligent and even original manner that is making some Trek fans uncomfortable and I am not sure why.
I think I understand The Orville’s popularity; it’s no secret The Orville’s crew, the show’s strongest point of appeal, is how Seth McFarlane took a Star Trek series and did something that the actual Star Trek show-runners never did. He (McFarland) made the ship’s crew more human by merely having them engage in typical human behavior that the Trek series always left out. Stuff like using the toilet, swearing, getting drunk and using drugs, and talking openly about sex, went a long way towards making them easily relatable, and the most popular crew in science fiction history with the possible exception of Star Trek TOS, Firefly, and Serenity.
However, I think it’s important to remember they are also two dimensional, stereotypes and somewhat cliched, they were probably created that way intentionally, because he needed types, not real characters that a writer tries to breathe life into that can grow and change over time. The Orville is like the muppet show in a way; it runs on cute gags, one-liners, and low juvenile humor; how long before that grows thin? (Pigs In Space anyone?)
It amazes me that fans have a problem with Discovery; I don’t understand it in the least. It was clear from the beginning that Discovery is a high-quality series, and it was an immensely popular and profitable experiment for CBS. Since then, the network has gone full in for as much Star Trek as the market will bear with several series in development (let’s hope their lust for profits doesn’t result in ruining the franchise). How could the fans be putting Discovery down when the critics and practically everyone else loved the show so much that when Discovery aired last year, CBS made tons of money and broke records for viewers and subscriptions. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. We finally get a new, smart, loaded with a plethora of cool science fiction concepts and top quality production wise, pretty excellent science fiction TV series, and the people that should be supporting it the most are saying hostile and mean-spirited things about the show. I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone (more than usual).
There’s a much longer learning curve getting to know the crew of the Discovery because it is far more complex and intelligent writing resulting in a group of more realistic characters than the muppet show crew of The Orville, and far more mentally engaging. Along with that, while The Orville had all stand-alone episodes, Discovery had one main long story arc that lasted the entire season with some subplots that may have been too complex for some fans to follow without difficulty.
When Discovery first started, I didn’t care much for anyone in the cast, I didn’t hold out a lot of hope because no one seemed to have that unique appeal I look for, but it didn’t take long before they grew on me. Memorable character portrayals from season one include Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham, Doug Jones as Saru (I noticed last season if someone says Saru quickly it sounds an awful lot like Sulu). Anthony Rapp as Stametz, Michelle Yeoh as the Empress (a delightful female take on the Merciless Ming) and Rainn Wilson as a new, more lethal, Harry Mudd (he was terrific in the role)
The point if all this raises a question about what is our part of the bargain as genre fans? To keep the creators of these series and films on their toes by letting them know what we think of their efforts and why they are or are not acceptable. Yes, that’s part of it for sure, but isn’t part of our role as fans to be pretty regularly supportive of the efforts being made to bring us more of the stuff we always clamor for more of instead of spending our time making snide remarks about a perfectly good show that we should be the supporting?
Here, in the 21st century post-Star Wars world, we are only a few decades past the era of nothing but B movies and low-budget TV shows with only rare exceptions, if you wanted to watch some science fiction on film, and it’s only recently that fans have demanded more intelligent and engaging material to base these productions on to increase our enjoyment and intellectual gratification. Happy Viewing.