The Orville: About A Girl

orville

You thought our child custody laws were complicated…

My intention was to only review the first episode of “The Orville.” Honestly, I wasn’t sure I was going to keep watching it. But I gave the second episode a shot, and it was decent enough that I kept going, although I still wasn’t planning on writing any more reviews of the series. And then episode three, “About A Girl,” came along.

Sci-fi in general, and Star Trek in particular, is often at its best when it uses the story to explore social issues. Remember, Star Trek had, among other things, the first interracial kiss on television, although that’s not a big deal to most folks these days who don’t run around in white sheets on their off time. Quite a few episodes of Star Trek, and most of its successor series, dipped a toe into social commentary. The Orville is showing, surprisingly and enjoyably, that it’s a bit more than just a parody.

This episode deals with a very controversial issue, or actually several at once. While they work in more snarky humor and general weirdness, it’s actually a fairly serious story. They even work in the classic Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer claymation holiday special as a not remotely subtle metaphor. It’s a very emotional episode of the “really makes you think” variety.

I’m not going into specifics so I don’t hit spoilers. I will say they impressed me. It’s easy to dismiss The Orville as a joke, a sci fi comedy. That’s pretty much what I did, in all honesty. If they do a few more episodes like this one, they may just earn their place as something more. Just like another series did, several decades, when they boldly went where no man had gone before.

What I liked: Full points for taking on several emotionally charged issues at once, and making it work. They kept the humorous tone for several scenes, but managed to keep a serious tenor for the majority of the show. There were a few twists and turns along the way, and they managed to surprise me with the ending.

What I didn’t: They maybe tried to do a bit too much at once. I think you could make the argument that they almost undercut the central issue by tacking on a few extras, like what one of the characters’ homeworld is like, environmentally and industry-wise.

I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5. If you’re particularly socially conservative, you probably don’t want to watch this one.

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Orville: About A Girl

  1. The trailers did not make me laugh at all and Seth McFarlane’s live action enterprises have been hit or miss for me. However, I’ve actually heard alot of posotive buzz about this show, especially from old school Star Trek fans. Even with Star Trek Discovery out, some people prefer The Orville which amazes me. I’ll have to check it out.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s