iTunes recently had a sale on the first season of The Orville. I’ve long felt certain that I wouldn’t like the show for several reasons. First, I don’t find Seth Macfarlane’s humour fits my tastes. Second, I’m kind of opposed to giving my money and attention to a show that hires Norm Macdonald. And third, from the clips that I’ve seen, the visual design of the show makes it look cheap.
So, my gut tells me that the series is half-assed. But I’ve heard from more than a few folks that the show is surprisingly good. I’ve also quizzed people about the Norm Macdonald character: if he only has a small role, I might be able to overlook his presence. I’ve heard a couple people tell me that they don’t really remember the gelatinous character.
So there was iTunes offering the first season for cheap. And I decided to give it a try. Do you know the phrase, “buyer’s regret”?
The pilot was especially awful. The humour is purile (and, what’s more, seems designed to ask the viewer to find queerness laughable). I find the constant pop-culture references to be distracting. A few characters have very little to recommend them: Gordon, for example, is just irritating. Bortus exists almost-solely to be the, ahem, straight man for jokes. Isaac is a walking exposition generator.
I think the uniforms are not-terrible, the alien make-up is impressive, and the special effects are pretty good, but I think the exterior design of the ship is silly-looking, and the interior designs look like an Ikea catalog. Örville, by Ikea.
And, of course, Norm fucking Macdonald is in over half the episodes, constantly trying to pressure the doctor into dating him (and “not taking ‘no’ for an answer”).