Monday, September 18, 2017

The Orville - Command Performance

Half-assed. I've been searching for the right words to describe Seth MacFarlane's Star Trek rip-off and "half-assed" is about as succinct as I can get. There's a reason sitcoms aren't an hour long. Even at 20 minutes the lazy comedy can begin to stretch thin. At a full hour The Orville's latest episodes has more groans than laughs. If the whole enterprise was crap it would be easy enough to ignore, but what's maddening is that there is some good acting and some interesting ideas that just keep getting mired in basic sitcom hell. The premise of "Command Performance" finds Alara Kitan (Halston Sage) in charge of the ship after Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) are Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) kidnapped and Bortus (Peter Macon) is unavailable while sitting on his egg during the misadventures which will follow.

The episode provides some nice character moments for Sage while sadly also showcasing how unprofessional a military organization the Planetary Union truly is. Inspired by Star Trek's "The Cage," the show's second episode finds Mercer and Kelly stuck in an alien zoo by advanced aliens. Sadly lacking any of the initiative of the episode it borrows its plot from, MacFarlane puts himself and Palacki in relationship squabble cliche for most of the episode while creating the same discontent on the ship leaving little time to actually work on the rescue or deal with any possible consequences for the various crew members. I was hoping to see the writing pick up after the show's pilot episode, but I'm afraid this is all The Orville will ever be as it doesn't appear that fans of the show are willing to demand anything more.

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