TV Review: The Orville 1×02

I’m going to be posting these over the next few days as I’ve caught up with the series, but I want to post the reviews as the episodes come, so I have to catch up post wise.  So expect the first six-seven episodes in succession then it will be weekly.

Episode:  1×02 Command Performance

Notable Guest Stars:

Jeffrey Tambor  (Ben Mercer) – Best known from Arrested Development, though if anyone reading this has toddlers around, they’ve probably heard his voice once or twice on children’s shows.

Holland Taylor (Jeanne Mercer) – She shows up randomly everywhere.  Probably known most recently as the mom in 2 and a Half Men.

Robert Duncan McNeill (Director) – Trek Alum; He portrayed Lt. Tom Paris on Voyager, and has a long list of episodic directing.

Ron Canada  (Admiral Tucker) – Had a recurring role of West Wing (one of my favorite TV shows)

This episode starts off with learning more about Moclan physiology.  They lay eggs.  Which is a subplot of this episode, and from the looks of it a major plot point in the next episode.  However, as Bortus is brooding his egg, this leaves Alara in charge.  She tries to get out of it several times, because she doesn’t think she’s ready for it, but the senior officers all consider her able and ready.

I really liked the fact that it showed that not everyone came out of a bubble primed and ready to be commanders.  While I adore Star Trek, one of the elements that kind of bothered me that outside a few characters, most of the characters were simply naturals at command, and did extremely well.  Alara does well, but the show also shows her going through various emotions like fear, anxiety, annoyance and other feelings that might come with command.

The b plot with Kelly & Ed was interesting, but kind of worked in forcing us into shipping them.  The two actors have chemistry (this whole cast does, good work casting director) but I think they went a bit overhanded with directing us to it in this episode.

Notable Quotes:

Dr. Finn: “I won’t whisper the right answers into your ear, but I’ll try to be your Obi-wan whenever I can.”
Alara: “What?”
Finn: “Nevermind.”

Pros:
Good acting chemistry, relatable responses by characters, and overall character development is done well.

Cons:
While I enjoy the dynamic of Kelly & Ed, I really think that they pushed them too hard in this episode.  Maybe if this episode had happened halfway into the season where we have had time to get to know them first, it wouldn’t seem so awkwardly forced.  The two actors have chemistry, let us grow to love them together.  Show, don’t tell.

Final Grade: B

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