TV Review: The Orville

Episode Title:  New Dimensions
Original Air Date: 11/30/2017

Notable Guest Stars:

Victor Garber as Admiral Halsey

Paul Vogt (Captian Horbalak):  He played Lord Crawley in the Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement.  Which is is one of my favorite fun movies so he has to be mentioned.
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TV Review: The Orville 1×10

Episode: Firestorm (1×10)

Original Airdate:  Thursday, November 16, 2017 (Watched via Hulu on 11/17)

Notable Guest stars:

Richard Picardo (Ildis Kitan):  Known for being on Star Trek (As The Doctor/EMH) , and Stargate (as Richard Woolsey), as well as promoting science.   He’s one of my favorite guest stars to see.
Molly Hagan (Kitan):  I looked her up because I couldn’t figure out why she looked so familar.  Turns out that Ms. Hagan is a Frequent Flyer guest star on several programs I like.  Usually for only one episode.
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Tv Review: The Orville 1×09

Episode Title: Cupid’s Dagger (1×09)

Original Airdate:  November 9, 2017 (Watched via Hulu on 11/10/17)

Notable Guest Stars:

Victor Garbo –  He’s back as Admiral Halesy.
Rob Lowe  (Darulio) – Rob Lowe is known for being part of the ‘brat pack’ of the 80s, and for me as Sam Seaborn from The West Wing.  He is also known for Parks & Recreation and lately he has been working on a ghost hunting show with his two sons.

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TV Review: The Orville 1×07

Episode:  Majority Rule (1×07)
(Original Air Date of 10/26/17; viewed on Hulu on 10/27/17)

Notable Guest Stars:

Ron Canada (Adm. Tucker) – Second appearance on the show.

Steven Culp (Willks) – One of my favorite guest stars of all time.  He’s been on Star Trek, The West Wing, JAG, NCIS.  He is forever Major Hayes or Web.

So the concept of voting for executions seems rather weird.  We don’t even know what the two men did that brought them to this point, but apparently everyone’s life is down to social voting.  (EDIT:  As I am watching this as I write, I have to correct this from later in the episode; we do know what they did.)

Gordon has now been upgraded from last spot from “Person you don’t want on an away mission.”  I have to wonder why John thought it was a good idea to “dry hump” the statue considering they were on a foreign planet.  I mean, given he’s a senior officer you would think the idea of different cultural ideas might have sunk in.  Not to mention he’s technically at work and not hanging out with his colleagues afterwards.

Also, if they had the ability to know various hat choices, surely they had time to research the planets historical figures?

So from what I heard before I watched, and what I saw when I watched, this episode is an allegory about Social Media and the trial of public opinion.  John got caught dancing with the statue and was put on Youtube.  It became Viral, and now the general public is voting on him and whether they believe his apology.  Should his apology not be believed, he gets more downvotes.  If he gets to a certian amount of downvotes, he’s electrically ‘corrected’ before being sent home.

The Chat, I am assuming is their version of “The Talk”, which is a show I dislike for many reasons, which I’m not going into here because this is a “Review as I watch” post rather than a discussion about media and female discourse.

I think perhaps this is also some discussion on the various forms of democracy, and how it can be corrupted.

Not sure this episode is going to be one of my favorites, but it was well acted and some of the shots were nicely done as well.

Notable Quotes:

John: “It’s these jeans – if I leaned back now I’d give myself a vasectomy”

~*~

Claire: What if people try to collaborate this?
Lysella:  Don’t worry, they won’t.

Pros:

  • They do have the point of cyber bullying and the masses not fact checking.  Many times people will get self-rightious on social media and don’t take into concideration the person’s age, intent, or knowledge base.  I’ve seen people who consider themselves social activists go after people who don’t have the awareness to know what they are saying/doing is offensive/not correct.  They bully these people rather then educate them or at least allow them to go educate themselves.

    Fact checking is always a problem on the internet.  I’ve been guilty of this a few times myself.  You read something, and perhaps you trust the source and just post it, or you forget because you are reading something on your phone on your break and have to get back to work.  And it gets spread because everyone else is also reading while on a break or not looking at the source because they trust you and it spreads from there.   I’ve tried to get into the habit of looking at the websites I read, and also bookmarking thigns if I don’t have time to really go into it.  Also making sure to read various articles on the subject to double check facts.

  • THe fact that not all things are instantly curable at this stage of the game.  Sometimes Future based Sci-fi shows like their medical stuff to be 98% solved. One of my great pet peeves about TNG was the fact that colds and headaches were treated as something that rarely happened anymore.

Cons:

  • I can’t imagine this system working for a world population. Also it can’t be completely unstructured or there would be no way of enforcing the popular vote.

Final Grade:  B

TV Review: The Orville 1×06

And now I am caught up.  Since the episode airs on Thursday on FOX, I hope that it will be up on Hulu (where I can watch it) Friday morning, so with all luck Friday’s post will be the 7th episode that airs this week.  but first, the sixth episode:

Episode:  Krill (1×06)

(Original Airdate: October 12, 2007)

Notable Guest Stars:

Michaela McManus (Teleya) -She’s been in a couple big shows, but I know her mostly as Lindsey from One Tree Hill.

James Horan (Sazeron) – Star Trek Alum who also does alot of voice work for video games. He appeared in The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise.

~*~

This episode was a wonderfully written episode.  Ed and Gordon are sent undercover (using Holographic technology so no physical alterations) to obtain the Krill holybook so that the Union can better understand the people they are fighting.  The Krill believe their god has made them the supreme species in the universe, and therefore they are mission bound to take over.

THis episode does a good job in giving us a look at how the Krill operate.  I was a little uncomfortable with the theme that belief in god makes you less advanced or more inclined to be terrorists, however.  It seemed pretenious and a bit preachy.

I have to admit that in previous scifi ship shows you don’t often find the main crew come across another ship with children on it. I didn’t realise that till I saw this episode and realised it seemed odd that there was this idea that Humans would be the only ones to make long term exploratory vessels with families on board.

I have to admit that in this episode, Gordon reminded me a lot of Scott Grimes’ other known character Archie Morris from ER.  Except perhaps more inclined to do adult humor.

Notable Quotes:

Gordon:  Dude!  We are Vampire Hunters!

~*~

Gordon:  AH!  That;’s a new leg!

~*~

Ed: They aren’t my enemy.

Teleya:  After seeing what you did, they will be.

Pros:

More back story about the Krill

Cons:

I was a little disappointed in the heavy Anti-religon of this episode.  Like somehow believing in a deity makes you less advanced.  While I get that the Krill are set up as fundamentalists, that still doesn’t mean that belief in god is somehow wrong.

Final Grade: A-

TV Review: The Orville 1×05

Episode: Pria (1×05)

Notable Guest Stars:

Charlize Theron (Pria) – I don’t really think I need to explain why Charlize is a notable guest star.  I first saw her in That Thing You Do but that is far from the most famous film she’s been in.

Jonathan Frakes (Director) – Star Trek Alum.  He played Will & Thomas Riker in TNG and several spinoffs.

Rachel MacFarlane (Computer Voice) – Seth MacFarlane’s sister.

This episode’s A plot starts with the crew coming across a distress signal coming from a comet.  They rescue a mining pilot named Captain Pria Lavesque.  Pria explains she works for a mining consortium and was investigating the comet when she ran into trouble.  Kelly’s instincts are telling her something is wrong, helped no doubt by her jealousy, so she starts to investigate, pulling Alara in with her.  Ed isn’t happy that they are treating a guest this way.  He is also biased, because he is interested in Pria, and its mutual.

However, just as Ed thinks he might have a chance to finally move on, strange things keep happening.  Turns out Pria is a future traveler from the 29th century who goes back in time to grab ships and artifacts to sell on the antiquities market back home looking like they are in prime condition.  Ed gets his heart-broken, and I think everyone is taken aback when she tells them they were meant to be dead so why does it matter.

The question remains though…does anyone remember this after the end of the episode?  Erasing the wormhole and Pria’s existence in the past so she has no need to come back seems like it might change their reality but I don’t know if everyone forgets her or if this buys into the new timeline theory.

The B plot is Issac learning about Human humor, which doesn’t turn out that greatly for Gordon who ends up losing a leg, literally, and having to regrow it because Isaac hid it.  The b plot filters in and out of the A plot, and ends up connecting to how Issac lets the crew know he’s still around.

This episode, plot wise, probably won’t be my favorite, but it wasn’t a bad episode.

Notable Quotes:

Ed: Kelly! Kelly, wait! Hey, listen – I don’t want to play the blame game here.
Kelly: That’s because you’re the one to blame.
Ed : Look, we all made mistakes.
Kelly : Nobody made mistakes but you.
Ed : Let’s not do the “I told you so” thing.
Kelly : I told you so numerous times.

Pros:

  • Charlize Theron
  • Female friendship

Cons:

  • Once again they were overhanded with the hints that Ed and Kelly aren’t as indifferent towards each other as they appear
  • Do we remember or not remember?  I’m a tad bit confused here.
  • Charlize’s outfits all make me think of bugs.

Final Grade: B

TV Review: The Orville 1×04

Episode: 1×04 The Stars Before Us

Notable Guest Stars:
Liam Neeson (Doral) –  Its Qui-Gon. Liam Neeson is a pretty big deal to get in the first season of a show, even if its only for about 5 seconds.

In this episode, we have a more generic space mission.  They come across a ship that seems to be drifting in space.  They find out its a biodome full of people who have lived there so long they have forgotten that they are on a ship.  They have developed into a community that worships a man named Doval, thinking of him as the creator though he turns out to be the Ship’s captian when the ship was just starting out.

This episode actually makes good use of the field team.  Alara gets some character development beyond opening doors, Claire gets to use her medical skills, Issac gets to be an active participant, and Kelly has her own action scene.  Ed does first contact.  I liked that it was a team episode, but I wish there had been more world building and less discussion over the Mercer-Grayson marriage.

It also makes interesting commentary on the idea of how long memory of things last.

Notable Quotes

None stand out this time, though there were some funny comments.

Pros:

  • The entire away team is put to use.  Ed gets to make first contact.  Kelly faces torture.  Alara gets to open doors.  Issac gets to fix things by using his technological updates, and Dr. Claire helps heal Alara
  • Alara’s uniform doesn’t magically repair itself.  She puts it back on at the end of the episode with the marks still there.

Cons:

  • Not enough Liam Neeson
  • Can we go an episode without referencing Ed/Kelly overtly?  Like that look that Kelly and Ed share when he comes to untie her from the chair was a good thing, but the actually talking about it really isn’t necessarily.  Again, show it, don’t tell it.  The little things matter.

Final Grade: A