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 1×05

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 1×03

Regularly scheduled posts that are not tv episode reviews will happen for those of you who are interested in my writing and/or reading posts.  As I said previously, I am trying to catch up with the “live” episode, which airs on Thursday.

Episode:  1×03 About a Girl

Notable Guest Stars:

Lamount Thompson (Kaybrak) – He’s been on various programs I’ve seen, including several daytime soaps, but he is notable because he was credited with a role on Star Trek Enterprise (my favorite Trek show!).  He also may be known from The O.C.

This episode focuses on Moclan society; in particular gender politics.  The species, though primarily male, does once and awhile have female offspring.  However, this is considered a genetic defect and is often the child is given a sex-change operation as an infant to make them male.  Claire refuses to do the procedure, believing it to be something that is unnecessary to the health of the child and something the child should decide for themselves.  Ed and Kelly agree, although Ed manages to make himself double-check to make sure he’s not policing another culture’s practices by his own.

I’m not sure if theme of this episode is misogyny or gender identity, but I’m leaning towards misogyny because of the rest of the episode.  It seems a heavy subject to barge into 3 episodes in, but Star Trek (which inspired this show) has been known to do this. I don’t think episode really stands up against Star Trek’s The Measure of a Man but it has a similar style and theme to it.  Instead of saying how a AI can be a being, they are trying to prove to a society that prides maleness that being Female is not a bad thing.  Although I think they kind of messed up with some of the issues…like if Klyton was a female, obviously it happens more often than the 75 years it is supposed to be, and the older woman doesn’t look like she’s in her seventies too.  But then they don’t really explain the life expectancy of the Moclans.

Notable Quotes:

Gordon:  I would like a pair of pants to be waiting at the landing pad
Moclan Flight: A pair of pants will be waiting.
Kelly:  He was kidding
Gordon:  No I wasn’t

Pros:

  • Seeing the various characters work together to help their friend
  • Alara being so confident in her abilities and differences
  • Seeing Kelly being proficient at her job that is in no way related to interacting with Ed

Cons:

  • I feel that the Moclan society should have been developed a bit more before they got into such a heavy subject.
  • The random Thought lighting of Ed to search for female Moclans.  It just seemed really sudden a bit like “We need to move this plot along, we only have 10 minutes left.”

Final Grade: B-

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

TV Review: The Orville 1×01

So, I decided to actually watch and review a TV series that is ongoing.  Usually my TV reviews end up being long franchise shows, or cult favorites.  This time however, its a new show, less then a season (currently at 6 episodes).  I will do a post for each episode, which will be frequent till I catch up to the airing.  I may schedule these once a week and then use by weeks to catch up.

For those wondering: SPOILERS BE HERE

Episode Title: Old Wounds (1×01)

Notable Guest Stars: 

Victor Garber – Admiral Halsey.  I can’t remember if he was on Trek or not, but to be fair, He appears in alot of good shows.  This makes me want to watch Alias now
Penny Johnson Jerald – Not a guest star, but she is notable as Trek Alum (She played Kassidy Yates on DS9).
Brian George – As Dr. Aronov  Also a Trek Alum.  He played Julian Bashir’s father Richard Bashir.

This show of course brings back memories of Star Trek but I love how right off the bat they point themselves in their own direction with making the seat of Operations in New York.  Also pretty sure Trek never had infidelity as a major plot point.  Except in Will/Deanna’s weird relationship over the years when they were on-and-off.  Which doesn’t’ really count.  This seems to be more grounded in the reality.  While I hate JJ Abrams commentary on Star Trek, I will admit they were a tad idealistic at times.  Which is probably why Enterprise remains my favorite. Less idealistic, a bit rougher around the edges.

The characters have good chemistry in this first episode, which is good.  Some of the dialogue is a bit stiff, but its the first episode, so I think I can give them that.  It should be interesting how this continues.

I have to admit I was surprised at how much I liked this.  I was not a big fan of Seth MacFarlane, finding his humor not to my tastes.  But so far its been super toned down, though I hope the penis jokery will not be their only jokes.   This being said, you should probably not let your toddlers watch this.

Pros:
Funny, good chemistry between the characters.  Realistic reactions to stuff that they do at the science lab.  Multitude of species, not all humanoid in appearance.

Cons:

If a species has no gender, how can they be male.  Or is this just assuming that their entire species is like the male species of most humanoid species??
The Krill make me think of small marine life.  I would have laughed my butt off if they really did end up being these tiny creatures, but instead they kind of look like various other villains I have seen on Trek shows.

Notable Quotes:

“Can I have one of these mints?”

“Those are marbles.”

~*~

“Happy Arbor Day”.  (I liked that one better than Kelly’s suggestion, but then maybe I just like the fact it wasn’t obvious)

Final Grade:  A-.  Not bad for a pilot episode.