Disclaimer: Star Trek is basically my warm blanket. TNG and Voyager are my favourite. TOS is great, DS9 I heard gets really good but you don’t put religion in my Trek. Enterprise was good (despite the opening), only because they brought Spiner back and expanded on the Khan mythos.
So, I watched the first 3 episodes of The Orville this week. And I just watched the first episode of Star Trek Discovery awhile ago. And now it’s playing on the TV again and I just watched that opening. Do they want to be an HBO show or what? It totally reminded me of Westworld.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Bare with me, this is more of a rant than a review but I will try and compose myself.
Let’s start with The Orville, since it came out first. I remember watching the trailer, when that whole bomb of trailers dropped, and man, I must say, I was intrigued but unimpressed. Seth MacFarlane? Fuck, I’m going to have dick and fart jokes in a parody to Star Trek. I thought: I hope he can be tasteful like Mel Brooks did with his Star Wars parody, Spaceballs.
Then I watched the many trailers for Discovery. Meh, it looks like Star Trek wanting to be Battle Star Galactica. I hope it’s really, really good.
So after the cloud of drinking that was my birthday last weekend, J-Mart (I guess that’s his name now) messages me about the list of shows he’s going to review. I ask him “Hey man, can I do The Orville? Star Trek has a soft spot in my heart”. He, like the gentleman that he is, obliges and we find out that The Orville’s first 2 episodes already aired, and thanks to my quick thinking in the past (before the cloud), I PVR’d them. I promptly said goodbye to Josh and pressed play.
Now when I write a review, or I do anything, if it’s drawing, writing a script, etc., I take a few days to let it manifest in my small brain. So let me say this: The Orville is a great show. If Gene Roddenberry wrote Star Trek NOW, based on our society, this would be it (minus a few jokes). Let me try and compose myself.
Now, imagine being a huge Star Trek fan, and having clout in Hollywood and pitching them an idea. And Paramount doesn’t agree because your known for dick and fart jokes, even though you did that thing with that big scientist (and why shouldn’t they? They suck at managing the Star Trek franchise, look how they handled the 50th anniversary), what do you do? Like millions of fans you wish for that finale of the TNG and Voyager line. We should have gotten a proper movie. We should have, maybe, gotten an 8 episode mini series. But we received nothing (besides the crappy Nemesis). Here comes Seth MacFarlane. With John Favreau directing the first episode, and producing along with Brannon Braga. No Rick Berman here. (FUCK YOU RICK BERMAN). Seth basically writes a Star Trek series we all wanted and makes himself the Captain of the ship at the same time. I mean, wouldn’t you? But, that’s what all these damn critics on the net only see. Yeah, for some reason they hate on Seth MacFarlane and his acting, but they don’t actually say that, they point it in other directions. Would the show be better if say, Nathan Fillion was the lead? HELL FUCKING YES. But, Seth MacFarlane playing Captian Ed Mercer is growing on me.
So why is The Orville better than Discovery? (To me?)
It gets it right. From the TV lighting (that only TNG, DS9, VOY perfected), the cold open (as we were all used to), which leads into the excellent music cues and score through the whole episode, and the underlying message. Take away the MacFarlane jokes and you have PURE TREK. Paramount said “no”, FOX said “yeah, we’ll do it but you have to put in your jokes” and he did it. And those fucking “matte” paintings. Man, almost makes me cry.
Star Trek Discovery?
I get you’re trying to show that space is not on a x/y/z axis but WHAT THE HELL IS WITH THOSE DUTCH ANGLES ALL THE TIME.
HOW MANY STARFLEET PROTOCALS DID THE FIRST OFFICER BREAK IN THE PILOT?
WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE WAY KLINGONS LOOKED BEFORE? NOW THEY LOOK CRAPPY.
Speaking of which, in this political climate, why have the ONE WHITE KLINGON step up and be the saviour? WHAT THE FUCK
Want sea sickness? Watch this cinematography. Seriously, I’m watching this right now and it’s like they are drunker than I was on my birthday weekend.
DID YOU REALLY HAVE TO PAY HOMAGE TO JJ ABRAMS LENS FLARES?!?!
THE ORVILLE IS A BETTER STAR TREK SHOW.
AND ROB BRICKEN, I AM SAD. I was the one who said Rob Bricken for ToplessRobot 2016 before you became editor of i09, and you let Beth Elderkin write that review of the third episode of The Orville? I know you have a lot on the go but man, SHE MISSED THE POINT. SHE REALLY REALLY MISSED THE POINT.(SPOILERS) That was a great episode about humanity dealing with other cultures, and if it was a TNG episode, then Picard would had solved it and we would have had a happy ending. But, in this episode, the culture won, which it does in real life, and it was a sad ending. Hence, if Gene Roddenberry made Star Trek off this society, it would be The Orville (minus a few jokes, and Nathan Fillion as the captain). THAT’S WHAT THIS SERIES IS ABOUT.
TLDR: The Orville gets Star Trek and wants to explore human nature, while having to put in jokes (I’m sure it’s in the contract with FOX). Discovery is a vehicle using a fan base to get subscribers to a new digital streaming service and wants to be up there with HBO and FX shows. And wants to be very flashy. Oh, the second episode is playing and there is a mind meld going on right now. And some really clever camera angles. Do I care about the characters at all? No. Do I think Sonequa Martin from The Walking Dead is showing her chops now that she doesn’t have to be a stale actress anymore? Yes. Does the show still suck? Yes.
The Orville should have gotten the hype Discovery did. And this is coming from someone who his mom would wake him up at 6 years old at 1 am to watch the episode where Kirk fights the Gorn.
And you know what’s really distracting? ALL THE KLINGON SUBTITLES IN CAPS.
(Proper review of The Orville episode 4 coming next week. Anyone who wants to handle Discovery, please take this shit show off my hands). By the way, I’m not a whiny person who doesn’t like progression. I embraced the NuTrek with Chris Pine and went along (and enjoyed). But, if you’re going to do a show in the timeline we’ve all been waiting for, for YEARS, do it right. Damn, watching this pilot and second episode reminds me of how disappointed I was of the DS9 pilot.