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Bill Roper's Journal
Orvilles and Means 
11th-Sep-2017 10:19 pm
Gretchen and I watched the pilot for The Orville last night. It was interesting. I'm not yet sure it is viable, but I could have said the same after the first episode of The Big Bang Theory.

Obviously, the series owes a major debt to Star Trek. Listening to the musical soundtrack was really interesting as I was going "Ok, there's the Enterprise theme turned inside out. Hey, here are the enemy stormtroopers and we're getting that theme from Star Wars turned inside out." ("Turned inside out" is my technical shorthand for "Let's write something that sounds like the original without actually being the original." It's a handy recipe for a pastiche.)

Of course, the whole series is a pastiche. And that may be ok. I'm familiar with many of the actors in the ensemble and overall it's a strong group. If the writers figure out how to write for them, it could be pretty good. If not, well, science fiction on Fox. What did you expect?

Gretchen observes that there's a raunchy edge to the humor that may keep parents from letting their younger kids (and quite possibly their older kids) from watching it. That won't likely be good for ratings.

And the show is playing fair with the viewers. Was there anyone watching the episode who didn't go, "Oh, look! The Captain has a pocketful of redwood trees."? It was like finding a gun and a bust of Chekhov on the mantel. Given the debt to Star Trek, I guess a bust of Mr. Chekov would have been most appropriate...

We'll see what they decide to grow up to be.
Comments 
12th-Sep-2017 04:05 am (UTC) - It isn't a SF Show
Those watching The Orville expecting a SF Show are likely to be disappointed. The Orville is a Situation Comedy set on a starship. The ship is a Universal Plot Generator to provide new comedic situations. One Part Hart to Hart, One Part Quark, but with a bigger budget and better special effects. The plots are unlikely to be explorations of what if, or looking at situations in the real world in a way to make you think, they are going to be played for laughs. Which is fine if that is what you expect, and if the audience for The Big Bang Theory embraces it the show might do well.
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