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The Orville

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7 hours ago, Hammer said:

I chuckled about the 'soda on the bridge' joke, I drink coke when I work too. Other than that, most of the jokes didn't really land. I'll give it a shot if it's committed to being a sincere show. If it tries to be sincere one moment then tries to be an episode of Family Guy the next moment, it gets pretty jarring and pulls me out of the experience. I found myself trying to take the show seriously, but then it pulls me back out with what amounts to a cut-away gag. If they are trying to be Galaxy Quest, that's fine too, but stick to comedy then and don't take the villains seriously. 

^
This. 

It's that inconsistency of tone that drove me nuts watching it.  I would begin to invest in a moment and then they'd throw a none--too-clever joke on it that'd break my investment in the scene altogether.  It's a self-sabotaging show.  

I'm not saying science fiction can't have humor.  Far from it.  In fact, there are plenty of examples of scifi with a heavy helping of humor interwoven into them that work far more effortlessly.   There's "Firefly"; which got its humor organically from the characters, and not stupid Vaudevillian one-liners awkwardly slapped atop of a scene.  You can laugh with the characters, and not AT them.  In fact, I thought Lt. Malloy was kind of a low-rent Wash.  Alan Tudyk was far more memorable in a similar role. 

Even ST09 did better examples of inserting humor into dramatic moments; such as Sulu's 'parking brake' joke.  I expected something like that from Orville's spacedock exit and it NEVER happened (?!?).  Kind of weird for a show that's reputed as a comedy.  I got more 'real' laughs from ST09 or any random episode of Firefly than I got from the pilot of Orville.

Not saying it can't improve; the show is promising enough to where I wish it would.   But it has to change course a bit.  I wish (much as NBC wished for ST back in the '60s) that this show would do a second version of the pilot.  But this time do it straight; WITHOUT the stupid one-liners.   Play it more 'real' and let the humor come more naturally from the characters (i.e. Spock and McCoy's interactions) rather than a clumsy insertion of pee-pee jokes. 

There's potential here, but the show really has to decide whether it's fish or foul.   Full bore comedy, or honest science fiction.  If it goes full bore comedy?  Fine.  Galaxy Quest exists as a much better template of how to do something like this.  And maybe you'd want to shorten it to half-hour if that's the case.  It would be pretty obnoxious at one hour if it tried to maintain that high comedic pitch (the movie “Space Station 76” was an example of a potentially good, half-hour idea stretched to a mind-numbing feature length).

IMO, the easier option would be to chuck the superfluous gags (which weren't really working anyway; almost NO ONE I've talked to found it really all that funny) and just play it straight.  The humor will follow...and it'll be earned. 

 

9 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

Where's your ticket? I don't see you're ticket.

How's he supposed to find it without the ticket?

I left it in the jacket...:giggle:

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2 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

IMO, the easier option would be to chuck the superfluous gags (which weren't really working anyway; almost NO ONE I've talked to found it really all that funny) and just play it straight.  The humor will follow...and it'll be earned. 

1

Some of those lines could have been, and probably were, written by Henny Youngman 60 years ago.

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6 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

Some of those lines could have been, and probably were, written by Henny Youngman 60 years ago.

Take my ex-wife... please.  Baba-bing! :laugh:

Seriously; some of those jokes were positively vaudevillian

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Just now, Sehlat Vie said:

Take my ex-wife... please.  Baba-bing! :laugh:

Seriously; some of those jokes were positively vaudevillian

And that's why they usually fell so painfully flat. You could have put snippets of the dialogue on Twitter and invited people to respond and gotten funnier stuff back. 

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2 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

And that's why they usually fell so painfully flat. You could have put snippets of the dialogue on Twitter and invited people to respond and gotten funnier stuff back. 

And that's so odd, because in person Seth McFarlane is hilarious.  I saw him speak at a Planetary Society event in 2012 and he brought the house down.  It almost felt like he was pulling his punches with Orville; as if he is just too in love with the subject matter to objectively skewer it.  

I wonder what someone like Mel Brooks could've done with this idea? 

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48 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I wonder what someone like Mel Brooks could've done with this idea? 

It would have to be funnier and I'm not even a fan of Spaceballs.

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36 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

It would have to be funnier and I'm not even a fan of Spaceballs.

Spaceballs is OK, but "Young Frankenstein (Fronkensteen)" and "Blazing Saddles" are MUCH funnier. 

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3 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Spaceballs is OK, but "Young Frankenstein (Fronkensteen)" and "Blazing Saddles" are MUCH funnier. 

Very, very true. Especially Blazing Saddles for me. I'd call it his best. 

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Just now, prometheus59650 said:

Very, very true. Especially Blazing Saddles for me. I'd call it his best. 

Me too.

For me, it's in my top five comedies of all time.   And the thing is, Mel Brooks' send ups, much like Galaxy Quest, we're done with equal parts subversiveness and affection.  He clearly LOVED the western and horror genres he was parodying, but he also was savvy enough to understand they had a lot of material to skewer as well.  

Look at the beautiful desert vistas of Blazing Saddles, or the meticulously recreated Frankenstein laboratory in YF (the lab set used some of the actual equipment from the 1930s Frankenstein movies!).  

McFarlane's issue with the Orville is (IMO, at least) that a part of him wants to make a 'real' space show, but the comic writer/producer part of him seems to feel obliged to make it funny too.  So he's pulling his punches and the result is less-than-satisfying on both fronts.  I sincerely hope that the humor really ups its game later on, or that McFarlane just ignores it completely.  

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11 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

McFarlane's issue with the Orville is (IMO, at least) that a part of him wants to make a 'real' space show, but the comic writer/producer part of him seems to feel obliged to make it funny too.  So he's pulling his punches and the result is less-than-satisfying on both fronts.  I sincerely hope that the humor really ups its game later on, or that McFarlane just ignores it completely

He might be better off just letting it go. There's actually a passable little sci-fi show in there. Keep the tone casual and simply stop trying so hard and I think it'd be just fine. It wouldn't set the genre on fire, but I think it'd be pretty okay.

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Just now, prometheus59650 said:

He might be better off just letting it go. There's actually a passable little sci-fi show in there. Keep the tone casual and simply stop trying so hard and I think it'd be just fine. It wouldn't set the genre on fire, but I think it'd be pretty okay.

During the pilot, I would find myself investing in the story only to have that investment broken with a moldy, cobwebbed joke.

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After the second episode, I have to say that my opinion hasn't changed. There's a passable science fiction show in here. It's just bogged down by  a seemingly deliberately slow pace and jokes that are either supremely poor or dragged out three times past the point where they were even slightly amusing.

Either way, they stop the episode dead.

That said, this one was better than the pilot. The ending the funniest bit in the series so far.

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14 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

After the second episode, I have to say that my opinion hasn't changed. There's a passable science fiction show in here. It's just bogged down by  a seemingly deliberately slow pace and jokes that are either supremely poor or dragged out three times past the point where they were even slightly amusing.

Either way, they stop the episode dead.

That said, this one was better than the pilot. The ending the funniest bit in the series so far.

^

This.  I’ve stopped watching it as a ‘comedy’; as a comedy it’s a complete and utter failure (though I loved the coda’s terrific punchline; a fine example of the show finally doing good SATIRICAL science fiction and not butt/wee-wee jokes).  I also liked that Lt. Katan (sp?) finally registered; last week she was almost invisible. 

But watching it as a soft-TNG remake, and it’s not bad.  It’s TNG with just a teaspoon of irreverence.

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Hammer   

I re-watched the pilot with the intention to ignore the jokes and to take it in as a serious sci-fi show. It kind of works if you aren't expecting it to be a galaxy quest style comedy. I watched the episode tonight but missed the first 15 mins. I felt that the comedy was toned down, which it needed to be. The plot to this episode was ripped from a TAS episode, but that's okay because Star Trek has done almost anything so it's pretty hard to come up with something people haven't seen before at this point. If Seth is serious about providing an earnest Sci Fi show, I'm going to get behind it. Anything to get this format back on TV so he gets props from me for that.

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7 minutes ago, Hammer said:

If Seth is serious about providing an earnest Sci Fi show, I'm going to get behind it. Anything to get this format back on TV so he gets props from me for that.

^
Kinda where I’m at with the show; as a Star Trek-lite, it works.  As a comedy, it’s a dismal failure.   But if the trending towards more straight science-fiction continues?  I’m onboard. 

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16 minutes ago, Garak the spy said:

Just watched the second episode.

Still loving it :thumbsup2:

It was an improvement.  Nice to have an (any) optimistic future sci-fi series on the air again...

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Also interesting (and a bit sad) that “Orville” beat ST to the finish line with depicting a happily joined same-sex couple living together on the ship (Bortus and his mate).   Granted, they’re not ‘human’ but it was explicitly stated in the pilot that Bortus and his mate are both male. 

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kenman   

I watched the second episode last night...or at least part of it. I thought it was lame. The humor felt obvious and derivative. And all the Trek stuff just made me wanna watch TNG.

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Ratings for "The Orville"

 

Link

 

2.6 average with 3.1 in the first half hour dropping to a 1.7 in the second, so football has been propping this up, and, in a couple of weeks, it will have to compete.

That said, given where it's being settled and what WAS there was doing .7s or so, so it doesn't have to do much.

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6 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

Ratings for "The Orville"

 

Link

 

2.6 average with 3.1 in the first half hour dropping to a 1.7 in the second, so football has been propping this up, and, in a couple of weeks, it will have to compete.

That said, given where it's being settled and what WAS there was doing .7s or so, so it doesn't have to do much.

But it’s moving to Thursday, and that’s a typically competitive night.

Sadly, I don’t see much future for the show if it continues on Fox; maybe it would have a longer life on FX channel (the Fox offshoot which airs “American Horror Story” “American Crime Story” etc)?  Just a thought.

I was glad that E2 toned down the vaudevillian humor a bad (those jokes are really stale), and the ending did give me one earned laugh.   I think, with a few serious course corrections and a bit of retooling, this show could work elsewhere...

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52 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

But it’s moving to Thursday, and that’s a typically competitive night.

Sadly, I don’t see much future for the show if it continues on Fox; maybe it would have a longer life on FX channel (the Fox offshoot which airs “American Horror Story” “American Crime Story” etc)?  Just a thought.

I was glad that E2 toned down the vaudevillian humor a bad (those jokes are really stale), and the ending did give me one earned laugh.   I think, with a few serious course corrections and a bit of retooling, this show could work elsewhere...

His problem with these jokes is that he's sort of running it like a Family Guy episode (Plot...plot...cutaway gag) In the Orville's case it's (plot...plot...joke that stalls plot...and then either drag out joke or get others in the scene to comment on joke in case you missed joke, or, like Data, need it explained to you why joke was "funny.")

 

That said, this is the synopsis for this Thursday's ep:

Crew members aboard the Orville find themselves split between their respective cultures while Bortus and Klyden argue with each other about whether their newborn offspring should be able to get a certain controversial surgery.

Now, it's no great leap to presume that "girl" is considered an aberration in the culture and the surgery corrects the aberration.

This is actually interesting...which disappoints me because even without the lousy jokes coming, I doubt this show has the chops to do this plot justice.

Edited by prometheus59650

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1 hour ago, prometheus59650 said:

His problem with these jokes is that he's sort of running it like a Family Guy episode (Plot...plot...cutaway gag) In the Orville's case it's (plot...plot...joke that stalls plot...and then either drag out joke or get others in the scene to comment on joke in case you missed joke, or, like Data, need it explained to you why joke was "funny.")

 

That said, this is the synopsis for this Thursday's ep:

Crew members aboard the Orville find themselves split between their respective cultures while Bortus and Klyden argue with each other about whether their newborn offspring should be able to get a certain controversial surgery.

Now, it's no great leap to presume that "girl" is considered an aberration in the culture and the surgery corrects the aberration.

This is actually interesting...which disappoints me because even without the lousy jokes coming, I doubt this show has the chops to do this plot justice.

^
Kinda this.

I’d love to see this potentially interesting idea explored in a full-on science fiction series, and not a quasi-comedy.  

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59 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

^
Kinda this.

I’d love to see this potentially interesting idea explored in a full-on science fiction series, and not a quasi-comedy.  

I'd love to be wrong about it being a disappointment. I'll happily eat crow, but I don't think I'll have to worry about it.

At this point, I almost think this show would have been better served if they had riffed on Picard and Riker a bit by making Palecki the "straight-man" and capable captain with McFarlane's Mercer as the XO who doesn't take things nearly as seriously, but is kept around for his occasional bursts of clever and the fact that he has an affinity for the crew that she doesn't.

But Mercer acts almost like everyone's sidekick. He doesn't have the gravitas to pull the misfits together in spite of his own issues. And I don't know if McFarlane's actor enough to pull off a tougher Mercer. 

 

Edited by prometheus59650

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