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Mutai Sho-Rin

The Orville

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Thing is, I've known a few "LaMarr-alikes" in both university and occupational settings who hid their intellectual prowess under a cover of prankish stupidity.  I bought the story completely.  The only hard part was that nobody knew.  As an aside, I have a copy of Flatland and the minute the two-dimensional universe was mentioned, I told my wife about it so when Mercer mentioned it, I literally shouted out loud.

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4 minutes ago, Mutai Sho-Rin said:

As an aside, I have a copy of Flatland and the minute the two-dimensional universe was mentioned, I told my wife about it so when Mercer mentioned it, I literally shouted out loud.

^ That was deeply cool.  And yes, I recognized Flatland right away as well; read it in high school and loved it. :thumbup:

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People can be academically smart and have plenty of book knowledge without having the slightest iota of emotional intelligence or empathy, so I could buy the idea of LaMarr actually being a clever guy and disguising it. On the other hand, the idea that, in the future depicted in The Orville, we’re still measuring “Intelligence” in terms only of academia and grade scores seems pretty (ahem) one dimensional. What, no measurements of life skills and deep psych evaluations? But it was something to hang the character stuff on in New Dimensions - and hey, we got some decent character development! Even Yaphit felt a bit more of a rounded character in this one. I liked that events were sparked by one character taking exception to two other characters’ perception of humor. That’s very meta, very self-aware. Who wrote this one? Oh, it was Seth MacFarlane. D’you think he’s trying to tell us something about his own sense of humor? :P 

The 2D domain was a cool idea - shout-out to Doctor Who who also did that episode Flatline a couple of years back about an invasion from a 2D world. In both cases, a difficult thing to depict, but The Orville did a great job. Even if the jokes were as dumb as usual, it was another entertaining episode.   

Edited by Robin Bland

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7 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

People can be academically smart and have plenty of book knowledge without having the slightest iota of emotional intelligence or empathy, so I could buy the idea of LaMarr actually being a clever guy and disguising it. On the other hand, the idea that, in the future depicted in The Orville, we’re still measuring “Intelligence” in terms only of academia and grade scores seems pretty (ahem) one dimensional. What, no measurements of life skills and deep psych evaluations? But it was something to hang the character stuff on in New Dimensions - and hey, we got some decent character development! Even Yaphit felt a bit more of a rounded character in this one. I liked that events were sparked by one character taking exception to two other characters’ perception of humor. That’s very meta, very self-aware. Who wrote this one? Oh, it was Seth MacFarlane. D’you think he’s trying to tell us something about his own sense of humor? :P 

The 2D domain was a cool idea - shout-out to Doctor Who who also did that episode Flatline a couple of years back about an invasion from a 2D world. In both cases, a difficult thing to depict, but The Orville did a great job. Even if the jokes were as dumb as usual, it was another entertaining episode.   

Carl Sagan's COSMOS also had an interesting imagining of Flatland as well (if limited by late '70s FX).  It was nice to see Orville (once again) doing the kinds of science fiction that I kinda wish Disco was handling at times (instead of the war arc). 

As for LaMarr?  Yeah, you and Mutai make very good points about intelligent folks doing stupid things, but his actions in "Majority Rules" (where his LIFE depended upon him smartening up a bit) seemed to REALLY contradict the actions of a closet genius.  You'd think he would've dropped the nonsense during the last leg of the apology tour,, when he was threatened with a version of lobotomization.  But no, he stil acted like a complete idiot.  When he took command of engineering, we clearly saw that he was capable of maturing up when needed, so...why didn't he do so earlier when it really mattered?   That's what I'm having a hard time reconciling. 

And yes, also disappointing that in the future of Orville, intelligence is still measured only in such inaccurate values.  My wife (a teacher) would be very disappointed, as she often sees exceptional and gifted children who happen to test very poorly.

Mutai also brought up a good point earlier about his intelligence (which was clearly indicated in his file, I guess?) going unnoticed throughout his career...how'd that little oversight happen?

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I happen to enjoy Orville very much. Its a nice show without the over dramatic suspense for each commercial break. I love that it doesn't rely on Lensflares, shaky cam, tilted cam (Yes I'm talking about you Discovery). And I feel like the show has good stories with actual hidden social issues....kinda like a Star Trek show. IT's definitely more entertaining, and actually seems to follow most of the Roddenberry rules. 

As for the lame  humor (I personally think its funny) , I think Seth wants to do a serious sci-fi show, however I think he does just enough comedy so that if CBS/Paramount tries to sue , he can still say "Hey, its a parody, so go Suck it."

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I don't think CBS could sue in any event.

Captains and starships exploring and such are just free-use generalities. In no stretch is McFarlane pulling an Axanar. 

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On 12/5/2017 at 8:04 AM, Sehlat Vie said:

Carl Sagan's COSMOS also had an interesting imagining of Flatland as well (if limited by late '70s FX).  It was nice to see Orville (once again) doing the kinds of science fiction that I kinda wish Disco was handling at times (instead of the war arc). 

As for LaMarr?  Yeah, you and Mutai make very good points about intelligent folks doing stupid things, but his actions in "Majority Rules" (where his LIFE depended upon him smartening up a bit) seemed to REALLY contradict the actions of a closet genius.  You'd think he would've dropped the nonsense during the last leg of the apology tour,, when he was threatened with a version of lobotomization.  But no, he stil acted like a complete idiot.  When he took command of engineering, we clearly saw that he was capable of maturing up when needed, so...why didn't he do so earlier when it really mattered?   That's what I'm having a hard time reconciling. 

I think that’s an entirely fair point. It doesn’t really scan, but I confess that overall, I’ve been pleasantly surprised in the uptick in The Orville’s overall quality (try saying that fast) so it’s put me in a good mood over that character inconsistency. He was clearly moronic in that earlier episode, especially in the explanations of his own behavior on the TV shows. This ep doesn’t really distinguish between different types of intelligence - a mention of which could’ve helped to paper over that particular crack with a bit of smart retconning. That’s a failure of the writing (sorry, Seth. It’s a big oversight).  

On 12/5/2017 at 8:04 AM, Sehlat Vie said:

And yes, also disappointing that in the future of Orville, intelligence is still measured only in such inaccurate values.  My wife (a teacher) would be very disappointed, as she often sees exceptional and gifted children who happen to test very poorly.

I’m sorry to hear that, but that comes as no surprise. 

On 12/5/2017 at 8:04 AM, Sehlat Vie said:

Mutai also brought up a good point earlier about his intelligence (which was clearly indicated in his file, I guess?) going unnoticed throughout his career...how'd that little oversight happen?

Because we live in America, where intelligence - especially emotional intelligence - is not valued as highly as ego? Or even academic intelligence, itself easier to measure with stats? Both of those are certainly valued more highly than a general creative intelligence, unless (maybe) it’s expressed in terms of design or engineering.  

I am not making one of my routinely ironic quips, I’m entirely serious. I think it’s a big, big problem with human civilization but it’s notable in the USA, land of the free, which chooses to laud winning and spurious moral authority over strengthening its overall social fabric and enabling its citizens. It’s a big part of the reason we have a leader who has the emotional intelligence of a slug. That’s an insult to slugs - sorry, slugs. As a society, we’re still almost entirely tribal, revering power and displays of strength far more than genuinely civilized democratic values. You kind of hope MacFarlane would be aware of this devaluation and it would be threaded through his writing in an episode that focuses on such things, but he apparently isn’t and didn’t.

Which is a long way around of saying I think you found the major weakness of this episode...! Weirdly, I did still quite enjoy it, because it attempts to rehabilitate a character I found a bit annoying previously, and I think separating the two ”funny guys” who aren’t funny from each other gives each a chance to be better in future. 

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56 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

I think that’s an entirely fair point. It doesn’t really scan, but I confess that overall, I’ve been pleasantly surprised in the uptick in The Orville’s overall quality (try saying that fast) so it’s put me in a good mood over that character inconsistency. He was clearly moronic in that earlier episode, especially in the explanations of his own behavior on the TV shows. This ep doesn’t really distinguish between different types of intelligence - a mention of which could’ve helped to paper over that particular crack with a bit of smart retconning. That’s a failure of the writing (sorry, Seth. It’s a big oversight).  

And it’s not as if Trek has never had character inconsistencies, right?  I guess I just have to get over that one and attribute it to ‘we’re making this up as we go’ characterization.

56 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

Because we live in America, where intelligence - especially emotional intelligence - is not valued as highly as ego? Or even academic intelligence, itself easier to measure with stats? Both of those are certainly valued more highly than a general creative intelligence, unless (maybe) it’s expressed in terms of design or engineering.

I don’t want to get too Kobayashi Maru-ish here, but the notion of rewarding ego over intelligence has long been an issue.  

When I was a kid, other kids like me (nerdy, geeky, un-jocks) were often chided or quietly jeered when we’d answer questions correctly in class, but if we could hit a baseball or score a touchdown?  We’d be walking gods on campus.   Sadly, that hasn’t changed; if anything, under the current climate (the WH recently cancelled its own Science Fair), it’s gotten worse.    

Maybe LaMarr chose to hide his intellect for this reason, and not because he preferred "drinking beer and passing out.”   Though I suspect intelligence would (or should) be much more in vogue in an era of faster-than-light starships roaming the galaxy.

56 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

I am not making one of my routinely ironic quips, I’m entirely serious. I think it’s a big, big problem with human civilization but it’s notable in the USA, land of the free, which chooses to laud winning and spurious moral authority over strengthening its overall social fabric and enabling its citizens. It’s a big part of the reason we have a leader who has the emotional intelligence of a slug. That’s an insult to slugs - sorry, slugs. As a society, we’re still almost entirely tribal, revering power and displays of strength far more than genuinely civilized democratic values. You kind of hope MacFarlane would be aware of this devaluation and it would be threaded through his writing in an episode that focuses on such things, but he apparently isn’t and didn’t.

Yeah, I’ll keep my own slug talk for the KM section... :angel_not:

56 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

Which is a long way around of saying I think you found the major weakness of this episode...! Weirdly, I did still quite enjoy it, because it attempts to rehabilitate a character I found a bit annoying previously, and I think separating the two ”funny guys” who aren’t funny from each other gives each a chance to be better in future. 

I suppose it’s a smart course correction in retrospect, even if it is a retcon.

This also reminds me of something that my wife has to do in her classroom; she often sees a potentially curious/gifted student who sits next to a bad influence or a group of talkers, and she’ll strategically separate them so that the curious student will have a better chance to thrive.   More often than not, her instincts are right...

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Just saw “Mad Idolatry” (the Orville’s season finale), and I gotta say; I like the direction this series is going.   It’s toning down the tacked-on, banal jokes and using more humor from within the characters and situations.  

***** SPOILERS *****

 

And the “Who Watches the Watchers” premise (combined with a bit of VGR’s “Blink of an Eye”) really worked well, and I enjoyed the unexpected optimistic ending for such a dire premise. 

 

 

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On 12/7/2017 at 8:47 AM, Sehlat Vie said:

Yeah, I’ll keep my own slug talk for the KM section... :angel_not:

 

Soz, didn't mean to steer thread down KM path...!

 

Okay, just saw season finale Mad Idolatry. I thought that was such a blatant rip-off from Voyager's Blink of an Eye...! That's actually one of the best VOY episodes, too. But, whatevs, if you're going to steal, swipe from the best, and Orville actually did it with some style. It was another good episode, with an affecting ending purely because it suggested adherence to religious dogma is just a civilization's growing pains. What an enlightened outlook - and completely at odds with the daft humor of Mercer's reignited courtship of Kelly. I was willing her not to get back together with him, so that was another high note for the ending. He may be the captain, but he's a bit of a smug dork; she can do much better. (Sorry again, Seth.) All right, his heart is in the right place. But herein lies some character stuff that's actually mildly engaging, even if the jokes are lame. I'd also like to know more about Isaac's age differential - what he learned, how he coped, what he did, what he contributed. 700 years a is a loooong time, surely even for an AI, so it'd be great to find out that he's brought back some experiences that help with his interactions with organic lifeforms and this isn't just forgotten about. He's a good character too, and along with Dr. Finn and Alara, my fave of the show.

It strikes me that all the female characters on this show actually have some promise, but Isaac is the only wholly likeable "male" character (if he even counts. He can probably vocalize as a female too.) Bortus is okay, I guess - at least he's genuinely amusing. It would be great if the human male characters became slightly more sympathetic - or even admirable - in S2. I don't mean they have to lose their existing traits, although ti would be great if Gordon became more than "Bad one-liner guy."

Kind of an odd story to go out on, but I liked the optimistic tone. And, isn't it great to acknowledge that The Orville got better and better as it went along, and we have a season 2 to look forward to...? I actually am. I hope they smooth out some of the stuff that doesn't quite work, but here's to it.

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11 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

Soz, didn't mean to steer thread down KM path...!

 

Okay, just saw season finale Mad Idolatry. I thought that was such a blatant rip-off from Voyager's Blink of an Eye...! That's actually one of the best VOY episodes, too. But, whatevs, if you're going to steal, swipe from the best, and Orville actually did it with some style. It was another good episode, with an affecting ending purely because it suggested adherence to religious dogma is just a civilization's growing pains. What an enlightened outlook - and completely at odds with the daft humor of Mercer's reignited courtship of Kelly. I was willing her not to get back together with him, so that was another high note for the ending. He may be the captain, but he's a bit of a smug dork; she can do much better. (Sorry again, Seth.) All right, his heart is in the right place. But herein lies some character stuff that's actually mildly engaging, even if the jokes are lame. I'd also like to know more about Isaac's age differential - what he learned, how he coped, what he did, what he contributed. 700 years a is a loooong time, surely even for an AI, so it'd be great to find out that he's brought back some experiences that help with his interactions with organic lifeforms and this isn't just forgotten about. He's a good character too, and along with Dr. Finn and Alara, my fave of the show.

It strikes me that all the female characters on this show actually have some promise, but Isaac is the only wholly likeable "male" character (if he even counts. He can probably vocalize as a female too.) Bortus is okay, I guess - at least he's genuinely amusing. It would be great if the human male characters became slightly more sympathetic - or even admirable - in S2. I don't mean they have to lose their existing traits, although ti would be great if Gordon became more than "Bad one-liner guy."

Kind of an odd story to go out on, but I liked the optimistic tone. And, isn't it great to acknowledge that The Orville got better and better as it went along, and we have a season 2 to look forward to...? I actually am. I hope they smooth out some of the stuff that doesn't quite work, but here's to it.

^
All of this.

And yes, unlike TNG, the female characters on The Orville are far more interesting than the males.

And Peter Macon’s Bortus is (easily) the funniest character on the show; there’s something about his perfectly deadpan, flat-as-a-board delivery.   He’s like a cross between Worf and the Addams’ Family’s Lurch.  The way he’ll just blurt out an inappropriate line, or his aborted attempt at Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” (just the anticipation of that had me giggling).  

As comic reliefs go?  Bortus is far funnier than one-liner guy Gordon any day of the week...

 

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14 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

The way he’ll just blurt out an inappropriate line, or his aborted attempt at Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” (just the anticipation of that had me giggling).  

This must be completed at some point. I must see it happen. :) 

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24 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

This must be completed at some point. I must see it happen. :) 

Bortus is (IMO) the funniest character on the show, because he has a deadpan that would make a corpse envious.

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