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TV, Movies and Games > The Orville (aka Galaxy Quest the series)

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message 1: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments From uber Trek nerd Seth MacFarlane and regular nerd Jon Favreau, a new TV series in the vein of Galaxy Quest. If they can keep up the silliness, I might actually watch a Fox series again.

The Orville

https://youtu.be/Yy9sKeCE8V0


message 2: by David H. (new)

David H. (farrakut) I'm up for it! I've been missing these spaceship-type shows for a long time, and hopefully it stays fun and interesting. (I've been enjoying Dark Matter and Killjoys, too--bring them all on.)


message 3: by Allison (new)

Allison Hurd | 226 comments Trike wrote: " If they can keep up the silliness, I might actually watch a Fox series again.

The Orv..."


Careful, that's the spell that causes shows to get canceled on Fox. It does look like fun, though.


message 4: by Louie (new)

Louie (rmutt1914) | 885 comments Trike wrote: "I might actually watch a Fox series again."

The X Files reboot was the first time I watched a Fox show, since... The Sarah Conner Chronicles, perhaps. I'll give this a chance. Also, the new X-Men show they got coming up.


message 5: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1591 comments If Fox puts it in the Friday death spot you can tell they have no faith in it, and will cancel before mid season. If they put it on Sunday night, they may give it enough time to find an audience.


message 6: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Guys, Firefly was fifteen years ago. You don't have to mention it every time Fox does another SF series.


message 7: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Sean wrote: "Guys, Firefly was fifteen years ago. You don't have to mention it every time Fox does another SF series."

Who said anything about Firefly? Yes, its cancellation was a travesty, but it was part of a larger pattern at Fox. No one canceled shows faster or more randomly than they did, to the point where they lost viewers faster than any other network. Personally, every show I liked on Fox was canceled in less than a season, which is why I stopped watching them a decade ago.


message 8: by Allison (new)

Allison Hurd | 226 comments Trike wrote: "Who said anything about Firefly? Yes, its cancellation was a travesty, but it was part of a larger pattern at Fox. No one canceled shows faster or more randomly than they did, to the point where they lost viewers faster than any other network. "

+1 This.

Gosh, Sean. Firefly's dead. LET IT GO already! ;-)


message 9: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments I read a description of the show that said Star Trek with Family Guy humor and I said NOPE.


message 10: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments What is Firefly? Nobody has ever mentioned it in conjunction with any sci-fi franchise ever in any corner of the internet.


message 11: by Mark (last edited May 19, 2017 09:09AM) (new)


message 12: by Sean (last edited May 19, 2017 09:44AM) (new)

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Trike wrote: "Yes, its cancellation was a travesty, but it was part of a larger pattern at Fox. No one canceled shows faster or more randomly than they did,"

Firefly was canceled because only five million people were watching it. ABC or NBC would've done the same thing. You can argue that the network screwed up by putting it on a Friday and not airing the pilot first, but those are excuses. The show was an expensive flop. Same with Space: Above and Beyond, VR5, The Lone Gunmen and other series Fox killed in their first seasons.

But Fox also kept X-Files on the air for 9 years, which makes it one of the longest running SF series on American TV, and that's not even remarkable compared to Fox's non-SF series like Married with Children (10 seasons), Beverly Hills 90210 (10 seasons), King of the Hill (13 seasons), The Simpsons (28 and counting), Cops (29 seasons). Fox didn't kill shows for the hell of it -- they killed them for being unprofitable, just like any other network.

I know fan gospel says Fox has some sort of deathwish against SF TV, but the truth is, SF shows have rarely succeeded on the major broadcast networks.


message 13: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments description


message 14: by Allison (new)

Allison Hurd | 226 comments Mark wrote: "http://www.firefly.org

"


It's cute, but I understand now why it wasn't great TV. Thanks, Mark!


message 15: by Joe Informatico (new)

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments Sean wrote: "I know fan gospel says Fox has some sort of deathwish against SF TV, but the truth is, SF shows have rarely succeeded on the major broadcast networks."

Thank you! It really gets my goat when FOX gets called out as the cancellation station. For decades, they (and to a much lesser extent, NBC) were the only major network to even give SF&F series a chance! Between 1986 (FOX's debut as a network) and the mid-2000s (when the success of Lost and Heroes and the critical acclaim for Galactica made genre television series popular in the mainstream and viable for network television), FOX debuted more science fiction and fantasy series than the other three networks combined.

CBS only had the New Twilight Zone and the brief Hard Time on Planet Earth in that period. ABC had the short-lived The Charmings and the even shorter-lived Max Headroom and Automan. NBC was the best of the original Big Three, with Mann and Machine, Earth 2, ALF, SeaQuest DSV, Dark Skies, and of course the beloved Quantum Leap.

In same period, FOX debuted: The Visitor, VR.5, Alien Nation, Space: Above and Beyond, Sliders, Dark Angel, Harsh Realm, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., M.A.N.T.I.S., Firefly, The Lone Gunmen, and of course, The X-Files. FOX didn't have a hate-on for SF television--before we entered the era of J.J. Abrams, they were its only champion!


message 16: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Joe Informatico wrote: "Sean wrote: "I know fan gospel says Fox has some sort of deathwish against SF TV, but the truth is, SF shows have rarely succeeded on the major broadcast networks."

Thank you! It really gets my goat when FOX gets called out as the cancellation station. For decades, they (and to a much lesser extent, NBC) were the only major network to even give SF&F series a chance!"


Fox has the reputation as the King of Cancellation because they canceled more series during the show's first season than any other network. That's an impressive feat given that Fox is 40 years younger than the Big Three.

Not just SFF, but across genres. For me, it seemed to be a case of H.L. Mencken's dictum come to life, in that they mostly canceled the best series, while the dumb ones (Married With Children, X Files) ran for years. That's down to personal taste, of course, but it's one of the reasons I gave up on Fox. Whenever I would give them another try (the excellent New Amsterdam), I would get burned. So I simply stopped watching Fox.


message 17: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3596 comments Mod
Dara wrote: "I read a description of the show that said Star Trek with Family Guy humor and I said NOPE."

If it is anything like "Blue Harvest" then that would be pretty good.


message 18: by Allison (new)

Allison Hurd | 226 comments Oh, dear. I feel a little bit like I lit a fuse and ran away.

That'll teach me for making flippant comments about common occurrences!*

Sorry, everyone rolling your eyes!

*Unfortunately, the lesson learned might be "I think I just figured out how to troll!" and that is a skill I probably shouldn't be allowed to hone, for everyone's sake. So, before it takes over like the mask in The Mask allow me to say I didn't mean to rally the brown coats just yet. Hang on. I'll light the beacons as the signal, you won't be able to miss it. In the meantime, let's see how this new show goes over maybe. Or not. The universe is grand, explore it as you choose.


message 19: by Aaron (last edited May 20, 2017 09:52AM) (new)

Aaron | 268 comments Trike wrote: "Fox has the reputation as the King of Cancellation because they canceled more series during the show's first season than any other network. That's an impressive feat given that Fox is 40 years younger than the Big Three."

That was also the period when Fox started the pattern of canceling shows after a few episodes and not showing the outstanding episodes. Firefly comes up over and over for both of those reasons. It's one thing to not renew a poor performer. It's another to kill it without even showing all of the episodes they bought because it wasn't a high performer right from the start (Wonderfalls, Firefly, I'm sure there were others).


message 20: by Rick (last edited May 20, 2017 10:50AM) (new)

Rick | 2866 comments IIRC the other reason Fox comes up is because they screw around with series order (see Almost Human for the latest example) and tend to debut shows in crappy time slots like Friday night. Yes, something has to be shown on Friday but that's usually a series on the way out. You can't put something there and expect it to build an audience.


message 21: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments The series debut was tonight. I enjoyed it. It was far less wacky than the trailers indicated, but it was still pretty goofy. The best scene was still the "we no longer need fear the banana" scene they showed in the commercials.

It definitely moved right along and didn't bore me, so that was good. I was kind of surprised by the language, considering its 8 o'clock time slot. Maybe they're allowed two mentions of balls per episode or something?

It didn't list him in the credits or on IMDB, but the voice of the robot sure sounded a lot like Brent Spiner.


message 22: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1151 comments According to IMDB the Robot, Isaac, is an English actor, Mark Jackson.


message 23: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4071 comments Did anyone else pick up that the time device was straight out of Niven's "Gil The ARM" SF detective stories?


message 24: by David H. (new)

David H. (farrakut) I caught the middle 10 minutes (I forgot to DVR it until 8:30, so will have to catch up after Tuesday). Seems OK, but we'll see how they can sustain it.


message 25: by Louie (new)

Louie (rmutt1914) | 885 comments I totally forgot about it. And I did not set my DVR because it aired after a football game, with an unreliable start/end time. Have to catch it On Demand sometime this week.


message 26: by David H. (new)

David H. (farrakut) I think Fox is reairing it Tuesday night sometime if you want to avoid On Demand for whatever reason, that's how I'm going to catch the full ep.


message 27: by Sean Lookielook (last edited Sep 11, 2017 07:11AM) (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 432 comments The show is gorgeous to look at, despite being an obvious visual ST:TNG ripoff. It has the kind of production budget that Dark Matter would have killed for. That said, the writing is awful. It's basically an hour-long sit-com with a nauseating level of bromance. A mediocre starship captain is saddled with his ex-wife (who is 10 years younger than Macfarlane, because there are no actresses over the age of forty in Hollwood) as a 1st officer, but *spoiler*they still manage to win the day an learn a valuable lesson. Ugh. Please stop throwing money at this guy, Fox. There are plenty of people more worthy. Kudos to the cast for trying to make this turd float, but it's a lost cause.
P.S. Halston Sage is my new alien crush.


message 28: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4071 comments THAT'S it! The ex-wife is Bobbi Morse from SHIELD. Thank you, IMDB. I had the hardest time placing her. Plus, that zit between the eyebrows at first had me wondering if she was playing an alien and I was just missing the rest of the facial makeup.


message 29: by Sean Lookielook (new)

Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 432 comments Casting Penny Johnson Jerald, who was Kasidy Yates in ST:DS9 and who also appeared once in ST:TNG, was definitely an interesting choice.


message 30: by Mysterio2 (new)

Mysterio2 | 85 comments It was enjoyable enough.

Tonally it can't seem to decide whether it's to be a parody or an homage, and it needs to make a decision on this score sooner or later.

But I'm certainly in for next week.


message 31: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments I definitely think it's being pulled in two different directions because MacFarlane is such a huge Trekkie that it's hard for him to effectively mock the thing he loves so much.

It's like when Christopher Guest & Co. got around to doing a mockumentary of themselves, For Your Consideration, there was too much maudlin and serious stuff in it for the comedy to land.

Looks like they've done a standard 13 episodes of The Orville, so we'll see if they can sharpen their knives.

I don't subscribe to the theory that a TV series needs a couple seasons to find its voice -- either it's there from the start or it's not. That's not to say that characters can't evolve over time, but I don't think we need to invest hours watching a show to get to the good stuff.

I started watching Rules of Engagement on Netflix, a series I didn't know about until it was already in its third season but I enjoyed, so I wanted to see the bits I'd missed. It's interesting to watch it from the beginning as they settle into the characters. Adam (Oliver Hudson) is much smarter in the beginning then he eventually ended up, but characters like Audrey, Jennifer and Jeff were already 95% there from the get-go. David Spade's character was dialed in from the jump. The only thing they really experimented with was figuring out how far to push the sliders between "serious" and "silly". They pretty much sorted that out within the 7-episode first season.

Another case in point is Gilmore Girls. All of those characters are fully realized from the first scene, with the glaring exception of Kirk. Sean Gunn plays an entirely different character in the first couple episodes, then becomes Kirk, who is clearly a new person in town. At some in the first season they completely ignored all of that stuff, retconning Kirk's backstory so that he'd been there all along.

But the style of Gilmore Girls was solidly in place at the beginning. The only thing that really changed over time was the speed of the dialogue. The first season moves like molasses compared to the rest of the series, even though it's still running at 1.5x the pace of a regular show. They just kept pushing the pace until they settled into their groove, but before they found their cruising speed they even had a scene where people were sprinting at a funeral.

I think we'll know what The Orville will ultimately look like within a few episodes, and it's entertaining enough for me to hang in there.


message 32: by Rick (last edited Sep 11, 2017 10:22AM) (new)

Rick | 2866 comments A couple of seasons? No. But more than a single episode? Sure. I see far too many ADHD people damning a series for the first ep and it's silly. Not everyone hits it right off the bat and I'm more than a little tired of a culture that demands perfection from the first frame or they hate it.

I like what TV.com used to do - the 4 episode test. They watched and graded the first 4 episodes and then recommended whether it was probably worth it to continue to watch, let it go or whether it was on the edge.


message 33: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4071 comments FWIW I so thoroughly hated the first ST:TNG episode that I did not watch another until it was in reruns. First episode matters.


message 34: by Rick (last edited Sep 11, 2017 11:36AM) (new)

Rick | 2866 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "FWIW I so thoroughly hated the first ST:TNG episode that I did not watch another until it was in reruns. First episode matters."

And that's irrational on a broad scale. Irrational because it's VERY likely you don't do new things perfectly the first time. Most of us don't.

Sorry, but people can't complain that their fave series was cancelled - boo hoo!! - and then not give things a chance past the first episode because if a lot of people act that way then the odds are that the reason your fave series died is a lot of other people didn't like its first episode even though you did.

Now... 3 or 4 episodes in and you still don't like it? Or you come back mid-season to see if it's better and you still think it's crap? That's totally fair.

To me, judging a series completely on its first episode is like dropping a book after its first 10 pages. Your choice obviously but pretty unreasonable. 50-100 pages in? Yeah, you've given it a shot.


message 35: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4071 comments You expect rationality in entertainment? To paraphrase Roger Waters in "Live at Pompeii," "If people don't like the experience, they won't come again."


message 36: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments I do hear that sort of thing about novel series all the time: "It starts slow, but really gets good in book five! Then it kind of drags for a few books, but nine through twelve are great!" Yeah, I'm not reading eight lame books in the hopes it gets better later. *cough*DresdenFiles*cough* But I'll give it a novel to hook me. Two if there's promise.

I think 4 (or 6) episodes of a series is a decent tryout, but if the whole thing just rubs you the wrong way, bailing after one is fine. That's 45 minutes of storytelling. If they can't get their act together to hook you in the equivalent of 1/2 of a movie, that's on them. I've never heard anyone say, "You really need to watch the first four movies in the series to get to the good one."

Maybe it's because people consume TV without thinking about it, just leaving it on while they do other things, that causes them to treat it differently.


message 37: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4071 comments I think you're right, Trike, that the level of attention we're paying something affects how much leeway we'll give it. I don't particularly like TV and really have to enjoy something to watch it. I don't just leave it on. OTOH I need a lot of insomnia fodder so just about any halfway decent book is fine for that.


message 38: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1151 comments Also, TV is free (or seems that way) and it costs you nothing to immediately have 50 other choices if you can reach the remote whereas with a book you've paid a tangible amount of money for it and probably limited choice within arms reach.


message 39: by Rick (last edited Sep 12, 2017 09:11AM) (new)

Rick | 2866 comments Trike wrote: "
I think 4 (or 6) episodes of a series is a decent tryout, but if the whole thing just rubs you the wrong way, bailing after one is fine. That's 45 minutes of storytelling. If they can't get their act together to hook you in the equivalent of 1/2 of a movie, that's on them. I've never heard anyone say, "You really need to watch the first four movies in the series to get to the good one."'..."


First, on an individual basis people can bail 5 minutes into the first ep if they want. I'm certainly not telling people that they must do anything. I just think it's trigger-happy to write off a series after one ep and there seems to be a trend to almost gleefully state that one hated it and the series is trash.

On movies vs TV - the two media are structured differently. A movie knows it has 2 hours in which it has to tell its story. A series is theoretically open ended and they usually spend time differently in introducing characters and the world. While I want the first ep to be really good, I've seen enough TV where it's mediocre but then is good by ep 4 or so that I don't write off a series for a C first episode.

Your book analogy is different than mine. I don't suffer entire bad books in a series but I remember someone in this group who, a couple of years ago posted that they didn't like the use of passive voice on page 1 so lemmed the book. PAGE 1! That's ridiculous. Now, by page 50 or so if you're not feeling it? Sure, stop. That's 10-20% into most books (or about the same as 3-4 TV episodes).

Don't want to wast 4 hours of your life? Do what I do... see what people are saying about the red and 4th episodes. If the reviews are "After a shaky start, this is getting good..." Dive in. Catch up is easy. If not, skip.

Concrete example... SGU (Stargate Universe). I watched the first episode where they were stranded and looking for water because humans need water. Entire episode is them trying to find water. Theoretically this was a way to show characters under stress and set up some conflicts....but it took an hour. Guess what!?! YEs, they found water. In the last 5 minutes of the episode. OK, fine. Boring but Iget the point. The next ep? Something about finding food IIRC (which I likely don't). The first 3 or 4 eps were 'will they survive on this derelict ship far from help?" and the answer was obviously Yes or there's no series. I have it 3 eps and...#bailed. People kept telling me it was good later but that was too many violations of good story telling for me.


message 40: by Trike (last edited Sep 12, 2017 09:47AM) (new)

Trike | 8768 comments Phil wrote: "Also, TV is free (or seems that way) and it costs you nothing to immediately have 50 other choices if you can reach the remote whereas with a book you've paid a tangible amount of money for it and ..."

I was also going to say something about it being free, but immediately thought of a couple counter examples (such as the UK's licensing fees), so I didn't want to be too US-centric. But yeah, that's definitely a factor for most Americans.

Then there's also the mentality regarding sunk cost, where people think, "I've paid for it, therefore it must be good." That applies to premium cable channels like HBO. I just had this discussion with my cousin about pillows we bought. They are objectively terrible pillows by any measure, and they don't do any of the things they claim, yet she was defending them passionately. I didn't engage because she's done that sort of thing before, so I recognized it immediately. It's a weird quirk that I don't understand.


message 41: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3596 comments Mod
For a comedy it was a bit lacking in the yucks.

I will give it a few more episodes to find it's legs.


message 42: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4071 comments ^I'm thinking this was a spiff from Fox because Family Guy was making so much. I doubt it will go past its 13 episode initial run.

I wanted to say "like Futurama was for Matt Groening," but Futurama was much more funny.


message 43: by Kev (new)

Kev (sporadicreviews) | 648 comments I thought it wasn't trying hard enough to be a comedy and trying too hard to be SF. It was uneven. Even the music felt like they were trying too hard to be a great SF show. The humor just wasn't there, except for one shining piece of banter with Seth and Bobbi towards the scientists.
The effects without people were average, the effects up close with people in the scene were bad.
Yeah, most shows start out uneven, or even pretty crappy. Some do, but grow to be good tv.
I'll continue to give this a chance for a bit.

OH!! I just realized what this show reminds of: Nobility on Amazon Prime, minus the documentary shtick. Except Nobility was really bad.


message 44: by Stephen (last edited Sep 14, 2017 09:00AM) (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1338 comments Steven Erikson, who wrote the
Malazan Book of the Fallen series has written two take offs on the whole Star Trek theme. Willful Child and Willful Child: Wrath of Betty. Considering how dark Malazan Tales are, Erikson gives us a tongue in cheek trek loving comedy, and the Willful Child is only $2.99 right now.


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