When Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville first broadcast on Fox, fans thought it would be a Star Trek parody. But it turns out, it’s more than a parody.
When Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville first broadcast on Fox, fans of MacFarlane immediately assumed it was going to be a comedic parody of the more popular Star Trek. After all, it was headed by the creator of Family Guy.
Surprisingly enough, fans were amazed at how the show is less of a parody of Star Trek and more of a stand-alone that deserves Star Trek fans to compare Star Trek to it, instead of the other way around. Here’s why The Orville is still a great parody and why it should be taken seriously.
Great Parody: Parodies The Best And Worst Of Star Trek
There is no mistaking what the original intent of The Orville was intent on capturing. It wanted to be a parody of Star Trek and makes that point clear from the very beginning with the similar outfits, ships and aliens they deal with on a weekly basis.
In an era where Star Trek is basically a parody of itself, The Orville manages to bring in the best and worst that Star Trek has to offer, parodying it but to a certain extent making the serious dialogue more interesting in a slightly comedic fashion.
Good Sci-Fi: Great Storytelling
The Orville does a great job of doing an almost rehashing of previous Star Trek episodes but changing it slightly enough, adding details and concepts that Star Trek never dreamed of. It improved on the sci-fi drama aspect that Star Trek pioneered. For many fans expecting just a parody, will quickly find themselves disappointed as the show prides itself on great storytelling and character development.
Each episode handles a new situation or new problem that the crew must face, mixing in the perfect amount of action and dialogue that keeps fans coming back for more.
Great Parody: Jokes Are Comic Gold
Hilarious jokes are something to be expected from a show whose creator is Seth Macfarlane. After all, he made his name creating such cartoon classics American Dad and Family Guy. However, the biggest difference being is that The Orville doesn’t have those cut-away moments that make those shows epic successes.
Instead, The Orville has to rely on more subtle comedy that has to hit its mark every single time. Luckily for fans, it does just that. This blend of sharp-witted comedy makes The Orville an absolute delight for fans of all ages.
Good Sci-Fi: Out Star Trek’s Star Trek
There just isn’t any getting around it, The Orville is by far one of the best sci-fi series of the last 10 years. By its appearance, The Orville is mostly compared to Star Trek but in most ways, it just outmaneuvers its predecessor with absolute fresh storytelling and outer space drama that such sci-fi series like a Star Trek have paved the way in.
The Orville doesn’t have a long history to compare it to and that is one of its strengths as it just keeps popping out more and more original content with each season.
Great Parody: It Doesn’t Take Itself Too Seriously
When sci-fi series start sucking the fun out of each situation for fear that it might be parodied, then that is a quick sign of the failing of a TV series. This line of thinking has been detrimental to this genre for far too long. The Orville isn’t afraid to laugh at itself and that is what makes it head and shoulders above its competition.
Yes, it is a show that should be taken seriously as it is amazingly good but fans should never forget that its main focus is to parody the silliness that a space drama entails.
Good Sci-Fi: Attracts Both Star Trek And Star Wars Fans
For too long sci-fi fans have been categorized into two camps. The Star Wars camp or the Star Trek camp. Why, is a question many fans of both series ask themselves each day, as, besides the fact they take place in space, there just isn’t many similarities in the two. Other sci-fi shows tend to attract either one or the other.
A sci-fi show’s success usually depends on this fact. The Orville has just enough action to attract Star Wars fans and enough world-building to attract Trekkies from around the globe, giving it a broader appeal than most.
Great Parody: Seth MacFarlane’s Charisma
Seth MacFarlane just understands the intricacy of weaving a comedic yarn. It comes naturally to him and he owns it with the greatest of authority. Even in roles that are of a serious nature, there is this charm and ability to make light of any situation that makes MacFarlane’s acting one of a kind.
His role as captain of The Orville is no different as he can be entertaining even in the most mundane of situations. He can make funny jokes even in times of great peril to himself and his crew and it not feel forced.
Good Sci-Fi: Stands On Its Own Merits
Probably the most refreshing aspects of The Orville is since it is a new series it doesn’t have to live up to previous standards that often hang like an albatross over shows that are decades old.
It is making its world not trying to recreate the magic of it from a previous series. This is such a refreshing take as the only thing it has to do is provide quality entertainment without worrying that the fanbase will hold it in contempt for changing a specific moment, alien species, or world in the slightest.
Great Parody: Pop Culture References
It wouldn’t be a Seth MacFarlane series without pop culture references. This is his bread and butter in every show he’s ever created, so it feels natural that it is included in The Orville.
It also plays a key role in keeping the show in the realm of a parody even in its serious moments. Is it a reason that critics do not take it seriously when compared to other sci-fi series? Probably, but to The Orville’s fans, it would be a point of reference that would be missed if not included.
Good Sci-Fi: Perfect Balance Of Action And World Building
Being a new show, The Orville doesn’t have the luxury of leaning on past versions of itself to detail specific alien species or worlds that they explore. This is and always will be its core strength and greatest weakness. Yet, it does a fabulous job of world-building within the action of the series.
In fact, the fluidity when it ties world building and action scenes together is remarkable. So many series fall into the old habit of explaining and not showing but that isn’t a con that can be said of this show.