Debuting on September 10, The Orville should have a pretty decent launch with Fox setting up Seth MacFarlane’s latest offering after an NFL doubleheader. Which is good because, as I say in my video review, this purposeless piece of Star Trek fan fiction likely won’t strike much gold otherwise — in this galaxy or the next.
Set 400 years in the very familiar future (doubly so if you are an enthusiast of the worlds of Gene Roddenberry), The Orville is nowhere near the comedy Fox is marketing the one-hour show as, and it’s not much of a drama either. From its adulterous opening scene with a blue-skinned alien to creator and lead MacFarlane as Captain Ed Mercer of the USS Orville and Adrianne Palicki as his ex-wife and now First Officer Commander Kelly Grayson, the series is a mess from its Jon Favreau-directed pilot onward.
Honestly, if your need for sci-fi is gnawing at you, hold your powder a couple more weeks and wait for Star Trek: Discovery, which premieres September 24. Even with the highly skilled likes of Norm Macdonald, Transparent’s Jeffery Tambor, Holland Taylor, 24 vet Penny Johnson Jerald and Victor Garber making appearances alongside the Family Guy guy and the Friday Night Lights alum, The Orville’s aspirations to find a new path to the final frontier in this age of Peak TV goes nowhere frat-boy fast.
In fact, with its urination gags and heavy-handedness on such topics as gender identity and racism, the only purpose of the lost-in-space The Orville seems to be to as a way for Fox to continue its lucrative relationship with MacFarlane and keep him happy.
As for us viewers, between football, the debut of The Deuce on HBO, Top of the Lake: China Girl on SundanceTV and the Season 3 opener of Outlander on Starz, there are many more appetizing choices on the small screen Sunday.
Click on my review of The Orville above to get more of my take on the effort by the 2013 Oscar host. And tell us, will you be making the leap into the great beyond with the show?