The Orville is Seth MacFarlane‘s new show that is a cross between Star Trek and Galaxy Quest. It has an interesting cast and some A-List cameos including Liam Neeson & Charlize Theron. But it it pretty confusing.
Fox calls it a “space adventure series” straddling comedy and drama, but it’s not thrilling (although the effects are great for TV) or funny (MacFarlane tries but it comes off flat.)
Episode 3 is called About a Girl. In The Orville’s universe in the 25th century, the ALL-MALE Moclan alien species reproduces by hatching their offspring in eggs. The crew of the Orville — the spaceship captained by MacFarlane’s character, Ed — find themselves in a controversy when two Moclan crew members, Bortus (Peter Macon) and Klyden (Chad E. Coleman), hatch a female baby. The same-sex parents immediately request that Dr. Finn (Star Trek’s Penny Johnson Jerald) perform a “corrective” procedure to make the baby male.
Written by MacFarlane and directed by Star Trek’s Brannon Braga, the episode deals with enormously complicated questions of gender. As Vox points out,
It’s not clear if anyone on the show knows the difference between “sex” and “gender,” as MacFarlane’s script uses the two terms almost interchangeably.
One father, Bortus, changes his mind thanks to a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special, which convinces him that his child’s unusual status could become an unexpected advantage despite everyone believing otherwise. But his mate Klyden disagrees, and the ensuing firestorm of controversy eventually leads to Ed and his second-in-command Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) arguing against the drastic measure of changing the baby’s sex in a Moclan court of law.
Most of the episode has characters having circular conversations and repeating their points. As Vox points out again,
The tone of the entire episode is whiplash-inducing; it repeatedly swings between comic indignation and solemn, didactic declarations of purpose. Moreover, “About a Girl” might take place centuries into the future, but its overall vibe feels outdated even for 2017.
But while going through the motions might have been enough even just a few years ago, it’s not all that forward-thinking — or, frankly, all that interesting — to spit out musty talking points in order to boost your progressive cred.
What they said. But even given that, it could be a fun show. You can see The Orville‘s About a Girl episode on Hulu.
(Photo, Fox; via Vox)