FOX’s The Orville: ‘Old Wounds’ 1×01 review

Fox’s The Orville premiered Sunday night and the best way to describe it would be: Family Guy humor meets the Star Trek setting.

Unlike Family Guy, the characters are all co-workers on a space ship and there are no ‘cut-to’ scenes to provide context. Instead, it relies on dry-to-dirty-to-witty humor and comedic pauses to get the message through. If you like this sort of humor, this is the show for you.

Set 400 years in the future, the first episode introduces us to space officer Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) who catches his wife, Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) cheating on him in the first scene. A year later and a divorce, Mercer is given a Captain position on the U.S.S. Orville and finds out that he must work with Kelly as his First Officer. We also meet the crew, which consists of a drunk, but brilliant helmsman (Scott Grimes); a single-sexed alien as second officer (Peter Macon); a young inexperienced alien security officer (Halston Sage); a witty navigator (J. Lee); a “racist” artificial life-form who is learning about human interaction (Mark Jackson); and, a brilliant doctor who sees the Orville and Mercer as a challenge to fix (Penny Johnson Jerald).

Based on the first episode, the series does have a flat start, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t heart behind it. Behind the infidelity jokes and the bro-jokes, the series does have a lot of Star Trekesque meaning to it. The way they structured it almost feels like a comedic version of Star Trek: The Next Generation: the music cuts out to exemplify problems before a commercial break; the title of the episode appearing in the first scene after the opening credits; the holodeck scene when Mercer is recruiting his friend to be his helmsman; and, many more Trek Easter eggs.

The series does a beautiful job with the special effects, makeup, and costumes. The opening scene with the future looked fantastic. The aliens, including the blue-ink-squirting one, are really well done. I’m really impressed with the prosthetics and paints on those aliens. The series captured the spirit of new life forms and going where no one has gone before.

The series is a fun homage to the beloved sci-fi franchise with some comedic drama. It shouldn’t be taken as a serious sci-fi drama like Star Trek or like the comedic parody film Galaxy Quest. Instead, it’s trying to be somewhere in the middle. It could work with a little bit of adjusting of its jokes back a little bit. We don’t care if the guy ‘got wood’, Seth.

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Laura Sirikul
Laura Sirikul 1695 posts

Trekkie. Jedi. Whovian. Sherlockian. Hobbit. Sanrio. Comics. I am Spartacus. Warrior Princess. Superhero. Nerd. Follow me @lsirikul