TL;DR – The terrain constantly shifts out from underneath the crew of the USS Orville, as enemies become friends and friends become enemies.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Disclosure – I streamed this on SBS OnDemand
The Orville Review –
A few years ago, it was announced that Seth MacFarlane, most well known for Family Guy, would do his take on a Space Opera, a show like Star Trek but with more jokes. It was a premise that had me both intrigued and concerned. That is because I was sure you could make that balance work, just that it would be hard, and Season One was rough at times. But by the time Season Two drew to a close, it had wholly found its feet and was soaring forward. Now it is time to dive into the much delayed and possibly final season, titled New Horizons, and if it is the end, at least it went out on a bang.
So to set the scene, in The Road Not Taken, the threat that the Kaylons pose is shown when we see a universe where the crew of the USS Orville never came together, and the galaxy is in ruin. But there is hope, and the team come together for some last-ditch time travel shenanigans to set the timeline right. It worked. But now, everyone on the ship has to work to get it ready for the next attack, and while the refit takes place, there is a lot of resentment brewing on board, with most of it landing square on the lap of the ship’s lone Kalon crewmember Isaac (Mark Jackson). While captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) and first officer Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) work to keep the ship together, there are crew members like new navigator Charly Burke (Anne Winters), who lost people in the war and have legitimate reasons not to trust. But they will need to find that trust because the galaxy is on the precipice of collapse. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – We look to the past
and find out how much we have changed, the show included
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Time travel, oy vey, nothing quite gives me a headache like a temporal mechanics
headache and today we are looking a doozy of one. Now, of course, this is not
the first time that The Orville has dabbled
in the world of time travel with Pria
happening all the way back in Season
One, which also set up some stuff that the show has yet to quite follow
through with. However, today’s temporal jump is a much more personal affair.
So to set the scene, we open with Ed (Seth MacFarlane), Kelly (Adrianne Palicki),
Talla (Jessica Szohr), and Gordon (Scott Grimes) sharing a drink and reminiscing
about the past. Talking about the past has Ed reminiscing about lost loves but
Kelly makes it clear that it would not be good for the ship or them if they
repeated the past. The next day Isaac (Mark Jackson) and John (J. Lee) are
showing Kelly a potential new temporal device when the ship is hit by a massive
gravity wave. Not only does the damage the ship but it interacts with the
device and all of a sudden a Kelly from seven years ago is standing in the
science lab. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so
there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – It explores what you would do in a First Contact situation
when everything is taken out of your hands.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
First Contact is one of those big deal moments in Science Fiction, it can be a
moment of pure joy or a moment of devastation.
When you first put that call out into the universe you do not know who will
answer it and indeed, for those answering the call what will you find when you
make planetfall. Today we explore one
such scenario, with of course The Orville’s
unique spin on it.
So to set the scene, we open on the planet Regor 2 as the scientist and First
Prefect (John Rubinstein) send a simple message into the void asking if there
was anyone else out there. A couple of years later the crew of the USS Orville were doing another run, this
time picking up their new chief of security Talla Keyali (Jessica Szohr), and
discussing upcoming birthdays when they receive a faint message. Quickly
finding out that this is an unknown civilization the whole crew jump with the excitement of going on their first First Contact
mission. After some initial pleasantries,
everything was going fine until Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) mentions her upcoming birthday
and everything falls apart. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole,
so there will be [SPOILERS]
TL;DR – In many respects, this is the most Star Trek-like episode
I have seen so far, but in that it feels just okay and that it is missing
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
This is a great time for Sci-fi for tonight I get a new episode of The Orville and Star Trek Discovery. All of this is made all the more interesting because tonight’s Orville feels more like an episode
of Star Trek than any so far this
season. This gives some characters the chance to shine, but it also feels a bit odd.
So to set the scene, the USS Orville
is once again being rerouted to a Starbase to help out rather than exploring,
something that is starting to get on everyone’s nerves. But for Ed (Seth
MacFarlane) it is all fine because he is using his love smile with Lt. Tyler (Michaela
McManus) and Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) can see it. Well, after much thought they
decide that it is time to make it public, always a big deal on a ship of this
size, and celebrate this by taking some shore leave. Time to get away, see the
sights, get harried by some Krill fighters, wait get harried by some Krill
fighters. Soon both Tyler and Ed are captured and Ed has to make a choice, will
he sit back and watch the love of his life get tortured, or will he give up
everything he believes in and hand over his command codes. Now from here on in,
we will be looking at the episode as a whole, and as such there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – In Home, The Orville finally finds that balance between the absurd and the sincere
and creates one of their best episodes so far.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So far this season The Orville have continued on in its mission to highlight the juxtaposition between the absurd and the sincere. Now, this is something that you can completely do, but the show in both Season One and so far this season just couldn’t quite find that right balance. Well with Home I think they really are starting to head in that right direction and it doesn’t hurt when you throw in some great guest cast and beautiful art design help along the way.
TL;DR – With Primal Urges we
see how The Orville is not afraid to tackle really important issues, but that
it has yet to quite get that balance right
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
One of the issues facing the world today is porn addiction, free porn is literally
at most people’s fingertips if you have an internet connection and it can be devastating
to a relationship. The Orville looks at Porn Addiction in the context of a relationship
that has completely soured but there is still a child involved, which is a
situation that is very familiar in the world today.
TL;DR – This first episode was
all about us getting back into the groove with The Orville and its juxtaposition
of absurdity and sincerity, but not all of it works.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I finally got the chance to see Season One of The Orville early this year when it finally got a release down under, and I was struck by how funny and also how many serious issues it tackled. It was not just a Star Trek parody with the first officer and captain being exs, okay it is totally that, but it is also a beautiful sincere look at the work, with some fantastic characters and alien races. Now that Season Two is about to start, I am really interested to see how the show evolves going forward, and can it keep this interesting juxtaposition going.
TL;DR – While at first look this might have been just a Star Trek homage or at worst a blatant rip-off. Instead, it finds its feet and becomes a charming exploration of the future and the mess and opportunities that could come.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
I have been wanting to catch The Orville for quite a while but there was no streaming or TV that picked it up here in Australia, so I was expecting this was something that I might only get to see when it dropped on Blu-Ray. But with SBS announcing they had picked it up and would be showing Season Two I jumped on a watched the whole first season in one night, which meant that clown appeared at a very confronting time late at night. But binged the first season I have, and now it is time to jump in and see if it was worth the wait. Now before we dive in, a quick reminder that as we will be looking at the season as a whole, there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – John Wick is a masterpiece of balancing storytelling and worldbuilding without resorting to multiple exposition dumps or clunky dialogue exchanges.
When you are making or adapting some form of narrative medium, whether it is a book, video game, TV show, online video series, or a movie, two of the most important narrative facets are storytelling and worldbuilding, however, they can often find themselves in conflict with each other. I think we have all played that video game that is crammed full of lore, around every corner is another audio log sitting there for you to digest and thus the story gets lost in at that worldbuilding. Conversely, people fall in love with the worlds you can create, as much as people love Harry Potter, they are also enraptured with the whole Wizarding World, #HufflepuffForLife, so if you focus just on your story and don’t build the world around you, you’re going to have a shallow narrative and a missed opportunity. So how do you rectify this issue, well you could do what Snowpiercer and others have done in the past and gone with an opening newscast, or narration, or like the grandmaster of it all Star Wars, and have it all in your opening crawl. Or you could go with the Game of Thrones route and hide your exposition in sex scenes hoping that nudity will keep people engaged, and indeed you may even coin a phrase with ‘sexposition’ in the process. Or you could follow John Wick’s lead by crafting a strong narrative while also building a fascinating world. Now as we will be dissecting John Wick for this analysis, and since we will be focusing on the story, there is no way we could do that and not have any spoilers, so if you have not seen it yet, firstly go watch John Wick, but also you may not want to proceed any further, or do, I’m not your boss.
TL;DR – A really good action flick and an example of world building done right.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
John Wick has been out on DVD/Digital Download for some time and with a sequel now on the cards, I thought I would have a look back at one of the better action films in recent times.
The basic plot of John Wick is that the titular character John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a man who was once in deep in the Russian mob, and through an impossible act he freed himself and settled down with his new love, only for her to pass away. The last thing his wife did was buy John a puppy so he could move on from his grief. The son of the Russian Mob boss Iosef (Alfie Allen) mistakes him for an easy mark, this is an error, a grave error.