The more I read and see about Seth MacFarlane’s new show The Orville the more I think Fox have done it a huge disservice by marketing it as a comedy. The show has received awful reviews, and been described as more for drama than laughs.
I think a lot of us have made the mistake to expect Family Guy or Ted in space. If you look at the images that have been released so far, it looks very much to me that Seth is attempting to recreate Star Trek: The Next Generation. An old fashioned show by modern standards, today most people seem to crave a weekly parade of sex, torture and death; Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead provide this in spades. For some, myself included, this is just too morose. I prefer my TV to be episodic, easy on the cliff-hangers and have my favourite characters live to see a better day.
This is what Star Trek: The Next Generation was all about… Hope. MacFarlane is a huge fan of Captain Picard and his 24th Century adventures and clearly seeks a return to this type of TV storytelling. And even though I have not yet seen his new show myself, I support his sentiment.
So is The Orville a vanity project? Funded by Fox to cement their relationship with MacFarlane, a proven money maker? Or is it perhaps the highest budget Fan homage ever? I remain hopeful that it will be the latter.