Television: The Orville, "If the Stars Should Appear"

So I can't decide if this show means to be as dumb as it is? Like, is it designed to point out how stupid a lot of Star Trek is/was? Or...???

Look, on the surface this is a clever little story about a world inside a spaceship. The ship itself is adrift and the people on board have forgotten they're on a ship at all. So as the ship drifts towards a star, the Orville crew attempts to save it, but the passengers are living some agrarian lifestyle and praying to a strange god (spoiler: their god turns out to be Liam Neeson, so it's understandable) and most of them are suspicious and not wanting the help.

All in all, it's typical Trek-style fare. But there's something lacking here. Maybe it's that I don't care a lick about any of the main characters. Just none of them appeal to me. Maybe it's that there was practically no B plot in this episode. We open with Bortus and Klyden having a tiff that goes nowhere. Local color? We've had our fill of Bortus and Klyden with the last episode, so maybe we should focus on someone else for a change?

I just feel like this episode idea was a good one, but the execution didn't hold up. Very beat-by-beat, and I never felt any real tension. (Again, possibly because I'm not invested in the characters.) I wanted this to be an episode of Babylon 5. I could totally see this playing out in interesting ways if only the characters were more engaging.

And boy, are they pulling on the strings to get cameos and guest stars. Next week it will be Charlize Theron. This feels like stunt casting, and it feels desperate this early in the show's run. I haven't looked at the ratings, though. Have no idea how well The Orville is doing with viewers.

I don't know. I might keep watching? I'm really on the fence. Maybe the characters will get better? I'm seriously conflicted. But at the very least, it's a show I can turn on when I don't want to do any brain work and I've watched all the House Hunters.

No comments: