After finishing the immensely satisfying Netflex-released Russian Doll, I was in need of something… dumber. As I have often dubbed it: “Second Screen Viewable”— a show that doesn’t demand my attention so much as exists wonderfully living on my second monitor while I draw. Feeling that I needed to take advantage of all my existing subscription services, I bounced back to Hulu to find myself lighter fare. And wouldn’t you know it? Seth McFarlane’s homage to Star Trek: The Next Generation was queued up on the main page… beckoning me with promises (I’d figured) of giant chicken fights in space.
Not only was I wrong, I was delightfully wrong. The Orville, now a season and a half deep, is a low-key gem of a series.
Of the many positive notes I want to denote (noting how noteworthy said denoting is…) would be Seth McFarlane as Captain Ed Mercer. Simply put, my expectations for our series center was dreadfully low prior to the pilot. McFarlane, based on his voice acting chops is fully capable of amazing range. But then he did try to make an update on Blazing Saddles with his western riff and frankly I’m still mad at him for even thinking about it. In spite of all signs that would lead you to think otherwise though. Ed Mercer is cool, calm, diplomatic, trusting of his crew, and truly a straight man to the funnier things happening aboard his vessel. I think quickly to his introduction to his motley crew— and how matter-of-fact he was in meeting each member with positivity and optimism. Even when presented with his likely too young to be an officer, but she has a super-power security chief, Mercer can only stand to welcome her and see a piece to a larger puzzle he’ll shimmy in later. It’s Picard, without any earned gravitas. And I love it. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #033: An Ode to The Orville”