Star Trek Discovery vs. The Orville

Wayne & Tannen discuss Star Trek Discovery and The Orville!

Plus…Geoff Harris gives his thoughts!

Geoff Harris

The Age of the Geek continues. Just recently, network television has introduced two new shows that, each in their own way, have merits and flaws. Star Trek returns to the airwaves with Star Trek Discovery, and then there’s the original (albeit chameleon like) The Orville. Both ironically named after the main ships in both series.  Let me start by saying I like science fiction, but I haven’t always been a diehard “must see/read” everything kind of fan. My tastes in all things have always been pan-sensual. There is just too much out there to enjoy. This is the main reason why I am very very cross over CBS and their decision to cock tease us with Discovery and then make us pay for the rest of the season. Now, before you stop reading and fire up your iPhones to retort on whatever passes for the latest mass hysteria outlet of the moment, I ask you finish reading first. Keep this in mind: This is MY OPINION. It may differ from yours. That is a good thing. I am not trying to convince you to join me in my personal hell, nor am I forcing you to conform to my paradigm. Turn the air-conditioner down and relax, snowflakes.

I refuse to watch Discovery until it becomes more widely available. My bank account has already been pillaged enough for one life time. I know…I know. “Cut the Cord” and dump cable. If you added all the streaming services up, the bill would be about the same…and I still need internet on top of that. Not all of us can afford a new XBox or Playstation to act as our one stop stream shop. Basically, CBS is a drug dealer. First one’s free then you have to pay for the rest. To my understanding, as of this writing, they still haven’t worked out the bugs on their streaming service anyway. So, you get to watch half of the pilot and then stew until things get sorted. I’m sorry but I’m not as adventurous as I once was. I don’t enjoy strip clubs anymore. Those ladies don’t care about how I feel. It’s their job to get every dime out of me they can. Half of the time they have dead eyes and vacant stares. I can imagine CBS network executives having that same soulless look. I want to watch your show. I just don’t want to pay MORE than I already do to see it. It’s like a movie theater charging extra for the trailers.  Wake up Gordon Geeko. Greed is no longer all that good.

In contrast, The Orville is awesome! I will confess to having reservations before watching it. After Family Guy and A Million Ways to Die in the West, I assumed this would be more of the “dick and fart jokes” that Seth MacFarlane is known for. I was wrong. Yes, there are some here and there, but all in all it has been a solid show. I found myself pleasantly surprised by intelligent, well-crafted, and developed characters and writing. It’s very Trek-esque but different enough to capture the interest. In many ways it’s like Next Generation when it was at its best.  Plus, MacFarlane can actually act! (Okay, not Oscar/Emmy worthy but still.) Yes, the Trek similarity does hover over the show and its not really clear if this is a Trek tribute kind of show or just a trope fest. Either way, I am enjoying the hell out of it. I did have issues with some the innuendo humor but I’m walking that back down. The Orville needs to really distance itself to get away from a Trek knock-off, or embrace the label and ride it out. Science Fiction has been done, redone, rebooted, and recycled so many times it is way too easy to judge The Orville too negatively after three episodes. I love what I have seen and I want more.

I reserve the right to change my opinions. If I do get to see Discovery, I will definitely let all of you, my dear readers, know what I think of it…and if The Orville starts to sag like a limp plug, it’s just more fodder for me to write about.


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