Discovery Versus Orville

I know opinions of these two new shows abound, but I’ve decided to throw my two bits into the discussion.

First off, I’ve been a life-long Star Trek fan. I was in the room when the original series first aired, though I don’t remember it very well. I do remember watching the Saturday morning animated Star Trek when they were on. I’ve enjoyed every incarnation of Star Trek so far. For some reason, though, I couldn’t get up much excitement about the new Star Trek: Discovery. I guess my main fear is that it would become like a Game of Thrones in outer space.

So far, though, the first episode (which is the only one I’ve seen) was better than I expected. The effects were good and I enjoyed the character driven story line. The new vision of Klingons was a little jarring and it was mind-numbing to have to sit there through all the subtitles. Still, though, the show came across as an epic ‘meh’ to me. Definitely not enough for me to fork out my money to get on CBS’s streaming service.

As I thought about it, though, I realized pretty much every pilot episode of Star Trek was pretty meh. The only pilot that had some teeth to it was the one for the original series, ‘Where No Man Has Gone Before’, if I remember the name right. It’s not the one they later turned into a two part episode, but the first one with Captain Kirk and before Dr. McCoy. It was the episode where Kirk faced that all-too-common conundrum about what to do with a friend when he starts to turn into an omnipotent god.

So, with the first episode of Discovery being so-so, I did see some good potential to it. It just didn’t knock my socks off enough to make me want to spend extra money to see the rest of it.

Now, to the Orville. I was excited about this series. Why? Because it looked like it might be similar to my favorite movie of all time: Galaxy Quest. Unfortunately, that isn’t how it turned out. I’m still debating whether I want to keep watching this show. In some ways, it does Star Trek well. The fourth episode was like some of the classic episodes of the Original Series and Next Generation, where it explored a contemporary political issue disguised (albeit loosely) as a science fiction show. Maybe it has something to do with Brannon Braga being a part of it.

One thing I’m very disappointed in is that it isn’t as humorous as I’d hoped. They hyped it as a comedy, but it is a lot more serious than expected. Sure, there are occasional jokes lobbed here and there, but they don’t have anything to do with the story. Of course, a lot of those jokes are crude and offensive to me. What is it with all the male anatomy humor these days? Does anyone actually find it funny? And often what Orville does is tell a crude joke, and then immediately repeat the same joke as if that would make it funnier. Well, it doesn’t. Why can’t they keep it light, humorous, and use family friendly humor? I guess I’m just a throwback to the good old days. I don’t mind that there are shows out there with adult humor, but can’t we just have a few where we don’t have to have our sensibilities assaulted? Alas, it is harder and harder to find good, clean TV shows these days.

I guess I’ll head back to HGTV where it’s safe.


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