m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

Orville and STD

We managed to watch a couple of episodes each of The Orville and Star Trek: Discovery (STD, or maybe DIS if it survives). People seem to be reviewing them together; I will try to be as brief, if not as entertaining on the topic as Jasyn Jones in The Scrappy Doo and Peter Brady of Star Trek:

Two Star Trek shows debuted this month. The Orville is middling alright. Star Trek: Discovery is a stinking toxic fire in a rubber tire disposal facility spewing thick black plumes of noxious smoke that puts 15 people in the hospital and 4 in their graves. And that may be too generous to this festering, suppurating, gangrenous open wound of a TV show. It sucks, is what I’m saying. It’s so bad, it makes Star Trek V look good. It’s awful. Just wretched. A failure on every possible level a show like this could possibly be a failure. It’s the Jar Jar Binks of Star Trek shows. It’s the Scrappy Doo of Star Trek shows. It’s as appealing as a sudden outbreak of explosive diarrhea at a synchronized swimming competition.

It just isn’t very good.

While everything in that review is reasonably accurate, I had a lower-level issue with STD. CBS No Access showed us the second episode first, so we spent most of the hour of special effects wondering what Michael Sue did wrong. (By the way, nobody but the annoying producer knows that Michael is, rarely, a girl’s name, so I was also wondering why the Vulcans raised a little boy as a girl or vice versa instead of giving her the frak back to the humans already. Seriously, it’s both kidnapping and child abuse to raise a human child of whatever sex as Vulcan.) And who drugged the Klingons so they…(wait…for…it)…speak…like…Kirk…now?

I didn’t find that the first episode explained much. Michael Sue can’t seriously have thought that one potshot at a Klingon ship would help matters in the long run. The captain and the admiral refusing to do it is basically a guarantee that no one will follow through on the Vulcan Deterrence Plan regardless of what Michael Sue does in episode 1. It’s not for a single XO to decide Federation policy on the Klingons, or anything else. The plot and character are incoherent.

I would not have paid for the first episode after having seen the second, but when we tried to cancel our as-yet-free subscription, CBS No Access offered us another whole month of suffering for free. Lucky us.

The Orville, on the other hand, is a bit more than middling alright. Beloved of the fans from the very first episode, it has all the warmth of Galaxy Quest (the best Star Trek movie after The Wrath of Khan) without the meta or the silliness. The critics seem concerned that Trek has all been done before and yet another generic Trek series can’t survive, but personally, I think lighthearted Trek was only done once, by the original series, and everyone else did Taking Ourselves More Seriously Every Time Trek. So I foresee at least four seasons of lighthearted Trek in this one.