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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 January 2019 at 6:06pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I'd like to see a JB-drawn ORVILLE ADVENTURES comic!

•••

Likenesses!!!!!! No-ohhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 22 January 2019 at 7:11pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I wasn’t greedy. I just asked for a Krill. 

Edited by Brian Miller on 22 January 2019 at 7:11pm
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 23 January 2019 at 9:50pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I bet JB could draw a fine Telaya...
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 24 January 2019 at 7:57am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I need to catch up. I missed this past episode.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 24 January 2019 at 3:22pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The show is actually more consistent than last year because, as noted, the episodes not written by MacFarlane are infinitely better this year so far.

However, as I feared, it would appear that airing the show in January this year when it does NOT follow Thurs Night Football unlike last year may have cost viewers (see below).  It's nice to be able to rely on when the show will start each week but the result is that both the 18-49 demo and the total viewers are down.  Only Fox knows what number will be required for renewal but whereas the show wound up in their top 5 last year, that looks less likely this year.  Keeping fingers crossed... MacFarlane is a heavy hitter for the network and FOX doesn't want to alienate him so hopefully if it's a close call but MacFarlane remains passionate about THE ORVILLE they'll keep it flying . 

Day Date
Episode 18-49 Demo Demo change Viewers (mill) View change
Sun 09/10/2017
01-01 2.73
8.558

Sun 09/17/2017
01-02 2.17 -20.44% 6.631 -22.52%
Thurs 09/21/2017
01-03 1.1 -49.17% 4.053 -38.88%
Thurs 09/28/2017
01-04 1.05 -4.63% 3.698 -8.76%
Thurs 10/05/2017
01-05 0.91 -13.80% 3.431 -7.22%
Thurs 10/12/2017
01-06 0.99 9.38% 3.371 -1.75%
Thurs 10/26/2017
01-07 1.21 22.10% 4.181 24.03%
Thurs 11/02/2017
01-08 1.03 -14.88% 3.826 -8.49%
Thurs 11/09/2017
01-09 1.04 0.97% 3.691 -3.53%
Thurs 11/16/2017
01-10 0.93 -10.67% 3.315 -10.19%
Thurs 11/30/2017
01-11 0.93 0.11% 3.631 9.53%
Thurs 12/07/2017
01-12 0.89 -4.30% 3.538 -2.56%









Sun 12/30/2018
02-01 1.52 -44.32% 5.683 -33.59%
Thurs 01/03/2019
02-02 0.63 -58.55% 2.821 -50.36% Series Low
Thurs 01/10/2019
02-03 0.74 17.46% 3.063 8.58%
Thurs 01/17/2019
02-04 0.73 -1.35% 3.012 -1.67%
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 24 January 2019 at 6:31pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Yep, fingers crossed. There have been worrisome rumors about the show and its ratings, but I have faith that the word will spread.


Several of my friends who generally don't watch sci-fi shows LOVE it, and couldn't care less about CBS All-AccesS and STD (which, you'll note, is desperately trying to leech ORVILLE viewers by releasing new episodes online shortly before ORVILLE airings on Thursday nights).

I think THE ORVILLE has a lot of crossover appeal for young people who skew more toward comedy (and Seth MacFarlane) shows.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 24 January 2019 at 6:38pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

At some point, broadcast networks will have to come to terms with the fact that younger viewers are increasingly not watching TV live and that the Nielsen rating system is outdated. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 January 2019 at 9:04pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

A problem in tonight’s episode that recurs in many crime dramas: an innocent party, proving his/her innocence, commits all kinds of additional crimes. (And I don’t want to hear “self defense”. The whole “plan” made the actions premeditated.)
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 25 January 2019 at 12:10am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Yeah, they sure killed a lot of guards!
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 25 January 2019 at 3:35am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I thought the same thing about all the guard killing. I'm not sure a star appearing would somehow exonerate that! The escape itself didn't make much sense either because where were they going to go?
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Marc M. Woolman
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Posted: 25 January 2019 at 4:35am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I see the problem with the 
story, but I enjoyed the 
episode anyway.

I actually thought that a 
society based on Astrology 
might end up down an even 
more dangerous path with a 
child being born and a star 
suddenly appearing in the sky.


Edited by Marc M. Woolman on 25 January 2019 at 4:37am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 January 2019 at 11:27am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Got to wondering how Kelly and Bortus could have the same birthday. Just counting days? Both born on, say, the 157th day of their different planetary years?

Speaking of Bortus (and thinking about it too much), it occurs to me that it would probably be more accurate to consider Moclans as hermaphroditic, rather than all male.

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 25 January 2019 at 4:03pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I was also taken aback by the shootings and with Earth type weapon. The gunfire sounds just don't fit here. The Regorian guards showed great restraint not shooting Bortus and Kelly when they were captured, and suddenly staying the executions.

Bortus quote of the day; "Will there be an egg?"
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 25 January 2019 at 5:17pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I really enjoyed tonight's episode, but I also want to nitpick it to death.

- I can buy that Rigor 2 is batshit crazy enough to ignore Kelly and Bortus gunning down a bunch of guards in an escape attempt (and I also want to believe that Bortus, at least, was shooting at people's feet A-Team style to make them fall over). However, I struggle with the idea that the two of them did not get in trouble with the Union for their escape attempt, even with Kelly's "We're following First Contact protocols by behaving like criminals" handwave.

- The inefficiency of the Admiralty is a recurring theme in the show, but I still had a hard time swallowing that their stance on officers being arrested on a botched First Contact mission was to throw their hands up in the air.

- They've already established that the Union sends cultural anthropologists to covertly study other worlds. Blindly visiting a world seems dumb.
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 25 January 2019 at 6:04pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Laughed pretty hard at that Bortus egg line, Doug.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 25 January 2019 at 7:37pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I enjoyed this one a lot. Engaging story, compelling ideas. MacFarlane's scripts rarely disappoint, and, nitpicks aside, I was very satisfied by the episode. It almost feels like a TOS plot executed in TNG style.

And "Regorian" (as in "Gregorian calendar") evokes "Elaan of Troyius" with its lack of subtlety. It seems MacFarlane is having some fun with the goofy TREK tropes as well as the clever ones.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 January 2019 at 9:15pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Last weeks “supply run” felt like a reference to how TOS hardly ever went “where no man has gone before.”
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 25 January 2019 at 9:35pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

The show is full of subtle and not-subtle references to TREK tropes and lore. This one also had a reference to “Izar” (as in “Garth of”).

Sometimes the references are subtle winks. Sometimes they’re faithful explorations of the old tropes. Sometimes they subvert the tropes. Sometimes they take the tropes to places where TREK failed to (or feared to) go, as with Bortus’ holodeck/simulator porn addiction.

This episode initially emphasized the joy of exploration and first contact, and then turned into a classic exploration of the Prime Directive, complete with a tag scene where Ed didn’t really have an answer as to whether his actions were correct. It really feels like MacFarlane is trying his darndest to reaffirm the classic STAR TREK spirt of positivity and the joy of exploring the unknown whilst raising questions of ethics and morality, in stark contrast to the recent iterations of the TREK franchise.

And, as I’ve often noted, THE ORVILLE presents issues from different angles, and tells audiences to THINK, not WHAT to think (as with modern TREK). It’s clear that MacFarlane’s trying to do more than just live his nerdy fantasy of playing a TREK Captain on TV. He really is trying to channel the spirits of people like Roddenberry (and Serling) by filling that thought-provoking sci-if void which TREK used to occupy. Bless him! 

At the end of the day, that’s why we’re really watching this show, isn’t it? Because STAR TREK in its current form is no longer doing what it once did best, and we need that void filled. We need that optimism and thoughtful social criticism wrapped in a comforting sci-fi/action package. And we’re willing to embrace not-TREK (which captures the spirit of TREK) rather than in-name-only TREK.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 26 January 2019 at 2:00pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

ITEM: That scene when everyone realized it was a First Contact experience and lit up was like a bright flower opening. THAT's some damned fine acting, folks!

ITEM: I don't have quite such a problem with the Rigorians treatment of those "cursed" people* in general - I consider how we still treat some minorities, lifestyles, religions, etc.

*I don't even remember the name, let alone want to chance spelling it in English! :)

But I saw that concentration camp, and a cold chill ran down my spine. Keeping them in concentration camp conditions seemed horribly cruel. Had they been in a ghetto type area, I think I would have minded much less. I know that happens in the U.S. today, but that's screwy in the U.S. today. Their society was one ready to make contact with ETI... I thought it was very harsh (which, obviously, it was supposed to be.)

And if McFarlane had wanted to go too far... he could have used armbands or tattoos. But it would have been damned effective.

ITEM: "Prefect, where we are from, there are special exception days for births, when a special constellation is visible. Bortus and Kelly were born on such a day. That constellation isn't visible from here." I think that might have saved a little tension. And since they got out of it with a lie ANYHOW...

ITEM: I agree with most other folks. Kirk and Spock would have found some way to escape - maybe several - before "grab some weapons and kill some people who, although WE don't think so, are perfectly innocent and just doing their jobs."

Mr. Kirkman is entirely correct; this series is exhorting viewers to think, not what to think. That situation with the newborn baby is a perfect example, one that would even give Solomon pause. Mother wants to keep her baby with her. Father wants to ensure that the baby grows up to a good life, not one of concentration camp conditions. I'm not smart enough to make that choice; if someone is, they're a better man than I.

The best episodes of Orville are making ME think, and play straight as a line. An occasional funny happened on TOS; I don't mind it on Orville. This is the viewing highlight of my week.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 26 January 2019 at 2:35pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

this series is exhorting viewers to think, not what to think.

———

Well, yes and no. The show’s stance on religion as a backwards thing is pretty clear between this episode and the Krill ones. And Topa’s gender reassignment is treated by the Union officers (including Bortus) as a tragic thing; the debate being more at where to draw the line at imposing one’s beliefs on other cultures.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 January 2019 at 2:43pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

But I saw that concentration camp, and a cold chill ran down my spine. Keeping them in concentration camp conditions seemed horribly cruel. Had they been in a ghetto type area, I think I would have minded much less. I know that happens in the U.S. today, but that's screwy in the U.S. today. Their society was one ready to make contact with ETI... I thought it was very harsh (which, obviously, it was supposed to be.)
++++++++

It’s a classic TREK trope, seen in episodes such as “A Taste of Armageddon”: Everything seems like sunshine and rainbows upon first contact, and then our heroes discover the shocking underbelly of a society (along with the episode’s social theme). I found the camp scenes very emotionally affecting, particularly the stuff involving the baby. Shockingly intense stuff for a so-called “comedy”, and I applaud the filmmakers’ bravery in going that far to make their point. It could have come off as surface-level, but those scenes have real emotional weight.

I’ll reiterate that THE ORVILLE is doing right what STD does wrong: An organically diverse cast (as opposed to the forced diversity which infects franchise after franchise) going out there and exploring the human condition by telling viewers to think, and to show compassion and empathy. No Mary Sues, no flash and dazzle over substance, no demonizing of white men (which is so trendy now, since far-left “social justice” really just comes down to payback for real and/or perceived injustices, rather than actual equality) or political parties. The show tells the audience to be thoughtful, rather than ramming a one-sided ideology down their throats in lieu of telling a compelling story. The characters are all fleshed-out and likable, regardless of race, gender, or background. They feel like a family, and we root for them to overcome the challenges they face.

THE ORVILLE presents the same simple message which the best of STAR TREK once gave us: We’re all in this together, so be kind and understanding.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 26 January 2019 at 8:28pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Well, as of this episode I've officially stopped prejudging episodes based on the writer credit in the beginning. The MacFarlane episodes have been the weakest this season, and the exact opposite of last season - in my opinion, of course. I'm having a heard time reconciling some apparent plot holes in this episode. 

Given the known consequences of being born Gilliac - I would imagine there would be about a month dedicated to sexual abstinence society-wide. They didn't say there *wasn't* one, but this sounds like a fairly simple problem to solve (And yes there's the real-world teen pregnancy allegory - but we don't send teen moms' children to concentration camps). There was a mention of c-sections being performed months early in some cases. But they said that the Gilliac sign lasts a month, so why would more than a month ever be necessary?

How did none of the guards realize that one of their clearly-pregnant prisoners was suddenly no longer pregnant? How likely is it that a prisoner in the camp (or really anyone outside of an astronomer) would just happen to notice a new star appearing in the distant sky?

Anyway, others brought up most of my other nitpicks. My last one is rhat this is not the first time that The Orville solved a problem using deception a bit too cleanly ("Cupid's Dagger" was another I mentioned in a previous post).

Ah well - the season has been strong overall (last week's was probably the best of the entire run so far), so I'll just look forward to a better episode next week!

EDIT: One nice blink-and-you'll-miss-it bit - at the very end of this episode and in the background, Gordon and John are teaching Isaac to do the Robot!


Edited by Vinny Valenti on 26 January 2019 at 9:03pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 January 2019 at 4:50am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

If we buy the premise that a new star appearing would change the perceived effects of the “bad” constellation, we’re still left to wonder how this would be seen as having a retroactive effect. To put it in more mundane terms, when a law changes, and something is no longer illegal, it’s my understanding that those previously incarcerated are not immediately released. They still broke the law.

I suppose it depends on interpretation. I’ll admit to being blissfully ignorant of the finer points of astrology. Is the “effect” considered ongoing, or based entirely on the events surrounding one’s birth?

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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 January 2019 at 4:53am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Correction: rewatching last night, I note Kelly and Bortus do not have the same birthday, just close birthdays. That eliminates any need for calendrical considerations.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 28 January 2019 at 3:54pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

I suppose it depends on interpretation. I’ll admit to being blissfully ignorant of the finer points of astrology. Is the “effect” considered ongoing, or based entirely on the events surrounding one’s birth? 
------------------------------------------------
The culture seemed based on ancient astrology in different Earth cultures, rather than contemporary newspaper astrology.  Meaning that it includes the idea of omens in the stars.  The disappearance of a star from that constellation was taken by their ancestors as an ill omen and therefore a warning about the people born under that sign.  So the miraculous reappearance of that star was taken as a good omen, and therefore as a sort of 'all clear' from whatever forces were thought to animate the stars.

Similarly, ancient cultures had a really advanced 'science' of extipacy.  After an animal was sacrificed to the gods with a request, someone would 'read' its entrails for certain signs that were thought to indicate the gods' response and give omens for the future.
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