The Orville Season Two - Thoughts?

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I guess I'm about to give up on this show.

Far too much preachy stuff with the crew on the obviously good side, with little complication or nuance. I guess unavoidable given your political climate in the US, but still. (In a show like Madam Secretary that so obviously is counter-programming to real politics I get it, but here...?)
I don't agree with that. If there were no complication or nuance, the Moclans would have conceded that the women should be able to live on their planet in peace, and Bortus's child would have been allowed to remain female.

The show is presenting these themes, but proceeding in very realistic ways. The Union professes beliefs in freedom and choice, but was pretty quick to throw those beliefs aside when their survival was at risk of Moclan left the Union. Bortus's daughter was given a strong fight, but the society that was very strong in their beliefs that no Moclan should remain female decided to give her a sex change anyway. If the political climate in the US(and elsewhere) mattered that much, those things would not have happened.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
We have had flaws pop up pretty prominently in this series, though.

Both Moclan regulars have had their foibles on parade more than once. We’ve had another character get really obsessive about a relationship with a simulated woman centuries dead.

We had the Isaac reveal.

Now, most of the flaws depicted were personal rather than professional, but the premise that the crew were a “B-team” from jump is a bit strained. The pilot has always been described as one of the best in the fleet...but he is a bit of a cocky showboater. The Captain is making a “comeback” because he fell apart in the past- his crisis is of no bearing on his actual level of competence.

Etc.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I don't agree with that. If there were no complication or nuance, the Moclans would have conceded that the women should be able to live on their planet in peace, and Bortus's child would have been allowed to remain female.

The show is presenting these themes, but proceeding in very realistic ways. The Union professes beliefs in freedom and choice, but was pretty quick to throw those beliefs aside when their survival was at risk of Moclan left the Union. Bortus's daughter was given a strong fight, but the society that was very strong in their beliefs that no Moclan should remain female decided to give her a sex change anyway. If the political climate in the US(and elsewhere) mattered that much, those things would not have happened.
Sure. But my argument wasn't really that the show lacks any moral complexity.

It is that the crew's own flaws have evaporated. Now Mercer is saving the Union in every other episode. It's as if the Union would self-implode if the Orville wasn't there each week to fix things.

YAWN
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It is that the crew's own flaws have evaporated. Now Mercer is saving the Union in every other episode. It's as if the Union would self-implode if the Orville wasn't there each week to fix things.
My God! You're right!! It's almost as if the Orville was the center of a show.

They are going to be the center of whatever is happening, because that's how a show works. Do I wish he had those flaws he had in season 1? Sure. I liked those. Would that make much of a difference in the stories going on? Nope. He'd still be saving the Union every other episode, but with flaws.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I’m struggling to remember- what flaws did he have season 1 that have actually disappeared?
Mercer's self-doubt is gone, and they were a bit more bumbling in how they succeeded. They seem more competent this season than they were last season. The friction between Mercer and Grayson is gone, but they explained the cheating as not her fault, so that makes sense.

Edit:LaMarr's mouth and Malloy's cockiness are also not getting them into as much trouble this season.
 
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Ryujin

Adventurer
My God! You're right!! It's almost as if the Orville was the center of a show.

They are going to be the center of whatever is happening, because that's how a show works. Do I wish he had those flaws he had in season 1? Sure. I liked those. Would that make much of a difference in the stories going on? Nope. He'd still be saving the Union every other episode, but with flaws.
And, perhaps, accidentally.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
But you’d expect a former command officer on his second go round to not only have a bit of confidence to be able to do his job before, but also have it returning because he’s been on a bit of a roll.

At this point, his self-doubt was mostly personal, it seemed to me.
 
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Ryujin

Adventurer
But you’d expect a former command officer on his second go round to not only have a bit of confidence to be able to do his job before, but also have it returning because he’s been on a bit of a roll.

At this point, his self-doubt was mostly personal, it seemed to me.
As I recall the beginning of season 1 there was a surfeit of ships and a dearth of qualified command officers. On his ex-wife's recommendation Mercer, who was still lacking in confidence, was given command of Orville. In season 2 he is more confident.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Right, but he had to have confidence & competence to reach command rank in the first place- IOW, the backstory to the current story chronology. He then suffered his crisis, costing him his command and confidence.

Season 1, he was still shaky. Season 2, though, he’s been on a roll, so the pre-crisis Captain Mercer has begun to resurface.

But having spectacularly gone to pieces once means he could still do so again. He has been prickly about the Krill “Mata Hari”, of course. Perhaps that wound will fester.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Point is: I didn't see their bumbling as some temporary obstacle the writers always intended for them to overcome.

It felt as if the show was *conceived* that way, as a source of irreverent humor.

S1 Mercer wasn't a prototypical hero in his formative stage. He was a fully developed character full of immature insecurities, which was the draw of the show. I.e. "what if there was a ship NOT crewed by superhuman paragons like the Enterprise!"

Nothing suggested these were expected to go away any time soon, and certainly not vanish almost overnight from one season to the next.

So please, this is not about "growth". This is a desperate retooling of a show confusing the audience for some critics.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Mercer still exhibits a whole bunch more “fallibility” across the board than most of the ST captains across the franchise history. The man just did a “flyby” to check on his ex!

And the “bumbling”? What bumbling? Again, the pilot has been consistently described as one of the best in the fleet. Others had similar accolades to their credit or unique attributes, including one of the few Xelayans serving on a Union ship and the only Kaylon.

They weren’t “bunglers”, just written with their foibles on more prominent display. The verbal jousts, in-jokes and asides we see between several of the characters typically existed only within a single tight pair or trio of friends in a given Trek series- Kirk/Bones/Spock, Bashir/O’Brien, etc.- if at all.

Besides, we’ve gotten to focus on the supporting cast a lot this season: multiple Moclan storylines, a necropsy-holoromance, goo-guy done good, family-centric stories for 2 different families, a spy revealed and (seemingly) redeemed, and a cast change.
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
Mercer still exhibits a whole bunch more “fallibility” across the board than most of the ST captains across the franchise history. The man just did a “flyby” to check on his ex!

And the “bumbling”? What bumbling? Again, the pilot has been consistently described as one of the best in the fleet. Others had similar accolades to their credit or unique attributes, including one of the few Xelayans serving on a Union ship and the only Kaylon.

They weren’t “bunglers”, just written with their foibles on more prominent display. The verbal jousts, in-jokes and asides we see between several of the characters typically existed only within a single tight pair or trio of friends in a given Trek series- Kirk/Bones/Spock, Bashir/O’Brien, etc.- if at all.

Besides, we’ve gotten to focus on the supporting cast a lot this season: multiple Moclan storylines, a necropsy-holoromance, goo-guy done good, family-centric stories for 2 different families, a spy revealed and (seemingly) redeemed, and a cast change.
The cast change is really the only thing that occasionally jars me. The original actress brought a life to her character that her replacement lacks, IMHO. It feels like there's a hole in the cast.
 

Jester David

Adventurer
I'm still loving this show.
It's nice to have a show unafraid to do a big two-part event story that adds a dangerous new foes and shakes the accepted status quo. And also smaller shows focusing on the personal lives of the crew. Because when everything's a crisis, when the stakes are always turned up to 10, you suddenly need to go to 11 for people to care.

The past week's episode was great, in part because it really builds off the lore and continuity established by the show. You have the traditional Moclans and a dramatic issue with them that feels like a logical extension of what we've seen before. But extra tension is added by invoking the Kaylon threat and bringing up the Krill. It has three plotlines intersecting. There's a lot of payoffs and the drama comes from the mythology built-up over the last two seasons.
You believe that the Moclans would leave the Union, because we've repeatedly seen they hold tradition that highly. You also believe the Union feels the pressure and isn't comprising because it's an easy choice.

It’s great that the show can so effortless straddle the line between enjoyable comedy and high drama.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
The cast change is really the only thing that occasionally jars me. The original actress brought a life to her character that her replacement lacks, IMHO. It feels like there's a hole in the cast.
Not to mention she's boringly competent with no real weakness. (Attraction to Moclans doesn't count)

To be fair, there might be an ep centered on her that attempts to rectify this.
 

Orius

Adventurer
Tonight's episode wasn't too bad. I'm not one for character episodes like this myself, but I didn't feel it a wasted episode. Didn't see the ending coming though. And the club scene wasn't too bad, particularly the comic relief with Yaphit and the Moclans.

I'm satisfied with the show myself. I like the TNG homage, particularly one towards the stronger later seasons, but one that feels fresh, still has something to say, and hasn't run out of ideas. The characters? I think Seth's pulling off the captain role pretty well, he's really picked himself up from his divorce, and while he still has some insecurities, he gets the job done when he needs to. Gordon hasn't done anything really goofy this season, though the two episodes focused on him were serious this season. LaMarr hasn't had any goofy moments, but then he played stupid to stay popular, and he doesn't need to do that now. Talla's kind of flat yeah, but she's older and more confident than Alara was. Interesting, the most flaws we've seen this season was from Bortus of all people.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
...and Klyden.

Lots going on in that episode. Shades of Steely Dan’s “Hey Nineteen” & Donald Fagen’s “Slinky Thing”, Ryker’s teleportation accident, complex dating navigation, and a humerous inversion of Klingon opera.
 

Orius

Adventurer
Yeah, but Klyden's not a crew member, so we don't expect to see him live up to the Trek standard. He also serves as a window into Moclan culture, especially when Bortus is willing to question it.

I had kind of a Riker vibe going on too since there were similarities at first, but then they went in a very different direction with it.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
So was it a different timeline or the same one? Will next episode be about what happens if Ed and Kelly never get together?
 

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