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Review: The Orville - "Pilot"

Author Name: Sam Helm  

Published On Sep 12th, 2017

Seth McFarlane's The Orville could only be described as charming. For a pilot, it's not astounding, but it's not near as bad as it's current Rotten Tomatoes Score (17%). It's also no secret that critics despise McFarlane. After he lampooned the Hollywood culture while hosting the Oscars, critics have gone overboard to make their feelings about him known. Constantly maligned for his supposed "low-brow" humor in Family Guy, we hit the number one problem with modern critics.

Critics don't understand comedy.

Nobody does.

Comedy is the most subjective form of entertainment. A piece of music that doesn't jive with you can still be appreciated for the elegance of the arrangement, or the boldness of the instrument use. You can hate a piece of artwork but understand, albeit annoyedly, the difficulty in creating the bluest blue or the whitest white. Comedy either makes you laugh, or it does not.

And The Orville is another perfect example of where the audiences love McFarlane and the critics hate him. On Rotten Tomatoes, The Orville scores a dismal 17%. That's Iron Fist level bad. Meanwhile 91% of the audience says they enjoyed The Orville (and to be fair, a lot of people were okay with Marvel's Iron Fist as well – it got a 77% approval rating from the crowd).

And The Orville is the brightest show on TV in a while - it's... cheerful. With the exception of Hallmark movies, I can't remember the last time I saw a show on TV that didn't have tones of muted grey. And that gives me hope for the shows future.

Did it have the yucks that a standard episode of Family Guy? No. Did it have the raw comedic genius of Ted? No. But it had heart, and it had hope, and it was the first episode. Let's see where The Orville is ready to bold go.