The Orville

I know I'm behind the times here. I missed the start of The Orville, but heard good things about it and have been streaming the season to catch up to where my DVR starts. I'm about six episodes in.

How are the The Orville people not getting sued by the Star Trek people? I can't tell where on the line between clone and homage it is.

I find it refreshing that we don't always get the pat human-centric happily-ever-after ending. Starfleet The Union doesn't get to impose its morals and values on the rest of the universe all the time ("About a Girl") -- but sometimes they intervene in other societies and it turns out to be the right thing to do ("If the Stars Should Appear").

There's quite a bit of humor, some of it "adult", and some of which works. I'd prefer to see fewer current cultural references in a show set 400 years in the future. So far the humor is mostly staying at the right level for what's trying to be an SF adventure show, but it's a risk. Please let's avoid too much slapstick and frat-house "humor".

The jury is still out on some of the tropes. The not-a-Klingon second officer from a planet whose main industry is weapons and whose people value machismo? Check. Android science officer who's smarter than everyone else put together but is challenged to learn human culture? Check. Captain who's all too susceptible to a pretty face? Check. (But he couldn't make his marriage work. But we might see another shot at that yet.)

With some other things, it's too early to tell. The female security officer who's barely more than a hundred pounds dripping wet, but super-strong, seems a little too cardboard so far; I want to see less "but she's a girl" and more competence. And the male couple worked better for me before I learned that they're basically an all-male race, so they aren't actually showing a gay couple being perfectly normal after all.

The same person created the show, writes a lot of the episodes, and stars in it, and that could throw an ensemble show out of whack. The captain is not the most interesting character on that ship, and I want to see some of the others get some development. So far at least one is being played entirely for laughs (Yafet), and the show would be stronger if they didn't do that.

But I'm still wondering what's going on with whoever owns Star Trek these days.