Logline: A comedic drama set 300 years in the future.
Creators: Elizabeth Heldens (EP), Seth MacFarlane (W / EP), Jon Favreau (D)
Studios: 20th Century Fox TV, Fuzzy Door Productions
While the concept intrigued me (it isn’t a sin to hope), the pilot is an utter disappointment. The character work is so thin that it’s difficult to tell the two male leads apart, each taking turns at being Seth MacFarlane. The dialogue, critical for comedy, is banal. Reading the script feels like wading through a marsh of exposition. Is this mean to be a spoof? Earnest? It’s anyone’s guess.
If anything’s clear from this straight-to-series order, it’s this — in the deal Fox has with MacFarlane, the comedian holds all the power. Orville sputters slowly but surely towards the orbit that holds The Spoils of Babylon, Space Station 76, and Space Truckers. This could’ve been a (decent) SNL sketch with a rewrite. A show? Nope.
I’m sure even ardent MacFarlane’s fans will eventually tire of lowering their expectations.