The Orville Gets Renewed For Season 3
Pretty awesome news. If you haven’t gathered, I am a pretty solid fan of science fiction and I particularly enjoy the Star Trek universe (for the most part). I have certainly been enjoying Star Trek Discovery, although it has been a bit more perhaps deep and emotional that many Trekkies would like. Thankfully, Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville has been there as a sugary sweet balance to the sour tones of Discovery.
The good news came this week, The Orville is renewed for season 3. For many fans, it’s been surprising that it took Fox this long to renew the series. MacFarlane is a known commodity and his shows generally do well, but Fox for whatever reason was playing coy – so much so that rumors began to surface of Seth MacFarlane shopping Orville around for a new home. Thankfully Fox came to it’s senses, and not a moment too soon.
The Orville is, without a doubt, the most direct and honest homage to the Star Trek Next Generation era. Show Runner Brannon Braga is from TNG, and some of the actors and actresses from TNG and Voyager have appeared in the Orville. Even William Ryker (Jonathan Frakes) has directed an episode for the Orville. It has captured almost perfectly the level of technology, the appearance, the style, and the era that was TNG – with a comedic twist.
Interestingly though, Seth MacFarlane has been smart enough to realize that you cannot do a 1 hour comedy show. “With an hourlong show, in order to sustain it, you have to have real stakes,” MacFarlane said. “That was my fear at the beginning. If people aren’t with us on that side of it, we’re probably not going to last very long. But they were, so we really leaned into that.” This has shown up more as the second season progressed, and the final two episodes of the season being in many ways the darkest and more meaningful of the two year run. The comedy is still there, but it is a little more muted and a little more natural, not over the top and obvious. Dealing with difficult subjects like time travel, changing of time lines, changing the past and what it affects in the future, it’s all heady stuff for a show that started out with the female lead getting a face full of goo from a horny blue alien. The Orville’s cast has some together as a unique unit with plenty of personal interactions without the show getting bogged down in personalities.
Now with season 3 signed up, the question will be direction. I honestly love the balance The Orville has reached, where they deal with the serious subject to war, common threats bringing enemies together, and Bortus’s annual pee. That mix of the serious and the somewhat absurd has created a program that is unique, sugary sweet at times, but with plenty of meat on the bones to enjoy!