'The Orville' Has Been Renewed for a Second Season at Fox

Thursday, 02 November 2017 - 8:43PM
Thursday, 02 November 2017 - 8:43PM
'The Orville' Has Been Renewed for a Second Season at Fox
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Against all odds, and despite an initial critical panning, Seth McFarlane's Star Trek spoof, The Orville, has been renewed for a second season on Fox.

Fox is known for being very selective about which shows get approved for a second batch of episodes, so the fact that McFarlane's newest creation is going to return next year suggests that the network expects big things of The Orville. If it can make it through season two without losing steam, this might just end up being a new staple on television for quite awhile.

For now, t's looking like this new sci-fi comedy is proving a hit with audiences, if not with everybody. According to Fox President Michael Thorn, via Deadline:

Opening quote
"Once again Seth has struck a powerful chord with viewers. He has delivered a series full of optimism, drama and his trademark humor. We want to thank him and the rest of the talented cast, as well as the producers and crew, for an incredible first season. We can't wait to see where The Orville travels in the second."
Closing quote

What's really interesting about The Orville is the fact that audiences and critics disagree so vehemently about the program's quality. Going into this year's new season of television shows, The Orville quickly became a subject of excitement within the entertainment world, with fans of Galaxy Quest hoping that they'd finally receive a deeper, episodic procedural deconstruction of the Star Trek narrative formula.

Sure, it was a Seth McFarlane show, and that made some people anxious, but this seemed like something different - a positive and upbeat Star Trek parody when everything else sci-fi related on television (including Star Trek: Discovery itself) seemed mired in grumpy, gritty misery.

Overall, when The Orville debuted, critics weren't overly fond of what had been presented. To many, this did end up feeling like standard McFarlane fare, and most critics dismissed the show outright. The show trod familiar ground, and many early commenters wished that there was something a little more unique to this Star Trek love letter. 

But there's something evocative and powerfully resonant about The Orville's tone and message. A strong fanbase has grown around the show in a short period of time, as viewers embrace a look at the future that's not quite as dark and depressing as Star Trek: Discovery's constant warmongering.

Perhaps fans of The Orville see something in the show that more jaded sci-fi fans are missing. Maybe the message of quiet optimism, recycled from Roddenberry-era Trek, is something that resonates with people who are tired of the doom and gloom of modern global politics. It's entirely possible that, with another season on the way, The Orville will manage to win the hearts of critics, with more ambitious stories and scenarios.

This isn't entirely necessary, though. Enough people are already excited about the message of hope that the show brings, that they're willing to fully embrace the way The Orville sticks to genre conventions for the sake of finding silly gags in familiar settings. It turns out that the show's core message of faith in the future of the human race, as in the older Star Trek shows, is connecting with people after all.

Here's hoping this will keep up through season two as well.
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