TV Review: Seth MacFarlane’s ‘The Orville’ on Fox

TV Review: Seth MacFarlane’s ‘The Orville’ on Fox

When the dust settles, “The Orville” may emerge as the most inexplicable show of the new season. It certainly never makes a convincing case for its existence. The first impression — that it exists so that creator and star Seth MacFarlane can do elaborate “Star Trek” cosplay — is only reinforced over the course of the tepid trio of episodes that kick off the show.

MacFarlane has said he created “The Orville,” which also serves as the name of the ship its characters use to travel the galaxy, in order to put aspirational sci-fi back on television. He’s not wrong about the fact that too many shows lack both the humanistic optimism that defines “Star Trek” and the structural rigor the franchise’s TV writers displayed at their best.

But the way to pay homage to all things “Trek” (and “Twilight Zone”) is not with derivative storylines that awkwardly mix the frat-bro humor found on MacFarlane’s animated

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