Seth MacFarlane favors sci-fi optimism in TV's 'The Orville'

The Orville: Seth MacFarlane Is Sick of Depressing Sci-Fi

The Orville: Seth MacFarlane Is Sick of Depressing Sci-Fi

But The Orville is actually a far cry from Family Guy, much closer to being Star Trek itself than any sort of parody. With the rise of dystopian science fiction over the years, MacFarlane wanted to create something that was more of a return in the style and tone to the sci-fi shows he loved from the '90s and earlier, something he thinks is missing from the current television landscape.

"What's happened is it's left open a space that has been relatively unoccupied for a while in the genre".

"Because we're an hourlong show, the story has to come first", MacFarlane said at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

One critic said the show does not feel like "today's science fiction", wondering why he made a show that looks and feels like the 90's. The characters' personalities grow and evolve, but The Orville is more concerned with the weekly adventures of its titular spaceship than any other galaxy-ending crisis.

Which New Show Will Be a Hit Based Just on the Trailer Plays? "That's really what Seth is excited about", said FOX President of Entertainment David Madden to IGN. "It's not something that's really been done recently on TV".

That's not to say it isn't amusing, but being amusing isn't the focus.

But it's not Family Guy Goes to Alpha Centauri. "[The Orville] can't just be gag, gag, gag. There has to be some reality to where the comedy comes from", said MacFarlane. It can't just be gags and jokes, he says, and he sees it as a sci-fi comedic drama rather than a spoof in space, even if there are jokes about using the spaceship's food synthesizer to make instant pot brownies. "We allow ourselves room for levity in the ways that a traditional hourlong show doesn't". "We're trying to break new ground here".

Echoing a question posed to Fox chief Dana Walden earlier in the day, MacFarlane and executive producer Brannon Braga were pushed on the show's obvious similarities to Star Trek. "We tried to be amusing on that show, occasionally", said Braga.

"There are many different places that I draw from when I think of this, there's Twilight Zone and Star Trek, a lot of these different franchises that I hold in high regard", MacFarlane said. "I'm exhausted of being told everything is going to be grim and dystopian..." "And I kind of miss the forward-thinking, aspirational, optimistic place in science fiction that Star Trek chose to occupy". "Now things are very grim". Seth's intention is to do something that clearly pays homage to Star Trek, that clearly was inspired a lot by Star Trek. "I think there's room for two shows on a spaceship", added Braga, who has a lengthy tenure on the Star Trek TV franchise as a producer on The Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise.

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