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If the 1st season is weak tends to be a strong scifi show in the long run. People forget how bad 'encounter at farpoint' was. I'll wait till episode 5 to make any judgement. I can watch the Expanse if I want pure serious edgy scifi in space.
It's not bad. The first episode is a middling affair, but entertaining. I love colorful space romps. It's one of my favorite kinds of TV. I know that the big comparison that keeps getting thrown around is Star Trek, but I'm catching a lot of flavors of 80s shows, like Buck Rodgers and OG BSG. This is a good thing. I hope they keep it on that side of the serious-to-ridiculous spectrum, and if they do, I'll keep tuning in.
So far it's watchable. They need to figure out what balance they want to strike between humor and drama. It's balancing in an uncomfortable middle ground right now.
Alara's makeup and prosthetics are not great. They should fix that. Bortus and his husband (I've forgotten his name) look good though. The random aliens of the week so far have been a mixed bag, but I don't care if the makeup is bad on some species we only see once. Someone on screen as much as Alara needs better forehead/ear treatments.
There were some very cringe-worthy moments in the 3rd episode. The script felt like something from ten or fifteen years ago; the treatment of gender and sex (which are confused several times throughout the episode) was clearly written by someone with a firm grasp on the issues involved. I think Seth MacFarlane had good intentions with this one, but the execution was rather ham-handed.
The music is awful. If you really want to rip off ST:TNG's music, at least get someone good to do it.
The CG and practical effects (yes, they actually use models for some of the shots of The Orville!) are reasonably good for the most part. Sometimes they're very good. In other places, not so much. But on average it's good.
The sets are sometimes weird. The corridors have improbably high ceilings and seem to take up a lot of space on a ship that isn't that big. It's probably to make filming easier; there's more room to move the camera around. But it makes it feel more like the hallways of an office building than the corridor of a ship. Oh, and do we really have to watch people go up and down that dumb spiral staircase every episode?