Is 'The Orville' better 'Trek' than 'Star Trek: Discovery'?
via CBS

Is 'The Orville' better 'Trek' than 'Star Trek: Discovery'?

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Seth Macfarlane's science fiction pastiche "The Orville" debuted on Fox in September 2017 alongside "Star Trek: Discovery" on CBS All Access. Both shows have been renewed. "Discovery" is official Trek but takes the show where it's never boldly gone before, looking and feeling very different from other shows in the franchise. But "The Orville" comes across like "Star Trek: The Next Generation's" goofy sibling. Is "The Orville" more "Trek" than actual "Trek"?

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Trekkies tuned into "The Orville" not knowing what to expect. But "Family Guy" in space it is not. Sure there are jokes—it's a comedy after all—but at its heart it is less a parody of "Trek" than it is a silly love letter to TNG, DS9 and Voyager. Macfarlane recruited numerous "Star Trek" alums, including Jonathan Frakes and Brannon Braga as directors. While Trek fans watching the strangely humorless "Discovery" were shaking their heads wondering why the new Klingons look like reptiles, "The Orville" nailed difficult topics and retained a sense of wonder often lacking in "Discovery."

"Discovery" definitely takes "Star Trek" in new directions. Taking a cue in part from the success of "Battlestar Galactica," it's less of the idealistic prime directive do-gooder stuff and more gritty military science fiction. It's badass to look at; the special effects are a huge leap forward. "Discovery" also significantly surpasses its predecessors in representation of openly LGBT characters and women of color in positions of authority. Yes, it's different, but it's still "Star Trek," and it's amazing. 

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