Skip to main content

TV REVIEW: Jonathan Frakes Directs as Charlize Theron Visits ‘The Orville’

The Orville crew comes to the aid of a stranded mining vessel stuck in the orbit of a star. They save the captain of the ship, Pria (guest star Charlize Theron), and soon Ed Mercer (Seth McFarlane) is making "googly-eyes" at her to the chagrin of a very suspicious first officer Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki).


 It's only right that a show that borrows so much from Star Trek would have Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes direct this episode. He does a stellar job as the episode named "Pria" takes the audience to new areas of the ship, an impressive FX-heavy dark matter field, and an amusing subplot involving Helmsman Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes) teaching Issac (Mark Jackson) the how practical jokes work. The mysterious stranger turned love interest with ulterior motives proving a suspicious (and possibly jealous) ex correct makes this story predictable but it's still massively fun with Oscar-winner Theron shaking things up on board.

Theron’s Pria is a convincing "victim" who endears herself to Ed and most of the crew except for Kelly. Her unease with how much Pria has influenced the crew leads her to enlist Security Chief Alara to inspect Pria’s room. Kelly trying to convince Alara to bend the rules to enter her room is really a funny scene that shows Adrianne Palicki's comedic chops. Palicki is the glue that keeps 'The Orville' together. Seth McFarlane has great affection for Star Trek obviously, he created this show, produces it and writes for it but as a leading man, he's not on Palicki's acting level. He's getting better but his comedic timing is still a work in progress.

Alara and Kelly find some possibly incriminating evidence only to have Ed dismiss it and scold Kelly for invading Pria's privacy. Of course, the truth reveals itself putting everyone in danger in a twist that breaks the familiarity of the story. The subplot involving Malloy and Isaac concerning the nature of pranks also takes a turn, a darkly comedic twist. The show tries to balance the earnestness of its dramatic narrative with moments of funny asides and subversive jokes. They don't always land but they've started to feel more natural than during the pilot.

The high production values and winning music by John Debney elevate the show but more thoughtful scripts like the last episode,"If the Stars Should Appear" is what it needs more of. While having Theron guest star is a treat, 'The Orville' shouldn't become gimmick TV and McFarlane should trust his skills to deliver a funny and impactful story. Theron's performance begins to wane near the end when she's not allowed to turn up the villainy. Her range is limitless but it felt like she was reined in a little too much.

'The Orville' is still finding its way. There's an ebb and flow from one episode to another that creates a sometimes awkward rhythm in tone and execution. There's no doubting McFarlane's passion for sci-fi and comedy as he tries to juggle them both here. The show is going through first season growing pains but the highs make up for the lows.

Review: “Pria”
The Orville Season 1, Episode 5  (Thursday, Oct. 5)
Written by Seth MacFarlane
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

Score: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)




Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PREVIEW: 'Tet' #4 by Paul Allor and Paul Tucker

We've seen Eugene's story. But during his last day's in Vietnam, he finally learns how Ha survived the war. She's always been much stronger than him; and much stronger than he's given her credit for. With all their secrets gone, Ha and Eugene must decide how to move forward.

REVIEW: 'Cyber Force' #3 by Bryan Hill, Matt Hawkins, and Atilio Rojo

The story of Aphrodite is the focus of 'Cyber Force' #3. This compelling chapter continues to build the new world of Top Cow's reimagined original title. Corporate greed leads to murder and coercion until one doctor's obsession results in a powerful revelation.


CYBER FORCE #3 
Writer: Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill Artist: Atilio Rojo Letterer: Troy Peteri Editor: Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: May 30, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Marc Silvestri released 'Cyber Force' twenty-six years ago and this second reboot of the former flagship series rests in the hands of writers Bryan Hill and Matt Hawkins. It was only a matter of time before we'd get the whereabouts of the sentient android Aphrodite. Hill and Hawkins dedicate this issue to her story, and it's probably the best in the series so far. We get very little Carin and Morgan in order to give what is essentially an unnerving scientific horror story. 
Cyber Data is the or…

REVIEW: 'Slots' #1 by Dan Panosian

Created, written, and drawn by Dan Panosian, 'Slots' #1 is his baby and he has a story to tell at his own damn pace. This beautifully illustrated story is centered squarely on former boxer Stanley Dance and his attempt to find redemption despite being someone without many redeeming qualities.


SLOTS #1 
Writer: Dan Panosian Artist: Dan Panosian Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: October 4, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
'Slots' is more of a character study than a rip-roaring crime caper but Panosian's protagonist is a charming cad, full of confidence, capable of swindling you out of a restaurant bill with a devilish grin on his face. He's headed back to Vegas to fulfill a favor he owes. He returns to his old haunts where everyone knows him and knows he must be playing some kind of angle. 'Slots' succeeds because Stanley is so magnetic even when he's a jerk he's interesting. So following him around town meeting up with old friends is…

REVIEW: 'Cyber Force' #2 by Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill, and Atilio Rojo

As Carin becomes accustomed to her new abilities, Stryker is determined to keep her out of the line of fire. He knows these "gifts" come at a price. Meanwhile, The Accuser recruits a dangerous ally.


CYBER FORCE #2  
Writer: Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill Artist: Atilio Rojo Letterer: Troy Peteri Edited by Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: April 25, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill set the foundation in issue one with the explosive and destructive arrival of The Accuser. In her wake was the shattered body of Stryker, who along with his paraplegic daughter, get an extraordinary chance to become not only whole again but enhanced. Carin has taken to her powerful working legs with enthusiasm and joy. Stryker not so much because he knows they're being used by C.O.I.It's an uneasy arrangement but origin stories are rarely simple and carefree. Whether one's powers are considered a gift or a curse, there is a price to pay i…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …