If you’re a Seth MacFarlane fan then you might have already taken a look at The Orville and either loved it or hated it depending on how much you like the creator. But one thing seems kind of hard to get around, and that’s the idea that the show will last past season 2. Some people might scoff at this and others might be warming up their fingers for a quick rebuttal, but the belief that this show can last into a third season is something that’s a bit iffy for a few reasons, which I’ll gladly expand upon in just a moment. But first let’s just say it does, there might be a lot of material that Seth could possibly look at and really count as worthy of taking on as his own idea, in some way, but in terms of creating a new and engaging space exploration show he’s so far shown that he’s not exactly Mr. Originality when it comes to this type of program. That alone might be why The Orville is kind of doomed to falter whether it succeeds or not.
Here are a couple of reasons why we might not see a season 3.
It’s an old idea in a new package.
If you don’t choose to see that the idea of the Orville is Star Trek being played out in a new and different way then you’re purposefully deluding yourself and want to see the positives, which is not a bad thing, instead of being realistic. You can bring on the facts about how many shows have copied one another throughout the years and you’d be correct, but that’s what makes a lot of shows unappealing to the public since despite the idea that the memory of the audience is measured in microseconds, the greats tend to stay with the audience for quite some time considering that they became an integral part of pop culture and were widely accepted by so many. The unfortunate fact is that those greats also inspired a legion of copycats that have been trying as hard as they can to create their own pop culture icons and have done little to nothing to make anything else stick. Right now the Orville seems to be gaining some ground as there is already talk of a third season being approved. But if it is or isn’t the stark truth seems to be that people are starting to get tired of the continual comparisons that can be made to Star Trek, especially given that the show is just one similarity after another that many fans can notice without any trouble.
Seth MacFarlane isn’t all that great at live-acting.
Now this is a matter of opinion of course, but Seth is not a live-action man no matter how badly people want to say that he is while straining their voices because they’re trying to convince themselves of the fact as well. He’s great when he’s doing voices on Family Guy, and on a bloopers reel he’s not that bad, but actually acting in a live show he’s not really that great. His acting will no doubt improve with time if he’s allowed to stick around, but otherwise he falls back on too many jokes, one-liners, and the goofy mannerisms that have made him so great when it comes to Family Guy. Given time he might be a good actor, but if this is his staging ground where he intends to practice then it might not last too much longer.
The content just doesn’t fit the time allotted.
You might wonder what I mean by that, and I’ll gladly tell you. In a half-hour long show such as Family Guy the quick jokes and one-liners are easily absorbed since there’s only a finite amount of time to hear them and process each one. But in an hour-long show such as the Orville those quick jokes become fleeting things that kind of hang in the air for a moment before finally coming back down to the ground and leaving a great deal of empty space for the show to try and fill. In other words Seth and the rest of the cast have to find a way to fill in the gaps that makes the most sense and keeps the story going in a way that will allow it to entertain the audience and somehow still maintain some continuity so it’s not just a bunch of jokes that are lined up end to end being told over the course of sixty minutes with some action thrown in for variety. Right now the show feels like a toddler that’s trying on their parents’ clothing and finding that they don’t have enough mass to fill up a t-shirt.
If the show gets approved for a third season it might only increase the height of the flames it will eventually go down in. But it will be interesting if it does get approved.
UPDATE: Season 3 has been confirmed.