For episode 1 critique – click here
Due to unpopular demand, I’m going ahead with episode 2 joke critiques and other observations for The Orville.
Time to explain the Laughometer
Make sense? O on the left, full guffaw on the right. Chortles and full laughs in between.
Here’s a promo scene to start us off:
Let’s take a closer look at episode 2, “Command Performance”
20th/21st century reference #1… at the 7 second mark!
Bortas, the straight man, tries to understand Mercer’s relationship with Kermit the frog. This works! 3 full chortles. One point though – Mercer says Kermit “always keeps his cool in a crisis…” – I’m not sure if that’s part of a joke but it took a moment for me to realize that’s not even remotely true:
And the audience breathes a sigh of relief. Mercer makes a couple of bad egg jokes. The real puzzler is, how could he not know the basic details of his second officer’s species?
Bortas leaves and now Mercer wants to eat eggs. This joke works. 3 Chortles. Doing better than episode one so far!
Really? I mean I get that the Orville is crewed by “everymen” but come on. 0 chortles, 2 head shakes.
This is not a joke note, but to me the ship looks perfectly fine when Commander Grayson comments otherwise. A little plasma venting into space would have fixed that scene.
A viewer question: why is it “weird” that the other ship scans the Orville? In space etiquette is that a rude thing to do? Or wouldn’t it just be standard procedure whenever two spaceships meet? If it wasn’t by now, it should be after the end of this episode.
20th Century reference tally: 2. Also, barely amusing. 1 chortle.
Two butt jokes in 3 minutes! 1 chortle. I will note at this point though that I am so glad this show has video transmission and not holograms.
Because Grayson is going to visit with her ex-parents-in-law, she decides to replicate a cannabis edible for herself. One half a chortle, I guess? Maybe there’s a payoff down the line with this?
Okay, remember in the last episode when I said I’m waiting for Isaac to show his superior intelligence? Here’s a scene that leaves me still waiting. The captain told him to scan the ship. Did he do it? Was there any unusual result? He never gave the captain a report of any kind. Seems important, especially since the other vehicle scanning them was declared “weird.”
I like this. 1.4 laughs.
And then she barfed. That’s fine, serves the story. 2 chortles, because the sound effect was good.
The two commanding officers were kidnapped, leaving Alara in command, which she isn’t suited for. I like this line and this kind of humour. The timing wasn’t spot on but a full 3 chortles. Also Alara has eyebrows this episode, did you notice?
20th Century reference tally: 3
20th Century reference tally: 4!
Captain Ed “Top of His Class” Mercer tries to force open some doors with his shoulder. 0 chortles.
Even the aliens are blue collar North Americans.
I’ll say it again – great design and makeup on this show!
Isaac uses his superior intellect to analyze and use the alien technology to project a holographic image over the ship. As he should. And now the Planetary Union has ship holographic technology which they will remember to use in subsequent episodes when it would be very useful…right?
20th Century reference tally: 5
I’m surprised they didn’t go for a scene where Mercer goes to the bathroom to take a pee and the aliens are watching him and he can’t go because he’s got a shy bladder.
Hands up if the domestic bickering on this show is something you look forward to.
Good. 3 full chortles.
The “euthanasia sweep” from the super advanced species is a few lasers that don’t even target the living creatures. STUPID! How about sucking out all the air, or poison gas that floods the entire apartment, or a disintegration wall, or incinerating temperatures?
Elvis Presley’s last words. 20th Century reference tally: 6!
20th Century reference tally: 7
Reality television joke: 1 chortle.
Bortas’ egg hatches – and it’s a female. IMPOSSIBLE?!?!
Summing up, there was no payoff to the pot brownie.
At some point I’d like to do a little more analysis on Mercer compared with other douchey/unqualified command officers in space. Interested?
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