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Review of 'The Orville' 2.12

Hello Dolly!

Another powerful episode of The Orville last night—2.11—which follows the two-part "Identity" episodes (rebroadcast the past two weeks) even better than did the episode that followed the first showing of "Identity," though that episode was excellent, too.

Let me begin this little review by mentioning that I was at a great panel at HELIOsphere this past weekend (in addition to panelists listed on that link, Hildy Silverman was the panel, too), where we discussed our favorite science fiction television series. I and several panelists mentioned The Orville as outstanding. In fact, everyone agreed, but someone also indicated that a weakness of the series is that all the nostalgia is from the late 20th century. Since The Orville takes place a few centuries from now, shouldn't some of the nostalgia be from our future?

A fair point, logically. But the 20th century nostalgia is part of the conceit of the show, part of the irresistible way that humor is smuggled in with the serious stuff, or maybe the other way around, but the result is the remarkable quality, the uniqueness, of this series.

So, with that in mind, let me say that the part I enjoyed most in this episode is the way Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" became a theme song for the Moclan female surge for independence—or, actually, life. This was a good development of what Bortes earlier went through, when he had to see his female baby undergo "correction" to become male. There is nothing the least bit funny about that. And it of course relates to the oppression women receive on our own planet, in off-screen reality.

The other memorable part of this episode was seeing the Union Council on Earth in its full glory, chaired by a character well played by F. Murray Abraham, and assisted by the characters well played by Ted Danson and Victor Garber. I bet the woman who played the female Moclan leader was a top-notch actor, too, but I couldn't tell through the makeup.* (Speaking of women: Fabulous to see Marina Sirtis on board The Orville as a teacher!)

Anyhow—I'll be sorry to see this season end in two episodes from now, but I'll be watching every episode and reviewing when it returns.

*My wife just researched this online, and found it's Rena Owen!

First starship to Alpha Centauri... had only enough fuel to get there.

Paul Levinson
Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code (winner Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel of 1999) & The Plot To Save Socrates. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context has been translated into 15 languages. 

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