Calling Seth MacFarlane “not funny” happens fairly frequently. Usually, it has to do with the humor being tasteless, or juvenile or the punchline not sticking the landing. Not this time, though. The problem with The Orville is that the jokes are so few and far between it is hard to even spot them. I’m not a MacFarlane hater. I think I’m objective. I laugh at his stuff despite my better angels, but this one is just odd.
There are things he does that I find interesting. The show is a fanboy’s homage to all the space faring shows of the past and that’s distracting. At times the narrative is looking outward rather than solving its own problems.
There is some fun stuff like how the musical cues and some of the establishing shots are so close at times to ST: TNG and BSG that it is jarring but amusing. We also get something that seems to be a straightforward adventure and not a bad one. There is potential and Adrianne Palecki is marvelous as the ex-wife now executive officer. The rest of the cast is competent and interesting though not fully developed as of yet.
So I won’t say this is a terrible show. I like it enough to see where it is going. If it turns out to be an action adventure with humor added, then so be it. It just needs more humor added. Improvements and cohesion are necessary, but I’ll give it a few weeks to sort itself.