OK, I’m late to this party, but I only recently got access to be able to watch The Orville - and it has greatly surpassed the expectations I had formed about it.
Open spoilers in this thread. I hope that’s OK…
All I knew about this series in advance was that it was in some ways a comedy spoof or parody of the weekly starship genre (most notably the Star Trek franchise) and that it shares some creative and artistic DNA with Star Trek.
I guess I was expecting something where the comedy was front and centre - except that sort of thing can get really tiresome if it is done with a heavy hand.
What surprised me is how real the character writing and performance comes across. Sure, there are moments when each of the characters are ridiculous or predictable, but I was surprised how deep they were prepared to go into some fairly heavy topics, from a platform that also contains occasional slapstick comedy.
As a bit of a Trek fan, I think I have to say that The Orville has the heart that seems to be often lacking in the Star Trek franchise.