The Orville

TV review by Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
The Orville Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Rude language, mild violence in curious sci-fi dramedy.

Fox Comedy 2017

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 5 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Come for the Comedy, Stay for the Compelling Sci-Fi and Characters

I'll start off by pointing this out -- Finding an appropriate age recommendation for The Orville as a whole is really hard, as some episodes are just quirky and fun, hardly inappropriate for a 10 year old, while others are vastly more mature, almost TV-MA levels of blue humor, violence or adult themes. However, having said that, the show is a blast with very well developed and sharply written characters, and not only do I (38) love it, my father (70) does as well, as does my nephew (14). What makes the show work is that this show is essentially Star Trek: The Next Generation, only in HD, and with sequences designed for comedy. It also has a more realistic look of how people might be in a few centuries of progress than even Star Trek did: The characters are smart, embrace alien cultures and have moved beyond things like racism and homophobia, but at the same time, they are portrayed as still being emotional, partially libido-driven, and many of them have dark senses of humor that sometimes shock those around them. While this makes the show itself hard to recommend for families, it does contain a subliminal positive message: Excellence does not mean becoming a perfect person (like it appeared in TNG), but rather you just need to do what is right and as good as you can, and that those around you, as much as they might come off like a clown or a slacker, just might be able to save you. Most forms of Sci-Fi tend to show the people of the future (ie. the people we're supposed to aspire to) as being perfect, but this show specifically aims to show the realistic imperfections of the characters and their decisions, and tells us, the audiences, that rising above these is what makes you great, rather than somehow being able to negate them entirely. This is bolstered by some surprisingly inventive high-concept Sci-Fi plots. In this regard the only thing I can think to compare it to is Red Dwarf, as it too was a character-driven Sci-Fi/Comedy that, despite the fact that it was mostly just high-energy fun, had extremely sharp and original Sci-Fi concepts for many of the more outlandish episodes. And maybe that's the best way to describe it: This is Star Trek but written by the Red Dwarf manual. And it's interesting too, as this is much more like classic Star Trek than the aggressively mean-spirited Discovery is, making it the only time where the Parody is more in line with the original intended tone than the current incarnation of the franchise itself. It's inconsistent in quality, and this I could go into for pages, but when it works, it's legitimately great stuff, and highly recommended for adults, and for upper-teenagers. There's a lot of sexual and alcoholic humor, but nothing too explicit.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 10+

Dudes in Space

Its like Seth has his college buddies in space. Our family finds it good fun. Quite a few episodes have moral messages and are appropriate for our times. Women have strong roles which is good.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

TV Details

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