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some hacky animated sitcoms, minorly successful comedy films, and an elaborate Trek cosplay on Fox don't really make you "accomplished," kiddo. The dude's certainly richer than I'll ever be though.
Anyway I really want to elevate this beyond "is MacFarlane an assclown or not" and discuss more what his effect on the show is. Cause currently I totally don't get why other Star Trek fans are enjoying this. This is probably gonna get ranty but here's how best I can explain why the show is so frustrating and why praise for it baffles me:
My disdain for the show certainly centers around MacFarlane, but I don't see how that isn't a valid criticism or something I should look past considering he's the star, creator, and an exec producer. Whatever I dislike about the way he makes TV will obviously be in every facet of how this show is made, and more importantly, how it feels. Since it is a MacFarlane vehicle, any time it starts to feel like it has the same heart or mind as Star Trek that feeling is almost immediately shredded by his sensibilities. The 2nd episode sets up some of those moral quandries (disobeying orders and such) that I'd say are the defining aspect of a Trek plot. Then the solution to them is some total flatline reference to pop culture. Stuff like that happening has blueballed me at every turn. Every time it starts to replicate Star Trek's charm a joke or a moment reminds me woefully that it doesn't have it.
Hopefully the show will find its own way to balance goofiness and Trek-like headiness, but the closest analogue it has is Galaxy Quest, which I love, and "feels like Star Trek" in the way people are claiming this show does. The reason that movie works is that the actual plot isn't really handled like Trek; they explore moral failings and what really makes us "human" (Taggert explaining to the alien dude what lying/acting is) but it doesn't make an attempt at doing some "Best of Both Worlds" type exploration. The story is pretty basic. It still manages to feel like Star Trek because what it lampoons is the culture surrounding it that we all know - its zealous fans, the plights and the egos and personalities of its actors - and so where it draws its humor from and where it draws its characters from is insular and thus consistent in tone. It can carry on Trek's charm because both the farcical elements and the human stories of its characters pull from that world. This show doesn't accomplish the same thing because it went a different route - the plots are much more intricate, morality-testing, and Trek-like, but then what it wants to lampoon is just modern pop culture and your other typical mix of lowbrow MacFarlane humor.
Example: In Galaxy Quest they have a joke where they make fun of what weird alien cuisine a Spock analogue must have eaten, and on top of that have a laugh at what an actor who takes himself so seriously would do when having to eat it. The first reference is to Trek, then the secondary joke is in reference to the real-world Shakespearean actors we've seen act in Trek. This secures a tonally consistent world because its about both the fictional and real scenarios related to a single piece of culture, not just the mixed bag of pop culture in general. In contrast in The Orville they make a joke about one alien's shit, making the initial joke about "hey those crazy aliens in Star Trek must have had crazy anatomy" and the secondary joke about... shit. The initial isn't very clever and the secondary is tonally opposed to the rest of the show's Trek feel. The inconsistency is painful every time it makes itself apparent and yeah, it's mostly that one dude's fault that it turned out this way.
Anyway it's not like to make a good Star Trek homage every single line has to be crafted and checked to say "well is every level of this within Trek world, fictional or real?" but hey, keeping within those boundaries is what makes Galaxy Quest a good counterexample to this show, and a good example of how to poke fun at something while also making a pretty good analogue to it. Quality control like that seems left unchecked in the episodes I've seen so far.
tl;dr: my dislike for The Orville comes from my dislike of MacFarlane as a writer and creator, and his inability to get the tone right, moreso than just "lol Seth MacFarlane's such a tool lololol." Like I'm not physically revolted by the man. I just want him to make a better show, and I can't see why the rest of y'all think he's done a good job.