Rambles · Uncategorized

Orville, aka McFarlane mcfarlanes all over space.

So there were definitely people buzzing that, despite the trailers, Orville wasn’t supposed to be a comedy. Someone should probably have told McFarlane that because the first episode was very heavy in things I’ve always thought were supposed to be jokes in his other productions. Specifically all the body humor, like the blue head ejaculation, and spelling out things that were supposed to be funny.

Hint: The dog would’ve been funnier if you hadn’t spelled it out.

What I didn’t know going in was that Seth McFarlane was starring in Orville. Hey, I didn’t know what he looked like. Sue me. I never felt the urge to look up the creator of dumb comedy. The main reason I wanted to see Orville was to see if a spoof would possibly be more in tune with old Trek than the alternate timeline weirdness we’ve been getting. Not that it isn’t…interesting. It’s just not my thing.

Ok ok, so let’s be upfront here: I’m not a fan of McFarlane’s character. He’s almost a spoof of the spoof of Kirk and it doesn’t work for me…maybe because he verges on Archer territory? His highlight is the banter he has with the rest of the cast but past that I seriously do not care about him and I hope the show focuses primarily on the other characters because holy crap do I love those guys. They are the spoof I wanted. So let’s break them down a bit:

We have the TNG bridge with a more Original Series floorplan, a well-crafted and notably recognizably similar to TNG score, Anti-Data, the redhead reminds me of some kind of cross between Scotty and Tom Paris, the ship doctor could easily fit in the line up of Trek doctors, the super strong alien girl gives me some Tasha Yar vibes, and of course we have a Worf who pees once a year. And apparently is going to lay an egg. With his man mate. Which is a little cheating in a way on the LGBT rep because it’s a planet of only  men, but I am very curious to see if the spoof does it better than Star Trek did it. Let’s just say their episodes that touched on gay or trans topics were……lackluster. They were better than the planet of African stereotypes in TNG though, so there is that?

Of course, I’m also worried because McFarlane’s history with these things is probably worse than Star Trek’s. And…sometimes better in weird ways? It’s complicated.

(Also I just realized…there’s probably going to be some serious mpreg fanfics to come out of this. I mean, I’ve never seen a fandom where that doesn’t crop up in droves, but this one has an excuse that’s almost better than the time Tripp got pregnant because this alien species is a main character we’re going to see more than once. Tripp wins though because their species could change the anatomy of other species to knock them up.)

When the show started rolling, the first five or so minutes had me groaning that this was going to suuuuuuck. Did we really need an ejaculation joke in the first 60 seconds? Did we? Well, it’s a Seth McFarlane production so yeah, I imagine he probably was completely unable to help himself with that one. The show would have been stronger if it hadn’t taken the time to remind me that it’s a live-action Family Guy cousin.

Now: The adventure of the episode.

So the rapid-aging aspect of this is a pretty classic tale on Star Trek, which was used more than once at that. They did do something different with it, I’ll give it that. Instead of ‘what if our main cast became O: old people!’ they had a very fun ‘what if we grew a tree!’ twist. I liked that. That was fun. Aside from that, the bad guys kind of remind me the most of Enterprise, of all things. Not sure how I feel about that. Also kind of Romulan-esque, since they were more on the cunning side. I loved the ragtag feel of their little ship taking on the big enemy battleship. That’s…about the end of my feelings there.

Oh. I liked the Arbor Day joke better. It was the superior one liner by far. The other one was, well, very Family Guy. (It probably sounds like I hate Family Guy…I actually don’t, I just don’t want to watch a whole show that’s basically Family Guy but in space.)

Final thoughts:

I hope they don’t dip into standard McFarlane comedy too much. There were so many people saying it’s not supposed to be a comedy so I sincerely hope they don’t try for that because I’m sorry McFarlane but your comedy belongs in the midnight timeslot on Adult Swim. It’s pretty crappy and it’s only really interesting when drunk or high. I want to actually enjoy this show. And there’s clearly some great comedy weaved in between the dog balls and forehead ejaculation. The banter between the exes was great and I just can’t wait to see more of the rest of the crew. They were the kind of real humans that Star Trek is supposed to be too moral to have. (I don’t want Star Trek to delve into those types of people either. I like Star Trek trying to be morally better than we are now – it gives me hope that the future might not be the never-ending KKK/Nazi rally that seems to be the present.) I hope they stick to that and cut out all of the Family Guy-esque stuff. If I want to watch Family Guy humor I’ll put Family Guy on. Or maybe American Dad if I want to see America-obsessed Americans get ripped a new one. We don’t need more of that though.

I think this show might have a shot at similar longevity to those shows though, with all the good and ill that comes with that longevity. Or it could crash and burn and be absolutely destroyed like the third one I always forget exists. It’s pretty ok, which is how I feel about all of his other work. It’s something that will entertain me but it’s not something I’ll hold as a favorite. No…wait. I lied. There is one place where it beyond excels.

God those effects are nice.

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Red Leads…except when it doesn’t.

So there’s one thing that I tend to take for granted when I see a cast for characters: More likely than not, the one wearing red is going to be the ‘leader.’ Or at the very least the main character, like with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. We all know the red pants are in charge here. Blue is most likely the second in command (though also just as often the secret genius behind the red pants) and the third color, typically green, is…the other one. Whatever other personality they want to complete a group with will be the third. In Goofy’s case it’s being the main source of slapstick. Sometimes it’s the fat character, or the brawler.

Even if the group doesn’t necessarily have a lifestyle that requires one to be the main one. For example, in Alvin and the Chipmunks they’re supposed to be a trio, and in the cartoons all their actual performances were pretty equal, but Alvin is probably the only one most people can name (and even if you can name all three, well…that’s not really that special anymore after all those movies). He’s the biggest attention grabber so the stories tend to revolve around him even when the songs don’t, which makes him seem like the most important one, thus he is sort of the leader.

With the Duck Tales reboot there have been several discussions and anticipation videos having mentioned that the boys’ were essentially interchangeable, I started to wonder where I had gotten the idea that Huey was the leader of the trio. Even in older cartoons or otherwise non-Duck Tales shorts and movies that have featured them, they’re really pretty much the same. Huey isn’t like Alvin, he doesn’t demand more attention than the others. He isn’t like Blossom (of the Powerpuff Girls) who calls most of the shots. And yet all throughout childhood I just assumed he was in charge.

Because he was wearing red.

While I was thinking about this, I realized I knew more trios that didn’t follow a specific color scheme than I knew of ones who did. Even the Duck triplets weren’t always the red, blue, and green they are now. That good ol’ blue shirt used to be orange. And before that they all wore the same thing!

My trio list actually ended after four sets: The Duck triplets, of course, the chipmunks, the Powerpuff girls, and the fairies from Sleeping Beauty. In the latter three the red is either the most demanding or at least the most level headed and least ditzy. I also know that, like the boys, Flora was never actually noted as the leader of the fairies. She was just the most level headed of the three. As for the others, I know Alvin made it clear at least he considered himself the leader and I don’t remember if Blossom was ever outright called their leader or not. But she had the big bow and made all the decisions so leader she was.

The big thing is, though, aside from Sleeping Beauty, Duck Tales was the first of those shows that I saw, and I still assumed Huey was the one in charge.

This might possibly have something to do with the way we treat those colors in my culture. Red is an energetic color while blue and green are a pair of cool colors. Red is life, red is passion, red is doing and going and being. In cultures other from my own, red is the color of wealth, luck, and longevity.

Blue…blue is sadness. But also clear blue skies, so there is that. But blue isn’t usually the adventurer. And yet, that’s what Disney has gone with:

In rebooting Duck Tales, one of the biggest points of anticipation has been the new personalities of these three boys. On occasion (like during the TV Series, Quack Pack) they have had individual personalities, but these are brand new personalities. Louie in his green is the treasure seeker. Fitting. Huey definitely seems to be the responsible one in this set, a traditional ‘oldest’ position. Even if he’s only slightly older. And Dewey. He’s our go-getter now.

He isn’t a total leader but he’s definitely more of the Alvin of the group. If there can be one Alvin in a group of troublemakers. That is one thing they definitely have in common that has carried over from older iterations. Actually, the original Duck Tales trio were probably some of the most well behaved versions of the characters while these three look like they’re going to edge more towards the classic side. Not quite ‘light a firecracker under dad’ troublesome, but definitely ‘trick Uncle Donald so we can go on worldwide adventures’ trouble. That’s pretty much the whole underlying theme of the pilot. Screw the Disney life lesson at the end. It was all about tricking their uncle the whole way. That’s the main reason this show is happening.

For the record, yeah Dewey is my total favorite now. Which I feel is very unfair because he got the most screen time in the pilot. Like, it’s almost like Huey and Louie were background characters sometimes. They all pretty much were equal in previous iterations, although I do distinctly remember Dewey getting a ‘I’m gonna be my own duck’ plot in the original. Well he definitely got to be his own duck here. He took charge, not always in the smartest way but he completely took charge of situations. Actually, most of his taking charge was very much just jumping into things because he didn’t want to wait.

Given my predisposition to keep an eye out for the redshirts (in every show except the original Star Trek – hell even The Next Generation put the redshirts in charge), it was actually kind of weird.

Not quite as weird as the adult voices on ten year olds though, and if I can get used to that then I’m pretty sure I can get used to anything.

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First blog post

This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Well, thank you for that lovely information.

Actually, there’s a point to keeping this post somewhat in tact. See, this isn’t the first blog I’ve attempted to make. I do hope it will be the last though. Every single other time I focused on a theme, tried to force myself to follow a business form that would get me…somewhere. I’m not sure where. I mean, I would like to make a living as a writer, but I also recognize that since college I haven’t put any effort into that dream. And, to be honest, I’m not too upset with my current place in life either. I wish I made a bit more money so bills wouldn’t be as worrisome and maybe I could pay off my loans and help out my mom (who is, no matter what anyone says, a superhero) more, but I don’t hate my job. I hate a lot of things, but not my job. I’d love a better job that I was more passionate about, but my current job isn’t thoughtless, heartless, or soul-destroying.

Anyway, there’s your first of many rambles. Work doesn’t suck. It’s not great but it doesn’t suck. Woooo!

Ok, so I do want to address my goals before I close this first post off. My reason for starting this (and the attached twitter – @theramblepedia – and reddit accounts) is so I can track my improvement across a few particular hobbies:

1. Writing. I love writing but I’ve been in such a deep funk that I haven’t written anything worthwhile since May 2015. I can pinpoint that exactly as that was when I fully published my last fully completed fanfiction. My goal wasn’t for fanfiction to be where my writing ended, but, due to a great many life upheavals and the ensuing depression that followed, it was. So I’m doing this blog as a way to try to get myself at least creating strings of words again. That’s a starting place.

Mostly my writing will be about things that I care about. I’m going to try to keep it upbeat, but the things we care about aren’t always easy or light topics. What I’m not going to do is attempt to write about a specific topic or write a specific type of blog post just to try to set myself up for an Editorial Job or to get more views or to become independent. Focusing on that first is what has killed my writing previously. I don’t love the business part of it, and trying to be a business person just tends to ruin everything for me. Don’t get me wrong, I would love the chance to write an article for the New York Times or to get a wonderful job as an Editor or even as a Proofreader, but this blog is not my resume. This blog is me and my writing.

2. Art. I used to draw – a lot. I loved art when I was in high school. I thought I might have a future as some sort of artist and there were many Deviant Artists that I aspired to be like one day. This…also never came to fruition. There will be another post that follows in a category I’m going to call “I’m Going To Learn Something” tracking where I’ve been lately and what my goals are.

3. Animation. This has been a greater goal of mine since my freshman year of high school when I first noticed how freaking beautiful the ballroom scene in Beauty and the Beast was.

I recently had a similar feeling when I went to watch Zootopia:

These scenes are extremely different, but each in their own way inspire me and remind me of the beauty that we can create when we put enough passion and care into what we’re doing. There are other videos not by big studios as well, but those will be popping up in various other videos as their turn on the blog-o-likes comes up. They range from tv animation to art school students projects uploaded to YouTube to fanvideos that can just blow the mind when you consider how passionate that person was for something to pour two years of their life into a seven minute animation that only fans of a show are going to truly appreciate. Well, and fans of animation too I suppose.