‘The Orville’ Takes a Break Ripping Off ‘Star Trek’ to Rip off ‘Black Mirror’ with “Majority Rule”

When a landing party from The Orville head down to a planet that looks remarkably like 21st century Earth because budget, LaMarr accidentally disrespects a statue because he’s an idiot who doesn’t know how to be covert and, as a result, gets swept into a justice system that’s a cross between Reddit and American Idol.

I wasn’t blown away by this week’s episode mostly because it’s a premise that I’ve seen before and I’ve seen better from shows like Black Mirror. I was actually a little more than shocked at how derivative this episode was, having almost no original ideas of its own. Still, that’s forgivable if it’s a good hour of television, right?

Well, it really wasn’t. “Majority Rules” came off as a yawn-inducing misfire thanks, in no small part to the fact that LaMarr is just not someone I’m overly concerned with. Let’s face it, as far as characters go, he’s the Travis Mayweather of the crew. Now you’re probably racking your brain trying to remember who Travis Mayweather is, aren’t you? My point is, aside from being that guy who sits next to Gordon, he hasn’t had a whole lot of time to shine on the show and, in his first outing, I actually found myself growing an intense dislike of him.

For one thing, with full knowledge that this show is a comedy/science fiction hybrid, LaMarr is a idiot. Yeah, I know that everyone on the show aren’t the best nor the brightest, but in this episode in particular, LaMarr’s decisions were dumb, his reactions were dumber, and any conceivable way that any thinking person might have made the situation better was immediately ignored to make the situation worse. Even at the end, when he’s saved by a handful of votes, his final act as he’s leaving the prison is to berate and cuss out the guards who, if I’m not mistaken… could down-vote him and send him back to the chair!

This is coupled with the fact that J. Lee is not a good actor… like, at all. Every word that comes out of his mouth seems to struggle into coherence, like, instead of emoting or finding his character’s center, he’s trying to remember what his next line is. His delivery is stilted and wooden, almost like he doesn’t even understand what he’s saying. I’ve never noticed it before this episode mostly because he’s had very little to do until now, but he needs an acting coach or the show needs to find him an exit.

For a crew that seems obsessed with 21st century culture, I was a little surprised that they didn’t know what money was, but I’m not about to nitpick that much.

I wouldn’t say this was a bad episode, but it was a boring one that I could not get invested in because the character at the center… is just bad. I’m not saying LaMarr is a hopeless cause, but they definitely need to work on the guy before his next featured episode.

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