The Orville, Con Man, and First Impressions in Comedy

photo by P.J. Schnyder

When it comes to comedy, I like to think I know what I’m doing. MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe & Askana, amidst its swashbuckling action and romance, indulged in some well-needed comedic scenes. The Case of the Singing Sword is my homage to mystery noir and epic fantasy, and takes great joy poking fun at both. The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences offers up intrigue, twisted tales, and cliffhanging moments. There are also moments of whimsy that steampunk allows.

And before my life in between a book cover, I was treading the boards bringing to life comedy from Christopher Durang and William Shakespeare and making laughs up as I went with the good people at ComedySportz.

So yeah, I know a thing or two about comedy.

This is why I was a little disappointed and somewhat troubled by the early reviews of The Orville, a new science fiction comedy from Seth McFarlane. When the trailer dropped, the hype was the The Orville looked more like Star Trek than Star Trek’s upcoming Discovery. Continue reading

I’m a “Real” Fan of Star Trek…and That’s Not a Good Thing.

I ranted on Chuck’s Facebook thread (sorry, Chuck…) concerning yet another dust-up over Star Wars. Thing is, this brouhaha brought up a few memories worth sharing. These are memories about me being a hardcore fan of Star Wars and Star Trek, and about hardcore fans of Doctor Who

…and how that can sometimes be a problem.

See, what’s happening within the Star Wars fandom—in the wake of other “real fan” movements—is nothing new. It’s just more public. “Real” fans who draw lines in the sand, piss all over a movie poster or toy collection (mint-in-box, of course), and claim to be the Keepers of the Sanctity of Insert-Your-Favorite-Science-Fiction-Sacred-Cow-Here, thanks to social media and the Internet, are making their voices heard; and are exhorting to extreme measures to protect their Precious.

To understand just how dangerous a mentality this is, you can take a look at my own experiences. Experiences where I was on both the receiving and the giving end of this kind of “real” fandom.

Let me take you back to the 1990’s. I’m thinking the summer of 1996. Yeah, that sounds about right… Continue reading