The selections may be a bit obvious but not everyone knows about everything so we’re going to handle the three most obvious. The first one, and the most obvious of the obvious is The Orville. A show shot, stylized, and designed to be just like Star Trek, even if it’s a parody of Star Trek. Unlike other comedies that try to poke fun at Trek, The Orville doesn’t. At all. While it’s humorous in tone, it arguably embraces the ideology of Gene Roddenberry’s vision of Star Trek better than the Alex Kurtzman/J.J. Abrams lead series do now.
Tackling things like gender, sexism, sexuality, addiction, and even cancel culture, The Orville has brought back the weekly serialized stories that made the Star Trek series of the ’80s and ’90s so popular. Each episode does have a nugget of continuation that’s leftover from the previous episode, but it’s not so important that a couple of lines can’t explain everything you need to know. You can jump in at any point and not feel like you’re completely lost.
The show stars Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and American Dad, and centers on his character Ed Mercer as he pilots a starship called The Orville. Long time Macfarlane-collaborator Scott Grimes is also on the show as well. He’s starred opposite MacFarlane on American Dad as Macfarlane’s on-screen son, Steve Smith. They’re joined by Star Trek alum Penny Marshall Jerald is also on the show, as is Adrianne Palicki, Peter Macon, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, Jessica Szohr, and Charly Burke (new for the third season).