In his new Star Trek parody "The Orville," Seth MacFarlane plays Ed Mercer, a promising officer whose performance has taken a dive since he caught his wife in bed with another guy -- who happens to be blue and have fins.
Plenty of the laid-back gags land and there are laughs to be had, depending largely on how you feel about MacFarlane.
The "Family Guy" supremo brings a familiar schtick to the show: what if the characters of a genre story, whether cowboys in "A Million Ways to Die in the West" or a fantastic teddy bear in "Ted," talk like we do today?
But the central dynamic of the show set 400 years in the future is a staple of earthbound sitcoms.
When resolutely normal guy Ed is begrudgingly offered the captain's chair on a nondescript exploratory vessel, he's stunned to discover the identity of his executive officer.
You guessed it, Ed's ex is his XO.