Better series lead. Ed Mercer from "Orville" vs Burnham from "Discovery?"

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Jayson1, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree. People love McFarlane because he is basically one of our Nerd God's due to the fact his fandom is well known. Not just for Trek but Star Wars as well and even Quantum Leap. I even heard him talk about "Sliders" before as well. Nobody really knows SMG all that much beyond the roles she has done. She hasn't really earned her nerd cred, just yet.


    Jason
     
  2. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd argue (and this isn't likely to be a popular opinion) that she isn't really the lead character. More of a side-character who the show happens to focus on while everything happens around her. She's brash and doesn't always make the brightest decisions, but to give her benefit of doubt, she's still very much learning and being put in her place by those around her. That's how I think she's growing as a character; being forced by situation and learning to accept by not being at the center all the time, which is different to most lead characters on Trek.
     
  3. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I like both character, but I'm going to have to go with Mercer. I always prefer lighter, more fun characters, and Burnham is definitely not that.
     
  4. Serveaux

    Serveaux The Man Premium Member

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    Mercer. I can watch these people. However good the STD actors are - and they are very good - their characters are tedious.

    And it would have made more sense, given the greater similarities of the characters - all of those have elements of humor, and Crichton in particular skirts breaking the fourth wall as Mercer kinda sorta does.

    In that matchup I'd have to say that both Crichton and Reynolds are better developed characters played by more skillful actors than Mercer is. Taggart in Galaxy Quest is not a good comparison, because even within the story he doesn't exist - he's a broad parody of a sci-fi action hero, and the character that Allen really plays is an egotistical TV actor.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  5. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Burnham is better because she's more then just a garbage sitcom character stuck onto a spaceship like Mercer. Not spending 40+ minutes a week making jokes that modern sitcoms would have too much dignity to do really helps Burnham be at least a somewhat compelling character.

    But, hey, if you've been in a block of ice for the last 40 years and haven't seen the "divorced couple trying to get along" shit that is the main core of Mercer's character stuff, then maybe Mercer and Orville in general seems fresh and interesting :lol:
     
  6. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Burnham was the lead. That was Issacs and now the chap playing Pike.
     
  7. LJones41

    LJones41 Commodore Commodore

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    She hasn't earned her "nerd cred"? I don't give a shit about her "nerd cred". I've been a fan of Martin-Green since I saw her on "Once Upon a Time". And she was just a recurring character for one season on that show.


    Burnham IS the lead. There is NO LAW that because she is not the ship's captain, she is automatically not the lead. Or are there viewers who still remain incapable of moving past that kind of mentality?
     
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  8. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

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    The most important factors in a show's success is having relatable characters you come to care about. The pilot episode of Discovery did almost everything in its power to make the viewer DISLIKE Burnham. In retrospect, that was a huge mistake. Mercer has his wise-ass moments but overall he's a relatable guy who tries to do the right after careful consideration ala Picard.
     
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  9. thribs

    thribs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hard to compare them since Michael’s other half hasn’t banged a Reptisian.
     
  10. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nerd Cred isn't needed for someone to like a character but when you have someone with it I do think it makes people enjoy a character a little bit more if your a fan. Some actors are just more loved than others for reasons that aren't always connected to their acting abilities. Who doesn't get a little excited when they find out Bruce Campbell might be in a show they like or Felicia Day just to name two.



    Jason
     
  11. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He's as "relatable" as Al Bundy or Peter Griffin. He's a shit sitcom character, if this wasn't a show specifically made as Seth macFarlane's vanity project I could easily see a sitcom regular like Kevin James playing Mercer, because the writing is no different from any terrible, instantly forgettable sitcom that gets made nowadays, it just has a different setting then most sitcoms.
     
  12. Serveaux

    Serveaux The Man Premium Member

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    Hmm. Yeah, among other things Mercer has been married and gone through a divorce and now gets along with his ex. That kind of thing does make him more interesting - he's lived a life, one that lots of viewers can relate in various ways to their own experiences and observations. Burnham has never actually had a human kind of a life, just an ongoing succession of melodramatic traumas.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    Pretty clear you haven't watched much of The Orville.
     
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  14. LJones41

    LJones41 Commodore Commodore

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    I just find this "nerd cred" comment to be rather useless. Sorry.


    That wasn't a mistake in my eyes. That made her even more interesting to me. Why aren't leading characters - especially in an action or sci-fi/fantasy film or series - allowed to make big mistakes? This need for leading characters to be near flawless or ideal is so frustrating to me. It seems like another sign that today's pop culture is coming off as increasingly conformist and unimaginative.
     
  15. CaptainMurdock

    CaptainMurdock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's not that they can't make big mistakes, but having them make a big mistake without getting to really know the character in a before the pieces come crumbling down doesn't help one like or relate to the character.
     
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  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Call me crazy but I wouldn't call Esteban a bad captain. The Grissom was doomed the minute the Klingons arrived.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  17. BillJ

    BillJ History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    This. The only thing we knew about Burnham before it all comes crumbling down, is that she's supposed to be ready for the captain's chair. Which was actually a joke considering how quickly she fell apart.
     
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  18. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My problem wasn't that they made her have flaws just that it wasn't really written all that well IMO. The idea of your hero going rogue and causing a war is actually a very exciting idea Heck Sisko kind of did that in maybe the best episode of Trek ever in "Pale Moonlight.". Plus it sort of turns the tables on that Trek cliche were going rogue always works out for the hero.. The basic idea is very interesting. It's just let down by many variables. The actress didn't blow me away. The war in which she gave everything up for never felt developed. Her realtionship with Georgiou is confusing. Not sure why she cared for her. I mean I know the premise reason for it. She was a mother figure and a parent who replaces her dead parents and adopted dad in Sarek. All of that never really felt like it was made interesting though in the writing.They never made me feel what I should be feeling when Burnham is moping around and feeling sad. In fact I would have pushed it even more. Have her try suicide. For the love of God let her actually cry. I hate how Starfleet characters can't cry like any normal human being when they are sad. Characters "keeping their shit together" even when they are most vunerable is a kind of played out hero trope I am kind of tired off.

    We also never really get to even know the real Georgiou. She was basically in the pilot and as a hologram image and that was all we saw of them, together. I still think it's also hurt by the fact that Fuller was fired and you were stuck with lesser talented writers in charge and also ones who didn't help come up with the basic idea for season 1. They ended up being more Fred Freiberger than MIcheal Piller or Stephen Ira Behr in coming along and replacing the orginal showrunners and improving on them.

    When you then look at Mercer you see that even though he is a nice guy he still can be petty because he is angry with his ex-wife cheating on him. He has no problem cracking jokes with the crew or looking foolish running down the hall. He even goes to various crewmembers and see's if they want to hangout and that's how he learned about that game from Bortus's planet with the knifey ball.

    Jason
     
  19. CaptainMurdock

    CaptainMurdock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Right. My general impressions of her before the mutiny was she's a rather skeptical person, A bit Pike like with her demeanor. Okay fine. Then when the mutiny happened she's presented as an arrogant control freak. It's her way or the highway. "You are to follow my orders without challenge." That's when Burnham became completely unlikable and irredeemable to me. For an officer who has served with Georgou for seven years, she sure doesn't seem to show having any experience or shown that she's ready for any kind of command.
     
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  20. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Proably why it's bad to do the mutiny thing in episode 1 before you know the character. Make her a hero and show her having to toss away all that goodwill because she feels it's right. Betray someone who you have watched almost half a season or whole season interacting with the people she is going to betray. I was thinking of more successful versions of this idea. the Nina character I think was her name on season 1 of "24", Eddington of "DS9" Wesley stealing Angel's son on "Angel."

    Jason
     
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