KOSHER THESPIANS IN NEW TV SHOWS
The Orville premiered on Fox on Sunday, Sept. 10. New episodes air on Thursdays starting on the 28th. The series was co-created by Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, Ted) and by Jon Favreau, 50 (who also directed the pilot). This comedic sci-fi series has the look of early Star Trek. MacFarlane stars as Ed Mercer, the captain of the spaceship Orville. Halston Sage, 24, is a main cast member, playing Alara Kitan, a security officer who is from another planet and has super-strength. Victor Garber, 68, and Brian George, 65 (Raj’s father in The Big Bang Theory), appeared in the pilot and are listed as recurring cast members. They play, respectively, Admiral Halsey and Dr. Aronov. Most critics who saw the first three episodes gave it bad reviews, saying it doesn’t have the mix of really funny spoof humor and drama that made the movie Galaxy Quest (1999) so successful. A few differed, pointing out that the third episode has an interesting plot line and that it’s possible the show will get much better.
The Good Doctor starts on Sept. 25 and new episodes air on Mondays at 10 p.m. Freddie Highmore stars as Shaun Murphy, a surgeon with autism and savant syndrome who joins the pediatric department of a prestigious hospital. Richard Schiff, 62 (The West Wing), co-stars as Aaron Glassman, the president of the hospital and Murphy’s friend and longtime mentor. Meanwhile, on Sept. 29, Netflix begins streaming The Big Mouth, an original Netflix animated sitcom. It’s based on the teen years of Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg, both 39, with Kroll voicing his fictional self. Also providing voices are Maya Rudolph, 45, and Jenny Slate, 35.
AT THE MOVIES
Opening Friday, Sept. 22: The Lego Ninjango Movie is an animated film that should appeal to young viewers. A battle rages for Ninjago City. On one side is young Lloyd, AKA the Green Ninja (voiced by Dave Franco, 32), and five secret warrior friends. Among them is Nya, the strong, gray Ninja of Water. Nya is voiced by Abbi Jacobson, 33, the co-star of the hit comedy Broad City. On the other side is the evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theoroux), who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad.
Brad’s Status is a dramedy co-starring Ben Stiller, 51, and Austin Abrams (The Walking Dead), 21, as Brad and Troy Sloan, a father and his 17-year-old son. Troy is a gifted student and musician; the pair travel to New England to tour colleges.
The usually reliable Hollywood Reporter gave the film a rave review. There are few belly laughs, but many chuckles. Stiller is praised for his measured performance, as is Abrams in his first big role. We see Brad as he navigates the emotional difficulties of realizing that even though he has a loving wife and makes a good living, his old college friends have become very wealthy. The Reporter says: “Brad’s Status is about a man fighting through — rather than wallowing in — his narcissistic insecurities, trying to get to a place where he can look out at the world and see more than his own disappointed reflection.”
Nate Bloom COLUMNIST