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The Orville Season 2 Trailer: Seth MacFarlane's Experimental Sci-Fi Series Is Back

The second season of Seth MacFarlane's sci-fi series The Orville is upon us. 

At San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, Fox launched the first trailer for The Orville season 2, giving fans a taste of the new episodes heading to small screens this December. Watch it in full above. 

From Orville crew member Alara (Halston Sage) trying her literal hand in an arm-wrestling match and later revealing her biggest hope (that people will be proud of her) to Planetary Union officer Ed (MacFarlane) quipping that he heavily plagiarized a rousing speech he gave, the footage encapsulates what The Orville is made up of: one part humor, one part heart. 

Originally marketed as a Star Trek spoofThe Orville actually felt more like an honest-to-goodness homage to the iconic space-faring series than everyone expected. In its freshman season, the series pin-balled between leaning into comedic elements as far as it could and pulling back to be more sincere and even sentimental. These tonal shifts were a major point of contention amongst viewers, who often felt like rag-dolls being guided one way and then yanked in the opposite direction shortly thereafter. 

The Los Angeles Times critic Charles Barton wrote of season 1, "More problematic are tonal shifts that come with filling an hour with the sort of drama that should support an orchestrally scored Star Trek homage while also accommodating MacFarlane's typically skewed, bro-friendly search for laughs."

But fear not, The Orville fans and those who have yet to see the series: MacFarlane has promised that with season 2, The Orville is now what it was "always intended to be." During the show's SDCC panel (via IndieWire), the creative assured that the second season will become "even more comfortable in its footing in terms of existing in that goldilocks zone," referring to the sometimes too screwy, sometimes too stoic place the series' freshman season lived in. 

"Initially, I think the show was a little misrepresented," added MacFarlane, later teasing that every episode of season 2 plays out like a movie. If that means the upcoming episodes will feel like Black Mirror's "USS Callister," we're totally about it. Just point us in the direction of the ship.

The Orville season 2 will premiere on Fox on Sunday, December 30.