This article is part of a series where we take a suggested topic – generally something from the entertainment industry – and create a party plan around it. This can include thematic elements, food and beverages, decorations, etc. If you have a topic that you think would make a great party, please submit it to our editor and we’ll take a look! The only criteria is that it must be popular enough it can easily be researched online.
NOTE: These posts may contain spoilers.
If you’re a sci-fi fan, you have probably heard of The Orville, a space explorer show a la Star Trek released in 2017 on Fox. Because it’s the brainchild of Seth McFarlane, creator of Family Guy and American Dad!, it’s got more bathroom humor than traditional sci-fi shows. An open mind and a willingness to try a series that is more dramedy than drama (especially in a genre that has been more stereotypically serious in the past) will help you truly appreciate this show.
I’ll admit it: when I watched the first episode, I was not impressed. It was slow, the humor was cringe-worthy, and it was fairly dull. I try to give every show at least two episodes to get better, and I am glad I did for The Orville! The second episode was good, the third was great, and I have been hooked ever since. It’s on its second season now, and it continues to be a fun – and more thoughtfully planned – ride.
For this theme I used the first season (and what has been released so far for the second season) which can be found on Hulu, Amazon, and Fox.
As expected with a space-exploring show where an intergalactic alliance reigns, the spaceship setting has a sleek, modern design done in cool, light colors of grey, blue, tan, and white, with windows showing the black expanse of space dotted with streaking white stars. Uniforms are primarily blue (officers), orange (other staff), red (security), and green (medical). Other than that, color isn’t a defining marker on this show like it is on some others. It is worth calling out a special decoration on the captain’s desk: a stuffed Kermit doll. They reference it on more than one episode, so if you recreate that space, you’ve got to include Kermit!
Locations & Decorations
While your location can determine your decorations, you don’t have to use one to make your party feel themed. Feel free to take decorative elements from any of the following locations and mix and match until it’s your own style. A few other locations not listed here could be Moclus, the Krill spaceship from episode 6: “Krill,” or the biosphere in episode 4: “If The Stars Should Appear.”
- Mess Hall: Easiest. Welcome to… your living room + a bar counter. The mess hall is really a cafeteria space with multiple tables and chairs in the middle, smaller tables and chairs with windows to space on the outside, and a section devoted to a bar with bar stools and colorful, backlit bottles lining the walls behind the bartender. There are also multiple food synthesizers located in the space. Re-arrange your furniture, throw in some strategically placed plants for atmosphere, add some fake windows with space scenes on the walls, and you’re done! Another fun bit of trivia that you can use to your advantage: one of the episodes includes karaoke in the mess hall. YAS! So bust out that karaoke machine and impress your guests with your favorite spacey song… or have a rap battle. Whatever floats your boat.
- Bridge: Hardest. Why is the bridge so hard when it’s so clean and uncluttered? It’s not the lack of objects; it’s the complexity and sourcing of the displays that wrap around the bridge. You can try replicating (don’t forget to backlight where possible) the ones used in the show, or you can Google “starship console” filtered to images for a large variety of pictures. Otherwise, I’d recommend lining the walls of your space with folding tables and chairs to replicate the manned stations and two larger chairs in the middle for the captain and co-captain chairs. A cool fact about the bridge on the show? They don’t use a green screen for their viewscreen; they use a huge t.v. monitor to actually show the actors what they’re supposed to see! I don’t recommend buying a 90-foot screen (ha), but you could dedicate a wall to be your viewscreen. Hang a black sheet or black posterboard taped together to fit the space, and you can then decorate it however you want: images of stars and galaxies, other spaceships, or aliens talking on the screen.
- Calivon Zoo: Most fun. In season 1, episode 2, Ed and Kelly discover the Calivon Zoo… from the wrong side of the fence. This location would be awesome, because you can use the concept of cells to set up as stations, i.e. dedicate small areas throughout your space to an alien and their environment. Including a different kind of food at each one turns it into a cultural event! You can incorporate the ones presented in the episode or get inspired and create brand new ones (this would be especially funny if you styled the worlds after your guests’ habits. Photonia where the aliens have camera lenses for eyes for your photographer friend?)
Food & Beverages
Beverages include water, beer, wine, and exotic mixed drinks, so have fun with colorful liquids and naming them after some of the locations the crew visit. Food shots include lots of sushi, jello-looking desserts (colorful squares), general rice dishes, vegetables, bread, and salads. There are a few fun scenes that you can experiment with:
- Moclans Eat Everything: We discover that Moclans can eat anything, including wasabi, napkins, cacti, and glass. I’d recommend re-creating this as guacamole, square tortillas (or another type of flattened bread), cactus cupcakes, and shot glasses made of ice, sugar, or chocolate.
- Rocky road ice cream: Klyden discovers the most popularly requested comfort food from Earth is rocky road ice cream.
- Yaphit: The character of Yaphit, played by Norm MacDonald, is a large, gelatinous green blog. In one episode we discover that Yaphit can tell where his parts are when a part of him is fed to another crew member. What’s this mean for you? Time to break out the lime jello or Green Martian Salad!
- For a fun drinking game combined with watching the series, the Orville Drinking Game says all watchers should take a drink every time Set McFarlane’s character sighs.
- Get in the game! A Moclan game called Latchkum is like hot potato where the players pass the ball quickly until it randomly shoots out a spear, impaling the player’s hand while the others call out, “Latchkum”! Obviously, we don’t recommend harming your guests. Instead, get an egg timer, have the host set it at a random time, put it inside a large, colored Easter egg, and get people to passing. When the timer goes off, that person is out of the game. This continues until only one person is left. NOTE: You might need multiple large eggs, as people might drop it when startled and break it.
- If you’re more into DIY activities, try this awesome “How to Make Yaphit From the Orville DIY Slime” instructable. Just don’t, um, eat it. (If you watch the show, you’ll get it.)
After everything we’ve discussed, we should point out the most important ingredient for your Orville party: humility. Don’t take yourself too seriously. If The Orville has taught us nothing else, it is that no matter how high you get, you can still be surprised, you can still be humble, and you can still crack a joke, especially at your own expense. So get to crackin’… and happy partying!
Make sure to also tune in to The Orville on Fox on Thursday nights at 9/10 p.m. CST.
Featured image credit: Fox