Moral Orel Review
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“Moral Orel” is deceptively funny. I remember sitting on the couch in my living room laughing hilariously, not noticing my mother’s look of disgusted concern: “That’s actually really dark. Why are you laughing?”
Why was I laughing? Because “Moral Orel” drags you in with it’s innocent tone with slightly mature situations that result in comedy, before taking a nose dive into something much deeper.
“Moral Orel” is a three season T.V show produced by Shadow Machine Films and originally aired on Adult Swim. On the surface, “Moral Orel” is a comedy show done in claymation. The show features satirical comedy focused on the irony of the Christian faith. This alienates a large amount of people, but I believe the critique is more on the type of religious persons portrayed. The religious fanatic that does not live by their own creed.
Which leads me to the meat and potatoes of the show: Orel, our main character, is a young impressionable literalist. He loves church and wants to be the best christian he can be, but this often means he does exactly what he is told, for better or for worse. For example in season 1, Orel learns about charity in church and he decides to get a job in order to be more charitable. Orel’s chosen recipient: a homeless man. Innocently enough, the man insists that Orel take something in return, a noble gesture if there ever was one. However, the homeless man gave Orel crack. Orel is promptly addicted and spends all his money on it.
These situations are common in “Moral Orel”. The perversions of religious lessons by a young child just trying to be close to god is something everyone can learn from, even if it is done comedically. The show layered. There is the external basic lesson of not being literal in your study of spirituality. But, beyond that there is a much deeper message about the kind of relationship we have with our families, specifically our parents.
This is the part where I go in depth, so if you want to go in spoiler free stop here, but I don’t think this knowledge ruins the show. Just be careful not to expect too much; it may ruin it for you. The surprise of what is to come makes it more impactful.
The wounds we acquire from our parents as children stick with us. They stick with us and they may even wound our children. We are a mirror of our parents and their problems, rather they be desperately trying to stay away from their parents’ methods, or trying to emulate them. We are how we are nurtured.
Orel’s father is completely detached. It is incredibly easy to vilify him for this, and maybe we should, but we find out that Orel’s father, just like Orel, has issues with his parents. This destructive cycle is the major theme in the show, as well as the irony of organized religion.
Moral Orel is a definite watch for me. It’s on Hulu and it contains important lessons everyone can benefit from. It may make you cry, but the overarching lessons are not bleak, they’re not uplifting either, just relatable.
Alex McAteer, senior, is the Opinions Editor for the Marquette Messenger. Outside of journalism, he runs on the Cross Country team as well as throwing...