Hey TV.com, Should I Watch TNT's Ocean-bound, McSteamy-starring Viral Drama The Last Ship?

By Tim Surette

Jun 19, 2014

TNT is majorly expanding its original programming with a specific target audience in mind: DUUUUUUDES. And not just any dudes, dudes who like guns and explosions and dialogue like, "I WANT ANSWERS!" The first big show to try to draw in that testosterone is The Last Ship, a naval thriller with a tiny sci-fi bent to it. But is it any good? I have watched the pilot and am here to serve as your lighthouse in another edition of This Show You're Talking About, Is It Any Good?

The Last Ship? What happened to all the other ships?

They're all dead! It's total shipicide in The Last Ship. In fact, it's not just ships that've perished; a lot of people died, too. After a viral outbreak kills 80 percent of the world's population, a Naval Destroyer that was on a four-month radio-silence mission in the Arctic is the human race's only chance to survive, find a cure, and repopulate the earth. Bow-chicka-wow-wow. Also, countries may have started nuking each other in the chaos of global sickness. 

Who christened this thing, and who's manning the deck?

Hank Steinberg, the man behind Without a Trace and The Nine, created this series and is executive-producing. And once you see all the flyover shots and explosions, it won't surprise you at all to know that Michael "BOOM BOOM" Bay is also attached as an executive producer. In fact, this thing is so Michael Bay, it might be the sequel to Pearl Harbor or ArmageddonThe Last Ship is based on William Brinkley's 1988 novel The Last Ship, except TNT changed the entire main premise of the story (there is no virus in the book). I guess the network just really wanted to use that name. 

Eric "McSteamy" Dane (Grey's Anatomy) is the captain of the ship, and he's one tough and gruff Ess-Oh-Bee! Sci-fi heroine Rhona Mitra is the sexy scientist whose decks he'll swab, and you will not believe the differences of opinion these two have in the beginning. And Adam Baldwin is the ship's second-in-command, a depressing far cry from his roles on Firefly and Chuck. He's actually forced to say, "Man it's cold, I should have taken that desk job back in Miami." On behalf of everyone: groan. 

When does TNT break a champagne bottle over the hull of The Last Ship?

Ahoy! The Last Ship embarks on its maiden broadcast on Sunday, June 22 at 9pm on TNT.

What kind of people will want to board The Last Ship

If you legitimately enjoy mindless summer blockbusters with lots of shouting and camerawork from helicopters (you know, movies of the Bay and Bruckheimer variety) then The Last Ship won't disappointment. But sci-fi fans looking for a smart new viral thriller should steer clear; this is more of a military operation than an apocalyptic nightmare. 

What keeps The Last Ship afloat?

There's an interesting story about isolation going on as it becomes more and more apparent that the crew of the ship could be the only surviving members of the human race (obviously they won't be). And the claustrophobic confinement of the boat provides natural fuel for that feeling. There's also a lot of softcore gun porn, with cameras whirring around the destroyer and its massive artillery. The effects aren't that great, but it's always cool to see sh*t blow up. 

What will make you seasick about The Last Ship?

The series has all the hallmarks of over-patriotic military drivel attached to a thin science-fiction premise, all of it inflated by empty, macho filmmaking. The acting is pretty terrible, the dialogue is even worse, and characters are more full of air than a life boat. Do you really want to watch a show where two biggest threats—a virus and radiation—are invisible? Sure it saves TNT a pretty penny on the budget, but it creates so many writing loopholes and easy exits and it's never compelling. And you can predict the episodes from here: an hour on trying to find food, an hour about an attempted mutiny, an hour about fighting a mutant giant squid (I hope), and so on. 

So, should I watch it?

Nope! It is awful, and that is a fact. Watch the first and only season of Last Resort instead!

Do you have a trailer I can watch so I can make my own educated decision?

Yes I do. And here it is.

The Last Ship premieres Sunday, June 22 at 9pm on TNT.

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  • DouglasMcCast Jun 23, 2014

    I can't stop watching Helix, thats why I will be very veeerrry careful with the next self-proclaimed "SCI-fy" show that comes around that has no SCIentist (your dumb kid in highschool doesn't count Helix producer) involved directly on the script/production... or that have the name "Michael Bay" on it...... otherwise I`ll find myself watching big brother in a few months.... or the bachelor... i know you guys love those, lol

  • DouglasMcCast Jun 23, 2014

    "And you can predict the episodes from here: an hour on trying to find food, an hour about an attempted mutiny, an hour about fighting a mutant giant squid (I hope), and so on."


  • lylenorg35 Jun 22, 2014

    I just can't understand people who complain about shows like this.
    It's what you want, according to many surveys. You want simple action dramas, not the more subtle espionage thrillers with longer stories.
    Look at Rubycon, one of the best shows in a long time, it got cancelled due to its being "too complicated" for the audience.

  • DouglasMcCast Jun 23, 2014

    Maybe what the survey is saying is:
    "Rubycon.... sorry, not there... yet!"
    "Michael Bay's movies (and the Following, under the dome types)...sorry, I'm not fucking immortal, dont wast my time... I'm not going back there!"

  • wudntulik2know Jun 22, 2014

    Is this an all-white show?

  • yamachamama Jun 22, 2014

    I have 5 words for you:
    Revolution, Under the Dome, Sharknado.

    If those shows can renewals, how can I possibly turn my curly brow down on this show simply based on a bad review and a cookie cutter trailer?

    More importantly, are you really going to say no to an exotic paleomicrobiologist (say that 5 times fast!) with perfect skin who is so passionate she's sweating through her perky sports tank top in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?

    We are talking the second coming of Sarah Conner here and she's neatly positioned between Linda Hamilton and Lena Headey. And need I remind you that she did star in Underworld (No. 3) and even had a part in Shooter, which was a great movie!

    I say forget about the fact that it's Michael Bay, forget about the fact that it's probably sponsored in part by the US Navy, and just give it a try. At worst it becomes something for the DVR delete button.

  • plasmarulz Jun 22, 2014

    I'll pass, for 2 reasons: 1) sounds lame, and, 2) Wimbledon`s on!

  • youngnan Jun 22, 2014

    Wimbledon? Dude, World Cup!!! It's illegal to watch any other sport while World cup is on. The penalty is stoning, so be careful!

  • plasmarulz Jun 23, 2014

    It`s OK, I`m on the right side of the globe to avoid stoning ;-)

  • Boozwaa Jun 21, 2014

    Wow! All this "I'm not going to watch it" just from a trailer and this review.... Imagine if everyone did the same with other shows,....., I'll give it a shot.

  • DouglasMcCast Jun 23, 2014

    Go, and please.... come back to tell us

  • WavSlave Jun 20, 2014

    I expected this to be weak and shallow and Michael Bay is everything that's wrong with movies today, but ... Rhona Mitra, so I'll have to at least sample the premiere.

  • jjafargi Jun 20, 2014

    I'm still pretty bitter about Last Resort being cancelled, and this doesn't seem even remotely as good. Pass.

  • Sproxar Jun 20, 2014

    I don't know. It looks so tempting... but if I watch this AND Under the Dome this summer, I could be a drooling vegetable come September. Maybe if I have enough sunshine and piña coladas first...

  • DouglasMcCast Jun 23, 2014

    Under the Dome and M Bay? Dont go there buddy... You might never come back.

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