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 Armageddon. The 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.
AIRED ON 8/24/2014
Season 1 : Episode 10