TV Recap: The Last Ship, Series Premiere

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Based on the 1998 novel of the same name, The Last Ship is the tale of a lone vessel and its crew who have escaped a massive, human-killing plague. This post-apocalyptic tale written by William Brinkley follows the crew as they search for a new home while protecting a cure, all while evading the Russians and the threat of an all out nuclear strike.

Eric Dane, best known for his role on Grey’s Anatomy, has taken the helm of the U.S.S. Nathan James as Commander Tom Chandler. His second-in-command is Mike Slattery, played by the cult favorite actor Adam Baldwin of Firefly and Serenity. He was in Chuck and was the voice of Decepticon Breakdown as well. Rounding out the main cast is Michaela McManus (Law & Order, Awake, One Tree Hill), Charles Parnell (Venture Brothers, The Forgotten), Tracy Lynn Middendorf (Days of our Lives), Sam Spruell (Snow White and the Huntsman, Mayday), and former Lara Croft model Rhoda Mitra (Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Boston Legal, Nip/Tuck).

The good news is the cast is solid. Dane and Baldwin complement each other well, and it is clear there will be a lot of tension between them this season. The bad news is Mitra, who fulfills every sort of stereotype for the show. I will make it easy:

We get the following brick-to-the-head clichés:

– So, the mission was fake so the scientist can do her work.
– Someone kills himself in a scene to show how horrific getting sick is.
– Everyone is dying, yet Chandler’s family somehow is still alive.
– Lots of explosions (Michael Bay!)

Despite the obvious clichés we see in every series, this one is actually good. If you can get past Mitra’s horrific acting, this seems to be a good show. The supporting cast does a convincing job the new mission of survival is serious business, and we do not yet see ourselves faced with mutiny. Inevitably it will happen, but first we have the Russians to deal with. Somehow, they discovered the cure may very well be on board the ship and we have an all-out assault, which ends rather quickly and without casualties thanks to the efficient and cohesive crew.

Photo Credit: Maarten de Boer
Photo Credit: Maarten de Boer

The first episode ends with the reveal of who the traitor on the ship is, and the suggestion being the United States Government may no longer exist. So, what do they do? Let’s take a trip down to Gitmo, because there is a secret safe-house and facility there. We are teased with in imminent attack by the Russians, and we learn (through our hard-working scientists), the disease itself may have been weaponized and released from a lab. While the premise seems as though the whole “global disease” and “post-apocalyptic” bit has been beaten to death, the melding of a book from the 1980’s and modern-era threats give the show some semblance of reality.

Will this be a great show? Doubtful. However, for those who stick with it, I sense a level of satisfied entertainment will be achieved.

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Michael Dworkis is a man of vast talent and industry. A former writer and corporate assistant of World Wrestling Entertainment, “MSD” is the Wrestling Columnist for Pop-Break, as well as contributing columns related to comics, movies, pop-culture, and of course, anything Transformers. He recently completed and obtained his Masters degree in Mental Health in Counseling, and recently became licensed to practice as an LAC by the National Board of Certified Counselors. If you need either a therapist or your wrestling fix, come to this man. Michael also is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Media, and previously managed an internet retail company. He blames Bill for having so much wrestling on the site and pleads with his superiors to create a feature on his very own Transformer Collection and to subdue Michael Bay for a serious talk. Michael is still searching for a Japanese Grand Maximus or any Japanese Generation 1 exclusives. See more of Michael at MichaelDworkis.com and follow on Twitter @Omegax80.

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