The Last Ship Review: TNT's Newest Drama Is Polished, Enjoyable And Worth Your Time
The Last Ship wants to be a show that appeals to everyone, which is a bit unusual since its subject matter, part military drama, part science exploration and part apocalyptic scare tactic, doesnít exactly scream mass appeal. Luckily, both lead actor Eric ďMcSteamyĒ Dane and producer Michael Bay definitely play very well across demographics and that really comes through here. In fact, Iím not sure I can imagine anyone with an open mind disliking The Last Ship. Itís polished. Itís filled with drama, and itís got a likeability about it.
That being said, I also canít imagine The Last Ship being anyoneís favorite show on television. In its effort to appeal to everyone, itís unable to find anything itís really great at. Michael Bay and company give us action. They give us personal life drama, shifting political alliances, some intriguing science and a whole lot more, but none of these dynamics are focused on enough or explored enough to really have a lasting impact. Itís not that itís poorly written. Itís that none of these things have enough time to develop since thereís such a concern with checking off all the possible boxes.
At its core, the show follows those aboard the USS Nathan James, a US Navy warship that was at sea while a pandemic of mysterious origins laid waste to a giant percentage of the worldís population. On board the vessel are Commander Tom Chandler (Dane), scientist Rhona Mitra (Rachel Scott), second-in-command Mike Slattery (Adam Baldwin) and a whole bunch of other faces weíll presumably get to know better along the way as they sail around the world, looking for fuel, avoiding various rebels and trying to give the scientist enough time to work on her vaccine that involves bird blood and good intentions.
Itís unclear what The Last Shipís first season budget is, but it looks tremendous for a television show. The special effects are top notch, and the set has been designed in such a way that viewers will have no problem buying the action as taking place on a war ship on the high seas. That might not sound like a surprise given some of the things Game Of Thrones has been able to pull off, but thereís a serious difference between premium cable and basic cable. You never know whether the latter is going to get the budget it actually needs. This one clearly did.
There is a downside to that, though. With a nice pacing, good acting and Greyís Anatomy star power in Dane, you would think The Last Ship would be a guarantee to make it over the long haul, but itíll probably need well above average numbers to justify its price tag. Fortunately, it should play well with TNTís audience, and the word of mouth should be a solid B. Hopefully, thatíll be enough to make the show this summerís first breakout hit.
The Last Ship doesnít reinvent the warship, but it does plenty of things right. So, set your DVR and add it to your schedule. Itís more than worth your time, especially against weaker Summer competition.
The Last Ship airs on TNT on Sunday nights.
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