Dead Series Discussion: Last Rites for Last Resort (Part 3)

Title CardLast September, the television show Last Resort premiered on ABC. The show starred Homicide alum Andre Braugher as the captain of the nuclear missile submarine USS Colorado, given orders to nuke Pakistan. The Colorado is attacked by American forces after Braugher’s character refuses to fire. A chain of events is set in motion that leaves Colorado in control of a nearby tropical island, attempting to expose the truth of the US government’s involvement in the attack.

Despite a favorable critical reaction, the ratings were never where they needed to be. As a result, the show was canceled after thirteen episodes. For a look back at the show, I am joined by my esteemed colleague, Jeff of Slazenger1. After Monday’s series overview and yesterday’s discussion of what worked, today we look at what did not work for Last Resort.

Jeff: My list of things that didn’t work about the show (for me anyway) is definitely longer than my “praise” list, but I’ll try to keep this to a reasonable length. One of my first big problems with the show was that it never took the time to give us anything worthwhile on the mainland/US side of things. Sure we got awful Kylie stories and dead-end Christine stories, plus we got small mentions of an unstable but highly approved president, however, we never really had a sense of the other side of the major conflict of the series. Yes, the island stories featuring infighting and trouble with the locals were okay, but I don’t think we ever got a true “big bad” for the series. Curry (Jay Karnes) did a little bit, but not enough to make me think he was the villain. I think the writers dug themselves into a hole and were taking their time trying to get out of it, incorrectly assuming that these one-off stories (with consequences that were often conveniently forgotten/brushed aside by the next episode–rape riots anyone?) were going to keep us entertained until we got to the true meat of the show’s central conflict. Continue reading

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Dead Series Discussion: Last Rites for Last Resort (Part 2)

Title CardLast September, the television show Last Resort premiered on ABC. The show starred Homicide alum Andre Braugher as the captain of the nuclear missile submarine USS Colorado, given orders to nuke Pakistan. The Colorado is attacked by American forces after Braugher’s character refuses to fire. A chain of events is set in motion that leaves Colorado in control of a nearby tropical island, attempting to expose the truth of the US government’s involvement in the attack.

Despite a favorable critical reaction, the ratings were never where they needed to be. As a result, the show was canceled after thirteen episodes. For a look back at the show, I am joined by my esteemed colleague, Jeff of Slazenger1. After yesterday’s series overview, today we look at what worked well for Last Resort.

Jeff: Yesterday’s “one word” answers, somewhat negative though they may be, hinted at a show that seemed like it could have been something great, but just fell short (or shot too wide). Still, there were pieces that worked somewhere in these 13 episodes, otherwise we probably would have stopped watching. When you look back on the series, what stands out to you as something, or things, Last Resort got right? What parts of the series are worthy of praise, or at least of your own personal admiration? Continue reading