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

What’s in a Name?

I have a thing for water.

Let me back up a bit…

There was a time in my life when songwriting provided me with the creative and emotional outlet I needed to deal with life’s troubles. I frequently found myself using nautical imagery to convey the feelings and ideas of my lyrics.

Nothing symbolizes hopelessness like a wind-swept, snow-covered field. Nothing seems as lonely as rain pattering against a window at night. Nothing feels as powerless as a ship dragged by the current or swept by a storm. Nothing is as sturdy as when it is anchored.

I’m not sure how I became so transfixed by rain and snow and the oceans and the seas. Maybe it’s because life on a farm is seasonal. Maybe it’s because I fell in love with history following maps showing the maneuvers of World War II warships. Maybe it’s because precipitation lends itself to analogy and symbolism.

Regardless of how it happened, I instantly fell in love with the title Nothing but the Rain. As I stated previously, this title was not my idea. I struggled to find a Battlestar Galactica quote or phrase that both sounded good and was available. When Dylan suggested Nothing but the Rain, I was smitten.

When I asked Chelsey to make a banner image for this website, my immediate thought was to transpose everything I like across the page. When that image became cluttered and unwieldy, she sent me the background and asked for further modifications.

The only problem was that it was already perfect. I couldn’t, and still can’t, explain why, but the banner image you see above would become less meaningful if anything were added. It represents Nothing but the Rain on every level.

Water is deeply personal and deeply meaningful to me, but even after writing and proofreading this post for well over an hour, I can’t explain why.

Maybe this is one of the few things where the “why” doesn’t matter. It just is. I’m not satisfied with that answer often, but I think I am this time.