Saturday, September 22, 2012

Last Resort


Having finished the first episode of Last Resort, "Captain," I can make some comments.

*spoiler warning*

The commercials mention praise by various sources. Of course a commercial would do that.

I find that the story was rather rushed in the episode, in that the events could have been spread over 3 or 4 episodes, allowing more room for character exposition and a much much better discussion of the moral dilemmas the crew face - something more like Crimson Tide, but perhaps even better. Instead, the moral gravity of what the crew must decide is ignored in favor of rapid story-telling.

And why did they have to make the COB, played by Robert Patrick, such a stickler for regulations? Is that the way the COB is supposed to be? Or should he have some more trust in the decisions of the captain? Certainly the showrunners now have the option of writing his character out of the show, but putting him in the brig indefinitely. How much of a history does the COB have with the captain? Again, this brings us back to the first problem - it would seem that most of the crew has served together for a while (except the new female lieutenant who happens to be the daughter of an admiral). Wouldn't there be more of a conflict between their sense of duty and their loyalty to their captain? More discussion of what is the right thing to do? Instead, they are quick to establish the premise of the show, that this is a sub that has gone rogue and now we get the drama of their new "life" as an independent autonomous unit.

Also, the cheap sets of the scenes taking place back in the States seem to be representative of the ABC "style" or "look," even though its dramas are probably not produced by the same company. (NBC also has a certain look to its dramas as well. I think the look of the CBS shows is most varied, and probably the best out of the 3 former major networks.) The submarine didn't look too bad, but they probably will not feature too many scenes on the sub - the corridors look too wide apart, and anything more complex than the bridge/con of the sub may be too expensive for them to create (since the production company is probably not receiving any technical assistance from the U.S. Navy). With the small size of the cast (not too many extra crew members seen), I think they must have a rather limited budget, perhaps a budget too small to do this show well. Even BSG seemed able to hire more extras.

And what can I say about the pretty-boy SEAL who is carrying a heavy secret about his role in precipitating what happens to the crew? (See his photo above.) The XO seems to be a rather weak personality, even though the captain claims that he recommended for a promotion to a post on shore. (Blame it on the casting? They should have hired someone from Australia, like Jason Clarke.)

Should we expect any honest discussion of the impact of mixed-sex crews on morale and efficiency? I doubt it; it's straight-up feminism in the first episode.

I'll probably watch the second episode, but I don't expect the series to get much better, despite the presence of Andre Braugher.

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