Last year it seemed like every time I wrote about a new show I was always saying, it is a good idea for a movie, but I do not see how it works on the small screen. That trend continued this season which includes Nashville which looks like it is basically just Country Strong but on television (they even managed to find an actress as bad as Leighton Meester to play her role). But of all the shows in recent years where you have to wonder why they did not just make a movie instead, Last Resort is on the top of the list. Yet the first hour of Last Resort is so good, if it were a movie it would be one of the top five best movies I have seen this year.
The show focuses on the crew of a nuclear submarine who refuses to bomb Pakistan when a questionable order comes in through a secondary command instead of the primary issue. The sub is then bombed and the survivors set up camp at a NATO outpost in the middle of the Indian Ocean. To keep any more attacks on them from happening, the captain of the sub declares a two hundred mile safe zone around the island and will use one of the fourteen warheads on ship if anyone breaches the perimeter, including their own country.
Even though it may have been better as a movie, the show does set up plenty of plotlines that’s could last a season. The show starts off with the sub picking up some navy seals who’s latest mission may have tied into the Pakistan attack (okay, that is pretty much a given). The NATO outpost seems to be run by a warlord who does not look like is going to give up his power to a bunch of Americans that easily. Plus there is plenty of political intrigue back stateside with family member dealing with their loved ones going rouge including one of the admirals whose daughter was on the submarine.
There are also a couple names attached that gives me hope that the show will continue to be good after the first episode. First up it was created by Shawn Ryan who created the show who has previously brought us the criminally under-watched Terriers. While the cast is headlined by Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age) as the captain of the sub who gives one epic speech to the world near the end of the episode. Then there is the always reliable Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day) who looks like he will be butting heads with Braugher early and often. Sure Autumn Reeser (The Big Bang) as a military tech specialist may be the biggest stretch on screen since Denise Richards played a nuclear physicist, but she delivers some boring but important exposition while undressing which may be one of the smartest written scenes ever.
Last Resort may be one of the few shows that Democrats and Republicans can watch (aside from, surprisingly enough, Modern Family that both presidential candidates and their wives enjoy despite the inclusion of gay homosexuals). The tree hugging hippies will be happy that the ship refuses to bomb a sovereign nation without cause while the neo-cons will find enjoyment that Pakistan gets bombed anyway. And the impeached president is vague either side can live vicariously though television that Barack Obama or George Bush type president is being impeached. Really anyone who has been waiting for the next 24 (but is too cheap to subscribe to Showtime to watch the excellent Homeland) should definitely check out Last Resort.
Last Resort airs Thursdays at 8:00 on ABC. But who cares what I think, you can already watch the first episode on Hulu (even watch it below), download Last Resort on iTunes for free, or stream / download it basically anywhere on the internet that you can think of.