THE LAST SHIP should be the first show on your summer viewing list!

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The Last Ship TBS Critical Blast

I'm a notoriously fickle television viewer.  Simply put, I won't stick around long for a new show that doesn't wow me, and I'm more than happy to drop a show once it falls into a rut.  Time is precious and my shows have to be top notch.  I'm not a fan of procedurals and reality shows, but otherwise, I'm willing to give just about any other genre a chance. I never know what will dust my fancy, but when it does, oh my, I'm sold.

THE LAST SHIP is a program that really surprised me with its action, smartness, and social commentary.  The setup from season one is easy.  A terrifying virus named the Red Flu decimated much of the world's population, but a lone ship, the USS Nathan James was dispatched to the Arctic prior to the world falling apart, so they're unaffected.  Over the course of the season the crew devises a cure for the Red Flu and returns to the remnants of America to aid the population.  The initial season ended with the Nathan James being taken over by a nefarious "government" that runs Baltimore.

THE LAST SHIP features a large cast, is mostly well acted, and each character plays a role in advancing the story.  There's no way I can hit on everyone but here are the key players.  The series is led by Eric Dane as the ship's CO Tom Chandler.  He's a bit of an over actor, but Dane looks every part the hero.  Rhona Mitra brings heart to the story as Dr. Rachel Scott, the scientist that helped create the cure for the Red Flu.  Adam Baldwin brings his typical hard ass character to the story portraying XO Mike Slattery.  Let's not forget Charles Parnell, who  does a great job as CMC Hugh Jeter.  Possibly my favorite is John Pyper-Ferguson as Tex, a contractor that joined the crew from Gitmo early in the first season.

The two-hour premiere picks up right from last season's cliffhanger.  Essentially, you're getting a mini-movie to kick off the season.  Be excited if you're into guest stars, since the show is stacked.  Alfre Woodard portrays Baltimore's Governor Granderson who saved the city from destruction but has a Stalin-esque willingness to expunge the unclean.  Titus Welliver, who originally was cast in Baldwin's role but had to dropout, plays a rebel leader.  Finally, there's the smarmy state trooper Lt. Pete Norris played brilliantly by Derk Cheetwood.

The show drops you right back into the action, so it might be a little hard for new viewers to jump on board.  It took me a little while to acclimate to all that was going on, and I was enthralled with season one.  Those year-long breaks can wreak havoc on the memory.  In the end, whether you seek out season one first, or just join in with the new season, there's few superior shows on television this summer.

Broken down to the basics, THE LAST SHIP is about a search for answers and a journey to return home.  It's high octane action but makes you think about how best to help the world, perform your duty, maintain the safety of your command, but aid the ones you love.  Sacrifice and selflessness are at the heart of the series, and that's an admirable central idea, if you ask me.

4.0 / 5.0