Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pilot Review: Last Resort

Last Resort (ABC)
Premiered September 27 at 8pm

There are times when it doesn’t matter how good or bad a show is going to be – the pilot is guaranteed to be awesome. That’s absolutely the case with this series, which boasts a furiously exciting premise that doesn’t necessarily promise an entirely coherent or compelling series to follow. Its pace is perhaps its best asset, as orders to bomb Pakistan are given, Andre Braugher’s Captain Marcus Chaplin is promptly relieved of his command, and then the ship comes under attack of a missile just moments after they decide to question the order. The sub diving and crashing on the ocean floor was indisputably enthralling, and this show knows how to speed up the heart rates of its viewers. Braugher is a big part of that, since he’s completely at ease with being awesome, when he launches a missile allegedly aimed for D.C. and particularly in the pilot’s final scene where he publicly states his authority and threatens to nuke anyone who approaches the island. Braugher has had top-notch commanding roles before, and here he’s simply superb. I’m intrigued and pleased to see Autumn Reeser in the supporting cast as a scientist involved with tracking the boat’s location, Bruce Davison as a high-ranking politician, Dichen Lachman from “Dollhouse” as an island inhabitant, and Jessy Schram, best known as Karen from “Falling Skies,” as a loved one back home, as well as Max Adler, Karofsky from “Glee,” in a now-defunct small role. In establishing a premise and telling what seemed a story whose details were already generally known based on the show’s description, this pilot did exceptionally well, and it’s hard not to await episode two with baited breath.

How will it work as a series? That’s not to suggest, however, that this concept is infallible. If Chaplin has already revealed his location to the entire American public, what’s going to happen on an episodic basis? I’d be a fool not to tune in for episode two, but I don’t quite see where this is all going and how it can constitute an entire weekly series for more than a few episodes.
How long will it last? Unfortunately, the ratings for this well-reviewed show were nowhere near what they should have been given the hype, which could lead ABC to get rid of it as quickly as they did “Charlie’s Angels,” which held this time slot last year. I think ABC understands this show’s potential to attract audiences, and that will likely translate to it staying on through the rest of the season, though not necessarily any longer than that.

Pilot grade: B+

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