music friday: benny spellman, “lipstick traces (on a cigarette)”
what boomer and robin look like at 1:00 a.m.

last resort, series premiere

Last Resort is the latest offering from Shawn Ryan, this time working with Karl Gajdusek. It’s hard to figure out who does what; I think the premise was Gajdusek’s. Gajdusek worked as a writer on Dead Like Me, and wrote the script for the Nicolas Cage/Nicole Kidman movie Trespass. Ryan is the man behind The Shield and Terriers, among other shows. His name on a new series is reason enough for me to watch.

Everyone seems to agree on a couple of items regarding the pilot for Last Resort. It’s a great standalone episode, tense, definitely in the “I want to watch more” department, with the usual excellent acting from lead Andre Braugher. And it’s difficult to see how someone could make an ongoing series with this premise, that a Navy captain in charge of a submarine carrying plenty of nuclear missiles finds himself and his ship declared enemies of the U.S. government. They set themselves up at an island in the Indian Ocean, and … well, there’s the rub. What’s next?

There seems to be a chance for some Lost-style action on the island, but Braugher’s captain can’t just launch missiles at the U.S. willy-nilly, so who knows where the show is headed. Ryan and Gajdusek tell us they know what they’re doing, and I’m giving Ryan plenty of chances to succeed.

The pilot was every bit as good as the reviews suggested, and Braugher is so good, he could carry the series by himself. (I say this as someone who has always recognized Braugher’s skills without ever actually watching one of his series. My only extended experience with him was from his brief stay on House.)

I’m weeding my way through the new series, and am mostly disappointed. One episode of Vegas was enough to convince Robin and I we’d be skipping it. Revolution has my attention, but it’s not a good sign that the second episode is still on my DVR, unwatched. I doubt I’ll stick with The Mindy Project, although it seems good enough. Last Resort looks like my last chance to get involved with a new series. The premiere is a fine start. Grade for pilot: A. And an obvious incomplete for the series to come.