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TV Series Review

It's been a tough few seasons for our ol' world.

A killer virus called the Red Flu swept across the planet like a cosmic Zamboni, coating the continents with disease and infecting about 80% of the population, killing most. And even though a cure was found and distributed at the end of Season Two, there's still plenty of peril afoot. There's a new virus in play—one that the cure can't touch if given too late. Smugglers abound. And there's plenty of petty power brokers who hope to parlay the post-flu chaos into a new world order—one centered on their own selfish, often deadly goals.

In this messy world, the USS Nathan James is still humanity's best, and perhaps only, hope. Piloted by steely eyed Commander Tom Chandler, the Navy destroyer escaped the initial pandemic through its isolation, loitering in the Arctic and observing strict radio silence when the virus went viral. It was the James and its intrepid crew that found the cure and has been distributing it around the world. And now, with Chandler head of the United States' much-curtailed military, the nation, and the world, continue to place its hope in the little ship that can.

Passing the Naval Inspection

TNT's The Last Ship follows the template of what summertime TV has traditionally been about: thrilling, frothing fun. Of course this is the 2010s, so the "fun" takes place on a jarringly dystopian cruise. Still, in a departure from today's crop of tragedy-minded prestige shows, this actioner doesn't want to impress you with its high-sheen "craft" or depress you with bleak, bitter storylines. It simply wants to entertain. (More Tom Clancey than Stephen King, the series is based on a novel by William Brinkley, a former naval officer.)

It also seems to want to inspire. These seaworthy heroes are usually, well, heroic. Indeed, The Last Ship swings wide of the prickly antihero trend so in vogue today.

How to Look At Harsh

Choppy waters come in the form of a new mini-crisis that pops up pert near every episode. Commander and crew often run headlong into perilous, violent situations. We see folks die, some from war-like conflicts, others from the disease itself. Sporadic bloody battle wounds or on-the-spot operations are obviously not for the squeamish. Foul language may be a growing issue for the series, too, with the occasional s-word surfacing (unbleeped on the iTunes' and Amazon versions of the show we watched).

All that would make The Last Ship one of the harsher shows on cable TV—if, that is, it had aired in the Cold War era of the late 1980s when its source material was written.


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Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

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Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

The Last Ship: July 31, 2016 "Sea Change"
The Last Ship - July 12, 2015: "Achilles"



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Eric Dane as Commander Tom Chandler; Rhona Mitra as Dr. Rachel Scott; Adam Baldwin as XO Mike Slattery; Charles Parnell as CMC Jeter; Marissa Neitling as Lt. Kara Foster; Christina Elmore as Lt. Alisha Granderson; Jocko Sims as Lt. Carlton Burk; Travis Van Winkle as Lt. Danny Green; John Pyper-Ferguson as Tex; Martin Kevin Michael Martin as Miller; Michael Curran-Dorsano as Gator; Chris Sheffield as Comms Officer Will Mason; Ness Bautista as Cruz; Fay Masterson as Andrea Garnett; Paul James as O'Connor; Hope Olaide Wilson as Bertrise; Andy T. Tran as Lt. Andy Chung; Maximiliano Hernández as Doc Rios; Ben Cho as Carl Nishioka






Record Label




On Video

Year Published



Paul Asay

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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