Fall TV First Impression: Shawn Ryan's Last Resort Makes a Splash

The broadcast networks have more than 20 shows debuting this fall, including a Revolution-ary drama from J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke, a fresh take on the Green Arrow and a new comedy from Friends‘ Matthew Perry. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions based on the not-for-review pilots.

First up on our list….

THE SHOW | ABC’s Last Resort (Thursdays at 8/7c)

THE COMPETITION | The Big Bang Theory/Two and a Half Men (CBS), The X Factor results show (Fox), 30 Rock/Up All Night (NBC) and The Vampire Diaries (The CW)

THE CAST | Andre Braugher (Homicide), Scott Speedman (Felicity), Robert Patrick (The Unit), Daisy Betts (Persons Unknown), Autumn Reeser (No Ordinary Family), Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse) and many others

RELATED | Fall Preview: TVLine’s Snapshot Guide to All the New Shows

THE SET-UP | Created by Shawn Ryan (The Shield, The Unit) and Karl Gajdusek, Last Resort stars Braugher as Marcus Chaplin, the captain of a submarine that, after offering a ride to a team of tight-lipped Navy SEALs, receives orders to launch missiles at Pakistan. Given the directive’s sketchy origin, Chaplin elects to ignore it, at which point the USS Colorado becomes the hunted. Chaplin charts a course for safe-ish harbor until he and his crew can glean what has gone wrong in the rest of the world. Speedman plays Chaplin’s XO, Patrick the book-abiding Chief of the Boat and Betts a lieutenant trying to lose her label as “an Admiral’s daughter” and gain respect. On the dry land side of things, Reeser plays a military tech honcho who suspects the Colorado has been targeted by its own country.

RELATED | Fall Preview: TVLine’s Grid Showing What’s On When and Versus What!

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | We’re launching this year’s Fall TV First Impressions series with what I feel is poised to be this year’s best new drama, so its merits are many. Last Resort‘s premise, while reminiscent of the Tony Scott-directed Crimson Tide, is nonetheless compelling and is unspooled efficiently, affording insight into the varied personalities populating the Colorado’s close confines. The pacing of the premiere is steady with nary a lull, while the occasional spurts of speechifying — especially as the Colorado questions the attack order — are succinct and stirring. Among the performances, Braugher is every bit as commanding as his sub captain, Patrick’s character is looking like one we’ll love to hate and Reeser has enough spunk to drive Lou Grant mad.
Concerns, though few, include predictably angsty cutaways to Speedman’s wife (Falling Skies‘ Jessy Schram) back home and what the show — namely its intensity levels — will look like after the Coloradans make camp on a remote isle that serves as home to Lachman’s beautiful local and Sahr Ngaujah’s power-hungry “mayor.”

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | Missiles launched by friendlies may be the last of Last Resort‘s concerns as it looks to make a splash opposite CBS’ hotter-than-ever 8 o’clock comedy block (where Big Bang now feeds into Two and a Half Men) and The X Factor (which could benefit from Britney buzz). And from FlashForward to My Generation to Charlie’s Angels and Missing, opening Thursday night has never come easy for ABC. Hopefully, Last Resort‘s arsenal of big thrills will keep it afloat long enough to “grab (ratings) sunlight,” as they say on ‘dem boomers.

Watch a video preview for Last Resort, then vote in our poll below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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38 Comments
  1. Renee says:

    Oh good I’m glad you’re doing this again this year Matt. And I’m really looking forward to this one.

  2. AJ says:

    Show looks interesting. Although from looking at the pic I could do without the “character in a stupid hat” thing they are doing.

  3. Kristina says:

    As much as I like a lot of the actors in this, I can’t get excited about it. Hope the pilot changes my mind.

  4. Temis says:

    Sounds like an okay concept, but it’s a male-skewing show on a female-skewing network, in a competitive timeslot with other male-skewing hit shows…don’t anyone get too attached, this has cancellation bait written all over it.

  5. Linderella says:

    The premise is a little dodgy but worth a look. As for the competition – there is none.

  6. Andrea says:

    It’s in a tough timeslot. I’m not sure it will make agaisnt Big Bang and the X-Factor.

  7. AuntTallulah says:

    I have heard nothing but good things about this show from the reviewers. I am excited because I have adored Andre Braugher since his Homicde days and is consistantly fantastic in his work!

  8. Krista says:

    Really hope this is a success, as I’m a huge fan of Scott Speedman and especially Autumn Reeser. Loved her since the O.C.!

    • Agreed. Andre Baugher and Dichen Lachman are also draws. Overall this show sounds great, looks great and has a bounty of great actors. Can’t believe it actually turned out well.

      Now all it has to do is survive that time slot

  9. Kalee says:

    Hope this does well even though it’s in ABC’s Thursday 8pm deathslot. This was the most intriguing pickup this year for me, and I’m also just glad another show is filming in Hawaii!

  10. Mik says:

    Daisy Betts was on “Persons Unknown”, not “Person of Interest” (:

  11. Alex says:

    Have heard nothing but good things about this show…so hope it does well. As mentioned in the article, the timeslot is a bit troubling, but there’s nothing else really like it on at the time, so hopefully it will find viewers.

  12. Shaun says:

    I can’t believe you used No Ordinary Family as Reesers credit,she was more recently in Hawaii 5-0

  13. Grace says:

    Love these first impressions of all the new shows! Thanks for doing them, Matt.

  14. Allison P says:

    With Autumn and Dichen in the cast (along with Max Adler guest starring), I may check out an episode or two…

  15. Bee says:

    heard lots of great early buzz on this so far, and its got a great cast and is in capable hands so i’m very optimistic. i hope ABC gets to promoting it because it’ll be a tough battle with the big bang theory and britney-boosted x-factor.

    • Cal says:

      They were promoting it non-stop during the NBA finals. I think they’re doing their best to assure there’s an audience this Fall.

  16. Dichen Lachman = automatic interest. Since Dollhouse I’ll follow her anywhere

  17. A6c8k0e3r says:

    GO JESSY SCHRAM!!!!!!! LOVE YOU!

  18. Jorge Castro says:

    Anything with Robert Patrick

  19. Ram510 says:

    It’s funny when they give the promo for this show “ABC’s Last Resort”. I’m sure it is ABC’s last resort for a genre show Thursday at 8.

    And you said ABC has always had trouble with Thursday at 8, which isn’t true, Ugly Betty did fine there until ABC screwed the show over

  20. French says:

    Yeah, but her most famous rôle was (the amazing) Taylor Townsend, in The OC.
    31 episodes > 20 > 3.

    CQFD

  21. jj says:

    I want to like it. But I can’t even sit through the clip. That’s not good. So no, thank you.

  22. G says:

    Yep look forward to this one. Autumn Reeser will always at least get me to check out the shows she is in ever since her amazing Taylor Townsend character on The O.C. I also like the idea of the show and hope it turns out good. My only problem will be figuring out how to watch it since I also watch Vampire Diaries and Big Bang Theory. Really hate when 3 good things are on at once!

  23. Jason Tippitt says:

    They had me at Andre Braugher, but Autumn Reeser and Jessy Schram and Dichen Lachman have a different sort of appeal all together. :)

  24. Devin says:

    Good to des Robert Patrick on a tv show agian he is a great actor

  25. Ally says:

    It’s definitely been on my radar since I saw the sneak peak. Thursday is my busiest TV night though–Vampire Diaries, Grey’s Anatomy, Big Bang Theory, Glee and new shows Last Resort and Beauty & the Beast. I’ll get to watch them all thanks to timeshifting and DVR recording but I wonder if (since nets are hellbent on liveair ratings) the show can get enough viewers. Sadly I see this as a major contender for cancellation a la short-lived shows Jericho and V.

  26. joey says:

    Anyone know the song and artist for the trailer?

  27. lola says:

    Scott Speedman. That’s a big yes.

  28. Holly says:

    The song & artist for the trailer: “Nothing But the Water” by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals.

  29. HL says:

    I will follow Andre Braugher. Have since Homicide!

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