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Last Resort:

The Undefeated
So, what did everyone think of the premiere? I thought the series couldn't have started out any better. I'm already loving the characters and it's good to see that the show has a strong female character that isn't a bitch.
Sony fan here.
 2 Nicknacks, Sat, 29th Sep '12 9:41:04 AM from Land Down Under
Ding-ding! Going down...
Though don't fear: it still has one of those!

For the record, I liked it a lot. I think Robert Patrick's character need's some work done, and that Australian guy's doing a crappy American accent. Scott Speedman's a little boring, but Andre Braugher's a fucking awesome everything.

edited 29th Sep '12 9:41:48 AM by Nicknacks

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Idiot plot that relies on idiot characters, and a nigh complete ignorance on the part of the writers about everything they are writing. It is always a bad sign when it looks like the writers decided "I want to tell a story about ____. I won't actually bother to do any research about ____, or bother to make my story even the slightest bit internally consistent. Those objections are trumped by my desire to tell a story!"
Home of CBR Rumbles-in-Exile: rumbles.fr.yuku.com
 4 Nicknacks, Sat, 29th Sep '12 10:45:40 PM from Land Down Under
Ding-ding! Going down...
We'll need more description and less theory if we want to take your comment on board. Or at least, I will.
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 5 johnnyfog, Sat, 29th Sep '12 11:22:57 PM from NYC Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
Not entirely a douche
Ditto on Andre. I'll watch that cat in anything.
PHD in Thuganomics
The Undefeated
Aye, Andre Braugher made the episode for me, but I did like Scott Speedman's character as well. I'm not sure why you didn't like him, Nicknacks.

edited 1st Oct '12 4:34:48 PM by Stevron

Sony fan here.
NCC - 1701
I DV Red the pilot, "Captain", and I second Metaphysician's comments all the way. But I don't think it's a case of lazy writers or Idiot Balls. I think it's a case of trying fit this really awesome, very ambitious, story that needs a solid four hours to tell and cramming into 44 minutes plus commercials.

I thought Andre Braugher was amazing, but even his considerable acting skills foundered as a result of having the script lurch from one scene to the next. Many of the plot contrivances that Meta complains of could've been solved if they'd stretched the pilot episode into maybe three or four episodes.

Not speaking for Meta, but here are some of my gripes with that pilot ep:

1. Andre Braugher seems like the only castmember being allowed to truly flex his skills. Robert Patrick's COB character has serious potential and Scott Speedman's Commander Kendall does as well, and yet both seem like they're going through the motions in certain scenes. I'm thinking of the scene wherein Lt.Cmdr. Kendall goes to see Capt. Chaplin and says he's overwhelmed and needs help. Um, five minutes ago, he was 'bout ready to reduce a third of Pakistan to dust. Now, I'm supposed to buy that a banged up ship is a serious burden on you??

2. I like a naked woman on TV as much as the next guy, but seriously, having Pruitt in her undies less than five minutes after she appears on screen is a bit tactless, especially since TV is gunning for women characters to be taken seriously. And furthermore, the character, if not the actress, has the potential to be a very enigmatic and dynamic part of the series.

3. The SEAL at the bar....pisses me off to no end. Considering that TV has given us rather believable Special Forces characters like Jack Bauer, Jonas Blaine, Michael Westen, and even those dudes from Strike Back, this guy comes off as a Hollywood pretty boy playing a Spec Ops commando, not like a real commando. Also, one minute he's giving the classic movie tough guy speech about how he's gonna kill all your men without putting down his drink, and the next minute his weeping about My God, What Have I Done?? Groan.

4. The crew's reaction to questioning orders is a stretch. You're gonna mutiny because the two commanding officers ask a reasonable question about an order that'll leave four and a half million people dead? And nobody found it fishy that a bunch of SEA Ls simply waltzed onto the bridge of a ballistic nuclear submarine. And said SEA Ls start demanding to see launch orders??? I half expected them to go Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide the question.

5. The reaction of the people on the island is a little suspect as well. Local warlord sees a submarine surface and shortly thereafter guys with big guns take it over. As Lucius Fox would say, "And your plan is to....threaten...these guys?? Good luck."

6. The episode's resolution was a little weak. Some real dramatic heft would've been to see the seaman actually shoot Cmdr. Kendall with the ep ending as to whether he survived and leave us wondering what would happen. The local warlord kidnapping the Colorado crew?? For that warlord's sake, I truly hope he has a better plan than "piss off the absurdly armed and clearly off-the-reservation US Navy and hope for the best."
It was an honor
 8 Nicknacks, Tue, 2nd Oct '12 1:10:02 PM from Land Down Under
Ding-ding! Going down...
And furthermore, the character, if not the actress, has the potential to be a very enigmatic and dynamic part of the series.

Are you implying that semi-nudity interferes with this?

Also, one minute he's giving the classic movie tough guy speech about how he's gonna kill all your men without putting down his drink, and the next minute his weeping about My God, What Have I Done?? Groan.

I thought he was acting destructively in the former scene as well. He goes looking for a fight doesn't find one, sinks (further) into drink. Fairly realistic, though I've never liked the actor very much.

On point six, I see what you're saying about dramatic heft. But how comparatively dramatic is Andre Baugher's statement that he's planning on becoming permanent boss of the island (presumably whether the people there like it or not)? Sympathetic main character declares Marshall Law and decides to colonise* the island is presumably more dramatic.
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 9 Nohbody, Tue, 2nd Oct '12 4:34:56 PM from Somewhere in Dixie Relationship Status: Mu
Just zis guy
I haven't seen it (on my long, long, looooong to-do list, since it's on Hulu), but from what I've heard about it, I expect many groans and restraining myself from trying to punch the screen over the issues regarding the launch order, as someone with more than a passing familiarity with the reality (former bubblehead, albeit attack subs and not boomers). Until then, though, I'll refrain from further Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch, since "what I've heard" isn't "what I've personally seen".

edited 2nd Oct '12 4:36:06 PM by Nohbody

NCC - 1701
[up] Make no mistake Nohbody, it's still very much a very intriguing idea. It may simply be that a concept like this takes a while to gel. I very much plan to keep on watching.

I happen to remember that you like the movie Crimson Tide. As a fellow Tide fan, I can assure you, you'll find a lot to like about Last Resort.

Are you implying that semi-nudity interferes with this?

Not quite. I'm saying semi-nudity before she's uttered a full paragraph of dialogue doesn't really scream "Serious, dynamic character over here." Listen, there are some amazing female characters and amazing women that played them and they weren't hindered by showing some skin.

But it's just about the way she's introduced. The scene didn't begin with her already in bed, groggily reading the text, and then bolting awake, dressing, and walking out the door, with her lover saying something like "Where're you going??", and her walking out without even acknowledging the question. In my mind, that would've been a powerful Establishing Character Moment. Even without knowing she was a defense contractor, or that she's the designer of a powerful submarine cloaking device *, it would've suggested this was no cheap floozie, but rather a woman who has a life, and a sex life at that, but whatever's going on, she's deadly serious when it's business.

Instead, the character I saw in the episode comes off as that stock character of the foxy lady reporter, always on the run for a scoop, and willing to use her good looks to get it. I remember actually being surprised she was the designer of this top-secret, high-tech system. She's yammering on about its specs more like an amazed schoolgirl and less like the scientist, or tycoon, behind it. Think about other female characters like Colonel Carter, Dr. Weir, Agent Ziva David, Detective Benson, et al, and you see why I find Autumn Reeser's character so lacking.

Further, observe how she approaches Admiral Shephard when she learns the news. Before she reveals the truth of the Colorado's demise, he's ready to dismiss her like some insignificant shrew. Think about the same scene with Cherry Jones (the President from the last few seasons of 24) in that scene. I couldn't see anybody, even some hotshot Admiral dismissing her that way.

edited 2nd Oct '12 9:13:32 PM by TheStarshipMaxima

It was an honor
 11 Nohbody, Wed, 3rd Oct '12 3:34:10 AM from Somewhere in Dixie Relationship Status: Mu
Just zis guy
I've referred to Tide, but I'm not really a fan of it. That had me wanting to throw things in reaction to some of the inaccuracies in how things are done aboard subs in general. tongue

edited 3rd Oct '12 3:34:32 AM by Nohbody

 12 Nohbody, Wed, 3rd Oct '12 4:57:24 AM from Somewhere in Dixie Relationship Status: Mu
Just zis guy
Just finished watching on Hulu (they only have the first episode in full, don't have the rights to show the series), making some notes along the way.

TLDR: Even allowing for no Navy support and a lot of the real thing being varying degrees of classified (starting at "Secret" and going up from there; as I have no desire to visit Club Fed under various parts of Sec 18 of US Code [espionage stuff], please pardon the lack of specifics), they got very little right in the technical realm, and even less in regards to the social aspects of the Silent Service.

As an aside, given the building rates of other Virginia class SSNs, the Illinois being in action puts the series at around 2013 or so at the earliest, probably more like 2014. (Construction began Mar 2011, takes about 2 years from start to commissioning into USN based on other boats already completed, with a bit more allowed for post-launch shakedown before formally joining the fleet.)
 13 tricksterson, Wed, 3rd Oct '12 5:50:23 AM from Behind you with an icepick Relationship Status: I made a point to burn all of the photographs
Never Trust
[up][up][up]Hadn't thought about it but maybe she's supposed to be someone you and the characters in the show are supposed to underestimate?

[up]Yeah, you're not the first (or second or third) Navy/ex-Navy/family of Navy Personnel I've heard bitching both about technical details and about how Navy personnel are portrayed in the show. May come to bite it in the ass in the long run.
If it's an authority figure and it's breathing it's guilty
 14 Nohbody, Wed, 3rd Oct '12 6:19:44 AM from Somewhere in Dixie Relationship Status: Mu
Just zis guy
Honestly, it kinda struck me as the show's writers getting their ideas from Dirk Pitt stories. Plausibility takes a back seat to "wouldn't this be cool" and "we need this to make the plot work, who cares if it's not accurate", which for me broke my personal suspension of disbelief enough to make me unable to care about the characters, let alone the show itself.

edited 3rd Oct '12 6:20:30 AM by Nohbody

NCC - 1701
@tricksterton: That did cross my mind. That maybe they're setting her up precisely to be the person you underestimate.

Again, though, first impressions. And consistency. Cheap floozie in Act I, high-powered corporate genius in Act I and a half. Er??

@Nohbody - Former Navy man, eh? CO or NCO? As to your point, I think the deficiencies of the episode are exposing the cases of Did Not Do The Research. I do feel that as the series settles into it's rhythm, these plot points will start to organically form, and not feel forced.

Edit: So the series is taking place 1 or 2 years in the future, where the President is being impeached and the US launches sneak attacks on Pakistan while trying to sink their own boats.

Guess Romney won the election, huh? [lol]

edited 3rd Oct '12 6:28:14 AM by TheStarshipMaxima

It was an honor
 16 Nohbody, Wed, 3rd Oct '12 7:00:29 AM from Somewhere in Dixie Relationship Status: Mu
Just zis guy
Didn't stay in the whole time I was contracted, the Navy and I found that we weren't suitable for one another. I was enlisted, though, and rather low on the scrotum pole.

On the subject of enlisted people and genitalia, while "COB = dick" is hardly unrealistic, the way he was portrayed made me think "what mental midget made this guy Chief of the goddamn Boat?" That's not the kind of senior-most enlisted person I want aboard a multi-gigabuck warship with SLBMs. At the very least, if there's a problem with the ossifers, you don't start out with arguing in the Conn and undermine their authority.

I'm not going to respond to the Romney jab, because I can come up with an equally plausible scenario where it's Obama who's on the hotseat, and this thread isn't about RL politics so it's irrelevant anyway. tongue

edited 3rd Oct '12 7:04:17 AM by Nohbody

 17 Nicknacks, Wed, 3rd Oct '12 7:17:19 AM from Land Down Under
Ding-ding! Going down...
Again, though, first impressions. And consistency. Cheap floozie in Act I, high-powered corporate genius in Act I and a half. Er??

I'm having difficulty seeing the "cheap floozy" part (particularly since they're a really intense choice of words with all sorts of uncomfortable connotations behind them). I'm not going to unpack her scenes, but I'd argue that you're missing some of the dynamism of her opening scene. She's a strong, successful, sexually active woman who seems to be happy with herself (something that seems to stem from pride in her success). We get to know her job, we get the sense of how she approaches her job, and there's some sense of obsessive devotion to it — perhaps confirmed by her next scene. She demonstrates that she's smart enough to put two and two together, and she's got a strong moral vein — a fact that's tempered by her rashness and willingness to operate underhandedly.

She's certainly a weird choice of character, in that she's a throw-back to "intrepid girl reporter" archetype which gasped its last about the same time that Ally Mc Beal managed to place ironic breath after ironic breath. And I don't really like her. But you can hardly argue that the character isn't self-propelled, doesn't have stakes in the ongoing plot and isn't dramatic. What she doesn't appear to be is cheap (rather the complete opposite), and while she's clearly capable of being smart and dumb, I don't think that "floozy" quite covers it.

That said, I'm still having difficulty unpacking this line of yours:
I'm saying semi-nudity before she's uttered a full paragraph of dialogue doesn't really scream "Serious, dynamic character over here."

Why not? What's wrong with semi-nudity? Why can't she be semi-nude and dynamic?
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NCC - 1701
[up] Again, the semi, or full nudity isn't the issue. I'm saying that the sum-total of her scenes leave me underwhelmed. When you have an underwhelming character, her interrupted Coitus Ensues scene, shouldn't be the most powerful.

Furthermore, all the dynamic attributes you mention, her strong moral vein, her absolute willingness to get underhanded, these are all told, not ''shown. Where is this strong moral vein? So far, she seems freaked out her precious cloaking device is lost at sea, not that the US government might be rolling out a WWIII plot involving innocent civilians and attacking her own people. Where's this willingness to be underhanded? What, because she got a mystery text??

Like I said, compare her to other characters on TV. The Closer, that Magnificent Bitch from Damages. These characters could've danced on a pole and you'd still never question that they mean total business.

"what mental midget made this guy Chief of the goddamn Boat?"

Well Robert Patrick seems to excel at playing characters where you don't question their total ability to own a room. Which is why I'm a little disappointed they didn't feature more of a standoff between Chaplin and Prosser as it would've been a good excuse to see Braugher and Patrick go at it. Of course, the producers were probably aware people would compare the series to Crimson Tide and didn't want to invite even more comparisons.

edited 3rd Oct '12 8:03:01 AM by TheStarshipMaxima

It was an honor
 19 Nicknacks, Wed, 3rd Oct '12 8:30:23 AM from Land Down Under
Ding-ding! Going down...
Furthermore, all the dynamic attributes you mention, her strong moral vein, her absolute willingness to get underhanded, these are all told, not ''shown. Where is this strong moral vein? So far, she seems freaked out her precious cloaking device is lost at sea, not that the US government might be rolling out a WWIII plot involving innocent civilians and attacking her own people. Where's this willingness to be underhanded? What, because she got a mystery text??

She's having sex with a man who seems to have some say in government contracts as they apply to her ("That is where you senator comes in"), which implies an underhandedness that's later confirmed when she tries to cut a deal with the Admiral ("if you want me to keep quiet, you put my equipment on the next boat that goes out"). Her morality is something we see when she chews the later man out for murdering his daughter. ("You sank your own boat, sit. You son of a bitch. You sank your own daughter's boat.")

In fact, these attributes are never told. They're pretty much only shown.

When you have an underwhelming character, her interrupted Coitus Ensues scene, shouldn't be the most powerful.

Why? That's not a prescription.

edited 3rd Oct '12 8:31:06 AM by Nicknacks

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 20 Nohbody, Wed, 3rd Oct '12 8:48:15 AM from Somewhere in Dixie Relationship Status: Mu
Just zis guy
Well Robert Patrick seems to excel at playing characters where you don't question their total ability to own a room. Which is why I'm a little disappointed they didn't feature more of a standoff between Chaplin and Prosser as it would've been a good excuse to see Braugher and Patrick go at it. Of course, the producers were probably aware people would compare the series to Crimson Tide and didn't want to invite even more comparisons.

"own a room" isn't what the COB is about, though what they are about can be helped by a commanding presence. They serve as the interface between the enlisted personnel and officers, as well as effectively being the submarine equivalent of Master at Arms, making sure order is being maintained among the enlisted crewmembers. That's not going to happen when the COB is undermining the officers like that argument and the patronizing of the female LT after giving the offending crew members a "slap on the wrist" punishment for disrespecting a superior officer (and it's a "head", not a "latrine", dammit, this ain't the Army... hell, as-is it's barely the Navy tongue ).

edited 3rd Oct '12 8:49:27 AM by Nohbody

 21 Nicknacks, Wed, 3rd Oct '12 8:49:30 AM from Land Down Under
Ding-ding! Going down...
Nope. Surely that's the point.
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 22 tricksterson, Wed, 3rd Oct '12 11:20:10 AM from Behind you with an icepick Relationship Status: I made a point to burn all of the photographs
Never Trust
[up]x5 I am curioous as to the President, how he'll be portrayed and who, if anyone he'll be based on though. It's obvious that the "blow up Pakistan" order has some relation to his impeachment. Which side of the impeachment is behind this is less obvious. It's just as obvious that the Assistant Secretary was operating without knowledge of his boss so I'm guessing that labyrinthine politics are involved here, especially since it has yet to be revealed as to why he's facing possible impeachment or why theose Generals resigned.
If it's an authority figure and it's breathing it's guilty
NCC - 1701
She's having sex with a man who seems to have some say in government contracts as they apply to her ("That is where you senator comes in"), which implies an underhandedness that's later confirmed when she tries to cut a deal with the Admiral ("if you want me to keep quiet, you put my equipment on the next boat that goes out"). Her morality is something we see when she chews the later man out for murdering his daughter. ("You sank your own boat, sit. You son of a bitch. You sank your own daughter's boat.")

Ah, I see your point. Perhaps it's not the character's introduction. It's just that those scenes you mention came off as trite and forced to me. That whole scene in which she approached the Admiral I was thinking "Shut the fuck up and run along." I can think of six better actresses who would've been given the same exact lines and made it come off far more impressive than it did from Autumn Reeser.

"own a room" isn't what the COB is about, though what they are about can be helped by a commanding presence.

I see your point.

[up] The fact they went through the trouble of ordering the strike on Pakistan via an emergency back-up channel, and the fact they used their own attempt to sink their own ship as a pretext to proceed with said strike, makes me think even the President is out of the loop on this one.

That said, with all the TV Presidents we've had, I don't mind if they channel a little Babylon5 and make the President a menacing yet unseen figure.

edited 3rd Oct '12 1:15:49 PM by TheStarshipMaxima

It was an honor
 24 Nicknacks, Wed, 3rd Oct '12 1:56:43 PM from Land Down Under
Ding-ding! Going down...
Hey, Autumn Reeser's a great actress.

...she's just being weird right now.
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NCC - 1701
Saw the second episode "Blue on Blue".

Every single aspect of the show took at least four levels. The plot, the characters, everything. I don't remember seeing such a jump in quality from pilot to second episode. There're still problems to be sorted out. But damn, I'm waiting intently for the next episode.

Oh, and one more thing. If Captain Marcus Chaplin asks me to jump, my only answer is "How high, sir?"
It was an honor
Total posts: 47
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