By Johnny Beaver
When I first heard there was going to be a TV show associated with Michael Bay, it happened to be just a few short hours after witnessing the first signs of his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles homicide (a trailer for the upcoming Bay produced movie of the same name). After a brief trip to the window in order to confirm that the world was indeed ending, I called my psychiatrist, who suggested I repeatedly smash my face into the nearest wall. It didn’t work.
Known for trading things like “writing,” “plot,” and “common sense” for explosions, black hawk helicopters and gratuitous shots of Megan Fox’s posterior, Bay’s presence at the helm of The Last Ship (he’s an executive producer) has certainly forced the aforementioned values into every nook and cranny. I know, I know… with all of the good attention science fiction is getting right now in the realm of television and film, there was bound to be a turd in the Easter basket sooner or later. Butt this is no mere turd.
The plot, which roughly pits a U.S. warship against the survivors of a virus-apocalypse, is the kind that needs a lot of ingenuity to work. In classic Bay fashion, however, ingenuity was mistranslated into blatant, almost violently obvious continuity errors, horrendous one-liners and the most wooden casting I’ve seen in a show… perhaps ever; Eric Dane as the suspiciously cool Commander Tom Chandler. I’m aware that he has serious acting chops from gigs like Grey’s Anatomy and Marley & Me (read: sarcasm), but here it seems like he can’t even let out a sigh without taking a cue from an apathetic teleprompter. Making the whole thing worse, Adam Baldwin (or as I call him, Tough Guy Baldwin) was a ridiculous choice for the ‘first mate’ role. His experience and demeanor outshines Dane in every scene and is the only person that displays any believable command authority. It’s as if you’re watching Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Blaster is riding Master. It’s like wearing your shoes on the wrong feet. It’s like watching a Michael Bay show.
Normally I’d suggest just steering clear of this travesty, but the three episodes I choked down produced some of the most powerful belly laughs I’ve had in ages. Half the characters can’t deliver believable lines because you can tell they know they’ve really stepped in it. It’s really that incredibly unfortunate.
I mean good lord, their ship isn’t even the last one. How do you get your own title wrong?
If you’re a glutton for punishment and don’t get sea sick (or Bay sick) The Last Ship airs at 9 p.m. Sunday nights on TNT.