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TV review: ‘The Last Ship’ looks fantastic, but suffers from weak writing

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Adam Baldwin does his best with pretty stale dialogue in the handsomely produced The Last Ship.

Two and a half stars

The Last Ship Sundays, 9 p.m., TNT.

Although TNT still relies heavily on procedurals for its original-drama lineup, the success of the alien-invasion series Falling Skies has inspired a bit of branching out, and if nothing else The Last Ship deserves credit for not focusing on cops and/or lawyers. Like Falling Skies, it’s a post-apocalyptic action drama, about a small band of survivors trying to save humanity. In this case, they’re the crew of a U.S. Navy destroyer who are searching for a cure to a deadly disease that has already wiped out most of the world’s population.

Produced by Michael Bay, The Last Ship attempts to mount a large-scale action movie in every episode, and the production values are impressive for a TNT show. The plotting is often suspenseful, but the characters are one-dimensional, and the dialogue is a mix of cheesy one-liners and clichéd grandstanding. Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy) is a square-jawed bore as the ship’s upstanding captain, but Adam Baldwin and Rhona Mitra bring a bit more flavor as the ship’s gruff first officer and a tough, brilliant scientist, respectively. With its limited premise, The Last Ship might run out of steam quickly, although it should be able to generate a little excitement along the way.

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