(That was your spoiler warning.)
I like Scott Speedman. I really do. After spending the entire on-air run of Felicity being indifferent to/annoyed at/incredibly nauseated by Ben, the first time I actually broke out the DVDs, I was shocked at how much of a Ben girl I became. I was always kind of bummed that he never caught on after some of the big budget crap he did (the Underworld movies, XXX: State of the Union). I think he's turned in some incredible performances in little-seen indie fare (The 24th Hour and especially My Life Without Me). So I was excited to hear that he was part of Last Resort, ABC's new high-concept military drama. And he's solid! Compelling. And completely eclipsed by the monumental awesome that is Andre Braugher.
Come on, you had to have seen that coming.
The whole show is like Crimson Tide on TV, except that Denzel's been in charge all along and nothing but the right thing ever gets done on the con and all the big bads are outside the boat. Love the razor-sharp realities of women on board. Love the tenuous threads of hush-hush trust they're already stringing between Bruce Davison's Admiral and Autumn Reeser's ambitious outsider. Love the love and respect between the captain and his XO, and the inherent history they have, and the way Chaplin never questions that he knows exactly what's going on inside Kendal's head, but Kendal questions once, in a crucial moment, and then seems determined never to do it again.
All that said, and as much as I genuinely like Scott Speedman... when they relieved Chaplin of command, I had a split-second of blinding rage at the thought of this whole thing becoming the "Clueless White Guy Saves the Day as Seasoned Black Badass Looks On" show (every Thursday at 8/7 central!). Then I realized, of course, that this is Braugher, and Braugher wouldn't have it.
Was there too much going on? Yep. Is the premise kind of ridiculous? Absolutely. But it's also kind of riveting, and even around all the plot I want to know more about the characters (especially Chaplin and Cortez and the NATO duo, because omg, Omid Abtahi back on my television), and it actually gave me an instaship (Broken Boy Soldier and Defiant Loner Girl with a Past, as played by flaw-free Dichen Lachman and random guy of hotness (who delightfully reminds me of Ben Mansfield's Becker)? Yes, please.), which hasn't happened to me in forever.
In short: sign me up for the season, and let's see where in the world they're going with this.
Also, Queen Kerry, Jeff Perry, Columbus & Co. are back with Scandal, which had a truly fabulous second season premiere. Let's take a moment to appreciate the monumental achievement that is having two shows with black leads on network television in one night.