HELLO AMERICA!—This year, the dialogue on the political stage can turn on a dime and be downright disturbing. An about-face like this, however, is not limited to politics; it includes other orbits of influence as well. Social-media networks being one of them. Yet, among some of the things peddled are things that bind us. Our values, for instance. And our responsibility.
One of the values is to express ourselves, which goes hand in hand with the responsibility of respecting the rights, beliefs and opinions of others. The callous disregard of this responsibility and this value became evident to me when I explored social-media platforms with posts addressing TNT’s 2016 summer series.
“The Last Ship,” which honors the sacrifices of our men and women in the military who uphold our values and way of life, explores whether the responses of some producers, show runners or cast members regarding the fate of Dr. Rachel Scott, played by costar Rhona Mitra, remained true to our values outside that fictional setting or embraced anti-values all too common among those in the political arena.
After a 9-month recess, season 3 of “TLS” premiered in June 2016. The answers to the question of whether or not Rachel survived vary: Dane says fans should have “high hopes, low expectations;” Marissa, “my lips are sealed” and Bren, “keep watching, you’ll get some answers.” Fans who were disturbed by the treatment of Mitra and the character Rachel received were angry that she died off screen. We never saw her funeral. All we got was a lame speech from President Michener and some stamps with her image on them.
To me, she was arguably the most important character in the first two seasons, so you would think her death would at least be important enough to show. The cast has been super, super dodgy. Theoretically, she’s been “confirmed” dead in the TV Line interview with [co-creator and executive producer] Steven Kane. Overall, nothing seems to add up. But I hope they aren’t playing us.
This 2016 season has been disappointing at best to almost offensive as it follows the same formula other series have done—killing off main characters for shock value or as a hook to pull people into the new season. The creators and writers fail to realize killing main characters off is no different than giving stories the typical ‘happily ever after’ and that fans will decide to turn else-where to find entertainment! This world is ugly enough, with more than enough bad or tragic news. We tune into shows to find an escape and we’re so bloody sick of feeling that same ugliness while watching shows that once entertained us.
Have they really just killed off the second lead of the show whose sole purpose basically was interwoven into the entire reasoning we tune in? Rachel is a fixture in the cast chemistry; it literally doesn’t work without her. This isn’t grade-A, Emmy-worthy TV. The show started out great; now it’s just a good guy vs. bad guy shoot-em-up scenario that could be set any time in history. Getting away from what got them there. It’s now a typical show in which the captain does everything. Like a drunk driver, he lives while getting other people killed.
Replacing Rachel with Sasha, played by Bridget Regan, was a dagger that dug deep. As one fan indicates on Facebook-—not in a negative way but in only the best way, he says, that he could put it: Sasha has a “good face.” I doubt that this comment would have been made had it not been for the obvious and annoying implication that Regan is a doppelganger of Mitra. She isn’t. And another fan says: “This isn’t nuanced, well-paced character development; it’s one character being unceremoniously shoved into the hole left by another character so that the relationship the writers had been building up for their leading man for two seasons can continue.”
Any show that can build up such expectations of excitement and drama is a strong statement of survival, especially with today’s viewing audience.
“The Last Ship” has the makings of an extraordinary dramatic run still, based on “fan” reaction which is paramount in building big numbers. That’s the bottom line in the television industry.