ABC Thursday Night! ‘Last Resort,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Scandal’


By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

I’m usually willing to suspend quite a bit of disbelief while watching TV. Honestly, I don’t require a lot of pragmatism in my TV shows. Jack Bauer can make it across Los Angeles in ten minutes and never hit traffic. No problem.  Detective Kate Beckett can chase the bad guy in high heels and long, flowing hair when I can’t even cook dinner unless my hair is in a ponytail and my shoes are off. Sure, why not? It’s probably why I was never really that angry with The Newsroom. I didn’t expect it to actually show me how a real newsroom is run.

But I’ve had all summer and I still cannot get over what was the tiniest detail in the Grey’s Anatomy season finale. Another hospital was expecting a team of doctors to arrive by plane and all they do when the doctors don’t show up is leave a message for Owen? Really? We can’t, oh I don’t know, call the central switchboard and demand that Owen be paged since a WHOLE DAY has gone by and the doctors haven’t arrived. Obviously, this was done for dramatic effect so the other doctors could go about their day in the hospital not knowing that their friends were in peril but I’m simply unable to get past this leap in logic. The final shot of Owen finally listening to his voice mail was ridiculous. I actually threw something at my TV it was so ridiculous. (Thankfully sports isn’t my forte so the TV was safe.)

A sure sign that it’s time for a show to end is when the amount of things that have happened would mean that all of the characters would be in a straitjacket, staring at a wall and rocking back and forth. Given the bombing, the shooting and the catastrophes, they all should have had a complete nervous breakdowns by now or at least have switched jobs. Cristina is the only one who seems to realize this since she at least tried to change careers and announced “I don’t understand how this keeps happening” after the crash.

ABC didn’t make tonight’s premiere (9 p.m. on ABC) available, but here are my hopes/thoughts about the ninth season opener:

  1. Please don’t kill off Arizona (Jessica Capshaw). Let Alex (Justin Chambers) have guilt because she gets injured not because she’s dead.  Callie has already lost one spouse. She doesn’t need to lose another.  Since Eric Dane is leaving the series, you can go ahead and kill off McSteamy though. I’m totally okay with that.
  2. Please don’t put Cristina and Owen back together. They are the definition of dysfunction and I’ve never particularly cared for them as a couple anyway. Let them move on with other people.
  3. I love seeing a happy Bailey. But no more of Bailey sneaking off to the supply room for a little hanky panky or acting ridiculous in the OR. We all love Bailey because often she’s the only sane and professional doctor around. Let’s keep it that way.

Are you excited for the Grey’s premiere or are you fed up with the show? Do you think the show should end after this season? Talk about it below.


Last Resort

A pilot shouldn’t be that complicated to follow. It’s the time to invite viewers into the world you created and get them invested in your characters and your plot lines. Tonight’s premiere of Last Resort (8 p.m. on ABC) doesn’t really do that until the final moments. The drama takes a circuitous and convoluted route to the main plot. Submarine Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) receives orders to fire nuclear weapons on Pakistan. The orders don’t come through the regular channel which would mean that Washington, D.C. has become totally incapacitated. However, when the Captain turns on the TV, he finds nothing but daytime talk shows and Hannah Montana reruns.  So , you know, the country clearly isn’t in crisis.

When Marcus questions the orders, he’s relieved of his duty and his second-in-command XO Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) is put in charge. Only Sam isn’t so quick with the trigger finger either. This all leads to the entire crew seeking refuge on a remote island where things probably won’t go smoothly between the natives and the crew.

Along the way, there’s a positively ridiculous character introduction to Autumn Reeser’s Kylie Sinclair. Worst. Character. Introduction. Ever.  You get to see Max Adler (Dave Karofsky on Glee) again. And there’s the requisite girl back home pining away for Sam (Jessy Schram).

Braugher is fantastic in anything he does. He’s in my “I’d watch him read the phone book” file and, as I mentioned in my story on Scott Speedman, it’s really great to have him back on TV again. The duo have a terrific on-screen rapport of mentor/student (or father/son) that should propel the series forward. I’m invested in their relationship.

TV has been searching for another Lost since Lost began. Last Resort is clearly going after that viewership by launching a central mystery immediately  (why were they being told to attack Pakistan?) and also establishing the central characters as outlaws trying to forge a new life in a foreign land. The show films in Hawaii so, like me, you may be on the lookout for the smoke monster.

But I had quite a few issues with the pilot – from its convoluted storytelling to its often hokey dialogue. Shawn Ryan, the man behind The Shield and Terriers (which I adored), is at the helm here so that alone makes me believe the show will sort out its problems and could potentially become a great series, but right now it’s just an okay one.

(As a side note, Last Resort is the latest in many show titles that I want to put a “the” in front of as in The Last Resort.  I also sometimes want to say The New Girl. But I only wanted to write Mob Doctor instead of The Mob Doctor. I’m vexed by the “thes” this season. Just had to share.)



Scandal returns tonight (10 p.m. on ABC) and there’s almost nothing I can tell you without ruining the great plot twists the show has in store. This was one of my favorite new series from last season and if you are not watching Scandal, you should be. Kerry Washington is fantastic as fixer extraordinaire Olivia Pope. Washington manages to make Olivia simultaneously fierce and vulnerable.   The show is over-the-top but in a highly entertaining and enjoyable way.

Okay that’s all for today. Don’t forget to watch Elementary tonight  (10 p.m. on CBS) which was my pick for one of the best new shows of the season.  And remember I’m bringing back quotes of the week and where have I seen them before so send me your favorite quotes and familiar faces through my contact page. And don’t forget to follow my blog so you’ll know every time I have a new post.

An interview with Scott Speedman


By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

When I was in Los Angeles this summer for the Television Critics Association press tour, I had the chance to chat (along with some of my fellow critics) with Scott Speedman.  Speedman, who stars as XO Sam Kendal in the new ABC drama Last Resort (premiering tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC), was charmingly self-deprecating and honest. (As I said at the time, I KNEW I was right to always pick Ben over Noel).

In tonight’s premiere, Kendal refuses an order to launch a nuclear attack on Pakistan when the directive does not come through the proper channels.  His actions force him, his captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and their crew to find refuge on a remote island (which looks a lot like Lost since the show films in Hawaii).

It’s the actor’s first TV role since playing the dreamy Ben Covington on Felicity.  That show ended in 2002 so Speedman has spent a decade away from the small screen. Welcome back, Scott!

On deciding to do Last Resort

For years I did the ‘well what’s the point? I don’t get this. I don’t see myself doing this. I don’t understand how this can be successful.’ But then you don’t work and that’s a problem.

[Co-creator and executive producer] Shawn Ryan (The Shield) at the helm was a big push for me because it’s all well and good to make a good pilot but that’s not really what the show is. The show is episode seven and down the line.

I read a bunch of pilots and I can usually see what they will evolve into and this I had no idea. And I think these two guys, Karl Gajdusek and Shawn Ryan, are so smart I was willing to take the risk to see what was going on.

I always have reservations about working when you know what it is and you know how much effort goes into it and the hours and moving to Hawaii was a big consideration. Andre and I were both in the same boat in that way. It had to be the right thing to want to go and do it and this was it

This is a long term commitment I’m not good with long term commitments so we’ll see how that goes. I mean I can only say it was exciting premise and we’ll see what happens. We’ll see how I do with that long term commitment .

On his feelings about the possibility of getting  involved in another TV love triangle

I really was adamant on not being involved on an out and out soap opera show. I was not interested in that. I would say that it would be impossible not to have romantic elements to this character. I don’t want it to turn into Temptation Island either. Hopefully it will be done well.

On how he’s like his character

I feel like I would have done what my character did by refusing the order and not firing when it was coming through the wrong channels. But I think there’s a great many people in America that will feel otherwise and say we are traitors. I thought that was interesting – a water cooler moment that could be a discussion

On how he’s not like his character

I would be a terrible naval man. The regimented lifestyle, I would not do well. I do not follow rules all that well. I think I’d be terrible. These guys – from morning to night – follow rules that’s why it’s so interesting that this is the one they say no to.