Okay, so we don’t normally discuss TV shows unless there is some sort of educational information it imparts that is useful to the masses. However, the Last Ship airing on TNT caught our attention. Granted it’s six episodes into its season but we just started watching, literally. While the show centers on Eric Dane in command of the USS Nathan James following a world-wide viral outbreak and the scientist played by Rhona Mitra it does have a diverse cast of support characters. That support cast includes women in leadership roles on the ship, including Lt. Alisha Granderson played by Christina Elmore. Not only is she a Black female junior deck officer she’s also rocking natural hair.
Our jaws dropped in a scene where the CO (commanding officer) went down to the engine room and called for the chief engineer. There were two men and a woman standing there and the woman responded as the chief engineer. That’s when the show had our attention. It’s a well-written and exciting show regardless but depicting women in leadership roles where their authority isn’t challenged and they are “normal” is refreshing. By the way, the chief engineer played by Fay Masterson also happens to be third in command of the ship when the CO and XO (executive officer) are off the ship as we saw in the 5th episode. Lastly, Marissa Neitling plays an officer, lieutenant, in the combat information center. She has a bit more story line mainly centered on her romance with another officer, but is often shown in the mix during battle scenes.
In reality women currently serve their country in these roles but we rarely see them depicted on a major TV show. And when we do there’s something not-quite-right about them. These characters are “normal”, well-respected, well-liked and command with authority. We love it! We would love to see these women have more of a story line in the coming episodes and seasons should the show makes it out of season 1. Additionally, why not have a woman of color as the scientist that saves the world? We get it, the very attractive Eric Dane has to have an alluring co-star as an emotional antagonist. The CO is of course married and worried about his family, but no doubt we will see sparks fly between these two soon enough. Haven’t we reached an age where a White male lead can have sparks with a woman of color lead? Oh yeah, it’s a little show called Scandal. One other subtle yet important aspect of the writing we find encouraging is the general respect the men have toward the women. We see the CO have a conversation with the XO that he is not to undermine Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra) in front of others or really ever. In another episode we see the men jump in during an attempt by some island-inhabitants to harm/assault a women. In fact they go back to even the score (trying really hard not so spoil it if you haven’t watched yet). The micromessage is one of respect and equality. The same rules equally apply to the men as the women, so far. And unlike what we’re hearing in real-world media not all men in the military condone or participate in assaulting their female counterparts.
While we think TNT is getting this show mostly right with a diverse cast, solid story line, and women in positions of power, we still want more. By the way, not that it matters, but the whole cast is quite attractive….quite attractive! Some of these folks must spend a lot of time in the gym. Check out the show and let us know what you think. The Last Ship airs Sundays 9/8c on TNT.
REAL TALK | REAL THINGS | REAL RESULTS