Strap in. Thursday night is once again becoming a destination for quality viewing — from NBC's comedies to ABC's submarine adventure "Last Resort" (8 p.m. Thursday, WATE, Channel 6) to procedural "Elementary" (10 p.m. Thursday, WVLT, Channel 8), a new and contemporary spin on Sherlock Holmes.
The two newcomers are vastly different projects but both are highly satisfying nonetheless.
"Last Resort" is a high-octane thriller — part political mystery, a piece of science fiction and a slice of international intrigue.
It has all the markings of a classic Shawn Ryan ("The Shield") piece: well-played paranoia, a likable gang of underdogs mixed with shady traitors and a long-range story that requires faith that Ryan has a clear vision of what he wants do and he knows how to get there.
"Elementary" is a wonderful showcase for the often-overlooked Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock, a quirky sort with uncanny observational skills and fresh out of rehab. He is aided by the no-nonsense Watson (Lucy Liu), who takes no guff off Sherlock though she is interested in this odd man of mystery.
"Last Resort" and "Elementary" are truly the season's best new network dramas. "Elementary" is a slightly new twist on CBS's tired procedural drama genre. Though the procedural has long since worn out its welcome, "Elementary" is at least a new way of playing the hand again because the material is time tested.
On "Last Resort," Andre Braugher is the glue holding the ensemble piece together as a U.S. submarine crew goes rogue after questioning orders to fire on Pakistan.
"Last Resort" will leave you on the edge of your seat. "Elementary" will charm you.
Both are brilliant.
Score (for both): 4 stars (out of five)
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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