Asians on TV 唐人做電視

The awesomeness that is new series, Last Resort

A new television series this fall, ABC’s Last Resort, came on my radar for a moment because just because two actresses on the roster, Dichen Lachman who is Tibetan-Australian and one of my favourites, Autumn Reeser who, uhm, played a half-Japanese character on Hawaii Five-O. I almost didn’t watch it except NPY mentioned it and the military premise was mildly intriguing as I think Americans do those shows and movies quite well.

The pilot episode was intense and exciting and introduced all the characters and how they would be related. Autumn Reeser’s character, Kylie Sinclair, thankfully gets to wear civilian clothes and not be in uniform as she is not military at all. Dichen Lachman’s character, Tani Tumrenjack, also is not military but instead a native to the fictional island of French Sainte Marina in the Indian Ocean and as the bar owner, wears casual summer attire. The two characters Dichen Lachman and Autumn Reeser play are fascinating and not (within the first two episodes) fully spelled out but the official website provides more information.


Tani Tumrenjack’s father is a Sainte Marina native who met Tani’s mother in Australia where she was born. Tani’s father decided to bring his family “home” and she had to adjust from a liberal Western world to island living. There’s no word about her father but the website said Tani’s mother died as a result of lack of proper medical care on the island and she is running the bar to raise the cash to leave the island. All of her interaction in the first two episodes has been with traumatized Navy Seal James King and very briefly with Lt. Grace Shepard. Tani seems to have spotted the cash James has and treats him fairly well in her aloof, mysterious and all-knowing manner. While the rest of the crew has been too busy to discover her bar, they might find her native knowledge useful later… or not.

In Autumn Reeser’s first scene as Kylie Sinclair, she is wearing a provocative red bandage dress and seducing a man. It is all well and normal but she’s really hyped up about the successful installation of her prototype on the USS Colorado which ends up in the middle of the mess that lands the crew in Sainte Marina. Her lines are spitfire, bright and aggressive and it’s super fun to see her in action. She’s not about to see her prototype sit idle and sets out to learn about the events everyone is wondering about, how the USS Colorado got framed (in a way) and in the situation they are in.

Am I watching Last Resort just for Dichen and Autumn? Heck no, and they aren’t large enough characters. Major characters are the married characters, XO Sam Kendal and his ethereal-looking wife of two years Christine Kendal, played by Scott Speedman and Jessy Schram, respectively. It’s so great to see Scott Speedman (of Felecity fame) all grown up, military-like. It is also great to see Jessy Schram who played innocent Hannah Griffith in Veronica Mars the last time I saw her.

Another character who caught my attention is Sonar Operator Cameron Pitts, played by Michael Ng. Okay, so his character doesn’t do a great deal aside from being very competent technical support and thus has no bio on the Last Resort website but he has stood out and been named while the other crew remain nameless and largely faceless.

Michael Ng was born in Hawaii but moved to Los Angeles so shooting Last Resort (and he is a recurring guest/actor in at least five episodes) is returning home for him as it is filmed around Oahu. Michael Ng has the build and look for this military role so I hope they keep his character and casting him.

It seems that I’m watching both television productions that are produced in Hawaii at present, Last Resort and Hawaii Five-O and NPY and I are visiting Hawaii in two weeks! What are the chances we’ll run into actors or sets from these shows?!

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