Peacock is one of the streaming services that exist in this sort of limbo where most people don’t even know it exists, and some other people do know but feel no curiosity about using it. The service has been losing a lot of numbers lately, and it seems the company is close to just give up on the project. The lack of appointment content has been one of its major problems. The shows and movies that exist there are not attractive enough for audiences. Let’s review their latest attempt at bringing people to the service. A limited series called Last Light.
Last Light is an action thriller developed by Peacock and starring Matthew Fox, Joanne Froggatt, and Amber Rose Revah. The series pulls from many influences, including the James Bond films and the Tom Clancy series of novels. Our main protagonist, Andy Yeats, a petrochemist, sees himself involved in what could be the biggest and most terrifying of environmental disasters, but at the same time, he has to take care of his family’s emotional needs. Just another Tuesday trying to save the world.
Let’s be honest, the biggest draw this show has for itself is Matthew Fox’s comeback to television. The actor has been basically lost from our screens since the end of Lost, and sometimes it makes you wonder where the hell he has been. It doesn’t matter. What matter is that he is coming back, and there is an entire production counting that he is a big enough name to draw audiences to see this new limited series.
The result might not be the one that the executives at Peacock were waiting for. While Fox’s presence can make some people curious, it won’t be an audience big enough to justify this series that has one serious, deadly flaw. Being boring. Yes, Last Light is quite boring, and it never reaches the heights that many of the original materials it draws from have reached before it. The series just lacks any sort of punch, and even the end-of-the-world stakes feel so ridiculous that the suspension of disbelief just won’t bend for them.
Matthew Fox is a solid actor. He carried one of the most influential TV series of all time on his back, but we have to admit he is a bit rusty. He carries his role as a scientist and a family man quite well. But the fact that Andy never really clicks in any of the storylines that the series setups could mean that he wasn’t really ready to come back in a leading role. Fox just doesn’t sell the idea that he can be all the things that make his character stand out.
The rest of the cast is filled with just a small number of actors that serve mostly as mouthpieces and exposition machines. Someone needs to explain to the audience what is happening, and it will surely not be Andy. He has more important things to do. So, while, for example, Amber Rose Revah, makes an impression as this spy lady working for shady governments, the story never really sets her up in a way that she can shine with all of her potential.
The secondary storyline involving Andy’s family is also not only boring but also annoying. The family characters are just not interesting enough. Froggatt plays the role of a mother who just serves to take care of her blind son. While the eldest daughter, Laura, has some romantic storyline, the show never really puts the effort into making us care for what happened. As the series progresses, the family drama takes more center stage and well, you could say this series just gets worse as it goes.
Visually, the show matches countless other spy shows on TV. There isn’t anything fascinating that makes the show have its own identity on a visual level. It is all very generic. The action scenes are shot efficiently, but they never manage to become exciting. This is not a show that does something really well. Instead, everything it does falls into the category of fine or even mediocre. The show really needed something else to make people turn their heads to see it. As it is, it feels very forgettable.
If Peacock really wants to keep existing, they need to strive for quality in ways that no other company can do. They have a huge corporation behind them, and a streaming service could be quite profitable for everyone involved. It is really a shame that sometimes the reality of the efforts doesn’t really match the expectations. Not that there were high expectations, to begin with, but the show could have used more intrigue, more twists, action, and a lot more world-building.
In the end, Last Light doesn’t really know where to put all of its cards and chooses wrong by defaulting to the basic and now cliché family drama. A wrong choice indeed, as the show never really created the land work so that we can care about what happens to this family. Seeing Fox back on screen is quite nice, but he needs better projects and also to exercise those acting muscles a bit before coming back with another project.