Because watching Jack Ryan was a good time, but Jack Ryan wasn’t a good show.
I thought these Dad Genre Army Thriller books were tightly plotted? I thought they were exciting and hard to puzzle through. I don’t know why I thought this; I’ve never read one. But if this is based on the same Tom Clancy that fills my dad’s bookshelves, I am bereaved for his leisure reading.
What is this plotline? Blurtlander and I sat down to watch the first episode and figured the entire plot out before our ice cream started to melt. Have these military men never heard the story of the Trojan Horse? It’s War 101 but they still didn’t check the pulses of the corpses that the bad guys brought right to their door. So when one of them pulls a Hannibal Lecter and takes his face off and rises from the dead to ruin everyone’s day and free a bad guy captive, HOW ARE THEY ALL SHOCKED? The cool as a cucumber “bodyguard” that Jack decides to chat with was obviously the main bad guy since his fellow detainee was sweating and pissing himself. THIS WAS NOT NEWS. I am not a person who figures our plots ahead of time. I just don’t do that. But these “twists” were painfully obvious.
And that’s just the first episode. Because there is a whole side storyline with a drone pilot and Las Vegas and a cuckold kink and it was bananas, but it was the only thing that shocked me. Truly.
Does every CIA officer/desk job military man have a backstory wherein he is the only one who survived and yet the whole thing was his fault? Is this trope real? And if it is, EVEN if it’s 75% of everyone‘s story, can we at least not make it 99% of every fictional story we are told? Is it not beleaguered enough by now?
Just once, I’d like one of these Desk-Analyst-Turned-Super-Spy guys to be well-adjusted, happy and slightly willing to let their hair down. I kept thinking that John was still sadly auditioning for Captain America. That ship sailed, my friend.
EBOLA and SARIN and RADIATION … OH MY. Jack Ryan is the hottest new club on your streaming service. It has everything: Parisian attacks, unlikely bike rides in DC, guys who’ve been drone-bombed rising from the dead, cliche gun fights in the WOODS, in Middle Eastern COMPOUNDS, in the DC METRO, John Krasinski’s unweildy new pectorals and more.
There was a LOT going on in these eight episodes, but strangely … there wasn’t. Like if the bad guys wanted to hit up some major locations and do some damage could they have chosen just one biological weapon and not all of them?
Look, the only thing I’ve ever seen Abbie Cornish in is Bright Star, so I don’t have a lot to go on here, and I’m sure she’s lovely IRL. But I do not understand how anyone can have negative chemistry with John Krasinski. HE IS PRECIOUS. He needs chapstick. He has endlessly ruffable hair. His eyes are SUPER green most of the time. He’s adorable. You are beautiful. MAKE THE CHEMISTRY HAPPEN.
Unfortunately, I am going to have to go with the only explanation: they did no chemistry tests with these two and/or they filmed in separate locations. John, on the east coast, and Abbie in whatever country she’s really from because she is ill-hiding an accent no one can place. I just didn’t buy them together at all, and it made me wish that there was zero romance plot line in the show. Guys, the only scene I fast-forwarded was their sex scene. I HAD NO INTEREST IN SEEING MY #1 RIDE OR DIE fake the sex on screen. None. Although, I could have seen Jack get it on with the French Capitaine. THEY had chemistry.
And their tension made no sense either. The girl told him she just wanted to be casual, which we all know means that she was planning on keeping him around for when she got her horn on, but was also keeping other dudes around for the same thing. And ok. You have no spark between you, but you like a warm, fuzzy chest on Wedneday nights, that’s fine. But then why in the world would you get MAD that he told you he worked in supply chain logistics when he really worked for the CIA? You’re worried that you can’t TRUST anything he’s told you??? You just want him for a booty call! THIS MAKES NO SENSE.
To sum up, this show is bingeable. It’s watchable. In fact, Blurt and I enjoyed it and laughed and finished the whole series in two nights.
Amazon’s Jack Ryan is … fine. But nothing about it is great, and that grates on my nerves because (if you didn’t know) I REALLY, REALLY love John Krasinksi. And I’m sad. Sad that it wasn’t better. Sad that he got a boring, blah love interest and easy-to-figure-out plot lines and cliche dialogue.
BUT it’s doing well, numbers-wise. Critics aren’t loving it, but viewers are. Because … what do you do with a show that you had a good time watching, but wasn’t a good show? Tell everyone to watch it too.
If I didn’t spoil it too much for you, watch it. If you’ve watched it already, tell me what you loved and what you laughed at in the comments.
featured image via Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)