TV Show Review: Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

As an avid TV watcher I’ve been waiting for this story to be made into a series. I watched the movie a couple years back and left the theater highly underwhelmed. Back then I knew nothing about the creator of the series but after hearing the name Tom Clancy so often for video games, I had high expectations for the character and understood why previous attempts to show this character received such bad reviews. Of course I’m talking about Jack Ryan.

Jack Ryan

As a bit of a disclaimer, I watched the movie 13 Hours a couple weeks before watching Jack Ryan so I was already expecting a lot from John Krasinski in another military role.

First off I love that the episodes are on the longer side. Longer episodes allow for more of a story to be told in each episode which gives a lot of character development in each episode it gets to the conflict. Surprisingly, we learn more about the antagonists of the show than we do about Jack Ryan. The main villain is almost humanized as we learn about his childhood and about his children and wife. We learn about why he turned out the way he did and the friendships he’s made along the way. We also learn about Jack’s boss that he can’t seem to get along with at first and a bit about his back story. What we don’t learn about is Jack’s time in the military. We eventually learn about his crash but not until about the last episode. With all of this information it’s almost as if the only person that pulls all these characters we know so much about is Jack Ryan, a character we learn about very slowly.

One thing I love about the show is that we see a smart person who isn’t making stupid decisions. All of his decisions and actions are actually thought through and that is highly refreshing. We get to see a smart protagonist against a smart antagonist. It’s so rare that we get to see a smart person making smart decisions in a tv show. Someone who makes decisions off of logic and research as opposed to emotion or to get revenge.

I also loved the casting of the show. Even though John Krasinski is the only actor I knew of before watching, I felt like everyone suited their characters well and the acting was really good from everyone. I also feel like the show left so much open for a second season which I’m really hoping happens. Considering the video games based on Tom Clancy characters and his work, I feel like this is the one adaptation of this character that may actually be doing it justice.

Overall I really liked this series. I have the occasional inkling to watch it over sometimes since I watched it all in one night. As much as it felt great to get through it and know what happened, there is something about savouring a show and taking your time to watching a good show. I’m not entirely sure if I would change anything about it except that there needs to be more. I really hope Amazon decides to do another season because this is a show I think can have a really good future. On one hand it could become another procedural show where each episode or season he chases after the bad guys. Or it could go the other route where he stays at his desk job and someone comes for revenge for what he did. Either way it could make for an interesting season and show.

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