Honestly, I wasn’t looking for any type of commitment. I didn’t have the time. I was just wanted to hit it and quit it. I was expecting a one-episode fling when I tuned into Amazon’s Jack Ryan. Nothing against Amazon or John Krasinski, I just had low expectations. The trailer seemed interesting enough. But trailers can be just as deceiving as dating app pics. I liked the franchise with Harrison Ford, not so much with Ben Affleck (Sum of All Fears) and Chris Pine's turn at Ryan (Shadow Recruit) was ok but not memorable. Much to my surprise, I watched Krasinski’s first episode and wound up binging on the entire series in one day. Here are five reasons why Jack Ryan became my new fave and why he may become yours too!
1. John Krasinski as Jack Ryan is relatable.
He's got that "everyman" vibe going for him. I know, I know, thoughts of Jim from The Office come to mind, but there's no smirks or asides to the camera in this outing. If you need a bridge between Jim and Jack, watch A Quiet Place. Watching Krasinski as a bearded, barefoot, gun-toting dad fighting off monsters is the perfect remedy to make you forget all about the will-they-or-won't-they saga with Pam. Krasinski gives his Ryan an affable charm, much like Ford. The nerdy, unassuming, desk jockey who has six-pack abs finds himself fighting off bad guys and saving the world (even if the motivation of the bad guys are drawn with the usual stereotypes).
2. He has a buddy!
Who doesn't like buddy flicks? Wendall Pierce plays Jack's boss, James Greer. He's everything you expect. He's gruff and dismissive but eventually a grudging respect grows between them. They have zingy one-liners. Greer is Bunk from The Wire, but international. Not sure why they dressed him like an 80s roadie in their first foray overseas, but wardrobe choices aside Jack and James are fun to watch. There was an awkward scene where James unloads his backstory on Jim. It's like, "Really, now's the time you want to do this? Not during the 20-hour plane ride home?" That was weird but a good friend will hear you out and Jack did.
3. The blossoming love story.
If you watched the original Jack Ryan franchise with Harrison Ford, you've seen Anne Archer as his wife. She's great, they make a cute couple, but zero backstory. You get the broad strokes, they're already married, she's a successful doctor. In this reboot, we see the courtship between Jack and Cathy (Abbie Cornish) from the beginning. It comes in a distant second to the main plot line, but it's interesting to see how it begins.
4. Jack Ryan's kick ass but he has brains and a heart.
When we first meet Jack, he's kayaking at the crack of dawn and if that's not enough, he then bikes into work. Talk about an overachiever. We get it. This guy's in excellent shape. He has to be, his day job is as an analyst. He's crunching numbers behind a desk all day. In the staff meeting, he has an earnestness that oozes from him. When he's summoned by helicopter to go on his first assignment, we're just as confused as he is. Through flashbacks we learn he was in the Marines, which explains his combat skills. You're rooting for him when he's ambushed yet manages to hold his own. The action scenes are well choreographed and keep the adrenaline rushing until the finale. I'm not going to pretend I liked the ending. I didn't. It was just meh. But, I liked the ride and as we all know, it's not the destination, it's the journey.
5. It's fun.
There are certain moments where you know the series doesn't take itself all too seriously. Not necessarily an aside to the camera, but a sly wink. Jack and Greer use the private jet like its Uber as they crisscross the world in search of Suleiman, the predictably drawn terrorist. The soundtrack's pretty good. Rag 'n Bone Man's Human has become my anthem. If you want escapism, a big budget movie chopped up into a series for the small screen, pop the popcorn and settle in. Jack Ryan's your guy.
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Check her out on Twitter. When not working on her thesis or doing mom things, Sibylla can be found on the couch, binging.
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