When Alyssa and I walked into Ballroom 20 for a screening of Amazon’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan during San Diego Comic Con, we had no expectations.
No, really, we didn’t. We just walked in early because we wanted to make sure we were in the room for Cloak and Dagger’s panel. We didn’t even know what came before it. We had, of course, seen the huge San Diego Comic Con Activation, and like everyone with two eyes, we’d noticed John Krasinski looked seriously HOT in the trailers, but other than that, we were as much of a blank slate as it was possible to be going into a show.
And we almost fell asleep. And when I say almost I mean the only reason we didn’t actually go for that nap we desperately wanted to take it’s because Ballroom 20 during a packed convention is not really the place to take a nap, if you know what I mean.
First, let me begin with the name: Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan? Seriously? I’m all for giving authors credit, I am, but MOST people who are going to bother to tune in know the character and are very much familiar with the fact that Tom Clancy created him. It’s almost like saying Ian Fleming’s James Bond. Also, the name really, really doesn’t roll off the tongue. It’s just awkward. And third, and most importantly, it’s too long and it causes confusion among people who are actually writing about it/trying to hashtag it, etc.
So, strike one.
What’s strike two? Well, I’ve seen some reviews talk about how unconvincing Krasinski is as anything but his character in The Office. Having never watched The Office (I KNOW, I KNOW), I can properly say that’s not the problem. The guy can pull off action hero. Don’t believe me? Go watch A Quiet Place. What he can’t do, though, is add charisma to a bland character that has absolutely no faults.
No, really, he’s perfect. This version of Jack Ryan is so freaking perfect I don’t even know what I would invest in a journey. It’s just going to be a journey towards becoming …a worse person? Or, is it supposed to be a journey of people? Learning to make connections? Maybe, but who knows because this Pilot only tells me two things about the character – he’s perfect AND he’s lonely, which really, why would such a perfect guy be so lonely, it just doesn’t compute.
And then there’s the explosions. Strike three.
Of course, in general, I have no problem with explosions. I do have something of a problem with explosions for the sake of explosions, though. Or a problem with the show being ONLY good action scenes. Good action scenes are everywhere, good characters are not.
Conclusion: Boring, boring, boring, with very little possibilities, at least for now, of getting better.
And – if you think, for some reason, I let other reviews sway my opinion, here’s a look at what Alyssa and I had to say mere seconds after the Pilot ended.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan premieres on Amazon Friday, August 31st.