"Jack Ryan" New Amazon Series

Has anyone started watching “Jack Ryan” on Amazon? It started streaming yesterday.

This retcon shows us Jack after the marines, after working on Wall Street, and now working as a finance analyst for the CIA.

The series dropped all at once, but to give everyone time to watch, no un-boxed in the spoilers in the thread until September 15. Please indicate which episode you have reached when you comment.

Why do they keep on making shows and movies about Jack Ryan, anyway? He’s not that interesting a character.

I’ve watched 3 episodes now, and I’m really enjoying it. This comes the closest of any adaptation so far of getting the books rights, particularly the early books.

Anyone want to discuss?

ETA: millions of people would disagree Alessan, just based on book sales

I’ve read the books. The first few were good, but that wasn’t because of their protagonist (and he wasn’t really that hero of his first and best book,* the Hunt for Red October* - that was Captain Ramius).

It’s just… he doesn’t have any special skills or character traits, no major flaws or interesting backstory, no special approach to problem solving or memorable turns of phrase. He’s just a regular guy who happens to work for the CIA. Even his name is boring. If Clancy had written a different protagonist for each of his books, nobody would have noticed. So why is he such a big deal?

Question - have you watched the series? This is the thread for that.

I have not seen it, but the other day I was so disappointed that before I watched an episode of The Wire(included with Prime), it played an advertisement for this show. First time I’ve seen a commercial on regular prime streaming.

I thought all “included with Prime” stuff played ad-free?

I’ve watched the first six episodes and I love it…except for the subplot with the drone pilot. And I would have been okay with him if it hadn’t been for the swinger couple…that was just too weird.

Agreed. The swinger couple was strange. Although as soon as I heard their names, I knew something was up.

I’m on episode 5. So far it looks like we’re heading for

a bioweapons attack, although I’m not sure yet how the attack in the church ties into that. I would think you would want more diffusion.

I do like how they are doing a decent job of humanizing both sides. It could be better, but I’m giving them points for trying.

That’s why I liked him as a protagonist. He’s not particularly special but dealing with pretty special events that he never would have expected.

”I’m just an analyst!”

It’s interesting that this is the defining quote of Jack Ryan, repeated in every iteration as much as Bond orders a “vodka martini, shaken, not stirred” (well, except for Daniel Craig), and like Bond, this line doesn’t come from the books but from the original movie portrayal of Alec Baldwin (which, along with his cameo in Glengarry Glen Ross may be the best thing he’s ever done in film). Clancy’s literary character was essentially an avatar for himself, or rather, as he saw himself, and frankly was generally the least intersting thing about the stories he was in as we was essentially an observer who existed to exposit the events to the reader.

The current re-imagined iteration is so far removed from the original character in nearly every way the only reason to name him “Jack Ryan” was to lock in an audience of Clancy fans. The plot of the show is nothing special, and really doesn’t make a lot of sense, particularly the apparent bureaucratic disinterest in high value SWIFT transactions; in reality, the pattern of suspect transactions would have been automatically flagged long before a human analyst would put it together, and the location and scale of transactions would have pushed it to the top of the list. Clancy was no John le Carré but even he would have written something smarter than this.

And because the story is so thin, the show is padded with a bunch of human interest side plots that aren’t all that interesting and don’t seem to contribute much to the central story. It’s not as dumb as Strike Back (in which the plot such as there is is really just an excuse for progressively more ridiculous gunfights and chases, occasionally bookended by soft core porn) but out of over six and a half hours of screen time there is maybe an actual two hour movie here. Contrast this with the recent The Night Manager for how this type of story can be done well.

Also, I’m not sure who decided that John Krasinski shoud be fomented into the next action movie star, but it seems like some film exec looked at Chris Pratt before and after Guardians of the Galaxy and decided to find their own shlubby comedic actor to get shredded and dress in tactical gear. Krasinski is fine in the role, such as it is, but he’s no Chris Pratt, and as Jack Ryan he really has few opportunitues to display the awkward charm that made him appealing on television. Still, it’s better than another Ben Affleck outing as the character; this is just pointless and forgettable instrad of offensively smarmy. The only highlights of note are “The Bunk” as James Greer (apparently demoted in this iteration from a rear admiral to just some mid-level field agent who pissed someone off) and Blair Brown showing up in a cameo role.

I give it two Honorable Schoolboys out of a possible five and hope that someone will make a sequel to Deutschland 83.

Stranger

Just finished episode 5 and

they have stepped up showing the other side. I caught myself thinking Jack should take it easier on the guy, before I realized what I was doing. :stuck_out_tongue: I hold to my earlier comment on bioweapons being the ultimate end game, but I was way off on the church.

I just finished it tonight. Very good, I was impressed.

The one I’m looking forward to is Tom Clancy’s Jim Ryan.

In October of this year my good man.

I’m not watching it but wife has been all in from Ep. 1.

So I’m tending to my affairs when I hear an “Oh my god. You have to see this.”

She shows me a scene where Krasinki’s character is in a restaurant -presumably in Maryland- with the requisite love interest.

So the woman has a plate of steamed crabs in front of her and my wife was correct -it gets an immediate WTF?

The crabs on the plate are those dungeness crabs that are from -I don’t know- Seattle I think. And not the Maryland blue crabs you would get steamed and slathered in Old Bay.

Then the kicker.

The woman takes the crab mallet and wallops the top part of the shell. Krasinki then says “Hit it like you mean it,” or words to that effect.

The mallet is used for the claws only and you don’t need to bring it down sledge hammer style. What’s more, you would never -ever- strike the main shell (the carapace to get technical) unless you want to spit shell bits out while you’re eating crab meat.

There’s breaking suspension of disbelief but it’s quite another to have it yanked out from under you.

Apart from that, she says she likes the show fine.

There’s nothing new here, but it’s well done. I’ll keep watching.

Some of the chase scenes seemed padded and the overall pacing seemed slow, but I enjoyed it overall and it deserves a second series.

And you really need to watch the credits, because there’s a good joke in there.

And apparently a second series of The Night Manager, which is badly needed to wash away the taste of this swill.

Stranger

This was a very competent mish-mash of every existing action drama trope. After a while, I stopped following the main plot and just made it a game to predict exactly what would happen next. I could usually know exactly what the twist was 3 minutes before it happened.

Anyone else think about the ending:

The last terrorist (glasses) should have been killed by the drone pilot, now happily back at his post.

Would have been a ironic end to that storyline.