TV Talk on a Thursday

Wait, what day is it? Yeah, I’m posting this on a Thursday because I did a Keanu Project entry on Tuesday. But it’s been so long since we talked about television, and I have things to discuss!
First things first: Who’s watched Jack Ryan? I want to talk about it but I won’t give any spoilers in case some of you are waiting to hear if it’s worth watching. I will say that I did enjoy it – I burned through all 8 episodes the weekend it came out. It is not as compelling as a great season of Homeland, but it does scratch the same itch.

To speak generally about it: the show shines in the scenes with John Krasinski. He plays Jack Ryan a little too much like a Boy Scout, but overall he’s great, especially in tandem with Wendell Pierce. Side bar: Jim Halpert really pulled a Chris Pratt glow up. But things drag when other characters take the spotlight. There’s a subplot about a drone operator that offers some interesting food for thought, but it goes off on a super weird and unnecessary tangent that honestly has no business having made the final cut. I can’t imagine what they were thinking.

Finally, the show examines reasons why people become radicalized and lays some of the blame on US policies, but never makes you root for the terrorists. At one point a sex trafficker who is helping Jack Ryan track something down can sense the American’s palpable distaste for him, and basically says, “You think you’re the good guy and I’m the bad guy. Maybe if I’d been born in America, I could be a good guy, too. Geography is destiny.” I’ll be interested to see if it gets criticized for its handling of these issues.

My other interest here is in finding out if anyone watched the pilot for Mayans MC, the Sons of Anarchy spin off? I wasn’t going to, but my coworker recommended it. I miss SOA and am still pissed off about how it ended, but I’m glad I gave Mayans a chance because the first episode is pretty dope!

What else are you guys watching right now?

P.S. I have a confession to make, I am really into Big Brother this season. I have the decency to be ashamed of it. But seriously is anyone else watching?

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10 Responses to TV Talk on a Thursday

  1. Tracey says:

    Guys! I think Keanu read my post about drinking wine while watching Destination Wedding!!!!

  2. Kate says:

    I’m enjoying Jack Ryan and Castle Rock. I can’t get enough of re-runs of Say Yes to the Dress. There are a lot of them on right now so the new ones must be coming soon (I hope!).

    Who are you rooting for? I kind of wish Hailey could have gotten her team together to win but no luck now. I bet Tyler wins but I am rooting for Kasey probably of the level six group left.
    We finished Castle Rock last night…that was pretty good but also I have a lot of questions and issues with it.

    • Tracey says:

      I love Tyler more than anyone on this planet, including my own family. I actually can’t stand Haleigh, she has gotten so lucky with her edit on the episodes. In reality she was a big shit talker until her alliance screwed up, then she started pouting all the time and following Angela around everywhere. Plus her hands are always in her mouth, it’s disgusting.

      Overall though I love this season because I liked the cast; they are nice people for the most part but they all want to win, unlike last year when they just wanted to make jury. There is BIG NEWS from last night that isn’t game related but I don’t know how pure you are regarding spoilers on things so I won’t say it. This is my first year following the live feeds, I really got sucked in.

  4. taoreader says:

    I watched all of Jack Ryan and I have thoughts. Mild general spoilers ahead, no plot giveaways.

    “You think you’re the good guy and I’m the bad guy. Maybe if I’d been born in America, I could be a good guy, too. Geography is destiny.”

    This is the most interesting moral speculation in the series.

    I really like John Krasinski. I was hoping the writers would make better use of his geeky/nerdy charm, especially with all the “I’m just an analyst!” claims going on. He’s an analyst who, when suddenly plunged into the field, wields a gun as if he were born with it in his hands. I know he’s an ex-marine and all that, but the backstory doesn’t necessarily support his comfort level with field work.

    Alec Baldwin’s Jack Ryan had the same backstory, but in cold war times, and his character was afraid to fly and hated ships. When he says “I’m just an analyst,” he means it. He doesn’t want to be in the field because he’s traumatized by his helicopter accident.

    And the boy scout thing–his sense of moral superiority actually puts lives at risk, the very ones he’s trying to save. Listen to your boss, dude, when he tells you to chill. Some of that moral absolutism gets to me.

    There are attempts in the writing to subvert stereotypes, and like you say, they do a pretty good job of humanizing those who become radicalized, but several Middle Eastern characters still fall into the usual terrorist tropes. Even the little Afghani boy Ryan meets and tries to save can’t be allowed to just be a boy.

    I do think the show is entertaining, the pacing is excellent, the performances are top-notch, Abbie Cornish is great but underused. It’s fun to watch though a little violent.

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