My ‘Jack Ryan’ mini-review.

Short version: Jack Ryan is a solid adaptation of the character to a Netflix series.  I liked the title character’s relationship with Jim Greer, the storyline is infinitely more nuanced than Vanity Fair suggested that it was, and my ultimate decision to watch this show based on the aforementioned VF review turned out to be a good one.  It’s not The Hunt For Red October*, but nothing will ever be The Hunt For Red October so it’s unfair to hold Jack Ryan to that standard.

Continue reading My ‘Jack Ryan’ mini-review.

So, halfway through Jack Ryan. It’s good!

I like the guy that they got for Jack Ryan, because while he is kind of awkward, well, so was Ryan.  At least in the earlier books.  The dude that they got for Greer is excellent, not least because he’s not taking any of Ryan’s BS while at the same time being absolutely in Ryan’s corner (and refusing to admit it).  They’ve rewound the time line back to when Ryan first met Cathy, which is interesting; they’ve also switched her medical specialty, I assume for reasons.  So far it’s been pretty good and kinetic.

And I think I can determine the exact moment that the Vanity Fair reviewer well and truly misplaced her excrement over Jack Ryan.  I don’t want to spoil it for you, but you should know it when you see it. If not, I’ll tell all y’all later.

Quote of the Day, Vanity Fair Has Sold Me On Jack Ryan edition.

As God is my witness, I wasn’t sure if I was going to watch Jack Ryan.  But Vanity Fair made the case for it.  Straight up:

[Jack Ryan] is a propulsive, enthusiastic, confident action-thriller that makes a glossy, gooey narrative of American generosity and valor. It lauds Jack Ryan—a true American hero who unfailingly escalates every situation and lacks even basic collaborative skills—while neglecting to even attempt to challenge the narrative of noble American involvement and intervention abroad. Both its protagonist and its plot are based on the foundational, unquestioned notion that American-military might—the best-funded killing infrastructure in human history—is helping to save the world.

Continue reading Quote of the Day, Vanity Fair Has Sold Me On Jack Ryan edition.

The Jack Ryan series trailer for Amazon.

It’s an interesting technique that they’re using here; you can see what the theme of what Jack Ryan will be without Amazon saying a word. I’m also fascinated at the thought of a Tom Clancy movie that doesn’t jump through hoops to avoid admitting… ah, yes, never mind. Let’s just say that this appears to be accurate in a way that the The Sum of All Fears movie could not be.


How Bruce Rauner (R, GOV-ELECT, Illinois) can instantly become a Republican rock star.

I certainly hope that that gets his attention. Or that of his staff. Either will do.

Anyway… once upon a time, in the far-off year of 2004, there was a Republican candidate for Illinois Senator called Jack Ryan. Ryan was widely considered to be an excellent replacement for retiring Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald… right up to the point that the Chicago Tribune got tipped off to some juicy bits in Ryan’s divorce records. The Tribune petitioned to get the records unsealed; a compliant judge complied; Ryan had to withdraw from the race in disgrace, because frankly those bits really were kind of juicy.  Barack Obama went on to win that Senate race.

All of this is relevant because this was not the first time that the Chicago Tribune had gotten divorce records unsealed; during the Democratic primary the paper similarly petitioned to have then-frontrunner Blair Hull’s records unsealed. Blair Hull ended up losing that nomination… to, hey, Barack Obama! Continue reading How Bruce Rauner (R, GOV-ELECT, Illinois) can instantly become a Republican rock star.