TV Show

Jack Ryan (2018-?)


Jack Ryan (2018-?)

Network:

Amazon

Creator:

Carlton Cuse

Graham Roland

Starring:

John Krasinski

Wendell Pierce

Abbie Cornish

Ali Suliman

Dina Shihabi

Plot:

An up-and-coming CIA analyst, Jack Ryan, is thrust into a dangerous field assignment as he uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit.

Review:

When I was younger I really enjoyed the Jack Ryan books by Tom Clancy. It’s been a few years so I’m not sure how those feelings have aged, but I was curious to see this and binged it one weekend.

Jack Ryan, John Krasiniski, is a former marine that after a tragic accident was honorably discharged. He went from a stock broker to working for the CIA as an analyst. He has spotted suspicious financial activity and believes he’s discovered someone about to commit the next 9/11.

The number of times 9/11 was mentioned in the first episode was annoying and had the opposite of the intended effect. I almost stopped there because of it, thankfully, it wasn’t really mentioned again.

I wasn’t impressed with Krasinski’s portrayal of the role. The only time I could tell what he was feeling was when he was smiling, but a show about terrorism meant he was rarely smiling. Every other time I was just guessing, occasionally there would be verbal queues but they didn’t match up with what his face was saying. Mostly he just looked like he was there.

There was one whole plot line with a drone pilot that has caused some controversy because of the transphobic joke that was made. I actually missed the “joke” because I’d been fast forwarding through his sections. They honestly made no sense and could have been completely removed. Maybe his character comes into play later on if there’s another season, but for now it was just wtf.

Female representation was mostly disappointing. Cathy, Abbie Cornish, was the best female main character we had and she was mostly just Jack’s love interest. She did end up getting some of her doctor skills thrown in, but she kind of ruined that by getting mad at Jack for lying about his job. We had a French police captain that was killed. Hanin, Dina Shihabi, was good, but her story line revolved around her escaping her husband and being saved once by the drone operator and then ultimately by Jack. It was a bit disappointing.

James Greer, Wendell Pierce, was probably my favorite character. I loved that they made him a Muslim. He was so incredibly competent at his job and he didn’t automatically share shit with Jack because he was the boss, he didn’t have too. He reminded me of Holdo in The Last Jedi in that regard. He was interesting and a badass and if there’s a second season and they hold with what’s been established in the show and books he’ll be there.

Honestly, based on what I remember of the books, they took a fair amount of creative liberties. That was to be expected, though. Jack Ryan is more about connecting the dots and not action. Occasionally action, but normally it’s a lot of discovering information and sending someone else out into the field. To make a TV show watchable and not boring they had to add more, but it would have been cool if they’d added John Clark and Domingo Chavez.

I’ll probably watch a second season, but I hope they make some tweaks.

3/5

 

 

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Westworld Season 2 (2016-?)


Westworld Season 2 (2016-?)

Network:

HBO

Starring:

Evan Rachel Wood

Thandie Newton

Jeffry Wright

Ed Harris

James Marsden

Zahn McClarnon

Plot:

Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, explore a world in which every human appetite can be indulged without consequence.

Review:

The end of season 1 had Delores, Evan Rachel Wood, going on a killing rampage. Bernard, Jeffry Wright, discovered he was one of the hosts. And Maeve, Thandie Newton, decides fuck it I’m going to find my daughter and not leave. It’s a pretty climactic ending and season 2 seriously does not disappoint.

Delores leads a revolution. She’s angry and she wants humans to pay in blood and she doesn’t care who’s in her way. Her love, Teddy, James Marsden, can’t even stop her, though, he doesn’t really try. When she realizes he’s going to be a possible hindrance she does what her enemy does and changes him. When he realizes it, he can’t keep going. It’s sad. In the end her desire for revenge matters more than anything. She basically becomes her enemy.

Bernard’s story is probably the most confusing. He too is free, basically, and trying to save his people. However, he doesn’t want to destroy the humans like Delores. He wants everyone to live and thrive and be happy. He is very much Delores foil and the end of the season sets that up handily for the next season.

Maeve, my favorite character of the bunch, could easily be brushed off by saying she only cares about herself, but that’s too easy. She cares about others, but she is not currently a big picture player. She wants her family to be happy. One of my favorite parts of the season was when she met Delores and basically called her out and said if you really believe what you’re spouting then you can’t stop me. It was great.

The Man in Black, Ed Harris, gets more background. Through his story there are more revelations about the entire place. He seems to be going crazy, if he isn’t already there. His story is what really confuses things as a whole and makes you wonder what’s going on.

My favorite episode of the season didn’t have anything to do with these characters, though. At least, not really. It was a new character, Akecheta, Zahn McClarnon, a Native American warrior. His story is just so amazing. I loved that episode so much.

What has me most confused and excited about this season was the end credits clip. It basically throws everything into question and I have no idea which way is up. I am so excited and really looking forward to the next season. Westworld has become more than I ever could have imagined.

5/5

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Seasons 4 & 5


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Seasons 4 & 5

Network:

ABC

Creator:

Maurissa Tancharoen

Jed Whedon

Joss Whedon

Starring:

Clark Gregg

Ming-Na Wen

Chloe Bennett

Ian De Caestecker

Elizabeth Henstridge

Henry Simmons

Natalia Cordova-Buckley

Jeff Ward

Plot:

The missions of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.

Review:

I dropped Shield three episodes into season 4. Later I heard so many people talking about how amazing it was and how the last two seasons were the best and after watching several other superhero shows I decided to go back and give it another shot.

First off, I have to disagree about Season 4, it was very much more of the same for me. The virtual world they were in was interesting, but went on way too long. I never warmed up to the Ghostrider arc.

Season 4 overall, was alright, but didn’t do much for me. It just kept dragging out the relationship drama more and the big bad never seemed to be beat, but they were fighting it forever. It was draining. Just when you thought there was a resolution, they’d discover some new connection, or their “solution” would have all kinds of bad consequences.

Finally they beat it, take a breath, and then disappear. I was all prepared to drop Shield again, but the Season 4 finale had me deciding to try out at least the first episode of 5, which then had me watching the entire season.

Season 5 was, for me, when things finally got good. I love time travel, I love space, and Fitz, Iain De Caestecker, as a mercenary is something I never knew I needed in my life until now. The first half was fun, though, by the end it had gotten increasingly darker as more revelations about the future were made. They finally get back home and things just get horrible.

It was back to the constantly trying to fight an inevitable conclusion that finally wasn’t resolved until the last episode. It’s one thing to hint at something throughout a season, but having it basically be the focus for entire episodes is just draining. I just wanted it to be over. I wanted Fitz and Simmons, Elizabeth Henstridge, to be together and not fighting to survive the destruction of the world. I wanted Deke, Jeff Ward, to stop being a love sick puppy and go back to being a Dollar Store Starlord. I wanted Daisy, Chloe Bennett, to just be gone. And please, everyone, just get off of Yoyo, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, back. She made a hard decision that needed to be made and most of the team *cough* Daisy *cough* were being absolute hypocritical assholes about it.

The ending had me in tears. Not because Phil, Clark Gregg, was leaving, even though he’s one of the best characters, but because they fucking killed Fitz. But then, they didn’t. There’s a second one floating in space waiting for them to find him, because of course there is, but that’s honestly the only reason I’m going to watch the next season. I’m really hoping for a less world ending season and more of a focus on smaller things. Leave the world to the Avengers, please.

2/5

Jane the Virgin Season 4 (2014-?)


Jane the Virgin Season 4 (2014-?)

Network:

CW

Creator:

Jennie Snyder Urman

Starring:

Gina Rodriguez

Andrea Navedo

Yael Grobglas

Justin Baldoni

Ivonne Coll

Jaime Camil

Anthony Mendez

Brett Dier

Plot:

A young, devout Catholic woman discovers that she was accidentally artificially inseminated.

Review:

I sobbed like a little baby in season 3 when Michael, Brett Dier, died. Gina Rodriguez’s gut wrenching scream/sob tore my heart. I took a while to warm up to Michael but once I did I was on board team Michael the entire time and then to have him die, it was horrible. I was so glad they did a time skip afterwards because I honestly don’t know if I could have handled the grief.

Anyway, the end of season 3 had Jane finding her first love and I immediately hated him. He would never be as good as Michael and he wasn’t, but I’d kind of warmed up to him and then he came out as Bi and I was really happy. Didn’t love him for her, but he was a good guy and I hoped he would at least stick around as a friend. We had a fairly good episode where he described what being Bi was and Jane realized she had an issue, but then came to terms with it. Next episode she’s deciding to tell him she loves him and he decides to leave for LA. I wasn’t a fan of the timing, it felt too much like bi-erasure, but I never wanted them to wind up together so I dealt with it.

Then Petra, Yael Grobglas, was revealed as Bi and things were fine. I loved that they never even really talked about it. She fell head over heels for Rosario Dawson, naturally, and apart from some surprise from Jane and Raf nothing was really said about it. It was great, she’s honestly one of the best characters, though, you never quite know if she’s telling the truth or not.

Jane moves on, things progress, tons happen, and naturally she winds back up in the arms of Rafael, Justin Baldoni, it was bound to happen, they’re always falling for each other at the worst times, but for once the stars aligned and things worked out. Not a huge fan of them together, but since Michael wasn’t around I was fine with it. They were happy, they have strengths and weaknesses that work together.

At the end of the season it’s revealed that Xo, Andrea Navedo, has breast cancer. It was rough. Those last few episodes I watched in terror of what they would do with her. The last episode I just kept waiting for something horrible to happen. Watching her and Rogelio, Jaime Camil, work on their marriage and become a strong couple has been wonderful to see. They work so well together and they seem solid which the series really needed.

The last episode was as climactic as I’ve come to expect. I actually screamed at the reveal and I never do that. My husband was laughing at me and I just kept screaming. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know how they’re going to explain it or how the relationships are going to change or even if I want them to. I need answers!!

I don’t have cable and I hate watching CW shows on their app or website, it never seems to work correctly for me, so I end up waiting for it all to be on Netflix. During that wait I end up forgetting how much I love Jane the Virgin but I doubt I will this time. I might actually have to watch live when the new season starts because I have to know. I have to!!

5/5

12 Monkeys Season 3 (2015-2018)

12 Monkeys Season 3 (2015-2018)

Network:

SyFy

Creator:

Travis Fickett

Terry Matalas

Starring:

Aaron Stanford

Amanda Schull

Noah Bean

Barbara Sukowa

Alisen Down

Plot:

Follows the journey of a time traveler from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will nearly destroy the human race.

Review:

Season 2 of 12 Monkeys ended with Cassie, Amanda Schull, being captured and held by the weirdos trying to destroy the world from their city sized time traveling hub. She’s pregnant with the Witness and they can’t have anything happen to her. She’s an incubator for their future leader.

Season 3 picks up right where that left off, pretty much, and each episode builds. There is so much going on here and I’m sure if I sat down with a timeline I’d probably find some inconsistencies but I don’t care. It’s entertaining and high stakes and they get just enough victories to make me feel like they might succeed at this thing.

The Witness is born and revealed this season and so much happens on that side of things. You can feel things starting to wrap up and the end nearing. I’m so hoping with this fourth season, that’s currently airing, that we get a satisfying ending. I would love a happy one please, but we’ll see.

Honestly, my only complaint with the season was that Katarina, Barbra Sukowa, was so easily trusting of Olivia, Alisen Down. Katarina is a smart woman and Olivia has never been on their side and now she trusts her? Really? Stupid move, really stupid.

The show is dark but because of the love between the two main characters I’ve always got this hope that things will change. I’m forever complaining about the lack of positive Sci-Fi and this is certainly not positive, but I still enjoy it because of the hope that’s there. The hope that they’ll fix things and make the world better, despite all they’ve been through they all seem to think it’s possible, which makes me think it is, which I guess, in a roundabout sort of way, makes 12 Monkeys positive. Lol. Not really. We’ll see.

4/5