This post contains spoilers about the Netflix Tom Clancy’s Jim Ryan show, or maybe it’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. All I know is, Tom Clancy is somehow involved and I have two pounds of fudge to make before sunup so I’m not looking it up. Anyway, if you don’t like spoilers and haven’t binged this sucker yet, but plan to, go watch it and then come back. You’ve been warned. Either way, you should know he catches the bad guy.
I have not ever read a Tom Clancy novel, but my father blasted through them all. My mother loved this fact because the man was impossible to shop for. Fortunately, Tom Clancy released a new book, each the size of a full set of encyclopedias, every other week, so there was always something to give my father the requisite three times a year.
Then I got married and realized that there would be more Tom Clancy, because Josh The Pilot had also read several of his novels, which is apparently some kind of local ordinance for men and a Constitutional requirement for pilots. So because I have blocked out several percentages of the DVR with Property Brothers, I had to sit and watch the Jim Ryan thing.
As an HSP, I avoid violent media, because I experience enough strong emotion and upsetting imagery trying to get past Clifton on I75. So it was Josh The Pilot’s job to let me know if there was going to be any blood, or shooting, or children in danger, or hostage-taking, or bombs, or punching, here in this adaptation of Tom Clancy novels.
The two remaining minutes of the six hour program were fairly interesting. I hung with it because it was fascinating to watch the guy who was Jim from The Office attempt to portray a completely different person. It validated my suspicion that John Krasinski, who was Jim from The Office, has precisely one character in his arsenal, and that is is Jim from The Office. Here’s Jim from The Office striding around Georgetown. Here’s Jim from The Office typing into a French translator program while communicating with a terrorist because the CIA probably doesn’t have any people who speak conversational Parisian French and Jim from The Office needs to do it all. Here’s Jim from The Office in a comically awkward professional meeting with a girl he likes (it’s Julia from Parenthood, only minus her box of Clairol) in which she finds out that he totally lied to her about his profession, lol, in which Jim from The Office copy-pastes his face from every single Michael Scott conference room scene onto him sitting a CIA briefing room next to Julia from Parenthood.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; I like Jim from The Office, and it made me feel rather safe amidst all the punching. Every time he hoisted a grenade in the air I kept expecting him to turn to the camera and monologue about what a great prank on Dwight this was going to be.
This all takes place in Washington DC, so what do they do to Jim from The Office to make him not Jim from The Office and definitely not Alec Baldwin on a submarine? He’s a Nationals fan, with a Nationals schedule pinned to his cubicle and advice for the Asian women in his office about their fantasy baseball drafts (this really happened.) So when it comes to mainstreaming and location-grounding a “new” character, what’s Hollywood gonna turn to? Baseball. The great unifier.
They might have done better in maybe hitting up a ten-second Google search on what Catholics do during funerals, because this show seems to think that what we do is roll with a bunch of priests in cassocks. That’s what the terrorists wore to blend in at a Catholic funeral. Full-on, to-the-floor cassocks which are seen on Halloween at the Vatican and precisely nowhere else. It’s as if I were trying to hide myself as a doctor at a hospital and ran around with a bag with a big red cross on it and one of those big mirror things on my head. And these were high-class terrorists, mind you, with stolen uniforms and biological weapons, not two idiots shaking baby powder into envelopes.
Jim Ryan’s writers were also completely stumped as to what Catholics do at a Catholic funeral Mass, and it’s just too bad that none of them had ever met single Catholic ever, any of whom could apologize for the fact that we never follow some sort of set formula they could look up or something. At one point I absolutely know that someone in the writer’s room said “Do Catholics say the Our Father? Let’s just show a bunch of people in a church saying the Our Father right off the top. That seems Catholicy.”
These people didn’t research basic religious functions, and they didn’t really didn’t research the way people behave in Metro stations before, during, and after Nationals games. The climax of the series takes place in a DC Metro station, which made me very happy, as I love the DC Metro, which I can say now that I no longer have to take it to work on a daily basis. The Metro even gets a strong cameo and a body count notch when a train on the Green Line wipes out a terrorist (I told you I love the DC Metro.)
In the world of Jim Ryan, people attend regular season Nationals games wearing giant Nationals flags like capes. They also have feisty chants that complete strangers cheerfully join in, and beam at one another while running up and down Metro station steps because Austin Voth is where it’s at, man.
In many ways, this was the most upsetting part of the entire series, and Josh the Pilot said nothing to warn me.
Proud aunt Mary Beth Ellis is a freelance writer and college teacher who lives in Cincinnati, OH. Her home site, BlondeChampagne.com, has existed in at least some form since 2003, and Mary Beth has been a regular columnist with one publication or another from the age of 16. Her first book, Drink to the Lasses, was published in 2006. She currently teaches college, runs personal wine tastings, gives literary readings, and stares into the middle distance.