Over Labor Day weekend, I used my spare time to eat flaming hot Cheetos fries and watch all eight episodes of Amazon’s new Tom Clancy series Jack Ryan, in which John Krasinski plays a C.I.A analyst with two first names. The show is neither unwatchable nor wholly exhilarating and sort of like 24, but much less stressful and with Krasinski as a less cool and non-gravelly voiced Jack Bauer trying to take down terrorists.
Unfortunately for Krasinski, he is forever known in our minds as Jim Halpert. I understand this is a frustrating phenomenon for actors—to be eternally linked to the television role that made you famous—but it’s also a badge of honor and a sign that you’ll never be forgotten. You are ingrained in the brain folds of pop culture. To that end, you can’t watch Krasinski in anything he’s in and not think of Jim from The Office. There’s Jim Halpert in a war movie. There’s Jim Halpert shushing his family members in A Quiet Place. There’s Jim Halpert playing a C.I.A agent and staunch patriot who becomes earnestly invested in foiling a terrorist plot in what turns out to be a fairly one-dimensional presentation of bad guys versus good guys.
As Vanity Fair’s Sonia Saraiya put it in a review:
As any fan of The Office could tell you, Krasinski’s charm also lies less in heightening drama than in offhandedly defusing it. An internal, contained role suits him better, as indicated by his own cerebral thriller A Quiet Place. But in Jack Ryan, we’re told that Jack Ryan is the rightest, truest, and bravest, over and over again. It’s not only insufferable but boring, because he doesn’t even have the decency to be conflicted.
It’s hard to watch this series and not see Jack as Jim, particularly in the above scene from Episode 1, which takes place in an office. 1) Wendell Pierce (as Jack Ryan’s boss James Greer) calls him into the office in a very Michael Scott manner. 2) Krasinski’s expression is pure Jim. 3) The use of “Jim” and “Ryan” made me chuckle. 4) Eveyone else’s expression is Office-like, especially this guy’s.
Look, I’m a simple woman and a simple Office fan who found this to be the most amusing part of the series, which by the way has been renewed for a Season 2. Watch and enjoy the highlight above.