On October 31, the Prime Video service released all eight episodes in the second season of “Jack Ryan.” Based on the CIA operative character created by novelist Tom Clancy, the first season of the series received four-and-a-half out of five stars from viewers, but the second has received a less rapturous response.
Erik Henriksen of The Stranger wrote that while the first season was “significantly better than it needed to be,” the bloom has come off the rose. He said that this was due to the show trading in its intrigue and replacing it with “boilerplate airport paperback stuff.”
Among viewers, the reception was mixed. Some on the Rotten Tomatoes website gave it five stars, but others pointed to problems with the writing.
Other complaints stemmed from an issue that the writers might not have anticipated when they set this season’s action in Venezuela.
“When I watch a show, I want to sit back and enjoy it not to have to actively read the subtitles,” said one viewer. Another complained that the show had “too many captions with a lot of foreign language,” while another complained that “I’m not fond of captioned TV programs. I’m usually multi-tasking at home and don’t like being forced to watch full-time.”
Since “Jack Ryan” is about international espionage, subtitle-averse viewers will continue to have problems with the show, but from Amazon’s perspective, this is unlikely to have an effect. The franchise has been consistently popular for decades, with a loyal audience waiting to see what happens next. The show runners may need to take seriously the accusations that the writing has slipped, but assuming that it remains engaging and gives fans the globe-trotting suspense they’re accustomed to, “Jack Ryan” likely has a future beyond this season.