Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, August 31, and Saturday, September 1. All times are Eastern.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Prime Video, Friday): Jim Halpert has given his notice of leave, cleaned out his desk and moved on to a new office job... as an analyst for the CIA. John Krasinski is the fifth actor to bring to life Tom Clancy’s much-beloved Jack Ryan, taking the reins from Chris Pine, who himself inherited the role from Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, and Alec Baldwin. In approaching the fifth adaptation of Clancy’s books in less than 30 years, Krasinski says he took inspiration from Ford’s portrayal, while creators Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland (Lost) contribute new material to the Ryanverse canon rather than adapting the show from any one novel. The series acts as a sort of Jack Ryan origin story, picking up just four years into Ryan’s career at the CIA. While crunching numbers at his computer, Ryan accidentally uncovers a series of suspicious bank transfers that drag him out of his chair and into a war on terror, launching his career as the all-American everyman hero millions of readers came to love. Is it worth your time? Amazon Prime certainly thinks so. The site is so confident the series will be a success that it announced in April—months before the season one premiere—that the show had been renewed for a second season. Check out Danette Chavez’s take to decide for yourself.
The Comedy Lineup: Part Two (Netflix, Friday): An Irish sitcom actor who has guest starred on Drunk History; a dyslexic, gay NPR vet from small-town Maine; a New York-based performer who has toured with Chris Rock; a writer for The Daily Show With Trevor Noah; a music teacher who has toured the world with his guitar and sense of humor in tow; a feminist storyteller who has appeared on Comedy Central and toured with Margaret Cho and Ali Wong; a former oil painter and opera singer who hunts down the ghosts of people’s exes using Snapchat; and a former semiotics major at Brown University who now opens for John Mulaney. These are the voices of the second part of Netflix’s critically acclaimed The Comedy Lineup, a snack box of 15-minute performances from eight of standup comedy’s next-big-things. The series offers a wide range of comic styles and subject matter in perfectly sample-sized portions, allowing audience members to efficiently discover new talent... or quickly move on to the next without having wasted much time.