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starring: alan ritchson, willa fitzgerald, malcolm goodwin, and bruce mcgill


REVIEWER: lyall carter

Jack Reacher, a veteran military police investigator, has recently entered civilian life when he is falsely accused of murder.

Tom Clancy, John Grisham, and Dan Brown all writers of extremely popular fiction whose work often is called by the slightly derogatory term ‘pulpy airport thrillers.’ Lee Child’s Reacher has often been placed in that camp which is not only dismissive of the legion of fans but the gripping narratives and characters the stories contain. Reacher is addictive, binge worthy, thrilling TV at its best.


Jack Reacher, a veteran military police investigator, has just recently entered civilian life. Reacher is a drifter, carrying no phone and the barest of essentials as he travels the country and explores the nation he once served. When Reacher arrives in the small town of Margrave, Georgia, he finds a community grappling with its first homicide in 20 years. The cops immediately arrest him and eyewitnesses claim to place Reacher at the scene of the crime. While he works to prove his innocence, a deep-seated conspiracy begins to emerge, one that will require Reacher’s keen mind and hard-hitting fists to deal with. One thing above all is for sure: They picked the wrong guy to take the fall.


While I haven’t read any of Child’s Reacher books, I remember the uproar when Tom Cruise was cast as the titular character in 2012’s Jack Reacher as well as in the 2016 sequel Never Go Back. The argument was that Cruise was just too small. In this TV series they have more than fixed that issue here in Alan Ritchson. This guy is BUILT. 


Instead of cherry picking a random title, season one of Reacher is based on Lee Child’s first Jack Reacher novel Killing Floor. The narrative structure plays out like any typical TV thriller with clues discovered, fresh revelations, and story arcs hooking you into streaming just one more episode. 


Reacher is filled with intrigue, drama, and punctuated with explosive violence (mainly from Reacher himself). And when that happens you see on full display the absolute destruction that Reacher can inflict on any number of individuals. 


While the story is really engaging, it's the trio of Ritchson’s Reacher, Fitzgerald’s Officer Conklin, and Goodwin’s Chief Detective Finlay that push this series to be head and shoulders above all the rest. The interactions between the three are dripping with sarcastic humor, with the lighter tone of the series allowing for this chemistry to wonderfully develop,


This series doesn’t have any notable stars to speak of, but it appears to have discovered some in the making particularly in Ritchson and Fitzgerald. Both relatively unknown, Ritchson not only has smoldering intensity but also a charismatic wit. Fitzgerald on the other hand isn’t just some damsel in distress and is a firecracker of personality and pure guts. 


Reacher is addictive, binge worthy, thrilling TV at its best.


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