You gotta respect Chris Pratt for flexing on ‘The Terminal List’ reviews now that it’s a huge hit
I have a certain reputation among my beloved cinephile friends for having a high level of appreciation for war and war-adjacent movies. Not just the obvious megahits like Top Gun: Maverick, which every sentient being can love and loves. But nothing military. Like when Tom Hanks’ Greyhound first started streaming, a friend of mine said it looked like it was created by an AI algorithm to interest me specifically. What he did. Perhaps it stems from the fact that I was raised by a WWII vet and my most vivid memories of the man are sitting in his lap as he told me stories of his time stationed on an aircraft carrier. But regardless, when it comes to what I watch, I have a type.
With that, I thought I’d like The list of terminals. The Irish Rose (also raised by a vet, who served in Patton’s 3rd Army Infantry and told her stories while the younger me listened to my dad’s) and I watched her pretty much from end to end once it landed on Amazon. We liked it for the most part. We do not have to like this. Like pretty much all streaming shows, it’s about 30-50% longer than it should be. The script watered down to fill 10 episodes like a kid adding all sorts of unnecessary filler to hit the 500 word minimum on its book report. You can pretty much write the whole story arc before the first episode ends. She assumed the surprise villain long before the Big Reveal. But it was well done and well acted and the kind of story they don’t tell as much as they used to, with a revenge plot and some sleazy bad actors in the government and a bit of action sequences from John Rambo. So it’s worth watching.
But because everything is terrible now, you have to put this little limited edition adaptation of a novel (which I haven’t read) in its place. And this place must be on the front lines of the culture war. This is yet another entertainment that has been torched by critics but adored by viewers:
Daily Mail – Woke critics who slammed Chris Pratt’s new thriller series ‘The Terminal List’ had red cheeks this week as it overtook other shows to take second place on the show list the most popular in America.
“The Terminal List,” which stars Pratt as a U.S. Navy Seal, racked up 1.6 billion streaming minutes on Amazon Prime during the July 4-10 window, which marked the series’ first full week on the service after its premiere in July. 1.
While the series was a hit with fans, critics showed disdain for the thrilling military series.
They included Hollywood Reporter writer Daniel Fienberg, who called it “the entertainment equivalent of a charred hockey puck, with the same limited range of flavors and aesthetics.”
But the reaction from people who watched the show couldn’t have been more different, with several viewers calling the show “awesome” and “excellent”, while another noted that “reviews, like habit, were wrong”.
Rotten Tomatoes, a website used to rate films via reviews and audience reviews, showed a poor 40/100 rating from critics, but a surprising 94/100 from viewers.
Good sauce, those battles over “woke” or “anti-wake” content are getting exhausting. So the critics hated it, but the fans love it. The same could be said of Tommy Boy. But I don’t remember the debates of sociopolitical arguments raging over whether the “Fat Guy in a Little Coat” scene fit into the national zeitgeist or whether David Spade’s masturbation scene was written to stick it. to the elites. But that’s where we are.
So while I think this is largely a bullshit argument, there’s something to it. I’m not saying anyone in their right mind would look at something they really don’t like just to “own the libs”. At least I don’t think so. I can’t imagine anyone consuming more than 10 hours of television out of a sense of duty to a cause. Just to piss off a Harvard professor with 10 Brookline City dump stickers on his Prius or whatever.
But I think there’s an appetite for the kind of entertainment that the industry was producing in massive quantities. There’s a limit to the number of movies or shows you can watch where the main protagonist is an incredibly brave young woman who strikes a blow for empowerment against the patriarchy so we can say “YASSS QUEEN!!!” of our durable, non-toxic sofas.
Sometimes – and I say this with some trepidation because it might get me in trouble – we’re not looking for a… Message. Sometimes we just like to see men blow shit up. Manly masculine men, stoic, tough, full of testosterone and full of rage, fighting for a just cause. Protect the innocent. Stop the bad guys. Turning injustice into a form of crude justice. Making sense of a world gone mad. Morally unambiguous. Giving a difficult assignment, but overcoming fear out of a sense of obligation or duty. Even, dare I say it, patriotism. Even sometimes until their own death.
That’s why I think The list of terminals is as popular as it is. Not because it is Band of brothers. Not by a fucking show. This is without doubt (in my opinion) the best mini-series ever created. But there is a thirst for shows about heroes doing heroic things. The real kind founded. Whose superpowers are things like courage and bravery. And Hollywood is producing less and less of it all the time. So when they do, it will resonate with people who value those qualities. What Chris Pratt and the filmmakers produced, flawed as it was.
So I respect Pratt’s inferno who boosted football as he smashed the plane with that gigantic shot that critics trashed:
For my part, I hope it will earn them billions, so that we get more of this type of content. Money talks. The same goes for 1.6 billion streaming minutes.