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“I’ve Shown My Kids the Show”

Summary

  • Alan Ritchson believes that the hit series Reacher is not just for men, but can be enjoyed by the whole family, including his own children.
  • Lee Child, the creator of Reacher, initially thought the series would primarily appeal to men, but has come to realize that it has universal appeal, including for women who appreciate the commitment-free lifestyle portrayed by the character.
  • The format of Reacher, with each season featuring a new location and story, allows viewers to enjoy the show without having seen previous seasons.


Alan Ritchson has echoed Reacher creator Lee Child in giving his opinion on the demograpic of Prime Video’s hit action series. Although many believe that the series is primarily aimed at a male audience, its star has a very different take on who can enjoy the show – including his own children.

During an interview with GQ, Ritchson addressed the huge success of the series, and pushed back against what he called a “misnomer” about Reacher’s target audience. He said:

“It’s funny: I’ve shown my kids the show. I let them watch season one – but I wouldn’t let them see the naked guy hanging crucified on the wall [who had his bollocks chopped off and was forced to swallow them whole], but everything else was… Within context, it all made sense. They loved it, man. For me, it’s not ‘Dad TV’, it’s ‘family TV’. I walk down the street and little ladies on their walkers are like [adopts the voice of a decrepit old woman] “Reacher… Reacher…” It’s such a misnomer to me to qualify this as ‘Dad TV’. But I am a father and I, too, love the show. Maybe it does work.”

Previoulsy, author Child addressed why he believes the series has been a massive success. While the previous attempts to bring Jack Reacher to screens in two movies starring Tom Cruise ultimately left fans unsatisfied, the TV series has resonated so strongly, that season 2 became Prime Video’s biggest debut of the year at the end of December, even if reviews have not been able to match the first season.

The Prime Video series, which first aired in 2022 with Alan Ritchson in the titular role, has quickly become one of the biggest shows to ever hit the platform. Following the success of its second season, which adapted Child’s book “Bad Luck and Trouble,” Child spoke with The Messenger about the universal appeal of the series and its lead character. As far as he is concerned, Reacher is not just a series for Dads, but Jack Reacher’s commitment-free lifestyle is something that woman can buy into as well. He explained:

“When I wrote the first book and reviewed it in my head, I thought, okay, yeah, this is a guy book. This is something that men are gonna respond to. But I was worried about how women would respond to it, because he’s a rough, tough individual. You know, basically a filthy, dirty barbarian. Owns nothing, never changes his clothes. All that kind of stuff.

“It is actually more of a woman show than a man’s, because women want the same thing. They want that commitment-free, responsibility-free fantasy. Women would love to walk away tomorrow and be in a different town with nothing hanging over them just as much as men do. And so that is what I learned. It’s not a dad show. It’s a mum and dad show. Your car needs fixing, your roof is leaking. You just want to walk away. And that’s the fantasy that Reacher gives anybody.”

2:10

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Reacher’s Success Relies on Keeping The Story Fresh.

Alan Ritchson, Shaun Sipos, Serinda Swan, and Maria Sten looking at something with a flashlight in Reacher
Prime Video

Another key to the show’s potential longevity, according to Child, lies in its format. Each book, and subsequently each season of the show, sees Reacher in a new location tackling a fresh mystery or instance of corruption. Although the series is a continuation of Reacher’s story, each season is set up with a brand-new story, which allows audiences to dip into the show even if they haven’t watched the previous seasons. Unlike shows with a continuous narrative, which have often come under fire for requiring too much commitment from audiences that are swamped for choice when it comes to what they stream, Reacher benefits from its protagonist heading into each new story as exactly the same character he was in the previous story.

Ritchson has made it clear that the character is a role he feels he was born to play, and he seems determined to bring many more of Child’s novels to Prime Video in the coming years. With audience viewership through the roof, and reviews continuing to praise the series, there is little doubt that we will be seeing Ritchson’s take on Jack Reacher for many years yet.

Reacher season 2 poster

Reacher

Release Date
February 4, 2022

Creator
Nick Santora

Cast
Alan Ritchson , Maria Sten , Malcolm Goodwin , Willa Fitzgerald

Seasons
2

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