Why Reacher Is Not Dad TV Show Explained By Alan Ritchson

Why Reacher Is Not Dad TV Show Explained By Alan Ritchson

Summary

  • Reacher star Alan Ritchson defends the show from being labeled as “Dad TV,” although he acknowledges it has elements of wish fulfillment.
  • Ritchson believes the show is “family TV,” sharing that he has shown his kids the series aside from a few graphic scenes.
  • Author Lee Child recently stated that the show is not a dad show but a mom and dad show.


Reacher star Alan Ritchson defends the show from being filed under the genre of dad TV, though he seems persuaded by the argument. The hit action thriller stars Ritchson as Jack Reacher, the character created by prolific author Lee Child. Trouble seems to follow the show’s hero wherever he goes, whether he’s wandering into a random town or reuniting with his former teammates to help solve a mystery, as was the case in season 2. Developed for TV by Nick Santora, the adaptation has become one of Prime Video’s biggest hits and has led to an early Reacher season 3 renewal.

In an interview with GQ, Ritchson was asked about the popularity of Reacher and whether that connects to its designation as Dad TV. The actor pushed back against the claim. He explained that he showed the adaptation to his kids, except for one graphic murder scene, and said that it’s a misnomer. Ritchson claimed that the show is “family TV, but he allowed for the possibility that he could be wrong. Read the quote below:

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.


What Is A Dad Show (Does It Apply To Reacher?)

Why Reacher Is Not Dad TV Show Explained By Alan Ritchson

The “Dad TV” term has been around for a few years, and it has been defined in different ways. Most definitions, however, agree that dad shows tend to lack complexity and nuance. The hero of a dad show is often, though not always, unflappable. He tends to come out on top, always winning in fights, often with little effort, and ending up with the love interest when possible. There’s an element of wish fulfillment to the story, which are three elements Ritchson agrees apply to Reacher.

In the same interview, the actor touches on the fact that Reacher exists in a fairly straightforward world and that there is an element of wish fulfillment in the lead character’s saga. This is not to say that dad shows are bad. Like any subgenre, it can be good or bad depending on its own terms. Like any subgenre, it has a list of tropes and signifiers and can be enjoyed by anyone, even though the name points to a target audience.

Related

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Jack Reacher and the 110th Special Investigations Unit end their crusade for vengeance against Shane Langston in the packed Reacher season 2.

Child was recently asked why Reacher was so popular, saying that “it’s not a dad show” but a mom and dad show. He argued that the series provides a similar form of escapism for female audiences. Nevertheless, the debate still highlights the complexity of whether the Prime Video show is pure “dad TV.” The series could shed its reputation as a dad show by being more morally complex and willing to openly question its hero. However, it could embrace the term and lean into becoming the best dad show possible.

All episodes of Reacher are now on Prime Video.

Source: GQ

Reacher

Release Date
February 4, 2022

Cast
Malcolm Goodwin , Maria Sten , Willa Fitzgerald , Bruce McGill , Chris Webster , Alan Ritchson

Seasons
2

Story By
nick santora

Writers
Nick Santora

Network
amazon prime video

Franchise(s)
Jack Reacher

Directors
Nick Santora

Showrunner
Nick Santora

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