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The Danger In ‘Politicizing’ The Terminal List And One Thing That’s Been ‘Nuts’ About The Fan Response, Per The Showrunner

Chris Pratt in Episode 4 of The Terminal List Season 1.
(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

The Terminal List had a big debut on Amazon, quickly shooting up to the Number 1 slot in popularity with Prime Video subscribers. The cast has been super supportive of the release and it's already earned a legion of fans, but critics haven’t been as kind in their assessment of the series (nor did the Department of Defense “give support”). Now, however, showrunner David DiGilio has opened up about the danger of “politicizing” the new TV series, also touching on the “bonkers” response the fans have given the Chris Pratt starrer. 

While Chris Pratt and other have pushed hard on the authenticity of the series and how it “avoided Hollywood bs,”  some critics openly wrote they felt The Terminal List offered watered down plots and “dumb” action sequences, but some of the critics of the series were more blatantly political in their assessment. One particularly brutal review called the Amazon series “an unhinged right-wing revenge fantasy”-- and that’s just the headline. And due to the big difference between the critical and fan response, it makes sense that author Jack Carr and others have been asked about the response.

In an interview, David DiGilio told Slashfilm that he feels the show is more of “a cautionary tale” – as producer Antoine Fuqua originally put it – and that viewers can and should view Chris Pratt’s character Reece from very different perspectives. He also asks that anyone trying the show comes in with an open mind:

Different people will view it differently, and that's OK. That's OK. I think that's the danger of politicizing it, is it makes you come in having to judge instead of going in being entertained and coming out with your own read on it. And that is the part that I think the fans, like you look at the reaction online, that's what they're loving.

The showrunner went on to talk a little bit about how the response to the TV show has been different across the board, also touching on how the fans have responded to it overall. David DiGilio really feels that it’s those who step away from the political lens and can just enjoy the ride who are getting the most out of the new drama.

And so, it's not a political show. It is a show that is about an authentic experience that does not get portrayed very much on screen these days, which is really too bad and needs to be portrayed more, and that was the only thing. The show, there will be people who maybe it's too dark for. It's pretty violent, but it is entertaining. If you don't come in trying to politicize it, it's just an awesome ride and an incredible look at a character who is a massive character. James Reece has an enormous following, and is an incredible portrayal of that warrior spirit. We're really pumped about it, because it's really connecting with people.

It’s safe to say The Terminal List has been wildly popular for Amazon, even if David DiGilio doesn’t know exactly how popular. He noted that even with Nielsen tracking streaming independently these days, streamers are still reluctant to share good, hard data. Regardless, there is one stat that’s been totally “bonkers”: In its first week The Terminal List beat out the wildly popular series The Boys.

Oh, it's been epic. Absolutely epic. The fan response has been bonkers, and I think it was just announced that the show was the number one show on Prime Video last weekend, so it beat The Boys, which is nuts.

It’s sometimes easy to make a splash when you are the new kid on the block (The Boys is currently in Season 3), but hitting Number 1 is always an impressive feat. Chris Pratt’s actually done it two years in a row now during the summer at Amazon; in fact, last year’s The Tomorrow War is getting a sequel after landing the coveted top slot around this time last year.  

As for The Terminal List Season 2? Amazon Prime has not officially renewed the series yet. However, we do already know there are five James Reece books to draw on for additional seasons. Also, it beat The Boys in its first week. So there’s positive momentum for fans – albeit  maybe not the critics – to be excited about. 

Jessica Rawden
Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.