The Reel World’s Indiana Jones “Content”
Make sure to listen to our site’s podcast episode on Raiders of the Lost Ark.
8 Thoughts on the Harrison Ford Episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
The 7 Worst Parts of Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull
Ranking the Indiana Jones Films
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was a television show from 1992-1994 that was exactly what it sounds like. It featured Sean Patrick Flanery playing Indiana for most of the show (a few episodes apparently featured a child playing an even younger Indiana).
As everyone learned (again) with Solo though, it’s not that Han Solo or Indiana Jones are these remarkable characters or anything. It’s that Harrison Ford is one of the biggest movie stars of all time that make them iconic. They are star vehicle characters.
Anyway, all of that is a long way to say that very few moments of the show that I have seen have been absolutely brutal. I decided to watch one episode of it properly though for one simple reason: Harrison Ford was in it!
Without further ado, here are some takeaways from “Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues.”
1. Harrison Ford really just effortlessly captures Indiana
By far the best (unironically) parts of this episode of television is that you get to spend a few precious minutes (seven in total) with Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones. There were just a handful of perfect star vehicles for Ford over the years, and this was absolutely one of them.
2. Young Indy is hanging out with Elliot Ness
He is college friends or something with Elliot Ness. Just because? Anyway, this was how I learned Young Indiana Jones spent much of the television show interacting with real life historical figures.
3. Young Indy Learns About Jazz from Jeffrey Wright
THIS IS THE HEART OF THE EPISODE. Indiana Jones learns how to play jazz. You see he had some mechanics of playing the saxophone. But he did know real jazz. Jeffrey Wright teaches him JAZZ. This was a real television show.
4. Young Indiana also learns about RACISM
Indiana Jones serves as a cypher here to do a very special episode about the black experience in the United States. Many issues facing black people and the competing schools of thought about what to do about the issues (such as Revolution vs. Assimilation) are mentioned or glossed over. It was surreal.
5. Frank Vincent plays legendary Chicago gangster, Johnny Torio
Vincent is one of a surprisingly high number of well-known actors popping up in this episode. Others included Jane Krawkowski, Keith David, Nicolas Tuturro, Saginaw Grant (playing Harrison Ford’s partner in crime in the prologue and epilogue of the episode), and the previously mentioned Jeffrey Wright.
6. Big Jim Colosimo’s death at the hands of Al Capone is also in here???
Just inexplicable! Learning about racism and jazz was not enough! Indiana Jones had to be a waiter at Big Jim Colosimo’s restaurant/bar and is there the night Big Jim is assassinated. And then he investigates the murder with Elliott Ness???? And their experiences with the corruption of the police then becomes an origins story for Elliot Ness??? WHAT WAS THIS TELEVISION SHOW???
7. WHAT WAS THIS TELEVISION SHOW??
Indiana Jones is then so sad after his Chicago Mob Adventures that he then plays the blues with Jeffrey Wright.
Then it cuts back to Harrison Ford and Grey Cloud who just got robbed. And Harrison Ford is sad too so he too plays the saxophone and that causes a mini-avalanche that collapses on their robbers???
I repeat. WHAT WAS THIS TELEVISION SHOW???
8. Here is Al Capone btw!