According to Jack Carr, the actual story of James Reece and The Terminal List is fiction. But it does have realistic elements and themes that only Carr and other military veterans have experienced, many of whom were actually invited on set to make the show seem as real as possible, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Carr explained in an interview with Washington Post Live, “Which was important to Chris from the start [Pratt] and Anton [Fuqua] was that, hey, if a veteran sat down and turned that on and looked at it, at least they’d be like, ‘You know what, those guys did their homework…'”
Since its debut, viewers have come out and lavished praise on The Terminal List for its authenticity. Critics have used those very things to tear down the TV series, with one critic from RogerEbert.com calling it “jingoism at its finest and absolutely the worst”. Carr has been a staunch defender of the series, ultimately believing that any hatred or negativity directed towards it is the result of today’s divisive political climate. “We didn’t make it for the critics,” Carr told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson (via The Hollywood Reporter). “We made it for the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan so they can sit on the couch and say, ‘Hey, these guys went to the trouble. They went out of their way to do something special and put on a show that speaks to them.'”