Television Review: The Blacklist

I recently got hooked on The Blacklist thanks to Netflix and my love of binge watching shows. I was recommended the show from a friend and watched the first episode, but wasn’t so much impressed. However, I gave it another try and by the third episode I was hooked. This is my usual M.O. Which is why I give most shows three episodes before deciding whether or not I like it. And I love The Blacklist!

the blacklist

Summary from IMDB:

A highly articulate, erudite and intelligent businessman and mastermind, “Red” Reddington, has allegedly been on the “10 Most Wanted List” of various U.S. law enforcement agencies for over 20 years. The legend is that Red is as elusive an Artiste as he is clever; Red built and controls a veritable labyrinth of creative enterprises coupled with uncanny ability to gather and finesse information at the drop of a hat. On the first day at FBI for a new female profiler fresh out of Quantico, Red offers to bandy wits with the FBI. Red promises to deliver various criminals and plots previously unknown to any branch of law enforcement… and all Red requests in return is to choose his muse.

James Spader is amazing. His character Red is outside the normal anti-hero on television, he’s more like a movie anti-hero. He goes around killing people, in cold blood, without emotion, because he must to get to his end game. Which I still haven’t bloody figured out yet. At the close of season 1, some of his endgame became clear and his cleverness expounded upon, but mystery yet remains. And that makes this show awesome.

I once read this article on how heroes in large stories are written rather bland and very very normal on purpose. That way whoever is watching or reading the story can easily imagine themselves in that person’s place. I love Leslie Knopes, but she is a character and I don’t easily imagine myself in her place. Elizabeth Keen (played by Megan Boone) us that every man character that the watcher/reader is supposed to easily place themselves inside of. She does get interesting as the show progressives, but at times she is tiring, and not as bad ass as I would hope. I’ve not given up hope on her becoming a little bit more of a character, because she is being set up to grow in that direct, but the first season she is very normal in her reactions and actions and character.

I have so many theories about this story line, but I’ll keep them to myself so I don’t spoil the best thing about this show, you never know where it is going. However, if you want to discuss theories, I’m opening up the comments for spoilers. So beware! Have questions? Want to discuss? Leave a comment. I’d love to swap theories.

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2 thoughts on “Television Review: The Blacklist

  1. My gf and I were watching it on Netflix too – we started binging but then we got distracted with season 3 of House of Cards so, in fact, we’ve only recently gotten to the end of season one. I have to say, I have mixed opinions of it. As good as Spader is (and I think the scenes without him are far less interesting) there’s only so many times I can take that knowing smirk and quietly maniacal laugh. Likewise, sometimes I just wanted to shake Liz and tell her to wake up and smell the coffee.

    Her husband on the other hand… that whole storyline kept me watching. For me, the B story was the A. I really didn’t care that much about the main story in each episode (and yes, I rolled my eyes each time the baddie was called “The” something) and I even lost some interest in the “is he/isn’t he Liz’s father” debate (until the last few eps) but I definitely sat up and took notice whenever Mr Keen was around.

    Holes big enough to drive a tank through in every episode but intriguing all the same…

    • I agree, Spader’s smirk can be annoying. And Liz dies begin to change, but not as quickly as I would like. I agree the Tom Keen story is super interesting. And if that was what you liked about season 1, you should keep watching. Definite story holes, but enough good stuff to keep me hooked.

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