The Blacklist

So let’s get this out of the way first: The Blacklist is a
good show based off an entirely uncreative premise. We’ve got a super smart
criminal that purposefully gets himself caught and then starts assisting the
FBI in catching a bunch of other “most wanted”s. He also enjoys the finer
things in life such as fine dining and five star hotels and talking down to
everyone else. The premise is so uncreative that I may purposefully neglect to
use James Spader’s character’s actual name (Reddington) and instead just call
him Fauxnibal.
Now that we’ve done a good job at pooing on top of The
Blacklist’s head, the truth is that the show is actually fantastic once it gets
going. And it’s fantastic mostly because of the way Spader portrays Reddington/Fauxnibal.
James Spader was the first thing that got me interested in the show. I always
knew that he was a celebrated actor, but I could not have told you one
memorable role he had played in prior to his brilliant stint on The Office. But
he did such a great job as Robert California that he totally stole the show,
even from Rainn Wilson. TV career, thereby, cemented.
The way that Spader plays his character in The Blacklist is
not terribly different from Anthony Hopkins’s Hannibal Lector, Kevin Spacey’s
John Doe in Seven, and even Michael Emerson’s Ben Linus in LOST. In fact, it is
something of an amalgamation of them all. But rather than coming off as empty
or cliché, Spader is super creepy, charming, and believable. There are few
outside of Spader that could have made this show as enjoyable as it is.
But he is not the one and only great thing about The
Blacklist. I am fan of mystery when it is done correctly (See: The first three
seasons of LOST); (See also: the exact opposite of the last three seasons of
LOST). And The Blacklist does mystery very well. Fauxnibal’s motives are not at
all clear. Who the real villains are is up in the air. Is there some sort of
parentage between Fauxnibal and the lead female character, Elizabeth Keen?
What’s up with Elizabeth’s husband? The audience knows that there is definitely
more than meets the eye with these characters, but we know little else than
that.

The Blacklist is about half way through its inaugural season
and is currently taking a winter break. The series returns with new episodes on
NBC on January 13th. Sadly, it’s not yet on Netflix, but I would
imagine season one will get there once/if season two begins. In the meantime, I
advise you scour your OnDemand, Hulu, and Amazon Prime resources to get caught
up if you missed The Blacklist so far. It’s definitely worth your time and it
is not a show you can comfortably jump into the middle of. I, personally, will
be watching the rest of season one with rapt interest to see how good the
payoff on these mysteries will be. 

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