This is probably the hardest review for me to write and not be biased. Because I’ll be honest with you, this was the show that I was most looking forward to this fall season. Even more so than Agents of Shield (which most of my friends would shank me for saying). But I love James Spader and the whole, Silence of the Lambs-esc-ness. So I had high expectations and hopes for NBC’s The Blacklist.
And they did not disappoint.
The Blacklist is fast paced and hard hitting. They waste no time getting right down to the, well, everything. Raymond “Red” Reddington was a good little solider until about twenty years ago. On Christmas Eve he left his wife and daughter, disappearing. Four years later he resurfaces – as a traitor; selling American secrets to whoever will pay. He becomes known as the “Concierge of Crime” and earns a spot on the FBI’s most wanted list.
So fast forward to present day. Red turns himself in to the FBI who pull out all of the stops to lock him up. But Red has an interesting story to tell. He’s just helped an international terrorist into the country, a terrorist who the FBI believed to be dead. Oh, the FBI want more details? Well Red clams up really quick, insisting on speaking to Agent Elizabeth Keen.
Now Agent Keen swears she doesn’t know Red. She’s a brand new profiler, her first day on the job in fact. But Red sure seems to know her. He knows things about her life, her past, that even somehow got past the FBI background check. We get a lot of mystery about Liz’s father, a fire, some traumatic childhood. But there is no time to learn about Liz. Because shit is about to hit the fan.
As always this is a spoiler free review, so let’s just say some things don’t go as planned for poor Liz. Okay a lot of things don’t go as planned. And Red is right in the center of a lot of it. He pulls a lot of tricks on the FBI, Liz, and even his “friend” the terrorist. The show sets up a shit ton of questions, but in a good way. What’s the truth behind Red? What happened in Liz’s past? Oh, and the biggest surprise what the heck is up with [redacted]!?
James Spader is, not surprisingly, phenomenal. And okay, maybe I’m biased. He’s always been amazing (also, can we just sidetrack for a sec – Spader as Ultron in the next Avengers movie? Talk about freaking exciting!!). Megan Boone who plays Liz is also really good. She goes from naive to badass to sweet and sensitive in a few short scenes. (Another sidetrack – Diego Klattenhoff who plays a fellow FBI agent has an amazing voice. He can just keep talking forever.)
And talk about short scenes. Whooo. That was the one thing about the show that kind of pulled me away was the pure speed of everything. There is no pause. Action, go, go, go, nonstop, woooo! Now once we get about halfway into the show, I didn’t care so much because I was so engrossed in the story and what was going to happen next. So maybe it wasn’t so bad. And it is the pilot. And I have been watching a lot of, well slower shows, such as Orange is the New Black. So maybe it is just me.
The Blacklist Episode One – NBC
Overall Score: Strong A 95 points
Action packed. Awesome. Beautifully shot. Great cast. Hmm… fast paced. That’s for sure. That’s what I took the five points away for. Maybe that’s a bit harsh. But it did pull me out of the show.
Needless to say, I’m super pumped to keep watching. I’ve been pumped for this show since I saw the first trailer and I am still super pumped. It reminds me a lot of FX/DirecTV’s Damages which was one of my favorite shows. You can definitely expect a season wrap up review.
You can watch NBC’s The Blacklist on Mondays.
(It does unfortunately clash with CBS’s The Hostages. But you’re probably up to speed with technology and can tape both at once on your DVR. If not you can do what I did and tape The Hostages on a VCR. Expect a review of that too once I get around to watching that VHS.)
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Have a show/movie I should take a look at? Let me know!