Each new pilot season brings successes and failures. For NBC, being on the slippery slope of declining ratings is the normal for many of its new fall lineup seasons. Or this is true until this little thriller that could came along.
The Blacklist, Season One (2014) NBC TV Show Review
Raymond Reddington (James Spader) is a criminal of epic proportions. Once a patriot navy man and later, government agent, he’s now wanted across the world. For twenty years he eluded capture and managed to live in the shadows. Today, he’s voluntarily walking into the FBI offices. He has a proposal to make; one that involves his cooperation and the many names on the list of names he’s compiled in his 20 years as a criminal mastermind. This offer does, of course come with conditions, all of which, if not met, will ensure Reddington walks. One of his requests is a most peculiar one.
Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) is a profiler just out of Quantico, who has been with the bureau for four years. However her recently acquired skill set finds her moving to a new division of the FBI. She and her school teacher, husband Tom (Ryan Eggold) are preparing for the arrival of their little girl through adoption. This first day of her new job is Liz’s last day of normal. Reddington requests Liz and only Liz to deal with leading everyone to wonder what his obsession with Agent Keen is. Amid trying to prove herself to her new co-worker (Diego Klattenhoff) and figuring out what Reddington’s end game is, Liz becomes a pawn.
Another television show fandom I don’t need, yet that is exactly what I find. The Blacklist is the show that, for all intents and purposes, “saves” NBC with its dynamite ratings. This show is… incredible. If you don’t like nail-biting suspense or 24 (impromptu trivia, Keifer Sutherland was considered for the role of Reddington) then you should definitely steer clear of this. It’s not so much because the action (when it’s there) is terribly violent (not for the squeamish), more because of the mental what-comes-next. If you like a good political thriller, all I can say is why aren’t you watching this? Those of you interested, let’s talk.
NETFLIX TV SHOW REVIEW | On Netflix: ‘Hinterland’ is An Impressive Engrossing Mystery‘THE BLACKLIST,’ SEASON ONE (2014) #FWarchives Click To Tweet
Many shows deserve multiple episodes before the viewer passes judgment because, really, the pilot isn’t the series at its best. However this show suffers no such fate other than giving us a taste of everything and you’ll know if this if or you in that first hour. The writer’s immediately draw me in and I can tell after those 40-some minutes this a favorite new show, because… yeah, it’s ah-ma-zing. Kudos to the creator, the writers for the incredible story building; each episode completes something while simultaneously dropping hints of new things to come. One of the plot threads seems an obvious truth.
Putting their best foot forward is the cast. Megan and James have incredible chemistry and their back-and-forth, love-hate relationship is the primary pull to the show’s integral moments. Much as I don’t like to have any “love” for the baddies, I cannot help but enjoy James’ portrayal of Reddington. He seems to have lots of “fun” with the role and his portrayal is close to perfection as it gets; nothing ever seems to ruffle him whether he’s living in the lap of luxury or calmly disposing of a threat to someone he cares about (and yes, he does do this).
Despite the obvious answer to the main mystery arc, having finished season one, I would say, don’t assume the obvious… I’m not convinced what the writers hint at is actually the truth. It’s certainly the “easy” way to go, but if they’re worth their salt, they’ll stun us instead of what everyone assumes. One of the minor issues I do have with the show is that some of the conversations contradict something in an earlier scene. Fortunately I don’t catch this as a “mistake” more than three times which means it’s minor. There’s some fun guest appearances (Jennifer Ehle) in addition to all its pros and the show doesn’t end on some kind of torturous cliffhanger. Sure, the curiosity heightens, but it’s one of the better season one finales I’ve experienced.
Your turn: have you seen this show? What were your impressions?
(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)
You can find The Blacklist, season one digitally on Amazon Video
Content: there are multiple occasions of violence and/or torture. Men are killed with machine guns several times as well as there being more than one shout-out in the course of the cases, some people are shot at point-blank range [the pool of blood is often seen]. A woman’s throat is slit leading to death, others engage in hand-to-hand combat – other scenes result in the suffocation and shooting deaths of recurring characters, a man cuts off his hand [mostly off-camera]. There is at least one scene of torture and one baddie does his work in the nude [the camera avoids anything graphic]. There are two or three sex scenes [non-graphic], and a married couple shower together twice. The show is TV-14.