January 15, 2016 4 Comments

The fact that I am woefully behind on all of my TV shows (although I do keep apprised through my obsessive spoiler reading) in no way seems to impede my fan-girling. This is why I impose reviews of TV seasons on my blog.

The Blacklist (2014) NBC TV Review

Since her world fell apart, Elizabeth “Liz” Keen (Megan Boone) has grown paranoid. Instead of enjoying the life – a happy one involving a child, she’s on the verge of obtaining Liz living out of a crumby hotel and trying to evade a tail. As an FBI profiler, one part of an elite task force, the day Liz met the task force’s greatest source is the day her life changed.

That source is the FBI’s most wanted criminal, Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader).


Making up this task force are the talents and specialties of tech genius Aram (Amir Arison); Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff), who is struggling with an addiction; and newest member, former Mossad, Samar (Mozhan Marnò). As protection against capture and incarceration, Red has a list of criminals and their locations, which he leads the team to find, only it’s Liz who is his handler. The only trouble is, one of Red’s nemesis’s is about to catch up with him in a horrifying way.

TV SHOW REVIEW | The Blacklist, Season One (2013)
‘THE BLACKLIST,’ SEASON TWO (2014) #FWarchives Click To Tweet

Given how much I fangirl-ed over the crazy, insane, brilliant and exhilarating ride that is season one of NBC’s The Blacklist, a second season isn’t without its risks. Sometimes, a show is unable to live up to its premiere outing. This show does, in spades. From the opening seconds of the first episode, the hook is here; more true as Red hunts down their next number, “Lord Baltimore.” The ultimate thread this beginning travels is intriguing all of which leads up to a firecracker of a finale.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.


Just to put a small “warning” label on this paragraph, from here, I’m sharing some season two spoilers. Unlike season one, we are given more hints and clues to the connection between Red and Liz. Some of the answers are commonplace, not all disentangle themselves to be totally satisfying. Carrying over from last season are explanations and MORE secrets about Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold), and while I did like some of the ways this story travels, most of all, I wind up being annoyed at how Liz’s connection with him went down. As a character, it’s like she’s making strides and working towards something better than her past. Then it all comes crashing down with one moment. Having said that I will admit to wavering (frequently) on my feelings of Tom. There is a mysteriousness to him that begs distrust however sometimes a sliver of sincerity works its way into his character that makes a viewer trust his feelings are genuine. End spoilers

As the globe-trotting and bigger picture mysteries unfold, two of the things I most enjoy about this season digs deeper into the past of Red. This includes Mary Louise-Parker guest starring in a brief albeit important character arc role of his character’s past; and the growing bond between Red and Liz. Some of their scenes together are pure brilliance, supported by the fabulous talents of James Spader. His Red is what MAKES this show what it is.

TV SHOW REVIEW | Hanna: Episode One – Amazon Prime’s Latest Thriller

The script keeps things on its toes to ensure that this character gets the kind of characterization needed to pull of the cloak of a criminal mastermind who is, actually, likable. From the unflappable aptitude Spader adopts to the way he plays with some humor in the role, Red is one of the most interesting characters on TV. Similarly, Liz is called to walk an ambiguous moral line more than once. How she chooses to deal with this is what makes her interesting. Not to be forgotten, everyone does a bang up job with their characters.

‘THE BLACKLIST,’ SEASON TWO (2014). Megan Boone co-stars with James Spader in this NBC thriller. All text is © Rissi JC and RissWrites.com

If you were a fan of the first season, you’ll certainly need to watch the second. The show continues to be cutting edge in its genre, which is nice considering NBC doesn’t have the consistent successes. It’s a tangled web that makes for an entertaining puzzle to attempt unraveling. Keeping ahead of the motivations of the characters and the writer’s endgame is forever a mystery.

(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 two digitally on Amazon Video

Content: there are plenty of tense situations including some torture, kidnappings and shoot outs. In a block of latter episodes, there is a sensual scene between one couple; removal of clothing and passionate kissing/caressing under the sheets. Other episodes also contain sensual material including one that deals with a homosexual “number.” The show is TV14.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Bekah M. January 17, 2016 at 7:48 PM

    I love this show so much I can't even tell you. AMAZING review of S2, Rissi!! I just started S3. Ahhhh!! SO GOOD. ;) That picture of Tom and Liz, though. I have to admit, I totally ship it! Lol.

    • Rissi January 19, 2016 at 4:40 AM

      S3 looks fabulous, Bekah! I'm anxious to watch it… whenever I finally get around to it. ;) As for Tom and Liz, I sometimes ship it too – I'll fess up. There are moments when I'm impressed with him and feel he's sincere and then, other times, I'm disgusted with him. Yep, it's a love-hate thing. :D

  • Tressa S January 20, 2016 at 3:54 AM

    The plotting and characters are so crazily good. We've watched the first two episodes of this season and they were both fabulous! There have been a few episodes I couldn't watch or watch all of because they were too violent or whatnot, but overall it is a fantastic show!

    • Rissi January 21, 2016 at 1:35 AM

      I agree, Tressa; overall, this is a crazily good show. Hopefully the writer's will keep surprising us because that's half the battle. Plus, the cast sells the rest. :)

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