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Monday, May 26, 2014

TV Review:The Blacklist

Premise:Master criminal Raymond Reddington assists the FBI in apprehending dangerous criminals, on the condition he works with Agent Elizabeth Keen.

Cast:James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington, Megan Boone as Elizabeth Keen, Ryan Eggold as Tom Keen, Harry Lennix as Harold Cooper, Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler, Parminder Nagra as Meera Malik, Amir Arison as Aram Mojtabai

Genres:Crime, drama, action

Notes:Poster taken from IMDB and belongs to NBC.

Pros:Entertaining villain protagonist. Good antagonists.

Cons:The story arcs are slow. Characters leave something to be desired. Tells what year it is.

Think about how you would react if this you got a job as an FBI profiler, and on your first day, you're rushing out the door late, only to be greeted with black vans and helicopters. And then you find out one of the Bureau's most wanted just surrendered himself and will talk only with you. This is exactly the situation Elizabeth Keen finds herself in.

What differentiates this show from other crime shows is the criminals. They aren't just the kind of murders you see every week on shows like Bones. They're on a bigger, more dangerous level. Terrorists. Human traffickers. Manipulators who use innocents to do their dirty work.

Reddington is the best thing about this show. He has an air of class and a patronizing attitude. And he has connections everywhere. It's not hard to see how he made the FBI's most wanted list.

One problem is the slow story arcs. It takes several episodes for them to outright mention the possibility that Reddington might be Agent Keen's father. We've also been left wondering what the deal with Tom is since the first episode. Who is he working for? We won't find out for almost an entire season.

I've also heard complaints about Meagan Boone's acting, but it doesn't bother me personally.

In the end, don't watch it for compelling development of the plot or the characters. Watch it for the self-contained stories and the enjoyment of seeing a bad guy do his thing.

Sex:Some innuendo. Women are sometimes shown in suggestive clothing. Liz and her husband have gotten affectionate. Sex traffickers have appeared. A man cheats on his wife. A woman seduces a man and kills him during foreplay. A male escort is supposedly murdered by a male client.

Violence:Explosions, shootings, torture, car chases, etc. A man is hired to dissolve corpses. A train crashes. Red has killed several of his targets rather than capture them. People are tortured or threatened with torture. In one case, a CIA agent makes a man's compound fracture worse (a scene that made me wince). There is some gore. A man who can't feel pain sticks items under his skin. A victim is buried alive. Liz has a nightmare about someone she loves strangling her. A man's leg is badly injured. Conditions require some crude surgery. A man is forced to gut himself. Liz has a scar from a house fire from her childhood. And so forth.

Drugs and Alcohol:Alcoholic beverages are consumed and cigars smoked at restaurants and parties. People are poisoned. Liz complains she needs wine, possibly an entire bottle.

Language:"G*d", "b**ch", "a**", "h*ll", "d**m", etc.

Spiritual:The Johnny Cash song "The Man Comes Around" plays once. Reddington and Agent Keen talk in a church a few times.

So what did you think? Did you enjoy it? Or will you forever blacklist it?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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