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  • Once again I see people criticizing a good enjoyable show because it's not like reality and "Real governments and law enforcement organizations don't operate that way!!!!" Get a grip people! Batman isn't real either but he's fun to watch! The delineation of James Spader's Raymond Reddington is more important than any hang ups you could possibly have with the plot. I just can't see passing up such a good performance and character study because a fictional show isn't reality. It's not often a real good character comes along and I feel Spader has pulled this one off excellently in every respect. Don't cheat yourself people. It's a good show.
  • The Blacklist isn't the best TV show you've ever seen--it's not edgy or innovative with an original storyline or remarkable cinematography. It doesn't have distinctive, stylish features. Into its 3rd season, The Blacklist survives, it thrives despite its being no Breaking Bad, or Mr. Robot, or Fargo, or The Knick. How is this possible? Just what is its appeal?

    James Spader as Red Reddington is the answer and the sole reason this show is so watchable. He's not only the captain of the ship, he's the crew and the ship as well. In short, his performance is everything that makes this show great and I suspect he's somehow improved the template like performances of his supporting actors over time. The man is just a joy to watch and makes an improbable character--govt spy turned international criminal mastermind-- delightful and believable. Every actor on that show ought to thank Spader for allowing them the opportunity to make money on a show that would have been cancelled its first year--perhaps mid-season--if he were not on it. It's the darndest thing, the difference one actor can make.

    Still, I wish that the creators had chosen a different actress to play the part of Elizabeth Keen, the FBI profiler that Red Reddington is inexplicably fond of. Someone like Zoe Saldana would have been brilliant casting and added dimension to the mystery of the Keen-Reddington relationship. And perhaps better casting for that part would have inspired the writers to shape her role more credibly and sent the show into the stratosphere. While Megyn Kelly may be a solid actress, she does not yet have the chops to make something of the oddly inconsistent writing for her role. Too late to change this up now.

    I'm hardly the only fan who tunes in to enjoy Spader's performance, marveling at how the dreamy young actor with long blonde hair evolved into this very charming, balding older man who can act his *beep* off. I give him an Emmy for just Being There.
  • Read the synopsis of this show and saw James Spader was starring and had to check it out.

    Plot centers around a criminal mastermind that has eluded authorities for years, but whom in the opening scenes inexplicably gives himself over to FBI custody. What unfolds is a tale where no one is who they seem to be and the audience is never truly sure where anyone's loyalties truly lie.

    Obviously we are only one episode deep (as of writing this) but the show looks like it has a good shot at taking off as a smart roller coaster of intrigue and character development.

    The negatives were few, apart from the female lead the other fbi agents seemed very generic, stiff and set in their ways and fairly ineffective at dealing with what is portrayed as a vastly superior criminal underworld.

    fans of spader such as myself will doubtless watch this regardless of reviews or ratings, but if you enjoy shows in the vein of thomas crown affair or catch me if you can, you will likely enjoy this kind of show.
  • The Blacklist is in my opinion the best series right now on TV. I waited to see 3 episodes before I write this mini-review, just to be sure!

    It's about one of FBI's most wanted fugitives, Raymond "Red" Reddington, who, without an apparent reason, walks into FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and surrenders! He has a secret agenda though and no one knows exactly what it is. He offers his expertise and connections to the FBI, to help catching some of the world's most dangerous criminals and terrorists (=The Blacklist). There is a condition and it is a strange one: He only talks to Elizabeth Keen, a young FBI profiler.

    The main character is played by James Spader with an earthly style and confidence. He is really good in this. Not an over-the-top performance, with too much sarcasm like the usual mastermind villains in movies or series. He is succeeding to put a tone of regret in his character and that's make him likable.

    Megan Boone is OK as the rookie agent, Diego Klattenhoff is very good too.

    The production is looking good, the pacing (a very important factor in TV series) is great, and so far the plot works fine. In each episode we are seeing Reddington helping FBI catch another world class villain, but there is a backbone central story that also seems interesting.

    Overall: Highly recommended.
  • karmenspillercontact9 March 2015
    I've really been enjoying the first season of The Blacklist. It's thought provoking, has many twists and turns, and the cast is excellent. I feel as if Donald Ressler could use some more character definition instead of just being the angry/arrogant protagonist without explanation, although they may explain it later since I'm only a few episodes in. The only other thing that has bothered me throughout the show is Elizabeth Keen's hair. It looks like a badly placed and groomed wig. I realize this isn't her choice, but it makes her head look large and is distracting throughout many of the episodes. It's a small detail, but a very important one if you want the audience to create a connection with the lead. Hopefully next season they will change up her look.
  • The show started strongly. The story-line is interesting and will keep you fixed. But it has reached a point of saturation 2 seasons back. Now, the showrunners are only running it because the money is coming in.

    It is repetitive, stupid and irritating. This is what happens when a good plot is stretched to the twice its limit.

    You either go out a hero or stay long enough to be a villain. This series has been stretched so long that it is turned into a repetitive villain. This is after seeing the episode released today.

    It is damn predictable, which is obvious as it is repetitive. I am so disappointed as I used to suggest this series.
  • Eric_Cubed9 September 2014
    The thing is, you just gotta decide what you are in the mood for. If you are in the mood for ridiculous, campy fun, this is your show. If you in the mood for gritty, well researched crime-drama realism, this is not your show. It isn't Breaking Bad and it isn't even in the category of the awesome English Detective Show. But it is fun. And it is especially fun if you have, let us say, a bit too much gritty realism in your 9 to 5 and you need to escape for awhile. James Spader has an uncanny ability to lose himself in his absurd character and make us suspend belief, if only for a few merciful moments, and really enjoy the show. It's hard to forgive the writers for the obvious clichés and intentionally constructed character hodgepodges (I can picture them now: "Okay, for this show we're gonna combine Dr. Lector with Sherlock. M-Kay?") but Spader and the unbelievable gorgeous token partner pull it off brilliantly. I kind of wish this was more in the style of 24, with more relentless action and less clean sweeping.
  • I've been looking forward to James Spader's return to the small screen since Boston Legal. and just finished watching last episode at as always Mr Spader has chosen well the show to return with, it is a fascinating series about a mastermind criminal turning himself in to the FBI with a list of criminals that are pulling strings all over the world, the people behind the criminals.

    The termination of Dexter and Breaking bad has left very little to watch on television but I can't help but to be hopeful with such great new shows taking their places.

    I am a big fan of Mr Spader and I can't wait for the next episodes. Bravo!
  • We don't watch crime dramas much. But Blacklist is an exception! It really gripped me, and James Spader totally eats the scenes he is in. With out him, everyone else is simply blah. I don't even care that the premise of a wanted criminal walking into the FBI and then after being held like Hannibal Lecter, gets to gallivant all over the place in his private jet as a little unlikely. But hey then there wouldn't be a show. I hope they don't drag out the mysteries, tho, but build on them. Im curious, but prolonged teasing is just annoying. The violence may be a little much for some people. But not if your used to Walking Dead or Breaking bad.
  • Not a big fan of crime shows at all, but the pace and the punch to this show is out of the park good. It isn't often a director and editor are on the same page and can pack in what would take most other shows 3 episodes to get across, they do it in 2 minutes. The show's strengths are not in the acting, because the director and editor has made this about treating the audience with respect by minimizing long drawn out dialog. That works for feature films and long novels, but doesn't work well for an hour TV episode. Ignore the reviews about the acting being so bad, they are doing what the show demands, and it all works.

    If you have an extra hour to spare, waste it on this, you will not be disappointed
  • killer1h23 September 2013
    Let me start by saying there was a lot of hype around this show and it didn't disappoint. The Blacklist is a crime drama, where one of the most wanted criminals in the world(James Spader)turns himself in which triggers a very interesting chain of events.

    Right from the very first scene you get the feeling that you're part of a play, all the people line up in their proper places and the dance begins. The acting all around is top notch, there's an hint of back story that starts out just as the Lizzy(Jessica Alverson) makes an entrance. As the story continues little by little pieces start falling into place, yet even after nearly seeing everything there is to see, you realize you've really learned nothing because it's all shrouded in mystery.

    10/10 Fantastic start, I can see this show shaping up to be one of the great ones.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The first season of this show was great. It was always interesting, with a new villain to chase each week. Learning about the characters bit by bit was fun too. Most of the cast is excellent - unfortunately the female lead, Megan Boone, is not a great actress. And yes, it's not the most believable of premises, but I'm not looking for realism from this series. It's just some action-filled fun.

    The second season was still fun, still felt fresh each week. Then season 3 started to focus less on the story of the week and more on Liz. Again, she's not the best actress, so it's hard to feel invested in her story. I found myself feeling bored during her parts - and it's the majority of the show. Literally every other character from the main team is more interesting to watch, especially Red. Near the end of the season it really started to fall apart for me.


    The fact that Liz decided to go back to Tom after all of their past is ridiculous. I do like Ryan Eggold and even find Tom to be an interesting, even strangely endearing character. But do I think those two should have ended up together? NEVER. And the never-ending storyline where Liz tries to figure out her past has been boring for over a season now. Sorry, just not interested. It feels like every week is basically the same story, and we'll never get to the conclusion.

    I really think it needs to go back to what the purpose was in the first place - The Blacklist. Hunting criminals with the main team - Red, Dembe, Ressler, Cooper, Aram, and yes, even Liz - THAT was interesting. What's happening now is a lot of nothing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was looking for a new show to watch and due to high ratings of the show I began watching but honestly I regret my decision.

    The acting of the lead female actress is awful. Her looks, her face, her lines are artificial. It's obvious she's acting so I cannot get myself into the story. And her character is not realistic. It's her first day on the job and she's giving orders to senior officers and they obey. She tried to kill Reddington(a highly valuable asset) with a pen through his throat but nothing happens to her. When she yells people change their minds and obey. Ah also she cries too much. There are tons of crappy things like that.

    And the story is awkward somehow. There are too many questions for the characters to ask but they do not ask. They simply accept their roles and wait for Spader to tell them things. And James Spader is simply the father of Lizzy or the murderer of her father. Isn't that obvious?

    I'm deeply sorry for Spader, he deserved much more than this show. The only great thing about the show are the songs featured.
  • jvirtala198424 September 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    I started the series with some expectation. Plot seemed workable and interesting, but my hopes were quickly washed aside.

    It started of very cliché with main character (wanted criminal) walking into to a federal building. The first let-down was the 6-8 polices standing around him with pistols and rifles. (Maybe they would have just cuffed him without any 7-8 seconds stand around with loaded guns, in a building full of civilians to minimize the danger?) My taught was: "Its just a one minor detail".

    Then a certain police is required for him to co-operate. Consequently, the police arrive to pick her up at her house with 4-5 cars tires squealing and police lights on (The Cavalry has arrived), and with Army helicopter in front of a normal civilian building. Maybe just a small fast police helicopter and one car so the entire street wouldn't be aware somethings happening. "Another detail, hope this gets better" I taught. I have mention that the police were not in any kind of hurry at that point to justify this flashy arrival.

    The girl is on his first day at FBI criminal profiler, but she is more mentalist than "the Mentalist" himself. She keeps making all the correct decisions (Its paved for her yes, but there is like 1000 years of experience in the room and she is the rookie). Then comes the most unbelievable scene where four FBI SUV are stopped on the bridge and the terrorist arrive. Terrorists act like idiots (One is amazed that his gun runs out of bullets and just looks at his gun while not taking any cover). Somehow these 3-4 amateur terrorist destroy the whole convey, take the girl, drop ropes down to the river where there are escape boats. Where is the police helicopter now, or any helicopter? How about nearby police officers?. The fighting took like 5-6 minutes. I am sure one of the FBI agents or any civilian would have alarmed the police. In reality there would be chopper on top of them in few minutes and police would arrive with tremendous force.

    I am trying to force myself to continue, but soon the finishing blow is here. The criminal that arrived is getting "trades" for his information. He is now in five star hotel, having access to all the case's data, getting rid of the handcuffs ----> and my TV is off. "I rather go to sleep". This show will be canceled at season two latest, even that is a stretch. On the other hand, I have mistaken the "CSI audience's" lack of desire for intellectual TV before..

    Somebody will like this, Im sure. For me, I have a feeling that I know how this is going to turn out. The girl will out-smart rest detectives, nobody will believe her at first in most cases, but she will turn out to be right in every turn. Probably little late for some cases due to decoys of the this criminal, so the show can go on for a while. It was hinted that she was something special to him. She did not have a dad. He (the criminal) had left his family on a Christmas Eve. Strongly suggesting that he is her father, or close relative/friend. He knew personal details from her past. "Blaablaa", I don't care, don't waste your time. If nothing else to watch, might be bearable.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    What producers and writers fail to grasp that it is more traumatic for a viewer to fall in love with a show and then start to hate it ... than to never like the show at all.

    This is a case study in "producers gone mad" which is why I am leaving this review in the IMDb database for viewers of the future.

    I loved this show. I never missed an episode. It was fun, exciting, unpredictable. The genius was not merely the casting of Spader (great and under-used actor) but making his character a "public enemy #1" who seemed to be a sympathetic good guy, albeit with unconventional methods.

    Loved it.

    Then in Season 4 -- coincidentally the same year Bokenkamp got distracted with a new show -- the writers went barking mad.

    To wit: Red went from sympathetic and empathetic to downright vile as he chooses to "discipline" Mr. Kaplan by putting a bullet in her head. Three years of careful character development disappear in an instant. That is a record for TV, in my view.

    The writers next reveal a "mean streak" the size of the Grand Canyon by devoting entire story arcs to using a newborn baby not only as a kidnap victim but also as a possible candidate for vivisection.

    And just to make it clear these scripts are not accidental, Mr Kaplan survives her shooting and ends up (in a secondary arc) trapped in a Stephen King novel which has nothing to do with anything except the fact that the creator of the show left it in his driveway with the engine running and gearshift in DRIVE ... and then walked away.

    Not my Blacklist. Ugh!
  • Solrosen24 September 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    I was curious about this very hyped pilot, I like the idea and watched the pilot yesterday. I am not impressed and here is why; There is always a certain degree of imagination of course, that is not only expected but necessary- but the idea of FBI being so incredibly easy to manipulate is appalling. And the agents are portrayed as idiots. I have only seen one episode and I have already lost all respect for them. I did not like the female main character. She is way too gullible and perfectly fixed up even when she is in major danger. I thought we were passed those kind of female characters. And when story fails, because of lack of real people and a fascinating plot, add explosions, car chases and children in danger. I know it will probably pick up, James Spader is amazing in most things he does, but I will not waste any more time on this show.
  • serena_kally9 October 2018
    I've waisted enough time watching 2 seasons but the 3 is beyond unwatchable. The acting is horrible especially the lead actress. Not sure why it has such a high score, the lead actor has a superb acting technic but it cannot save this series.
  • The first episode had me hooked, or so I thought but after the third or forth the female leads character started to wear on me to the point I was truly hoping she would be killed off. I'm not sure if the character of Elizabeth Keen was just poorly written or if Megan Boone is just that bad of an actor ... either way what could have been a great series was turned into a less than interesting one.

    James Spader gave a very strong performance, as expected, but couldn't save this series ... give it a miss.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    i won't bother going into the synopsis...the last 70+ reviews did that. although i have continued to watch it, i want to like this show so much more. that probably would have been accomplished if the casting had been better. why oh a town that must have at least 2 jennifer lawrences waiting somewhere in the wings to hit it big... did they settle for someone who can't hold my attention for a millisecond? poor james spader (brilliant as always) needs a foil worthy of his "hannibalness" up and coming jodie foster. the really great shows have lived and died by the whole roster down to the smallest part being cast perfectly. this one couldn't even get the female lead right. and, if i'm guessing correctly, lizzie turns out to be red's kid..i suppose i have to hope she has an FBI sister waiting in the wings somewhere. otherwise, lizzie's in it for the long haul. and i'm probably not. close...
  • Like any series the blacklist started off really strong. It was fresh, it had it's own sense of humor and the intelligence of the character Red was keeping everyone excited. Unfortunately, the effects have run out. I believe Blacklist has ended up as one poor quality series. Most of the characters are stupid, and that is made so Red can seem as intelligent. The acting of both Liz and Tom has been poor the last 3 seasons and the whole story line, the mystery of Liz's past, has been extended for to long. Just end it already.

    Overall quality decreasing. I wouldn't recommend the series because I believe anyone would struggle watching the last seasons.
  • James Spader is great in this show.

    But unfortunately the actress that plays the main female character, Elizabeth Keen, is so awful that the whole story becomes a bit silly. Nothing she says or does is believable, and her husband, Tom is not much better. Their love scenes, for example, look ridiculous.

    This show had potential but I can't continue watching because of the bad acting.

    If Mozhan Marn'o who plays Samar would have played Elisabeth Keen, this would have made more sense.

    So, the casting kind of messed this up this series.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If the goal was to create an absolutely disgusting character - self-centered, self-righteous, self-absorbed, brainless, insincere, hypocritical, deceptive, and robot-like, I have to applaud the effort. Because it's my first review ever, which I just couldn't not write because of "Lizzie". Can somebody tell the "actress", that there are more than two emotions? That crying and indignation do not even come close to covering everything a person, who is at least alive, and not necessarily and actor, is capable of feeling? It is almost painful to see how she runs around blaming others for "bad" things, while she doesn't even feel guilty when an innocent person dies because of her plot. No remorse, no sadness, no regret, no nothing! Really? Only after everyone around tells her it's not something to be proud of, she makes an attempt to "make amends", at somebody else's expense of course. In fact, existing at someone else's expense without a hint of gratitude seems to be her natural state. One minute, full of indignation she tells Red "I will handle it myself" and next minute she is talking to her fake husband, whom she abhors, asking for help. Really?! Myself? The word is getting a totally new meaning now. Oh, and every time she does it, she finds a way to tell people how bad they really are, and how totally wonderful she is. I could go on for a long time, because it hurts to even see how mature judges, KGB agents, and other men of power shrink in front of this inexperienced, unintelligent, immature, incompetent, needy, and shameless manipulator. If you can ignore this, as well as an inexplicable need of others to "protect" her, while getting nothing in return, not even warmth and gratitude, you can watch this series. Red is really the only person, who knows what acting is, and has some human qualities.
  • lunga24 December 2015
    The premise of the show is so far fetched and the number of follies that have to occur every episode to keep this show going, are just too much. James Spader is Phenomenal, make no mistake about it, but the rest of it is just simply awful.

    Like "Lost" and a lot of shows since, there is a running storyline which gets visited for about 4 minutes each episode and is fairly interesting, but in the end there was no great surprise or payoff. After the 4th episode, I just started fast forwarding through the episode storyline to get to the recurring part. I watched the entire first season, and decided to give the second season a try but could not get through the first episode without swearing at the TV. Please, if you value plot, continuity and logic, please avoid this show, or at least catch a few episodes to see Spader.
  • Finally the return of James Spader and in a role tailor made for his intelligent and mischievous acting abilities. Who better to take the lead as Raymond "Red" Reddington Americas most wanted man for acts of treason. First impressions after 2 episodes suggest the budget is there to take this show to great heights and there is endless possibilities to where it can go. Lets hope it doesn't rest on Spaders shoulders to carry the show. With so many great shows been aired on t.v today its got its work cut out.But with young Writer/Creator Jon Bekenkamp whose recent success with The Call staring Hale Berry it should have a fighting chance and I for one hope it does.
  • It's a great premise. Very original. The connection between the villain and the profiler seems to be apparent, but one can't be sure. We'll have to see as it unfolds.

    The wig being worn by Megan Boone is EXTREMELY distracting because it is so bad and it undercuts the show. Elizabeth Keen is a brand new character so she didn't HAVE to have longer hair. I strongly suggest that all episodes yet to be shot or completed should be done with her natural hair. Have her get a "haircut" or something. The wig takes away from the authenticity of the show because one can't help but feel how producers, editors, directors, and fellow actors couldn't see how bad that wig is. I've seen disgusted talk about it on a lot of posts and numerous audience members feel the same as I do. If I'm wondering about the wig while watching, I'm not catching everything/every word which I suspect is bad for the show. Ergo the 7 rather than an 8 or 9.

    James Spader is, as usual, stellar. Several of the surrounding/supporting cast seem stiff and just reading lines. Ms. Boone doesn't seem comfy in her role either. She appears to be "acting" rather than making us believe in the character. I like the female head of the criminal division of the FBI. She was really good. And Mr. Lennix (Cooper) is very believable. But several of the other actors for the FBI look like their doing a job of acting. The CIA agent (female) was on point but I've seen her in other stuff so I'm not surprised.

    The guest stars (criminals) are better than most of the supporting cast. The supporting cast needs to step it up to establish fluidity to support the great storyline (pretty decent writing). I have high hopes for The Blacklist. I will continue watching and I hope it evolves into its potential-- which is pretty great.

    PS: Your writers are writing about a real US Agency. Their real life operatives are not that dumb. They are not that slow. The show is really disrespecting them. It would be better to see them (the operatives) catch on to stuff on their own or figure out stuff without having Spader's character tell them what was really up at the end of the show all the time. He should be confirming stuff, not always showing them all the stuff they missed (which is usually EVERYTHING according to these writers). If the writers make it more of a collaborative effort and grow a mutual respect between villain and operatives, it will be a better and more complex show in my humble opinion.
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