The Blacklist Brings Excitement Back to NBC

1904164_455217901272739_1544250301_nNBC saves it’s 9PM spot with new show called, The Blacklist, featuring James Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington. Red oozes felonious activity. His wardrobe (complete with black fedora) exudes fashionable evil. Even his nickname—Concierge of Crime—seems to channel comic book villainy.

So, why would Red work with the FBI?

Turns out he has a list (that’d be the blacklist, naturally) of the world’s most dangerous criminals—guys so good at being bad that the FBI doesn’t even know about them yet. He’ll only work with newbie criminal profiler Elizabeth Keen. He’s obsessed with Liz for some reason and seems to know an awful lot about her past.

The Blacklist is both a clever and contrived crime thriller. It seems predicated on the predator-prey dynamic between Red and Liz—a relationship built on mutual respect and distrust. If The Blacklist feels, at times, a little like Silence of the Lambs, with the interplay between the good-girl detective and the very bad-man criminal, it does not indulge that movie’s serial killer depravity. Red is a wicked white-collar criminal and agent of global terrorism, but he’s no up-close-and-personal serial killer. As such, we do not suffer the same level of grotesquery we do in Hannibal, Dexter or The Following.

I’d recommend The Blacklist for ages 14 years-old and older, as this is still a violent show, and sometimes extremely so—with none of the resulting pain and gore hidden from viewers.

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