James Spader revives career with The Blacklist

In The Blacklist, Spader plays a government agent who turns himself in after being on the FBI’s most wanted list for decades. The Blacklist aires 10/9c on NBC

James Spader made a bold comeback with The Blacklist, the show USA Today is calling the fall’s number one new drama.

This is Spader’s first hit since Boston Legal, which ended over five years ago, and The Blacklist is sure to rival Boston Legal in popularity.

On The Blacklist, Spader plays Raymond Reddington, a former government agent who has gone rogue, been missing for years, and been on the FBI’s most wanted list for decades. Redington surrenders to the FBI in an effort to catch a terrorist. Once in containment, he says he will only work with Elizabeth Keen, played by Megan Boone. Keen is a rookie FBI agent, and her first day happens to be the day Reddington turns himself in.

The perspectives separate this crime show from all others. Seeing the crimes through Reddington’s and Keen’s eyes adds an interesting aspect to the show. In certain situations, Keen will suggest a plan of action; Reddington, being the mastermind criminal that he is, will give an alternative course of action and explain the criminals rationale for his more probable  plan of action.

The criminals are another way The Blacklist will be a step above all other crime shows; with Reddington on the FBI’s top ten most wanted, it’s expected that all the criminals they catch will be of equal or higher profile. This means instead of catching a thief or kidnappers every episode — as they do in popular crime shows like The Mentalist or Criminal Minds — criminals on The Blacklist could be anything from terrorist to assassins to international spies.

James Spader will also give this show an edge over other crime shows or any TV show for that matter; so if not for the suspense, action or continuously twisting plot, people will watch the show for James Spader and his seriously mysterious character who is always able to make light of a dangerous situation.

At the end of the pilot episode, Reddington reveals he has an entire list of criminals and terrorist he intendeds to catch, his “blacklist.” In exchange for immunity, Reddington will help the FBI catch not only criminals on their top ten list, but also criminals they don’t even know exist.

In the first episode, the show has created more drama than most shows do in an entire season. One episode in and I’m left with dozens of questions: Why does Reddington turn himself in? Why does he have a sudden interest in catching criminals? And why is he so intent on working with Elizabeth Keen?

The Blacklist is sure to be one of the best shows released in a long time; the action, suspense and acting are unmatched.


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