Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Blacklist - Pilot Review

Well it’s that time of year again, where the major networks open the gates and release a mix of terrible garbage and fantastic shows. One of the most advertised in the recent month, and most anticipated, is the serial national security drama “The Blacklist” starring all around crazy fucked up Hannibal Lecteresq James Spader (Stargate, Boston Legal). I was intrigued by the 1,000 promos shoved down my throat by NBC and Global TV in Canada so I figured last night I’d sit down and check out the pilot.
So this program is about Raymond Reddington (Spader) who is a long time fugitive and former armed forces member who disappeared on Christmas eve many years ago. He magically appears at the FBI headquarters and turns himself into the FBI. And tah dah he refuses to talk to anyone but this cheeseball oversimplified FBI newb named Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boon). What bothered me right off the bat is that she was really nice and kind of naïve and ditzy. This isn’t a problem until she’s pulled into meet with Reddington and the first thing she says is that her former coworkers thought she was a Bitch. What the fuck is that all about? I didn’t know a kind woman dedicated to her man and was trying to adopt a kid was a bitch.
So after the awkward and cheesy character intros are done with, the story actually picks up and makes the Reddington character actually seem pretty cool. He has some daring escapes and there’s some inventive archs as the story goes on and you’re introduced to one of the people on the blacklist.

So Reddingtons blacklist is list of crazy mercenaries, terrorists, hackers, criminals etc. that the FBI isn’t even aware of but for some reason Reddington is willing to help agent Keen capture these baddies.

So the first guy on the list is this crazy Scandinavian guy who is terminally ill and wants to detonate a chemical weapon in Washington as some kind of revenge. As you’d expect his plot is foiled, but I don’t want to go into too much detail in case you’re actually interested in seeing the pilot.  

In my opinion this pilot suffered from what I’d like to refer to as “Pilot Syndrome” where a really good show has a shitty first episode which turns picky assholes like me off. For this reason, when binge watching shows, I usually start at the second episode to know if I like it. This way you’re not watching the intro show that they are putting out for the purpose of the network picking it up, but rather starting on the episodes where the real artistic intention of the show is realized. Overall this pilot was cheesy, but also showed a strong premise, the promise of good twists and turns and some decent actor (mostly from James Spader). I’m definitely interested in seeing more of this show in the coming weeks. I don’t see a reason to rate a pilot but I’ll just give it a comme ci, comme ça and the hand flipping back and forth that goes with it. 

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