Categorised | US TV reviews

Tags |

Third-episode verdict: The Blacklist (NBC/Sky Living)

Posted on October 8, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

BarrometerTheBlacklist.jpgA Barrometer rating of 2

In the US: Mondays, 10/9c, NBC
In the UK: Acquired by Sky Living

We're now three episodes into The Blacklist, NBC's White Castle version of Hannibal's fine dining experience, in which master criminal James Spader turns himself in and agrees to help the US government find other master criminals, provided he gets to work with an FBI novice (Megan Boone) for no well defined reason.

And after a pretty good start, the show has continued to stay more or less exactly the same. Since the first episode, we've had a few new arrivals in the cast, although only CIA agent Parminder Nagra (ER, Bend It Like Beckham) ever gets anything to do - or say - and doesn't have any especially well identified personality traits beyond her plot function. But then neither do most of the main cast, since this is all about Spader.

Indeed, Spader is there as before, mildly hamming around the place, running rings around the FBi with some devious scheme that isn't yet clear. Boone continues to exhibit all the charisma and inner strength of candy floss, while trying to work out if her husband is some kind of secret agent or master criminal sent to spy on her. The baddies of the week are mildly interesting, more for their casting (Chin Han and (spoiler alert) Isabella Rossellini) than because there's that much to them as characters, although they generally represent some form of popular evil whose taking down by the forces of law and order we can only applaud. There's also some reasonably good fight scenes and stunts to enjoy each episode.

This is fun, escapist entertainment. It makes almost no sense. But it hits all the right buttons, Spader's great, and there's a real sense of intrigue trying to work out what Spader is really up to. It's not I, Claudius in the scheme of things, but it's one of the top shows of the Fall season so far and there are worse ways to spend an hour.

Barrometer rating: 2
Rob's prediction: Providing it doesn't hold off giving away its secrets for too long, this one could run and run.

Related entries

  • October 8, 2013: Review: Serangoon Road 1x1-1x3 (ABC Australia/HBO Asia)
    A review of the first episodes of Serangoon Road
  • October 14, 2013: What did you watch last week? Including Breathless, Once Upon A Time in Wonderland and Witches of East End
    What I watched on TV in the week ending October 13th 2013
  • January 6, 2014: Question of the week: what was your favourite show of 2013?
    My favourite shows of 2013
  • March 18, 2014: Review: Crisis 1x1 (NBC)
    A review of the first episode of NBC’s Crisis
  • February 16, 2015: What have you been watching? Including Gallipoli, The Slap (US) and The Doctor Blake Mysteries
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending February 16 2015
  • February 2, 2015: What have you been watching? Including Gone Girl, Suits, Spiral, The Blacklist and The Americans
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending February 2 2015
  • February 9, 2015: What have you been watching? Including Hiding, Winter, One Man, Two Guvnors and Agent Carter
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending February 9 2015
  • February 23, 2015: What have you been watching? Including Hostages, The Odd Couple, X Company, Living With Models and Bosch
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending February 23 2015
  • March 30, 2015: What have you been watching? Including Bloodline, The Good Witch, 19-2 and Fortitude
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending March 30 2015
  • March 9, 2015: What have you been watching? Including Dig, Maximum Choppage, The Americans, Fortitude, 12 Monkeys and Vikings
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending March 9 2015
  • March 16, 2015: What have you been watching? Including The Producers, Divergent, Dig, Gallipoli, Fortitude and Vikings
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending March 16 2015
  • March 23, 2015: What have you been watching? Including Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Community, The Flash and 19-2
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending March 23 2015
  • April 13, 2015: What have you been watching? Including American Odyssey, Daredevil, Olympus and Silicon Valley
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending April 13 2015
  • April 24, 2015: What have you been watching? Including John Wick, Vikings, The Americans, Arrow and The Blacklist
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending April 24 2015
  • May 1, 2015: What have you been watching? Including 8MMM Aboriginal Radio, Arrow, The Flash and Community
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending May 1 2015
  • May 15, 2015: What have you been watching? Including Birdman, The Blacklist, Arrow and American Crime
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending May 15 2015
  • May 8, 2015: What have you been watching? Including Wayward Pines, Community, Forever and American Odyssey
    A review of the TV and films I watched in the week ending May 8 2015

Read other posts about:

Allowable comments

You can leave just about any kind of comment you like. You can argue, suggest I am (or anyone else is) wrong, leaving general messages of love – anything. However, you absolutely can't leave messages that attack other commenters (or me), are simple variations of "your review sucks" or that are misogynistic, racist, homophobic, etc: your comment will either be edited or deleted and you'll be barred from leaving any further comments. We want to keep it civil here.

Spoilers

You can hide a spoiler by putting <spoiler> before it and </spoiler> after it. Hover over a spoiler to reveal it!

Featured Articles

Twin Peaks

Lynch at his best in years