Advance Preview: NBC’s The Blacklist

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Red sets off a series of events in Elizabeth’s personal life, and none of them seem like they’re going to bring the young agent any joy (unless she really hates her family, her home, her life and her future. Maybe she’s harbouring self-destructive tendencies and welcomes this crap. Who knows?

When speaking with John Eisendrath, executive producer of NBC’s new drama, ‘The Blacklist,’ few weeks ago, he summed up the idea for the show in a question, “What would happen if somebody who was a criminal had turned himself into the FBI, what would that look like, putting sort of an anti-hero at the center of a cops show?”

Turns out, quite a lot.

‘The Blacklist’ is not short on action or intrigue. When Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington, (James Spader) a former respected armed forces officer turned career consulting criminal to some of the worst people in the world just strides into the FBI and turns himself in, then refuses to talk to anyone except rookie profiler (first day, y’all!) Elizabeth Keene (Megan Boone) you have to wonder, “Why?” I’m sure she’s lovely, but that does not an effective agent make.

This being television, you know that you’re not going to get any answers anytime soon, and you have to be OK with that, and demonstrate a great deal of patience, or you’re going to lose interest in this show pretty quickly.

This also being television, where it’s no longer sufficient to have one mystery hanging over our heads while our characters are out saving the world, catching bad guys and rescuing children every week, the appearance of Red sets off a series of events in Elizabeth’s personal life, and none of them seem like they’re going to bring the young agent any joy (unless she really hates her family, her home, her life and her future. Maybe she’s harbouring self-destructive tendencies and welcomes this crap. Who knows?)

The future of ‘The Blacklist’ depends on the writers’ and producers’ abilities to make the show more than just a sum of its parts. The weekly cases have to be intriguing enough to make us wan to keep tuning in while the show figures out the personal dynamic between Red and Elizabeth, and Elizabeth and, well, the world.

There’s a lot going on, and ‘The Blacklist’ has to prove its worth working through all the extraneous information. The season premiere was a good start. If it can hold up that momentum, we’ll be able to get to the answers for all the questions it raises.

“The Blacklist” premieres Monday, Sept. 23 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC

Photo courtesy NBC

Tobey courtesy thevoiceoftv.com

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