James Spader Shines in 'The Blacklist' with Megan Boone


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
NBC's new crime drama 'The Blacklist' is apparently doing very well, especially with DVR numbers that show it has the highest number of records of any series to date, that being well over six million. The show made an initial big splash with the hype of movie and TV favorite James Spader being the show's star. Spader has a big following from his role as Daniel Jackson in the theatrical film 'Stargate' and a solid fan base from the law show, 'The Practice' that morphed into 'Boston Legal.' He actually shed his good looking hair for a much shorter look in this series where he plays Raymond Reddington, a former government agent gone bad who suddenly turns himself in and offers to feed the F.B.I. information allowing them to capture much wanted and mucho dangerous terrorists and criminals. In exchange, he pretty much calls the shots and lives comfortably, still doing who knows what while giving the government pointers.

Co-starring as new profiler Lizzie Keen is Megan Boone, and she holds up quite well. She has the ability to give a look of both innocence and intelligence while also showing confidence and uncertainty as the action takes place around her.

The funny thing for me about 'The Blacklist' is that it's been a little hit and miss for me. After five episodes have aired, I find I am sometimes riveted and at other times not so drawn in. Last night's episode was called 'The Courier.' It opened intriguingly enough with a young man named Seth being buried alive. Also early on, Lizzie had a neat little scene with fellow agent Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) that had her analyzing him. That was pretty spot on as she nailed his envy of her being the only one that Reddington will talk to about the bad guys he is turning in. Then about midway there was an intense moment when Lizzie's husband Tom (Ryan Eggold) phones her, demanding they talk. This was followed up by the concluding scene where Lizzie arrives home to be confronted with a box she believes her husband has hidden in their house. The box has thousands of dollars in it, as well as fake passports with Tom's picture on them.

The problem is that other than the above, I really wasn't taken in with the story of the courier or Seth's ultimate rescue. I lost interest in those scenes. It happened in one of the previous programs too, but the other three have held me from start to finish.

What I am banking on with this show is that there will be twists and turns to keep it from being the obvious that we are being led to believe right now. For example, it is common to think that Reddington is Lizzie's father and that Tom is a villainous spy. All of that is too easy, though. Spader is known for quality work. I just don't see him agreeing to do a series where predictability is the norm. Thus, I am hoping and choosing to believe that somehow Tom is not a spy, nor is he having an affair as Reddington claims in the preview for next week's show called 'Gina Zanetakos.'

So far, even with the occasional lack of interest at some moments, 'The Blacklist' is a winner. Spader is fascinating to watch, his acting prowess the lure that most likely is keeping viewers setting their DVRs for the week's show.

'The Blacklist' airs on NBC Monday nights at 10pm.