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Old 12-18-2013, 10:29 AM   #1
Steveknj
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The Blacklist - Worth seeking out during the Holiday Break?

During the lull in new TV, I'm always looking to find new stuff to watch that I wasn't initially interested in, or did not have available to me. One that seems to have gotten good ratings and some buzz is The Blacklist. When I first read the premise, it seemed to me to be another police procedural with a twist. So I passed. If that's what it is, I'll still pass, but if it's really something more, I'd want to take a look.

What say you?
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:42 AM   #2
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Absolutely. See it.

The acting of James Spader alone is reason enough to watch it. It's like he was made for the role. Whatever writers they have know how to use him effectively. It quickly turned into one of my favorite series.

Give it about 2 or 3 episodes for it to really take hold.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:45 AM   #3
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It's not terrible. If you're generally happy with James Spader's smart alec character the time will pass pleasantly enough. It's too silly to be called a procedural and too unimaginative and by the numbers to be much fun.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:08 PM   #4
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:40 PM   #5
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The production values have seemed pretty good to me, and it integrates rock music effectively on the soundtrack to match the action (not unlike the old USA Network's "La Femme Nikita." I find it mildly annoying that James Spader is playing his character like a sinister version of Alan Shore but it's still watchable.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Doggie Bear View Post
The production values have seemed pretty good to me, and it integrates rock music effectively on the soundtrack to match the action (not unlike the old USA Network's "La Femme Nikita." I find it mildly annoying that James Spader is playing his character like a sinister version of Alan Shore but it's still watchable.
So this isn't a twist on a typical cop show?
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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If you enjoy watching Spader chew scenery and dialogue like he's a hungry grizzly bear, then by all means. I do, and I dig the show. It's kind of a serialized procedural, if that makes any sense.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DreadPirateRob View Post
If you enjoy watching Spader chew scenery and dialogue like he's a hungry grizzly bear, then by all means. I do, and I dig the show. It's kind of a serialized procedural, if that makes any sense.
Honestly, I couldn't tell you anything that Spader has done in the past (although I'm sure I've seen him in something). So for me, watching the show just because I like Spader in the past would not matter to me. If the show is compelling and not "your typical cop show" I might enjoy it. Consider that shows like The Wire and other highly regarded police shows hold no interest to me. I do sorta like Almost Human because it's as much Sci Fi as it is cop show, but there is still a bit too much typical cop show stuff that I get bored sometimes.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:15 PM   #9
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I'm going to go out on a limb and declare it as one of the best new shows of this Fall season, if not the best. It's definitely not your typical cop show It's actually about the FBI and not the local cops and deals with all sorts of nasty criminals from all over the world. James Spader's character is that of a nefarious criminal that turns himself in to the FBI as an informant in exchange for certain amenities. He provides intel to the FBI about criminals they don't even know about, yet are aware of the damage they've caused around the globe. Spader has ties to a rookie FBI agent that haven't been made clear to anyone yet and he will only work with her directly. He still dabbles in criminal activities on the side and uses the FBI to take out some of the competition along the way.

I'd say Almost Human is probably the next best with Sleepy Hollow following close behind. Aside from a plethora of mediocre new sitcoms, this season has been pretty slim pickins.

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Honestly, I couldn't tell you anything that Spader has done in the past (although I'm sure I've seen him in something).
If you've never seen Boston Legal then you're in for a real treat. James Spader is an absolute hoot (his exact words) and William Shatner plays the best role of his career (yes, even better than Captain Kirk).

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Old 12-18-2013, 01:19 PM   #10
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It's not so much a procedural. Spader (Stargate, Boston Legal) plays a super genius criminal who turns himself in, and agrees to help the FBI find some of the worst people in the world, people the FBI didn't even know existed, but only if he gets to work with a specific agent. Spader is playing the FBI, but we don't know why. We don't know his interest in Lizzie (the agent in question) and we don't know how the puzzle pieces about Lizzies husband and father that Spader hints are are going to come together.

Each week is about a different member of the blacklist, and that part is somewhat "cop show", but it's part of the overall arc, and the procedural part is rather small, really. It's way more about what Spader knows, how he knows it, and how he manipulates selling out these uber-criminals in order to benefit himself, or as he puts it, "The FBI works for me, now".

It's not a Hawaii 5-0 type show at all.

I love it, so you'll undoubtedly hate it.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
I'm going to go out on a limb and declare it as one of the best new shows of this Fall season, if not the best. It's definitely not your typical cop show It's actually about the FBI and not the local cops and deals with all sorts of nasty criminals from all over the world. James Spader's character is that of a nefarious criminal that turns himself in to the FBI as an informant in exchange for certain amenities. He provides intel to the FBI about criminals they don't even know about, yet are aware of the damage they've caused around the globe. Spader has ties to a rookie FBI agent that haven't been made clear to anyone yet and he will only work with her directly. He still dabbles in criminal activities on the side and uses the FBI to take out some of the competition along the way.

I'd say Almost Human is probably the next best with Sleepy Hollow following close behind. Aside from a plethora of mediocre new sitcoms, this season has been pretty slim pickins.
Well now that you describe it that way, I probably won't like it. Might give it a shot, but not sure if it's for me. Thanks for the description. The FBI to me is just another "cop" organization. So it's cops vs. criminals.

As for the sitcoms, I've actually found a few that I like a lot. Brooklyn 99 (precisely because it spoofs everything I hate about cop shows), The Goldbergs, The Trophy Wife are all really good.

Quote:
If you've never seen Boston Legal then you're in for a real treat. James Spader is an absolute hoot (his exact words) and William Shatner plays the best role of his career (yes, even better than Captain Kirk).
That ship has sailed. Didn't have interest the first time around, so I have little desire to revisit. But that reminds me. Maybe I skip both of these and watch The West Wing, which is something I was interested in back in the day, but had conflicts so couldn't watch.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
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What say you?
No. It starts out with good potential, but then just gets progressively more and more stupid and the whole premise behind Red (Spader) is even more ludicrous than the bad guy of the week stories.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:37 PM   #13
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I watch it because of Spader.
He gives a masterful performance as criminal mover and shaker.

Megan Boone isn't bad and is easy on the eyes but the rest of the show strains believability.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:41 PM   #14
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I watch it because of Spader.
He gives a masterful performance as criminal mover and shaker.

Megan Boone isn't bad and is easy on the eyes but the rest of the show strains believability.
Believably doesn't matter to me as much as whether a show is entertaining or not. I'm not the type to rip apart every little detail of a show as long as I can buy the premise and I enjoy the story. Still not sure it interests me, but I might be bored enough to try it.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:48 PM   #15
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If you really dislike cop dramas, I don't think this is the show for you. It's a little different, but I doubt it's enough to really change your mind.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:50 PM   #16
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If you really dislike cop dramas, I don't think this is the show for you. It's a little different, but I doubt it's enough to really change your mind.
Thanks.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:51 PM   #17
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No. It starts out with good potential, but then just gets progressively more and more stupid and the whole premise behind Red (Spader) is even more ludicrous than the bad guy of the week stories.
But would you agree it was still better than the Kevin Bacon farcical.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:51 PM   #18
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I think you'll enjoy it. Spader makes the show for sure.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:54 PM   #19
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So this isn't a twist on a typical cop show?
The Blacklist is to police procedurals as House was to medical dramas.

It's entirely driven by the clever arrogance of the lead character. I would suggest that even if you don't like cop shows that you give the Blacklist a shot. I don't consider it like the typical police procedural that involves solving a crime. You start out every episode pretty much knowing who the baddie is, and it's about Red figuring out some clever way to dispose of the baddie, while suiting his own needs, usually at the expense of the FBI.

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But would you agree it was still better than the Kevin Bacon farcical.
I like them both, but would concede that The Following requires a much greater suspension of disbelief and the law enforcement personnel of The Following are much stupider.

Blacklist is more like the Mentalist in that you have a really smart lead character mixed in with average people. The Following is an average lead character mixed in with morons.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:56 PM   #20
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I like The Blacklist a lot.

But if you are choosing between The Blacklist or The West Wing, it's a no-brainer. The West Wing is far superior (for at least the first four seasons or so, and maybe more).
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:49 PM   #21
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Maybe I need to give Blacklist a try. I have it queued up on my TiVo but have not had time to watch and episode/skipped past it. I am guessing with the lighter week this week and then I am guessing at least 2-3 weeks without many new shows I will be doing some binge viewings of those shows (Sean Saves The World, Sleepy Hollow are a few off the top of my head).
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:17 PM   #22
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Of the new network dramas, it's probably my 2nd favorite behind Sleepy Hollow (which I love b/c it's so batguano crazy), just ahead of Almost Human.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:17 PM   #23
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Believably doesn't matter to me as much as whether a show is entertaining or not. I'm not the type to rip apart every little detail of a show as long as I can buy the premise and I enjoy the story. Still not sure it interests me, but I might be bored enough to try it.
The problem with The Blacklist's believability is that almost all of the FBI agents other than Megan Boone do dumb things because the script says so.

Like in The Following, all of the other FBI agents are borderline incompetent.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:22 PM   #24
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...
Blacklist is more like the Mentalist in that you have a really smart lead character mixed in with average people. The Following is an average lead character mixed in with morons.
So where does "Under The Dome" fall on that scale?
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:42 PM   #25
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If you mean legally, yes.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:08 AM   #26
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It's hard to try and convince someone to watch a particular show when you don't really know what they like. I'm not a huge fan of cop shows either, but there are some decent ones that are worth watching. I'd suggest watching the first couple of episodes and then decide if you want to stick around for the rest.
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:00 AM   #27
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The problem with The Blacklist's believability is that almost all of the FBI agents other than Megan Boone do dumb things because the script says so.

Like in The Following, all of the other FBI agents are borderline incompetent.
Again, FBI doing dumb things doesn't bother me. Heck I watched every season of 24 and on the reality scale, it failed miserably. But it was, for the most part, entertaining as heck.
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:04 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
It's hard to try and convince someone to watch a particular show when you don't really know what they like. I'm not a huge fan of cop shows either, but there are some decent ones that are worth watching. I'd suggest watching the first couple of episodes and then decide if you want to stick around for the rest.
OK here's shows that might be similar that I like(d):

24
The Following (although I'm probably not in for S2)
X-Files (FBI agents)
Dexter (have only seen a couple of seasons though)

He's shows I don't like:
The Mentalist
NCIS
CSI
The Wire

Where does it fall on that scale?
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:42 AM   #29
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You don't like The Wire or The Mentalist?

CRUCIFY HIM!!!




Can't tell if you'll like it or not, how about you watch it and make up your own mind.

Anyone who doesn't like the Wire either has no patience to let the story unfold or just doesn't enjoy well written realistic police work/dramas.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:14 AM   #30
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You don't like The Wire or The Mentalist?

CRUCIFY HIM!!!




Can't tell if you'll like it or not, how about you watch it and make up your own mind.

Anyone who doesn't like the Wire either has no patience to let the story unfold or just doesn't enjoy well written realistic police work/dramas.
Bingo
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