Lizzie, Red, and terrorists oh my!

Why you should be watching the new NBC action-thriller “The Blacklist.”

BlacklistAction, drama, and fantastic writing matched with brilliant acting propels this new series to the top of this fall’s “must see” TV.

James Spader plays the role of Raymond “Red” Reddington, who after 20 years of being an elusive global broker for the world’s most dangerous criminals turns himself over to the FBI. Red became one of the infamous “FBI’s Most Wanted” after he worked as a government agent, abandoning his country and family, only to rematerialize as a narcissistic, well-connected mastermind of mayhem.

Enter Megan Boone, the rookie FBI profiler Elizabeth “Lizzie” Keen, whose seemingly perfect home life, is about to collide with deception, life-threatening, fast paced confusion as she finds herself in the impossible situation of listening to her heart, her mind, or her gut.

Ryan Eggold, plays the innocent, trustworthy, loving husband, Tom Keen, who is just your average, everyday elementary school teacher wanting nothing more than to create the embodiment of the perfect family with his beautiful wife, “Lizzie”. But does this book match its cover?

There is a very “Hannibal and Clarice” feel to the relationship between Red and Lizzie. Spader does a phenomenal portrayal of the sarcastic, witty, and ruthless Red. He is, like Hannibal, a villain you find yourself drawn to, even admiring. Boone’s performance reflects the contrast between the way Keen sees herself – tough, intelligent, independent, and the person everyone else sees- young, inexperienced, and naïve. The internal struggles she is dealing with are a subtly obvious rendering which endears the audience to her plight.

Red’s “blacklist” of the most dangerous terrorists in the world comes with a catch; Keen is the only FBI agent he will disclose the information to. This causes tension among the ranks, as Harry Lennix, who plays the head agent for the FBI, Harold Cooper, and agent Donald Ressler, played by Diego Klattenhoff, question the true connection between Red and Lizzie. These questions breed trust issues within the agency and those involved, forcing Cooper to bring in the hardnosed, innocent-faced CIA agent Meera Malik, who is portrayed by Parminder Nagra, to gather information and keep an eye on the odd pair.

Each week there is a new name from the list that is the epicenter of the episode. While the mysteries surrounding the characters swirl about the perimeter, adding more questions, clues, morsels of insight, and intrigue to the story within the story.

The wrong choice could leave one precariously perched on a crumbling cliff with the person one thought could be trusted as the only hope. Will it be a helping hand that reaches out or a callous push sending one plummeting to a deceitful demise?

Tune in Monday nights at 10 p.m. on NBC to find out who ends up on the blacklist, who can be trusted, who the true criminal is, who is being set-up and who will fall. “The Blacklist” will not disappoint; this show challenges the “know-it-alls” who think they have it figured out, as well as those feeling as lost and confused as poor Lizzie appears to be.

Check out NBC.com for episodes, bios, and more information on this exciting new series, you can also catch-up with past episodes on Hulu.com.

 

Contact Jennifer at justjennee@gmail.com.

Jennifer Gibson

Staff Writer

 

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