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NBC’s ‘Blacklist’ shows potential

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With both “Breaking Bad” and “Dexter” ending, it seems NBC decided that the time has come to introduce a new evil genius to television.

In the new thriller series, “The Blacklist,” James Spader plays Raymond “Red” Reddington, a mastermind Navy officer-turned-traitor and most wanted fugitive of the FBI.

The show begins with Red turning himself in to the FBI with the proposition of making a deal with them.

He claims to have a list — hence the name of the show — which contains the names of terrorists that the FBI does not yet have knowledge of.

However, he has one condition: he wants to work solely with new agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). The audience is left in the dark regarding the reasoning behind this condition.

Red shows his value when he lets slip information of a child abduction and bomb threat that is taking place in order to get revenge on Washington D.C.

He ends up leading agent Keen through the steps of figuring out the problems along the way, providing crucial information which only he knows. Their relationship shows potential to deepen and Keen seems to be in over her head, which Red uses to his advantage.

The pilot leaves viewers wondering plenty of things about the characters, especially the back stories of Keen and Red. The cliffhangers might be enough for me to keep watching but the pilot has left a lot to be desired.

The amount of times Red — who is under 24 hour surveillance — happens to get away seems a little too unrealistic to me, which is only one example of the many unexplained situations that tend to happen.

Red also never reveals his motives as to why he turned himself in and suddenly seems so keen on catching terrorists. Though Red has an interesting personality, a motive seems necessary for the sake of keeping the show captivating.

Spader plays his role extremely well, finding a balance between Red’s diabolical mastermind and his humor.

Spader has the ability to casually crack one-liners and deliver them flawlessly: “I think I smell the stench of your cologne, Agent Cooper — smells like hubris.” The show revolves around Spader as the evil genius and with good reason as he captivates every time he is on screen.

Whether you will like this show may depend on how much you like James Spader and how well predictable and unrealistic plots entertain you.

“The Blacklist” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

This article draws information from Time Magazine.

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