Saturday, March 4, 2017

Pilot Review: The Blacklist: Redemption

The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC)
Premiered Feb 23 at 10pm

I started watching “The Practice” in its final season because that’s just about when I really got into TV, and my attachment to James Spader began there. When things switched over to “Boston Legal,” I found everything about it entirely insufferable, and then disengaged from the show and Spader entirely. Now, almost a decade later, Spader is at the helm of another show that I couldn’t stand which has now earned its very own spinoff. I watched so little of the original “Blacklist” that I don’t remember any of these characters aside from Tom, though I think things were very different back when that first show started. Here, we got a dose of the intensity of Famke Janssen’s Susan Hargrave, who seemed ready to throw a man out of a plane only to reveal that it was nothing more than a simulation when he coughed up the info she needed. I’m a fan of Terry O’Quinn, who is also starring on another new show that premiered last week, “Patriot,” and it’s a good to see the “Lost” Emmy winner in a new role, paranoid as ever and meeting his son in Washington Square Park mere hours after his funeral. This seems like a heavily mission-based operative show, which could have an appeal, but it’s too lighthearted as compared to something serious like “Blindspot” and not individually-designed enough to entice anyone who isn’t already into the mythology of the admittedly popular NBC series that spawned this one. That’s about all I have to say – this is a formulaic action procedural that should serve as a decent bonus for those already invested in the Spader-carried series.

How will it work as a series? There’s clearly a much grander mythology at work here, and I’m sure there will be some tie-ins with the original series on a regular basis as well. I think it has plenty of action and excitement, but there isn’t much for a non-fan that separates it from any other show.
How long will it last? The reviews seem to be pretty good, and the ratings weren’t all that spectacular. Given that “The Blacklist” has been a big hit for the network, this series is going to need to live up to that to be able to stay on the air. I wouldn’t count it out just yet – it depends on how well it does over the first month or two.

Pilot grade: B-

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