A review of The Blacklist with James Spader.
Am I really the only person who is half enamored with, and half appalled and terrified by, Raymond Reddington, the criminal played by James Spader on NBC’s The Blacklist?
He had me at “Our country is run by corporations and criminals.”
Don’t get me wrong, Reddington is a very bad guy, killing and hurting with nary a flicker of conscience. He’s also exceedingly smart. Clever, strategic. And he’s played by Spader with superb delicacy and nuance. When Spader is onscreen, you don’t want to look away. He’s mesmerizing, at one moment genteel and courteous and empathic, and at the next throwing a knife to land deep in his target’s thigh.
It’s too bad the actor opposite him, playing FBI agent Liz Keen, is so dull and wooden. I can imagine what a Jennifer Garner or better yet a Reese Witherspoon could do, someone capable of equal delicacy and nuance, acting opposite Spader. It would be a riveting pas de deux. It would be great television.
As it is, this show is good fun, worth watching. And Spader is hypnotic in his portrayal.