🔴 Scribblings Apr-Jun 2016


🔴 Scribblings and Scuttlebutt Apr-Jun 2016

Link: http://wp.me/pDKwi-2I3
This is where I post my thoughts and reblog stuff from other sites I find interesting or topical, mostly topics from Twitter, Tumblr and blogs. This is probably the closest thing on this blog to a “blog.” Lightly edited. Reverse chronological. Comments are open.

Go To ⭕ Update Schedule for this Blog
Go To: ⭕ Earlier Volumes “Scribblings & Scuttlebutt”:

Jan-Mar 2016: http://wp.me/pDKwi-2hK
Oct-Dec 2015: http://wp.me/pDKwi-1Hz
Jul-Sep 2015: http://wp.me/pDKwi-1gs
Mar-Jun 2015 http://wp.me/pDKwi-Vd



Advice to Myself

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs at the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don’t patch the cup.
Don’t patch anything. Don’t mend. Buy safety pins.
Don’t even sew in a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls under the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don’t keep all the pieces of the puzzle
or the doll’s tiny shoes, don’t worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic.
Go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don’t even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementoes.
Don’t sort the paperclips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we’re all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don’t answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in through the screened windows, who collect
patiently on tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don’t read it, don’t read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience

– Louise Erdrich
Bill Moyers Journal, April 9, 2010
(If I didn’t live by this, this blog would not exist lol)



🐣 If I wasn’t so obsessed with the world, hell and handbaskets, I’d try to write a paper on #TheBlacklist and identity, why everyone has several

Of possible interest:

New CNN Original Series: “Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies” http://bit.ly/1URp5ZC Sunday nights 10pm ET // ➔ first episode was very good


🐣 Supranet (2015): Flesh Eating Butterfly http://bit.ly/1URp5ZC my husband just watched Lady Ambrosia and asked if these were real …



༺ ♤ ༻

On [3:19 Cape May]



What I want to know: Is Dom real?

༺ ♤ ༻
🐣 Don’t forget❗Please read http://bit.ly/1PdN0y5 to join Twitter storm TODAY❗to promote an Emmy for James Spader 4-7pm Est #TheBlacklist

🐣 For Twitter storm: #GiveSpaderAnEmmy ⇇ the one we want to trend. Plus Twitter handles @TelevisionAcad @TheEmmys

🐣 Tweet pictures or just your thoughts on why the @TelevisionAcad should #GiveSpaderAnEmmy starting at NOW US Eastern time

🐣 @BlacklistGSM Not hard to narrow down Best Actor noms at all!: #JamesSpader #JamesSpader #JamesSpader #JamesSpader #JamesSpader



Spader Fans ❗– Please read http://bit.ly/1PdN0y5 to join a Twitter storm to promote giving an Emmy to James, June 9 4-7pm Est #TheBlacklist

💙 BirthMoviesDeath: Fandom Is Broken http://bit.ly/1TXYdXW
// 5/30/2016, “Controversies and entitlement shine a light on a deeply troubling side of fandom”

💙 AVClub: Ghostbusters, Frozen, and the strange entitlement of fan culture http://avc.lu/1TZlPfU
// 5/25/2016

Got some help from the Blacklist Exposed guys, an analytical blogger, Tweeps. Online site has addtl stuff @Daniel_Knauf @DaveMetzger :)

🔴 S3 Unanswered Questions (Part 1) http://wp.me/pDKwi-39B click to enlarge @Daniel_Knauf @DaveMetzger #TheBlacklist https://twitter.com/BlacklistDCd/status/738749204424597506
🔴 S3 Unanswered Questions (Part 2) http://wp.me/pDKwi-39B click to enlarge @Daniel_Knauf @DaveMetzger #TheBlacklist https://twitter.com/BlacklistDCd/status/738749674710958080

@DanielVCerone @BrandonMargolis @BrandonBSonnier @JonBokenkamp @BlacklistRoom
@TheBlacklistGSM hoping you guys might help w a list of unanswered ?s, loose ends really http://wp.me/pDKwi-39B http://twitter.com/BlacklistDCd/status/738129827383775235/photo/1

James Spader 2002 Charlie Rose https://youtu.be/kb_QlJBtYq4 “Secretary,” “Pentagon Papers”

Deadline[.]com: ‘The Blacklist’ Creator On Finale’s Shocking Twists, the Fallout & Season 4 http://bit.ly/25vqVYE
// 5/19/2016

“DEADLINE: Alexander and Red have been feuding for years. What is their history? Does Red know Alexander is Liz’s father?
BOKENKAMP: Red’s knowledge about Liz and her family is a thread we’ve been pulling for some time. The secrets he keeps are important for a variety of reasons, but – for example – when Liz was forced to remember the fire, it helped them find the fulcrum. Red’s self-interest is fueled by his history, and Kirk is part of that history. I think you’re going to see we have a lot of story to tell about these two and their relationship.

DEADLINE: What is Kate’s fate?
BOKENKAMP: Mr. Kaplan’s betrayal is unlike any of the others we’ve seen in the past three seasons. You know, you see her stand up to Red, and I think she made him really look at the way he’s been trying to protect Liz. I also think it’s important to remember that this whole idea — Liz faking her death — this didn’t come from Liz’s or Tom’s; it was Kaplan who concocted this plan. Liz only went along with it (while in child birth). I’m not excusing what she did, she agreed to do it, but it’s not as simple as Liz running away. From the day we met Elizabeth Keen in the pilot she wanted a normal life; a husband and a baby and this was a chance to finally escape Red and have that dream. Unfortunately it turned into something more of a nightmare, I think.

DEADLINE: Where does the show go from here — is the next arc Red tracking down Liz?
BOKENKAMP: Look, that’s what’s so exciting to me about this next season. I feel like — at the end of season three — we landed on a really great engine driving us forward, and I think we have a similar engine here. The entire team is splintered, not just physically, but emotionally. The one person that Red cares about in this world is now missing and in the hands of his enemy. It’s gonna be really exciting to spin those in the room this year. As for Red, rest assured, he will be on fire.



The best article I’ve read in the last year. Background for possible article on the question of “Identity” in The Blacklist:

NYT, Peter Pomerantsev (12/11): Russia’s Ideology: There Is No Truth http://nyti.ms/1w111ZN
// 12/11/2014, ● “IMAGINE if you grew up lying. Not a little bit, for convenience, but during every public moment of your life: at school, at work, at social events. You had to lie to survive, because the punishment for telling the truth was the loss of your academic or professional career, or even prison. For Russians who came of age before 1991, this is the only way they know”
● “When members of this generation came to power they created a society that was a feast of simulations, with fake elections, a fake free press, a fake free market and fake justice. They are led by religious Russian patriots who curse the decadent West while keeping their children and money in London and informed by television producers who make Putin-worshiping shows during the day, and listen to energetically anti-Putin radio shows the moment they get into their cars after work.”
● “The Kremlin’s goal is to control all narratives, so that politics becomes one great scripted reality show. The way it wields power illustrates and reinforces this psychology.”
● “When I went to work as a TV producer in Moscow in the early 2000s, I would ask my peers which of the ‘selves’ they grew up with was the ‘real’ them. How did they locate the difference between truth and lies? ‘You just end up living in different realities,’ they would tell me, ‘with multiple truths and different ‘yous.’ ‘ ”
● “It’s almost as if you are encouraged to have one identity one moment and the opposite one the next. So you’re always split into little bits, and can never quite commit to changing things.”
● “‘Everything is PR,’ my Moscow peers would tell me. This cynicism is useful to the state: When people stopped trusting any institutions or having any values, they could easily be spun into a conspiratorial vision of the world.”
● “At the core of this strategy is the idea that there is no such thing as objective truth. This notion allows the Kremlin to replace facts with disinformation.”
● “Sadly, this mind-set resonates well in a post-Iraq and post-financial-crisis West increasingly skeptical about its own institutions, where reality-based discourse has already fractured into political partisanship. Conspiracy theories are prevalent on cable networks and radio shows in the United States and among supporters of far-right parties in Europe.”

http://bit.ly/1TJV2pF ➔ GoogleNews: All articles on The Blacklist (reverse chronological)

🐣 This little snippet from Entertainment Weekly seems promising http://bit.ly/1UaHkGn #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist http://twitter.com/BlacklistDCd/status/736435768931946498/photo/1
↥ ↧
EW: Spoiler Room http://bit.ly/1UaHkGn #TheBlacklist
// 5/27/2016, “When Red and Liz do eventually reunite on The Blacklist, how will he feel about her faking her death? — Sarah

Listen, Liz has pushed Red away many times before and he’s always waited patiently in the wings. So despite the fact that she’s gone to extreme lengths to get away from him, I don’t think he’ll be changing his tactics any time soon. “He’s not insensitive to the fact of what she’s going through in her life right now and he’s aware of her knowledge of his feelings about all of it, and he’s made that plain,” James Spader tells me. “I think he would have an understanding for what led to this.”

TheBlacklistNBC, Susanne Patterson: “Inside The Interrogation Room” with The Blacklist Creator, Jon Bokenkamp http://bit.ly/1P5DP86 #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 5/21/2016

● SP: The episode, “Cape May”, is Emmy worthy for Daniel Knauf and James Spader. The episode was simply epic. What did you think of this particular episode?

JB: We were psyched to have Knauf tackle “Cape May,” but the original idea for a Red only story was something that came about after a round of NBC notes. They wanted more Red. We all wanted to see him deal with what happened to Liz, but we had to figure out what that progression would be. Episodes, 318 and 320 fit together, but it was important to give Red and the fans a second to breathe.

● SP: Did the episode achieve it’s goal?

JB: Spader nailed it, and then by 320 we were ready to see Red on fire.

● SP: Was there a conscience [sic] decision to emphasize Arison’s acting abilities and build upon his character this season?

JB: This season we really clarified that he’s part of the heart and soul of the show. He can talk tech, and then turn around and deliver a line about the wedding playlist.

These are snippets of Twitter conversations with @DanielVCerone a writer & producer. He is often willing to answer questions in a straightforward way:
↥ ↧
5/19-22 https://twitter.com/DanielVCerone/status/733516634619412485
5/19-20 https://twitter.com/DanielVCerone/status/733526846944382976
5/20 https://twitter.com/DanielVCerone/status/733525430691500034
5/19 https://twitter.com/DanielVCerone/status/733522455378034688
5/19 https://twitter.com/DanielVCerone/status/733513731997491201
5/19 https://twitter.com/DanielVCerone/status/733516144674365441
5/19 https://twitter.com/DanielVCerone/status/733516634619412485
Cerone There is a plan it’s awesome




“A Blacklist Cosmology”
“TBL: Mind & Cosmology” (Shards of a broken mirror, as the pieces reflect back upon each other, but as with mirrors, putting the pieces together can never reconstitute the whole: only a complete meltdown and recasting can do that. ‘For unless a seed of grain dies, it abideth alone’ but if it dies, it bringeth forth much fruit’ The Bros Karamazov.) Fractured state :: Fractured self.
● Mirror cells: Our own faults seen in others. Red is repenting for his sins. Each Blacklister is one of those sins. So…, as long as his eyes don’t pop open as he finds himself sitting in the pew of a Protestant church somewhere, it’s cool. Two choices. Happy Anakin at the end of Return of the Jet-Eyes* (yech) – or – Jesus at the end of The Last Temptation of Christ: “I want to be your son! I want to be the sacrifice!” Or maybe “Hurrah for Karamozov” This is Redemption. This makes Red a Christ figure, but only because he reflects every person, since we are all fractured, shards of mirrors reflecting pieces of each other, pieces of ourselves. We can only be reborn in hell (purgatory), by being melted down and recast into Newness. We are all battered Christ figures.
● Hypothesis: After the murder of his family, Red sought revenge by stealing the children of those who had murdered them. (The Cyprus Agency) [ just an idea ]
● “She was what they used to call ‘a real person.'” TOAFK
● Two shards: BLDCd & Auriandra: Thought v Action
● New Projection: Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: As payback for the murder of his family
(Shards of a broken mirror: reflections of Red’s soul)
^ “Mirror Neurons, Neuroplasticity and Awareness of Awareness – International School of Spiritual Psychology” http://issp.inner-growth.org/486-2/
^ “The Mind’s Mirror, What Does it See? | The Mind Unleashed” http://bit.ly/24105lk

^ From: “From Our Last First Poets: Vision and History in Contemporary American Poetry” (Cary Nelson) http://bit.ly/25997Pp (1981)
On Adrienne Rich’s “Shooting Script”
“In the last poem, however, she moves beyond these alternatives, as she did in ‘(Newsreel),’ by turning history’s devastation into a mode of deliberate composition. History has taken its definitive toll on every option but one–the verbal miming of and implicit mastery of history’s own effects.

“She will ‘give up the temptations of the projector’; no longer will she replay the images of a past that was never hers in any event. Now she will possess instead the shattered blank ground on which the images were projected, the idealized American field now uniformly splintered, ‘the web of cracks filtering across the plaster.’

“She presents us with a sequence of aesthetic injunctions–addressed simultaneously to the ruins of our history and to the ruins of the poem’s form: ‘To reread the instructions on your palm; to find there how the /lifeline, broken, keeps its direction’; ‘to know in every distortion of the light what fracture is.’ We are given a phenomenology of willed rupture.

“Its final images are colloquial and playful but nonetheless sobering in their forceful usurpation of both her personal history and Williams’s, Olson’s and Roethke’s notion of the primacy of place in American poetry: “To pull yourself up by your own roots; to eat the last meal in / your old neighborhood.” “Shooting Script” succeeds because its disciplined language turns a nearly dismantled form into a vehicle for historical awareness. In the end aesthetics and history converge to become prophecy, as a deconstructed verbal matrix shows us American space in its final form.”

( From Our Last First Poets: Vision and History in Contemporary American Poetry. Copyright © 1981 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.)

💙 EntertainmentWeekly, Natalie Abrams: The Blacklist bosses on that shocking return http://bit.ly/1XHtSzK (excerpts) #TheBlacklist
// 5/19/2016, EW: “Fans were outraged when Liz ended up in a body bag. Why fake her death?”
JON BOKENKAMP: “When we [found out] Megan was pregnant, it felt like something we couldn’t ignore in a show that’s all about the nature of identity. Elizabeth Keen was adopted, doesn’t know where she comes from, and in a show that is so steep in that conversation, how do we ignore the fact that our lead actress is pregnant?… ”

● EISENDRATH: “We think it will be great when it’s revealed to the audience that it’s the person that Red trusts more than anyone”

● EW: “How hurt will Red be in the wake of learning that Liz faked her death?” … BOKENKAMP: “Red is devastated. … Emotionally, Reddington is in a very tricky and precious place. There is nothing worse than blatant rejection.” …

● EW: “Can Liz trust Alexander Kirk?” EISENDRATH: “We cannot unpack a story point like she thinks she shot her father and then introduce a new element that completely negates it, because that would damage our relationship with the audience and their trust in the story” [ do tell! ]

● BOKENKAMP: Truth is, this is a big turn in the life of our series.
EISENDRATH: He says he’s her father, but is he going to hurt her, help her, be kind to her, or does he want to destroy her?
BOKENKAMP: What I do promise is that Alexander Kirk and his relationship to Liz will ultimately give us a far deeper understanding of Red’s relationship to Liz in season 4.

● EW: “Does part of Liz regret not finding out who Red is to her?”
BOKENKAMP: Oh, that is still a big question to her. That’s still something that she will want answers to. She’s also resigned to the fact that there’s only so much that [Red] is going to tell her; he withholds information, he tells partial truths. …

● EISENDRATH: If you felt that the devil might be your biological father, you might be loathe to really know the truth. You might accidentally on purpose not ask the questions, because you really don’t want to know that. Now, as we go forward, she probably will be more inclined and more ready to face some of the truths that subconsciously she was unwilling to face in the first few years.

● BOKENKAMP: The only thing that we feel confident in is it won’t … becom[e] a domestic drama of a perfect little family who are raising a child. That’s not what our audience is interested in, that’s not what the show is. The show is about turns, and surprises, and identity, and secrets. We intend to have a lot of fun with the complexity of the situation that they are confronted with.
[ Emphasis added ]

EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist star Megan Boone on that Liz Keen surprise — exclusive http://bit.ly/2412wEg
// 5/19/2016, “EW: How do you think Liz and Red’s dynamic has evolved since the show began?”
Boone: “Once she became aware that his actions always sprang from self-interest, his interest in her became less and less flattering. Red’s veil of mystery and intimidation became threadbare, and that broken human being he shows glimpses of to the audience in private moments became visible to her. That’s when she stopped being enamored of him and started to actually love him.”

GlobeAndMail, John Doyle: The Blacklist is evidence that network dramas aren’t dead yet http://bit.ly/1XG6mD1 #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 5/18/2016

What a season! I’m going to compile an “Unanswered Questions” list again this year. Please tweet me your suggestions … #TheBlacklist
⇈ ⇊
Here is last year’s “Unanswered Questions” list for starters. The writers did seem to appreciate the feedback last year #TheBlacklist
⇈ ⇊
If you have a LOT of unanswered questions, you can: provide a link or just append your list as a Twitter pic #TheBlacklist Thank you!

🔴 Poll: Is Liz really dead? ➔ Results: <10% said "Yes" http://wp.me/pDKwi-2Ps #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist nailed it http://twitter.com/BlacklistDCd/status/733537183160619008/photo/1

WSJ, Jason Evans: ‘The Blacklist’ Season Finale: Amir Arison Hints at ‘More Than One Big Reveal’ http://on.wsj.com/1Tnxod4
// 5/19/2016, (just before S3 season finale)

http://bit.ly/1NvqdCN ➔ Rotten Tomatoes (drill down for interview videos, photos, reviews) [ added to Black Sites ]

TVLine: NBC Fall Schedule: #TheBlacklist, Blindspot on the Move, Comedies Return to Thursday http://bit.ly/24UdspL Blacklist to 10 pm ET

💙 HollywoodReporter: #TheBlacklist Spinoff Ordered to Series at NBC http://bit.ly/1Tg17YY
// 4/14/2016

💙 Deadline: #TheBlacklist Spinoff Picked Up To Series By NBC, Gets Title http://bit.ly/1TTRwFR “Blacklist Redemption”
// 5/14/2016

Woku – wants to help with the scripts; maybe next year

Lol – Close but no cigar. I also suggested the “dark horse” candidate could be HRC … #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist

BlacklistFanSite: Conspiracy Corner: Fan Reaction to The Blacklist “Cape May” http://bit.ly/271RAdY
// 4/26/2016

Are you a literary nerd? Check out 🔴 Comments by Jerry (first one on “Cape May”) http://ow.ly/4ntCgd ‼️ New Feature ‼️ #TheBlacklist

Week of 3:19 Cape May surpassed all other S3 episodes in visits to my blog @JonBokenkamp @Daniel_Knauf #TheBlacklist http://twitter.com/BlacklistDCd/status/727120736846909440/photo/1

🔴 Poll: What are your favorite James Spader films? http://wp.me/pDKwi-2Vy #TheBlacklist

Added some photos to 🔴 Red Hot🔥 James Spader Pics http://wp.me/pDKwi-21L #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist

Views/Visitors for blog site (4/18-4/24) for S3 (orange=best week) ➔ note diff of scale 2 charts @Daniel_Knauf #WOW pic.twitter.com/BVBhyaozqR

Blog Views by country (4/18-4/24) 7549 total, 4371 United States (58%), all others (42%) @Daniel_Knauf #TheBlacklist pic.twitter.com/lxs2KeUMmN

If Liz comes back, how might they credibly do it? Quartz: Researchers are “freezing” patients to avoid death http://bit.ly/1StqeDU # #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 2/16/2016

Comment by Jerry on 3:19 Cape May (4/25/2016) http://bit.ly/24rWiiO This guy does the best writing on #TheBlacklist I have seen @NBCBlacklist

This “Cape May” episode is a palate cleanser, a respite from hostile gunfire and breakneck exfiltrations of previous episodes revealing a deep (turbid) backstory bubbling inside the cauldron of Reddington’s head. It is also a fabulous example of the most moody chiaroscuro cinema ever seen on American television, reminiscent of the frigid and lucid imagery of Ingmar Bergman. This is a pure introspection measuring the feeling and understanding of a man whose batteries are dead who seeks the Greek “nepenthe”, the blessing of forgetting.

We see, first, a doctor defending his medical decisions, risking a bullet from Red’s overused gun. The audience sees that Red appears to be losing his mind, when he barks an answer we have heard before: “Everyone dies someday” and we feel a new coldness in his voice as if these three words represent the final premise and ultimate conclusion echoing in his head 10,000 times in Liz’s absence, the most recent crossroads in his enigmatic life.

From the shadows, we see Reddington roll out of an opium den, his pain numbed by anodyne, told by the proprietor, “It’s too long for you, Mr. Red”, a motherly admonition, as if he were being gently scolded for being late for school. And, perhaps, that is exactly his precarious status. He stumbles away and groggily refuses his gun and holster as it is offered to him. For a man who is always prepared, perhaps he knows he is going to an ethereal space where no physical weapon of steel can save him. The proprietor shakes her head and watches him nearly hit by a cabbie who asks significantly, “do you want to get yourself killed?” From the look in Red’s eyes, the answer seems to be a definite “maybe” or at least “Cape May.”

Not here will I dissect each scene. But I could, this delicious episode left such an impression. Red’s journey to Cape May has one purpose: to find something missing, a relief from pain, a resolution, an answer. The mystery woman feels so comfortable around Reddington, presumably a total stranger, that the audience is waiting for a “tip of the hat” of acknowledgement. Half-way through, when Red claims that he does not know the name of the woman whose life he wants to save, she snorts, “Raymond, don’t be ridiculous,” sounding like an impatient wife fed up with her husband after decades together. The look on his face is priceless, astonished that his impertinence was so obvious, his sincerity mistaken for sarcasm, again. This is the look of a husband confirmed as a fool. (Red Skelton said that married men aren’t always wrong, they’re just the first to know about it.)

Reddington’s first glimpse from his deck chair of “the lady” striding into the surf is reminiscent of the Expressionism of Fritz Lang. Red’s eyes widen with instant recognition, hardly a moment passing before he is bounding into a wave, verifying that it is a supernatural dream-time he has entered to save his soul as he saves this luminous succubus. Another dream-like attribute is her fragile sensitivity offset by her bestial savagery in hand-to-hand combat, both startling and strangely comforting, proving that Reddington has chosen well. Of course, the ending where she absolves him of any crime or misjudgment is the culmination of this most-favored hallucination.

I love this episode.



My take on 3:19 Cape May:

I’ve long felt that for The Blacklist to succeed artistically, it would not be by coming down on one side or the other in the “shipper wars” (“Lizzington” vs “daddygaters” etc) but by eclipsing all that and revealing how both how paternal, nurturing feelings and loving, erotic feelings could be so combined in Red’s psyche. Here we see that dynamic emerge. Several times in this episode we think we know that Red is talking about Katarina/Masha when he is talking about Liz/Agnes, and vice versa. Tom becomes Liz’s father. Katarina (as lover) becomes Liz (as “daughter”). And forgiveness from Katarina implies forgiveness from Liz as well. Perhaps Red can emerge as a more integrated individual, and move on from there (but would it be as fun?). Who knows where this show can go next?

The one thing I don’t like about this episode is that it is over. I know there cannot be a show like this every week. It would be simply unsustainable, not to mention too emotionally overpowering. And that’s just for us viewers! Spader once told the NYT “too much of me is like too much ice cream.” Lol. Still, this episode was “all ice cream”, and I’m not even close to being full!

Zap2It: ‘The Blacklist’s’ huge reveal; give James Spader all the awards http://bit.ly/22UwFod
// 4/21/2016

TVFanatic, Sean McKenna: The Blacklist Season 3 Episode 19 Review: Cape May http://bit.ly/1U98CBK
// 4/22/2016
“It also helps to have James Spader, who is the highlight of the series, carry an entire episode, and he definitely delivered again.

“Sure, we’ve seen Red spout off fantastic speeches and quippy one-liners, and we’ve seen him be the bad ass who is always one step ahead. But we really got a chance to see a much more vulnerable man, a man who couldn’t save the day.

“There was such a haunting feeling that surrounded his character, the setting on the cold beach and the general atmosphere as he spoke with the ghost of Katarina.

“Even in the way he talked about loving a woman, losing her, and trying to do right by the child was captivating. You felt his anguish, and he could have been talking about either Katarina or Liz. … He now lost two people for whom he deeply cared.

“And yet, with Red finding that locket and the ghost of Katarina talking about losing her but saving Liz, there was definitely a positive spin after what felt like a tragic hour. But did that mean Red came to terms with his past or something more?”

TVOvermind, Nick Hogan: The Blacklist Review: Reddington Visits “Cape May” As He Copes With Loss http://bit.ly/1QteBul
// 4/21/2016
“James Spader carries this show. It’s incredible. The way he maneuver’s through the wide array of Reddington’s emotions is absolutely breathtaking. To feel along with Reddington the pain of his loss, the heartbreak, and, especially, the realization that he had been imagining and reliving all of the things he went through at Cape May. I genuinely hope that Spader is remembered come Emmy time, because he’s an absolute revelation. There is no character on television like Raymond Reddington, and Spader embodies the character.

“As the story leaned more on the serialized plot and less on the crutch of the procedural, it became better and better, and has evolved into its peak at this point, where there is no hint of procedural anywhere. I’m sure, so that the show’s premise doesn’t completely fade, that at some point the procedural element will return, but after this episode? I don’t miss it.”

🔴 Poll: “What’s up with Liz?” [‼️Spoilers‼️] http://wp.me/pDKwi-2Ps #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist please take a moment IF you’ve seen Ep 3:18
// 4/16/2016
⇊. ⇊
🔴 Poll: “Is Liz really dead?” (Renamed) http://wp.me/pDKwi-2Ps I used a more ambiguous title because of spoilers #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 4/22/2016

🐣 NBCUniversal: Results for Ratings Week of April 4-10 http://bit.ly/1NoxO0a #TheBlacklist [3:17]: ⇈ 7% in total audience, ⇈ 80% in 18-49‼️

● “The First Original “Blacklist” in Six Weeks Grows +7% in Total Viewers to Top “Scandal” in the Time Period

● “L+3: “Blacklist” Increases by +80% in 18-49, Thursday’s Biggest L+3 Gain on the Big 4” …

“‘The Blacklist'(1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall from 9-10:01 p.m. ET) grew +7% in total viewers versus its prior original six weeks earlier (6.4 million vs. 6.0 million on Feb. 25), despite competition this week from the climactic hour of Fox’s “American Idol” series finale.
‘Blacklist’ outdelivered ABC’s “Scandal” in the time period in total viewers (6.4 million vs. 5.9 million). ‘Blacklist’ built on its lead-in last night by +50% in 18-49 and +40% in total viewers. L+3: “Blacklist” increased by +80% in 18-49 going from L+SD to L+3 (1.24 to 2.23) and by 3.8 million persons in total viewers (6.4 million to 10.2 million). The +80% gain in 18-49 was the biggest L+3 lift of the night on the Big 4. Upscale: ‘Blacklist’ is generating a strong upscale audience, indexing at a 148 among adults 18-49 living in homes with $100K+ incomes (“most current” including L+3).”



NBCUniversal: Results for Ratings Week of April 4-10 http://bit.ly/1NoxO0a #TheBlacklist [3:17]: ⇈ 7% in total audience, ⇈ 80% in 18-49‼️

● “The First Original “Blacklist” in Six Weeks Grows +7% in Total Viewers to Top “Scandal” in the Time Period

● “L+3: “Blacklist” Increases by +80% in 18-49, Thursday’s Biggest L+3 Gain on the Big 4” …

“‘The Blacklist'(1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall from 9-10:01 p.m. ET) grew +7% in total viewers versus its prior original six weeks earlier (6.4 million vs. 6.0 million on Feb. 25), despite competition this week from the climactic hour of Fox’s “American Idol” series finale.
‘Blacklist’ outdelivered ABC’s “Scandal” in the time period in total viewers (6.4 million vs. 5.9 million). ‘Blacklist’ built on its lead-in last night by +50% in 18-49 and +40% in total viewers. L+3: “Blacklist” increased by +80% in 18-49 going from L+SD to L+3 (1.24 to 2.23) and by 3.8 million persons in total viewers (6.4 million to 10.2 million). The +80% gain in 18-49 was the biggest L+3 lift of the night on the Big 4. Upscale: ‘Blacklist’ is generating a strong upscale audience, indexing at a 148 among adults 18-49 living in homes with $100K+ incomes (“most current” including L+3).”



🐣 🔴 Final Results: Poll: “Who do you ‘ship'”? http://wp.me/pDKwi-2wu 701 votes 72% Red✛Liz @DaveMetzger @JonBokenkamp http://pic.twitter.com/O9aWm7ejzk


🐣 You guys might like this interview w Dave Metzger. It’s really long but I excerpted it http://wp.me/PDKwi-1vf#metzger #TheBlacklist

🐣 AnyPossibility: Interview with a Writers’ Assistant: Dave Metzger http://bit.ly/1UXkmrV
Dave works on #TheBlacklist; he wrote “Drexel”
// 4/1/2016

Want to see only tweets from #TheBlacklist cast & crew & fans? Try this Twitter list ➔ https://twitter.com/Auriandra/lists/nbc-blacklist @NBCBlacklist



Updated: 🔴 Red Hot🔥 James Spader Picshttp://wp.me/pDKwi-21L (R-rated) #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist

Deadline: ‘The Blacklist’ Spinoff: Ryan Eggold Officially Set To Star, Reprising His Role http://bit.ly/207VYmR #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 4/5/2016, “If the spinoff goes forward, Eggold will star on the new series, with likely crossover appearances on The Blacklist. If it doesn’t go, Eggold will return to the mothership series, resuming his duties as a regular.

“The Blacklist episode that will serve as a formal planted spinoff is Episode 322 — airing May 12 — written by The Blacklist creator/executive producer Jon Bokenkamp and exec producer/showrunner John Eisendrath and directed by Michael Dinner.” …

“From what I’ve heard, the spinoff focuses on the relationship between Susan “Scottie” Halsted (Scottie Janssen) and Tom (Ryan Eggold) … ”

“In the spinoff, Janssen and Eggold are being joined by The Blacklist recurring player Edi Gathegi and new addition Tawny Cypress.”


4/5/2016 Update

NBCUniversalStore: The Blacklist: Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier (Hardcover) Book http://bit.ly/1qo8bYL
// “Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier is a lavish visual celebration of this hugely popular and critically acclaimed show. Liz has been compiling her notes and case files on Red, Tom, the Blacklist and her colleagues at the FBI since day 1. This book is the truth of what has happened so far. A dossier of in-world documentation, photographs, maps, newspaper cuttings and Liz’s detailed notes, it pieces together the puzzle that is Red’s Blacklist. A must have for any fan.”

CinemaSentries: Book Review: #TheBlacklist: Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry http://bit.ly/1MKmuk3 @NBCblacklist
// 4/2/2016, “A deeper look at the colorful characters of The Blacklist”

TheTVAddict: THE BLACKLIST: “Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier” Book Released http://bit.ly/1Mblqpt
// 3/29/2016, “The details in each of the sections are thorough and provide welcome backstory. In fact, if you’re struggling to fully understand the Berlin and Cabal storylines (or can’t keep track of all of Red’s business associates), this book has illustrated sections that appear as crime boards that map out the connections between the various players.

“Lizzie’s commentary is sprinkled throughout the pages, detailing her thoughts on the characters she has interacted with as well as unanswered questions she has. If you’re the kind of fan with an eye for details, you may also spot close ups of things that only get a cursory showing on your TV screen. For example, you can delve more deeply into lab reports, crime scene photos or suspect profiles. You’ll also spot a manilla envelope with a familiar symbol tucked away in the back.”

Retrenders: The Blacklist: Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier http://bit.ly/1qobf7l
// 3/29/2016, photo below


4/4/2016 Update

🐣 FYI, I’ve embedded YouTube song videos in all S3 #TheBlacklist scripts. @NBCBlacklist. Playability may vary ➔ depends on your browser.

🐣 My review of “Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier” on Amazon http://amzn.to/201nbYB #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist #highlyrec (does not cover shipping)

🐣 Tara Bennett, author of “Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier,” answers a few questions about working w #TheBlacklist creators http://wp.me/PDKwi-1vf#ekdossier

🐣 This Twitter list includes fans who feature #TheBlacklist in their bio, header or avatar of who tweet about the show https://twitter.com/Auriandra/lists/nbc-blacklist ➔ LOTS going on

🐣 CinemaSentries: Book Review: #TheBlacklist: Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry http://bit.ly/1MKmuk3 @NBCblacklist
// 4/2/2016, “A deeper look at the colorful characters of The Blacklist”


Tara Bennett’s Response (Twitter DM):

First, thank you SO much for the glowing review on Amazon. It makes a huge impact on other fans thinking about purchasing the book to read a review – so thank you for your time. We greatly appreciate it.

The book is indeed canon. We worked with the show and all of the materials came from the production & writing team (scripts, screen source documents from the episodes, photography, etc…) Also we worked with Nicole Phillips to ensure our copy was accurate and properly vetted by the show. We were writing the book as they were writing the first half of S3 so we had to adjust our writing per changes in their writing as it happens with books like these. The EPs had final review of the book. We made changes according to their notes for the final product.

Per the Liz comment about in-hearing that’s a humorous comment about hearing Pratt’s overtly sexual comments re: Red.

As in he’s talking about her in a way that Liz doesn’t want to hear the dirty details :)

As to freedom being a theme, yes, Liz gaining knowledge through her profiling of her life in the book is about gaining her freedom in terms of knowing her past so it can finally give context to her present. Also the book’s conceit is this is an analog (thus safer) compilation of what she’s learned about everything via Red, the Blacklisters and her peers. She’s been compiling it since Red came into her life and when she was on the run with him at the top of S3, she continued to catalogue details that would eventually get inserted into the book in case she lost her freedom and needed to expose & contextualize everything that got her to this moment.

Yes, the comics are included in the book but only as a Blacklister in that section and some context copy. We were provided the scripts to Nicole’s comics as we were writing the book for inclusion but it was not the starting point, or the linchpin, to the book in any way.

And lastly, yes, we were provided all of the production designed materials from the series team but those were primarily the wanted posters, ID badge images and basic HR forms for the Blacklist agents. We also were provided the screen used images that often filed Aram’s screens when they were investigating a case. However, our wonderful design team, Amazing 15, created the spreads utilizing all of those images and turning them into files that Liz would just grab from the FBI archive.


My review of “Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier” for Amazon
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove for Blacklist lovers!, April 2, 2016
By Auriandra
Verified Purchase
This review is from: The Blacklist: Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier (Hardcover)

Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier is much more than I dared hope for. It is a rich, delving into the series told in FBI files, news clippings, photos and notes made by Special Agent Elizabeth Keen. I love the stylistic aspects – coffee cup marks on various pages, pages worn and torn, with details not included in the show. This includes additional detail on each character. Liz’s notes tie the disparate elements together, written in red pen given her point of view, reflecting even the limits of her perspective, This is the voice of Liz as FBI Profiler, trying to understand the details and what Red Reddington’s true intentions are. I expect to spend many hours – days, even – immersing myself in this in-depth exploration of the series I love. It’s a treasure trove. It even includes (attached to the inside of the back cover) a facsimile of the envelope Tom left for Liz with the same mark that appeared on his go-box. It contains additional documents, notes and photos. Tara Bennett has called this book a “labor of love.” I want to thank her and Paul Terry for this gift to fans of The Blacklist.


To Tara D Bennett, co-author of “Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier” (Twitter DM):

Can I ask you a few questions about “Elizabeth Keen’s Diary” and publish your answers on my blog? Most of them have to do with the degree to which fans can assume the content reflects “canon.” In other words, when I come across something I wasn’t aware of, can I assume that the show creators signed off (explicitly or implicitly)? The fact that @BlacklistWritersRoom is promoting the book suggests there is some level of coordination and approval.

A couple examples:

● Liz writing she would like to “un-hear” a comment Red made about an “erotic” experience with Madeline Pratt.

● I don’t remember the exact wording, but Liz suggesting “freedom” is important thematically.

Also, did you use the comics as a source? The reason I ask is I haven’t read them so I don’t know if you may have gotten material that I am not familiar with from them. This would imply to me I need to read those first (before writing about your book). Also, did the show provide any of the “props” (documents etc) featured in EK’s Dossier?

Thank you for considering.

P.S. I left a five-star review at Amazon (as “Auriandra”).

Update Schedule for this Blog:

1. Add new promo to Clues (right after show previous show)
2. Update script template
3. Post template for script: get permalink, Status: Pending
4. Update allscripts with permalink (posts)
5. Update allscripts with permalink (pages)
6. Do cover for slide sets

7. Get EW link
8. Update Index & similar lookups
♤ Script, Clues (top & Photo Gallery), About, Black Sites, Index (✛ Blacklisters) … Storybook
9. Add raw script “blob” from Springfield or Forever Dreaming to script template: Status: Rough
10. Edit script to point of Status: Preliminary (Fri-Sat)

11. Do Photos under “Recent Episodes” in Clues (Home) Photo Gallery (Sat)
12. Edit script to point of Status: Final (after 24 hours, final review, usually Sunday a.m.)
13. Do Storybook (Sat-Mon)
14. Update Easy Scripts (Sun)
15. Update song list

16. Use Storybook (and supplement) to prepare screenshots for Twitter (Sun-Wed)
17. Post screenshots to Twitter; get links (Thu, before next show)
18. Create Twitter collage and add to script


What the – ? Bokenkamp tweet Lizzington ➔ real?


BlacklistDclassified @BlacklistDCd
Can anyone explain this? (I couldn’t find it in Bokey’s tweets but the embed code is for real) #TheBlacklist

Some reactions:

TheLoneGunman95 @TheLoneGunman95
@BlacklistDCd he just deleted it after. That’s all.

BlacklistDclassified @BlacklistDCd
@TheLoneGunman95 so why did he write it? ridicule?

TheLoneGunman95 @TheLoneGunman95
@BlacklistDCd maybe JB just wanted to offer support to a fan and the thought better of it

Heather Peters @janmcdon52
@TheLoneGunman95 @BlacklistDCd didnt JB write this a long time ago?

TheLoneGunman95 @TheLoneGunman95
@janmcdon52 @BlacklistDCd February 2016

Heather Peters @janmcdon52
@TheLoneGunman95 @BlacklistDCd I dont believe anything he does; Ive lost all faith in all of them except Spader;he was mocking us.

Christian @chacksontian
@janmcdon52 @TheLoneGunman95 @BlacklistDCd I think this is a manip.

TheLoneGunman95 @TheLoneGunman95
@chacksontian @janmcdon52 @BlacklistDCd why do you say that?

Christian @chacksontian
@TheLoneGunman95 @janmcdon52 @BlacklistDCd seen this tweet floating around on twitter. it’s just my opinion. 2/2

TheLoneGunman95 @TheLoneGunman95
@chacksontian @janmcdon52 @BlacklistDCd you were right…it is a fake.

Heather Peters @janmcdon52
@TheLoneGunman95 @chacksontian @BlacklistDCd someone playing an April Fools Joke.

TheLoneGunman95 @TheLoneGunman95
@janmcdon52 @chacksontian @BlacklistDCd it was an old tweet from February. Lol. I think MB is having her baby!

Heather Peters @janmcdon52
@TheLoneGunman95 @chacksontian @BlacklistDCd I havent seen anything, but what made you think she’s giving birth today?
5:08 PM – 1 Apr 2016


Log entries

🐣 This video is so good! “This Darkness is the Light” http://wp.me/PDKwi-i#videos #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist

Variety: ‘The Blacklist’ Female-Led Spinoff in the Works at NBC, Famke Janssen to Star http://bit.ly/1SmzyJ0

Though plot details are being kept under wraps, Janssen (“X-Men,” “How to Get Away With Murder”) will play a character named Susan “Scottie” Halsted. She will make her debut on the May 5 episode of the flagship series. She will star in the following episode on May 12 — one week before “Blacklist’s” Season 3 finale — which will serve as the backdoor pilot. Insiders tell Variety that Janssen’s character was conceived as Ryan Eggold’s on-screen mother.

“The Blacklist” is still a steady performer for NBC, currently ranking as their No. 3-rated scripted program in both adults 18-49 (2.6 rating) and total viewers (10.82 million), according to Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates. Having a companion series could fare well for the franchise, as a fresh new show would perhaps bring more eyes to the original, especially through dual promotion on the network.

🔴 Season 3 Storybook, Eps 1-16 http://wp.me/PDKwi-1f3 need to review S3 to date? miss an episode? Start here! #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist

🐣 BlacklistDclassified @BlacklistDCd
… and religion in ways that could alienate some viewers. I think these have been brave decisions, but I doubt everyone agrees. #TheBlacklist
↥ ↧
🐣 BlacklistDclassified @BlacklistDCd
We tend to think dropping ratings are always due to Lizzington vs F/D issues. I think #TheBlacklist has taken on issues of politics …
↥ ↧
🐣 BlacklistDclassified @BlacklistDCd
I didn’t realize this episode which features a crucifixion would be so close to Good Friday. I’m sorry if anyone is offended.

Hypable: #TheBlacklist – Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier is just what obsessed fans want http://bit.ly/1o6RTkX @NBCBlacklist

🐣 @katgoodson1 @filmya247 I love #TheBlacklist; just left a 5-star rating at Amazon. Ratings there are highest for S3, 92% are 5-star


Recent from Q1/2016

Comments by Jerry on this blog: thought-provoking

03/15/2016 at 7:38 pm
Here’s an angle that may further illuminate the Blacklist Mystery: the hat that “Red” wears may indicate his status and suggest a motive in his perambulations. I have seen his head-gear described as a Fedora, but it definitely is NOT a Fedora. In the galaxy of sartorial taxonomy, his hat is correctly termed a “Trilby” which also is the name of a young woman who was under the hypnotic spell of a mystical man named Svengali in a long-standing and troubling (and misunderstood) relationship. Suddenly I’m thinking of the scene in Chinatown where Jack Nicholson is trying to pierce the apparent prevarication of Faye Dunnaway about her relationship with “my sister, my daughter…”. Maybe things are a bit more lurid than we expected. More on this to come….

02/26/2016 at 2:30 am
Here are the incidents in The Caretaker: Germans angered by potent Secrets held among the dead from decades before. Prisoner imposters holding hostages. Lawyers and hostages. Terrorists and hostages. (JFK correctly claimed children hold us hostage to the future.). Governments and hostages. All cemented together by secrets. A man who lives in a cemetery, fed through tubes as he holds the keys to the kingdom as if he were a Gnome of Zurich, the king of Swiss Bank Accounts, and the thing that holds him hostage is his misperceived memories. (So it is for all?). And all this is a metaphor describing Tom and Liz, with their faulty perceptions about who they are, and the tantalizing mystery that creates the irrational attraction they have for each other… Their secrets protected by a bodyguard of lies. The episode began with an incident pulled from the headlines keeping it topical. What does it all mean? Only from the end episode looking backward will this episode fully make sense. Otherwise it is as ineluctable as a dream, or a Republican Debate.

02/19/2016 at 7:40 am
Drexel episode is social commentary on the neutralization and commodification of privacy in a world where video feeds (unknown and known to us) hold us hostage, often facilitated by our need to belong to “networks” via privacy-absorbing security cameras and mobile devices. The plotline is ominous, lurid and paranoid, reminescent of the the troubling psycho-sexual issues faced by Deborah Harry and James Woods in Videodrome, where a complex underworld of digital predators, scavangers and parasites created a black market trading on the manipulation of the ever dwindling and freely-willed human mind. In both Drexel and Videodrome, the threats of state voyuerism are “constants”, omnipresent and inextinguishable. Drexel is apprehended but nothing is solved and future intrusions (by private or public sector agents) are inevitable…because inquiring minds want to know. We are trapped by our own gossip… As we are mocked in our fixations, watching Tom escape prosecution because Liz’ doctor friend snitched to Reddington and ” Red” inscrutably provided angelic intervention so Liz could choose to keep her baby. I feel so used.

02/16/2016 at 10:32 pm
I was refreshing myself with Aristotle’s Poetics today. He seems to think “episodes” were too pedestrian to be considered worthy of “truth” that humans can reveal through their “imitations” of life… Yet, here we are with Red Reddington. I think I know why I like the show, to modify a Margaret Thatcher quote: “in all relationships, eventually you run out of other people’s oxytocin.”. We are trying to find out what catastrophe bonded Red to Liz. My oxytocin would have worn out years ago, if otherwise unkindled. I think I like Poetics….

02/12/2016 at 12:09 am
Red gets to be a genuine hero in “Lady Ambrosia” which is a darker retelling of the Greek Elysium Mystery Religion. The overmanagememt of childbearing depicted foreshadows the next era, when government hatcheries will be the only authorized method of reproduction, to reclaim genetic health of humanity, offsetting many pollutants including gene altering viruses worse than thalidomide. I am glad the episode ended with an upbeat tone, even Tom returning from the dead.

02/06/2016 at 10:01 am
I’ m reading this (Alistair Pitt) episode as a deep political metaphor. On its crude surface, it is a profane marriage, impossible to conceive (!) Yet, universally contemplated as reasonable, so bereft of scruples are these belligerents it is apparent these two families know nothing about love and life but everything about the Potemkin Village of their craven desires. At the “deep level” this is the 21st Century narrative of how a civilization distributes drugs to its citizens for purposes of 1) control, 2) stigmatization, 3) stratification, and 4) Darwinian (eugenic) Selection. As these four goals are achieved in incremental levels of efficiency, certain consolidation is required. Hence, this “marriage” of two drug distribution families that turns into a bloodbath. I would expect the number one Blacklister is the cloistered “Medical Information Bureau” which controls all our medical data, ergo, it is in the unique position of “managing” your “health.”… with the latest covert plasmid or endocrine inhalant. I loved this episode at its more fertile substrate.

01/29/2016 at 12:26 am
Vehm episode is macabre, but meaningful. Red meets each pathological challenge in kind. Mixing Vatican P2 scandal with Red’s criminal overreach (asking an interrogatee to song a campfire song!), makes a weird blend. Aram’s fixation on Navabi is getting spooky. And the pro-life stance is refreshing, although I doubt Liz will ultimately follow through on her wish to offer her child up for adoption, given those buckets of oxytocin washing through her system. What kind of Neilson ratings does this show get in Moscow, home of the Zhukov’s and Rostova’s? I still expect that wizard, Leonard Caul, to protect Liz with electrified nanobeads, Deus-Ex-Machina -style, out of nowhere. Oh well.

02/06/2016 at 10:38 am
After modest internet searching I discovered that Mockba enjoys the mirror that America hold up to Moscow and through reductive extrapolation, Russians are amused by the implications of this camera obscura. Since it explains more about the self image of America (insofar as this image is a function of our intelligence agency apparatus). Russians are romantic and enjoy a good mystery, even if it is at their expense. The same can be said about anyone (or any country) who is passionate about the game of chess: they hate their fathers (Lenin, Stalin, Putin).

01/22/2016 at 8:42 pm
Loved “Gregory DeVry” episode. Reminded me of Richard Burton upstaging Nazis in “Where Eagles Dare” with criminal charades, double identities and triple agents. I approve of Red’s disdain for Tom. Red should undermine Tom’s influence on Liz pulling from the CIA’s pharmacologia with an application of surreptitious “negative vitamins” to degrade Tom’s cognitive powers, pushing him over the edge emotionally for a cul-de-sac of tail chasing, circling the drain, and self destruction.

01/19/2016 at 10:16 pm
Truncate the narrative. Abbreviate the plot. Why not, as we bathe in postmodermism? Jumping to conclusions is a fine art among reality television’s Social Media gurus ensuring many future Trump/Palin victories grazing on stunted facts and skimpy ideas marinated by Marshall McLuhann posthumous approval (plus Bryan O’blivion’s from Videodrome). Obama makes imperial law without the letter or intent of the Constitution. We face the Eschaton.
The (Blacklist’s) clockwork plots tick away, finely detailed and textured as an antidote to this breezy world of vague insinuations and catty gossip. Red Reddington (as Jefferson, or Paine) could not be less idealst or revolutionary has designed his Blacklist at no better time (based as it is on the 1963 expose of the mafia by Joseph Valachi that allowed the FBI to subsume its rival and use the mob against itself. This betrayal by Valachi siding as he did with USAtty Gen RFK may have been the motive behind JFKs assassination by the mob, et al.) So what’s next? I like tangled plot points and twisted multistage denouement. Can we expect a Dopplegangar Reddington Spawned to undermine Stock Markets, and “New World Odors?” Does Reddington have a twin from Mengele’s Patagonian Lab prepared to attack in a flanking maneuver? Using Napoleon’s DNA? Or Rasputin’s? (the man the Romanov’s couldn’t kill?).

11/26/2015 at 1:05 am
I reviewed the data you have collected on oxytocin. This is impressive. You imply here and their that oxytocin and related brain chemicals are the source of human dramaturgy (rising action, irony, mirth, tragedy, denouement, etc) It is the center stage and our skull the proscenium arch. I will check particulars noted with my 23&Me account SNPs. As the chemical that binds humans together at varying levels of intensity, lest we not forget that our interaction with each other provokes oxytocin production and concurrent manifestations. So the wellspring of interactions could be (almost) inexhaustible. I see the full moon is out again. Thanks again for this resource.

11/22/2015 at 12:07 am
I liked this installment immensely, since it placed in concrete what had been merely drifting past our eyeballs these past few weeks. It is now certain that the CIA Director and Cabal stooge will try to neutralize Liz with prejudice. (So that in the next episode…) When escape seems impossible, Red will bring Leonard Caul into the picture with some exfiltration, MKULTRA peptide to erase enough brain cells to allow LIz to find sanctuary. I should hope it to be… This was the “Deliverance” narrative, as Red endures the indulgence of his inferiors, mere rascals and underfed highwaymen….11-19-2015 episode (Kings of the Road) …Dembe’s devotion is a noble highlight, as well as the homage to “LA Confidential” (the whispered name of an interloper as the FBI honcho lay dying) and the homage to Pulp Fiction as the audience is unable to see the mesmerizing contents of the briefcase containing the so-called billion dollar “Care Package.” Then the capture of Liz by Ressler, an anticlimax, as I see it. They are painting the Persian IT Wiz as an Aspberger’s since he is seemingly unable to contain his jealousy when he discovers his “girl” Navabi may have timeshared with Ressler. How long has he been away from Teheran?

10/27/2015 at 7:52 am
Leonard Caul should showcase tetrahertz penetrating radar to see through walls, SQUID devices that act as fMRI (functional MRI) to detect brain activity to gauge prevarication or sincerity, identifier nano-beads to track who touched what, and pheromones (ala MKULTRA) to make people become irrational, fixated, OCD, monomania, or (conversely) nebulous, scattered, amnesic; miniature laboratory telemetric raman spectroscopy to analyze (in real time) smoke, breath, dust, fingerprints for exudate that indicates toxicology levels…Fake cell-tower (STINGRAY) for data collection;

11/07/2015 at 12:47 pm
This was a proudly feasible “Transhumanist” episode (11-5-15 – Sir Crispin) and was great with its legal/ethical ruminations. Please, CONSIDER for spin-off episode: Reddington needs to “fake his death” as an element in as future episode… As an exploitable innovation on the cryogenic theme, behold, the human “diving reflex” that we share with other mammals (dolphins, otters, whales) triggered when we are plunged into 30 degree water. Our brain shuts down into suspended animation and we can last for 90 minutes without normal respiration, as cardiac (metabolic) function slows to near zero. Many cases of children (under 8 years old) who after near freezing are brought “back to life without harm.” Previously believed to be evidenced only in children, an example of a 15-year old who stowed away in the wheel well of a jet from San Jose to Hawaii proves it can be triggered in older humans, perhaps stimulated by an endocrine stimulating drug, or hyper-oxygenated fluid.


Review for Amazon (5-stars)

March 18, 2016

Best season yet

The rapid pace, complex story-telling, excellent direction and acting, and captivating mythic arc make this the best serialized tv drama I have ever watched. Each episode merits watching several times. Clues to the show’s mysteries are scattered throughout but it is much more than a detective or mystery show. Each episode features a “Blacklister” who evokes current issues dealing with politics, medicine, technology and international relations making the show highly relevant and thought-provoking. In the first season, James Spader’s nuanced acting held but show together but by this season the other actors have improved as their fascinating back stories have been developed. The guest stars are also excellent with Peter Stormare as Berlin, Alan Alada as Fitch, David Strathairn as The Director and Edi Gathegi as Mr Solomon deserving special mention.

The show has a large international following and a huge fan base active on social media. The show’s producers, writers and actors engage with fans on Twitter and provide other features that enhance viewers understanding of the story and the story-telling craft. These include comics (Nicole Phillips, Titan), an exposition on how an episode is shaped from concept through production (by Dave Metzger), and coming on March 29, 2016, a book (“Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier” by Paul Terry and Tara Bennett). The Blacklist features music from a Russian lullaby to hip hop. A second collection of featured songs will be released this summer and playlists for each character and the show as a whole are available on Spotify. Numerous blogs follow and elucidate the show. It has inspired more than 1500 works of fan fiction on archiveofourown.org and fanfiction.net – so far.

The showrunners made a decision this season to feature actress Megan Boone’s real life pregnancy rather than try to hide it or write the actress out for several months, a brave decision that hopefully will be adopted more regularly by the industry.


Variety, Maureen Ryan: ‘The 100’ Lexa Mess: What TV, Jason Rothenberg Can Learn http://bit.ly/1pwBsjy
// 3/14/2016

Note: This article discusses the pluses and minuses of social media involvement in television dramas. The problem The Blacklist has harkens back to the pilot, in which a sleezy Red invokes a mysterious relationship with newly-minted FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen. Red has intimate knowledge about Liz’s past. The obvious reason would seems to be that Red is her lost father, but the creepiness of his behavior suggests a quirky sexual attraction. Unlike some shows, The Blacklist has never abandoned its pilot. Quite the opposite: the mystery has been extended and, as a result, warring factions have arisen between viewers who view Red as a father or father-figure (father/daughter or FDers or “daddygaters” versus those who view Red and Liz as a potential couple or Lizzington shippers. Both sides seem to be encouraged by the show, with storms of anger erupting each time one or the other faction is delivered more “bait.” The article below discusses the relationship between social media and the creative staff of the CW series “The 100.” In comparison, however, to the flame wars the Blacklist has engendered, the case of “The 100” may be simplistic.

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“If you wanted to come up with a playbook for how to handle TV promotion and publicity in the age of social media, a few of the major rules might look like this:

● Don’t mislead fans or raise their hopes unrealistically.
● Don’t promote your show as an ideal proponent of a certain kind of storytelling, and then drop the ball in a major way with that very element of your show.
● When things go south, don’t pretend nothing happened.
● Understand that in this day and age, promotion is a two-way street: The fans that flock to your show and help raise its profile can just as easily walk away if they are disappointed or feel they’ve been manipulated.

“It all sounds like common sense, right? Except that ‘The 100’ managed to break all those rules and more in the last ten days or so. And the tumult surrounding the show contain lessons that other shows and showrunners could learn from. …

“What has occurred since March 3 is not just a problem for ‘The 100’ and the CW, it’s a cautionary tale for all of television, which increasingly depends on fans to bang the drum for shows and increase their profiles.

“As it happens, the resurgent CW just made a big bet on fan-driven entertainment as the future of TV. The network just renewed all of its shows, in part because it measures engagement in a host of ways; overnight ratings are no longer the be-all and end-all. Social media engagement counts for a lot, and word-of-mouth promotion is often what makes or breaks a marginal show. …

“But intense fan engagement is a double-edged sword. The fans who know how to help raise a show’s profile and make noise on social media are also whipsmart in any number of other ways. Today’s TV viewers won’t stand for being used as pawns, nor will they help promote a show when they feel it has let them down. With the events that occurred in the March 3 episode of the show, many think ‘The 100’ did just that. …

“It would seem that the attitude of the showrunner and others associated with the show is that if they just ignore everything for long enough, it’ll all go away. Meanwhile, fans are passing around lists of ideas for how to lower the show’s social media profile (Rothenberg himself has already lost thousands of Twitter followers), and the March 10 episode got the series’ worst-ever ratings. To understand how the balance of power has shifted in the fan-driven age, a subset of viewers got #LGBTfansdeservebetter to trend for hours during the show’s time slot on March 10, demonstrating that they can use their collective might to very different uses than a network might like.

“This is not a call for showrunners to pander to their audiences — far from it. It’s a reminder that every story turn and promotional effort should be thoroughly thought through. Sloppy, dismissive and tin-eared moves by a show or its personnel aren’t easy to bury or ignore these days, and fan engagement is a collaboration, not a spigot to be turned off whenever things get inconvenient. …

“As I said in a March 4 post on the fracas, I could understand why [fans] were upset — but in dozens of posts, tweets and emails, they helped me understand why they felt betrayed. … These fans were smart, eloquent and impressively well-versed in promotional strategies, media conventions and tropes. They’re also right. …

“[I]t is baffling that the show all but ensured that its most hardcore fans knew that Lexa would appear in the season finale. The trumpeting of her appearance at the end of the season prompted many viewers, especially fans of the Lexa and Clarke pairing, to keep hope alive, but in reality, there was no hope to be found. … [T]he way “The 100” shamelessly toyed with LGBTQ viewers — who are among the show’s most active promotional allies — constitutes inexplicable and deeply unwise misdirection. …

“Critic Nicola Choi wrote that when they spot a lesbian or bisexual woman on TV, many LGBTQ fans simply resign themselves to the fact that the character will die. … Lexa’s cliched death was especially galling given that recently, the show had leaned into the idea that it was a beacon of enlightened representation for LGBTQ characters. Rothenberg gave multiple interviews on the topic — Variety included — and retweeted stories from an array of publications that praised the show’s representation of gay, lesbian and bisexual characters.

“Aided by the enthusiasm of the show’s many LGBTQ viewers, the outreach campaign worked. ‘Until last week, you had numerous marginalized teens and young adults who were feeling engaged, feeling represented, and feeling (dare I say it?) hopeful,’ a writer named Kylie noted in an eloquent deconstruction of tropes and how they operate on TV. ‘Which inherently put you in a position of power over them.’

“To writer and professor Elizabeth Bridges, ‘The 100’ used that power in an irresponsible and harmful way.

“‘We knew [Lexa] could possibly be killed, and we knew that [Debnam-Carey’s] fate for any potential future seasons was questionable,’ Bridges wrote. ‘But we also had constant reassurance from the writers and showrunner that we could trust them not to screw up these characters, that they were aware of the [dead lesbian] trope and would avoid it even if’ the actress left the show. …

“Perhaps Rothenberg thought killing off Lexa in that manner was shocking [[ “surprising”? ]], but her death ended up feeling rushed, off-kilter and poorly handled. … ”

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NYT, David Brooks: The Shame Culture http://nyti.ms/1S5KHQC
// 3/15/2016

Note: I rarely agree with David Brooks, but in this opinion piece, he cites Andy Crouch on the topic of social media. Crouch describes some of the cultural characteristics of groups in this domain that sheds some light on the antagonism that has emerged between the “shipper” groups and the father/daughter group(s) (aka “F/Ders” or, more derisively, the “daddygaters”) that has arisen around the show “The Blacklist.” I felt this most acutely when I was active on the WSJ Speakeasy “blog” (actually, just a comment section) about The Blacklist. I think parts of this piece are quite accurate. Brooks has a larger purpose, which is to argue that the “shame” culture of social media is morally inferior to the traditional “guilt” culture which he sees as being eclipsed – at least on social media. His argument is actually against post-modernism, I think, in favor of the security of being able to declare what is “good” and what is “evil” across all cultural contexts. This argument I reject (except for a basic norm of “human rights,” eg girls should be able to go to school, etc). Still, Brooks’/Crouch’s insights as to the workings of the ‘voluntary associations’ of people on social media are instructive.

“The world of Facebook, Instagram and the rest is a world of constant display and observation. The desire to be embraced and praised by the community is intense. People dread being exiled and condemned. Moral life is not built on the continuum of right and wrong; it’s built on the continuum of inclusion and exclusion.

“This creates a set of common behavior patterns. First, members of a group lavish one another with praise so that they themselves might be accepted and praised in turn.

“Second, there are nonetheless enforcers within the group who build their personal power and reputation by policing the group and condemning those who break the group code. Social media can be vicious to those who don’t fit in. Twitter can erupt in instant ridicule for anyone who stumbles.

“Third, people are extremely anxious that their group might be condemned or denigrated. They demand instant respect and recognition for their group. They feel some moral wrong has been perpetrated when their group has been disrespected, and react with the most violent intensity. …

“He notes that this shame culture is different from the traditional shame cultures, the ones in Asia, for example. In traditional shame cultures the opposite of shame was honor or “face” — being known as a dignified and upstanding citizen. In the new shame culture, the opposite of shame is celebrity — to be attention-grabbing and aggressively unique on some media platform.

“On the positive side, this new shame culture might rebind the social and communal fabric. It might reverse, a bit, the individualistic, atomizing thrust of the past 50 years.

“On the other hand, everybody is perpetually insecure in a moral system based on inclusion and exclusion. There are no permanent standards, just the shifting judgment of the crowd. It is a culture of oversensitivity, overreaction and frequent moral panics, during which everybody feels compelled to go along.”
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