🔴 REVIEWS and Articles, Selected

Last updated: 11/11/2020
For Interviews only (many with excerpts), Click Here: 🔴 “Interrogations”
For News about the show (ratings, guest stars, renewal etc) Click Here: 🔴 “News”

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⭕ 2020
⭕ 2019
⭕ 2018
⭕ 2017
⭕ 2016
⭕ 2015
⭕ 2014
⭕ 2013
⭕ Boston Legal to The Blacklist: 2004-2012
⭕ Before Boston Legal: before 2012
⭕ Go to End


🔆 This❗️⋙ GoldenSpiralMedia: The Blacklist Exposed Podcast [videos] http://bit.ly/1HcuYgM
// Recurring, for each episode



TVGuide, Liam Mathews: The Blacklist Season 8 Will Be As Escapist As Ever http://bit.ly/38Ci2mS
// 11/11/2020


TVGuide, Liam Mathews: Everything You Need to Know About The Blacklist Season 8 http://bit.ly/38yXKuH
// 11/2/2020


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist: 7 Quick Things We Know About Season 8 http://bit.ly/36q8dG6
// 10/26/2020

Cheatsheet: ‘The Blacklist’ Star Megan Boone Reveals Something Fans Don’t Know About James Spader http://bit.ly/2F1FhKd
// 8/8/2020

For the most part, The Blacklist balances dark characters and storylines with Raymond Reddington’s humor. However, between takes, Spader’s true personality comes alive.

“I adore that man,” she told News.Com. “He is intelligent and funny and I could say a lot of things that people would probably expect because watching him you can tell how smart and ridiculously talented he is, and what a charismatic man he is.”

For those who watch the show, Spader’s “Red” comes across as a cunning manipulator. In real life, Boone said he’s the opposite and it could disrupt the way you view The Blacklist actor.

“I think it would surprise people to know he is also so adorable,” she said. “There’s this little soft side in James where if you are fooling with him and you can intrigue that little sweet soft side, you get the kindest, cutest little laugh out of him…not a Red Reddington laugh…it’s different, it’s a really cute one. I get the biggest kick out of that, out of getting him to bubble up with that laugh.”


EntertainmentWeekly, Alamin Yohannes: The Blacklist bosses on Liz’s ‘dark’ decision and that big choice in the season finale http://bit.ly/2ZaMyzI
// 5/25/2020; Elizabeth Keen made some huge decisions on ‘The Blacklist’ season 7 finale.


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist Got Unexpectedly Political With a Next-Level-Weird Male Pregnancy Plot http://bit.ly/2q99iRn
// 11/15/2019


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist: 7 Red Hot Questions Season 7 Already Has Us Asking http://bit.ly/2rFsYgj
// 11/15/2019

1. Why Does Katarina Not Know Ilya Koslov?
2. Is It Time To Go Back To The Drawing Board With Ilya?
3. What Went Down Between Dom And Katarina?
4. Why Is Katarina Surveilling Liz?
5. What Does Katarina Want?
6. Does Liz Have A Secret Sibling Through Katarina?
7. What Is Going On With Aram’s New Girlfriend?


WaPo: The fall of 1989 http://wapo.st/2p0X1xY
// 11/6/2019; Background; various authors; The Berlin Wall crumbled. Regimes toppled. But 30 years later, how much have things changed?


NYT, Martin Scorcese: I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain. http://nyti.ms/36EPPZ6
// 11/5/2019; Film theory; Cinema is an art form that brings you the unexpected. In superhero movies, nothing is at risk, a director says.


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist Season 7 Will Revisit Red And Cooper’s ‘Little Secret’ http://bit.ly/2o4iVzI
// 10/16/2019; “Cooper used info only they would know to verify it was Reddington, who was being held captive. How Red knew that info (among other things) is anyone’s guess.“


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist Just Delivered A Huge Betrayal And 8 More Jaw-Droppers http://bit.ly/2VzSfTY
// 10/11/2019


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist Season 7 Wants Fans To ‘Read Between The Lines’ For Red Truths http://bit.ly/2B4e4ld
// 10/6/2019


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist: 10 Things You Might Have Missed In The Season 7 Premiere http://bit.ly/2OBOMCV
// 10/5/2019

Cinemablend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist: 8 Things You Need To Know Ahead Of The Season 7 Premiere http://bit.ly/2AGONgD
// 10/3/2019

1. Katarina Is Alive
2. Katarina Kidnapped Red
3. Red’s True Identity Is Still Not Known
4. Red May or May Not Be Ilya Koslov
5. Dembe and Red Are United Again
6. Liz Brought Agnes Home
7. Aram Will Learn The Truth About Red
8. The Verdict Is Still It Out On Liz/Ressler


EntertainmentWeekly, Alamin Yohannes: Katarina Rostova’s presence will have a ‘deep impact’ on everything Liz believes in season 7 of The Blacklist http://bit.ly/2OeDX9E
// 10/2/2019; Katarina Rostova’s return will have implications long after Reddington is rescued.


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist: Five Moments That Need To Happen In Season 7 http://bit.ly/2mvtgUn
// 9/18/2019

1. Dembe, Liz, and The Task Force Save Red
2. Katarina’s Agenda Readily Revealed
3. Liz and Katarina Meeting As Mother And Daughter
4. Learning The True Nature of Red and Katarina’s Relationship
5. Red’s Real Identity Revealed


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist Season 7 Has A Jaw-Dropping Start, Star Teases http://bit.ly/2N1qUaS
// 8/7/2019, Amir Arison, who plays Aram Mojtabai: “These first two Blacklist scripts back feel like an entire season in itself!! That’s how many times my jaw dropped. Season 7 is gonna be something.”


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist: If Red Is Not Ilya Koslov, Who Is He? http://bit.ly/2T7RIap
// 8/4/2019, Is Red Ilya Koslov’s twin brother?


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: Why Is NBC’s The Blacklist Always Ignored By The Emmys? http://bit.ly/2Y7BDXi
// 7/16/2019; I have had the same question for years. I think the issue has to do with compelling network shows to compete with cable. The shows are so different in terms of how they are structured, written and produced, not to mention the constraints put on network shows in terms of the standards they must comply with (no swearing or sex) and the need to please advertisers. It’s like trying to compare a sonnet to a novel. My view is there should be separate competitions altogether. Otherwise the network shows are overlooked. – LB90

The Blacklist is a genre show on a major network with a talented array of performers, not to mention a terrific swell of skilled writers and directors. To be six seasons in and still going narratively strong is telling of how well the show is doing with fans. There are few series that possess that level of creative stamina, but the Emmys once again did not feel inclined to honor everyone’s efforts.

When the Emmy voters snub The Blacklist, they’re not just ignoring the show, but also crucially passing over one of the best ensembles on TV. The series’ ability to pivot focus towards literally any actor for a solid episode is as top-tier as it gets, in my opinion. Few streaming or cable shows could sustain such a swift pace in the 22-episodes-a-season world of broadcast TV, and yet the crime drama has proven it can, time and again.

For instance, both Amir Arison (Aram) and Mozhan Marnò (Samar) were grievously ignored by the TV Academy. Both of them knocked it out of the park during one of The Blacklist’s most pivotal episodes, which turned out to be viewers’ farewell to Samar.

… [W]hy has an actor [James Spader as Red] that has gotten recognized by the Emmys in the past for other projects been ignored so consistently for The Blacklist? Especially when he is still getting high-drawer storylines and delivering top-shelf work. …

To date, James Spader has only received Emmy Award nominations for his work on The Practice and its spinoff series, Boston Legal. This year, the Emmys ignored Spader’s work even as he continued to turn in one exceptional turn after another.

I felt like James Spader took a lot of chances this year. With the audience now relatively clueless as to who he is actually playing, Spader charged up the enigma quotient extensively.

There were times that he was charming and funny, dangerous and lethal, contemplative and resolute, and all without missing a beat.

What it will take for the Emmys to recognize the crime drama is tough to know. The Blacklist delivered a highly engaging storyline with Red’s jail time and near-death, following up on Season 5’s twists and turns enjoyably. It has had episodes large and intimate in scale, without compromising its character-driven roots. …

The show has been on the media’s radar since in recent years as well, as an anchor for NBC in the Friday-night lineup, which used to be a place where shows went to die. Now, though, things are getting just as competitive as other primetime evenings, with The Blacklist as consistent as any other shows going into the weekend.


CarterMatt: The Blacklist season 7: Three people who could save Reddington http://bit.ly/2XXbCpj
// 7/14/2019


Screenrant: The Blacklist: 10 Questions We Still Have After The Season 6 Finale http://bit.ly/2NsDjGy
// 6/25/2019; “As we head into the final season of The Blacklist, viewers are still grasping for straws for the big reveal. Who is Raymond Reddington?

Here are 10 Questions We Still Need Answered After The Season 6 Finale:

10. Why did Katarina kidnap Red?
9. Can Dembe be trusted?
8. Will Aram join Samar?
7. Will Cooper get his hands dirty, again?
6. Will Katarina and Liz join forces?
5. Who gets the island?
4. Who the hell is Red, really?
3. Could there be a Ressler and Liz connection?
2. How does it all end?
1. Who will Liz choose?


LATimes, Randee Dawn: Moral quandaries on TV reflect a real-world interest in doing the right thing http://lat.ms/2LrnhLw
// 6/19/2019

“Good Place” might be the most obvious example of how topics of morality and ethical behavior can succeed as a TV series’ foundation — but it’s far from alone. Such series as USA Network’s “The Sinner,” TBS’ “Miracle Workers,” Netflix’s “Russian Doll,” CBS All Access’ “The Good Fight,” AMC’s “Better Call Saul” and even an action series like NBC’s “The Blacklist” have either dipped a toe or dived headfirst into those murky waters.

The discussion of ethics has filtered into more conventional procedural-style series like “Blacklist.” A recent episode called “The Ethicist” focused on a man hired by a corporation to place a value on human lives to justify the company’s risky decision-making.

“That idea was so weird to me and weirdly corrupt, that someone could decide morality on behalf of a corporation — that just seems broken,” says creator Jon Bokenkamp. “That’s where the episode started.” …

It’s also important not to underestimate the effect the last two years of politics have had on both audiences and writers. “The more politicians turn their backs on us,” says King, “the more we’re left wondering what do we owe each other. If a president ignores the issues, everyone else has to take up the slack.”

And with their authorial voices raised among some of the highest-quality, sophisticated TV we’ve ever had, writers are hoping their viewers might take away some personal insights. “What you hope is that drama illuminates real life, and gives you a different perspective, not just on the characters’ actions — but maybe your own actions,” says Gould.

“I want to feel like what I do has meaning beyond just entertainment,” says “Sinner” showrunner and creator Derek Simonds. “What gets me excited about doing the show is where I see the opportunity to broaden the boundaries of what people thought they could identify with. Hopefully, it will resonate with them. And hopefully, they might be less likely to judge — both themselves, and others.”


NerdsAndBeyond: ‘The Blacklist’ Season Seven Premiere Date Announced! http://bit.ly/2REorDH
// 6/18/2019, “NBC has announced that the seventh season of The Blacklist will return on Friday, October 4!”


CarterMatt: The Blacklist season 7 spotlight: What should be next for Liz Keen? http://bit.ly/2QZvgPN
// 6/8/2019


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: How The Blacklist’s Endgame Will ‘Snap Into Focus’ In Season 7 http://bit.ly/2MnvnWR
// 5/31/2019


CarterMatt: The Blacklist debate: Should there be a young Reddington prequel? http://bit.ly/2Z0wJZ6
// 5/30/2019


Fangirlish, Samantha Van Hooser: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 6 Review: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly http://bit.ly/2Xindjj
// 5/28/2019


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist Season 7: Six Burning Questions We Have About Red And Liz’s Future http://bit.ly/2VPk7Sj
// 5/21/2019

1. Is Liz’s Mom A Villain?
2. What Has Katarina Been Doing All This Time?
3. Seriously, Who Is Red?
4. How Does The Stranger Know Red?
5. What Is Katarina and Red’s Relationship Status?
6. What is Red sick with? [ Why has he been injecting himself? ]
7. Will there be a new member of the Task Force?



Fangirlish, Samantha Van Hoozer: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 6 Review: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly http://bit.ly/2Xindjj
// 5/18/2019


CinemaBlend: Did The Blacklist 2019 Finale Just Introduce The Real Ilya? http://bit.ly/2YHbYl4
// 5/18/2019


EntertainmentWeekly, Jodi Walker: The Blacklist finale recap: Will the real Katarina Rostova please stand up? (Recap) http://bit.ly/30vWiCz
// 5/17/2019


TVGuide, Cory Barker: How the Blacklist Finale Set Up a Stronger Season 7 http://bit.ly/2LRzvhj
// 5/17/2019; Note: Cory Barker’s reviews are usually decent, but this one is ridiculous. He seems to have pre-written it assuming the Cabal was involved and then panned the episode as if it was. In fact, he didn’t even bother to rewrite his first half of the review to reflect that the assassination plot didn’t involve the Cabal, just threw in some words about how disappointing it was, then panned the entire second half of the season. Obviously, this was not the episode he wanted to review. It was better. He got played. Good. But his job is to review the episode as it was written, not the one he expected to be disappointed by. He should apologize. He should also rewatch the actual episode again and review it as is. TV Guide should expect better. Reviewers should elucidate, not judge based on personal piccadilloes.


TVGuide, Cory Barker: We Finally Learned the Truth About Red’s Backstory on The Blacklist http://bit.ly/2XY30iZ
// 4/26/2019


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist Continues to Make Us Wait for Answers http://bit.ly/2uQDwY3
// 4/5/2019

While Aram took some convincing to begin the process of moving on, Liz (Megan Boone) yet again seemed fully committed to it. Rather than using Reddington’s return to the task force as a way to recalibrate her investigation, Liz appears affected by her fake father’s prison stint — and her role in making that happen. Ressler pushed back against Liz’s change of heart, but she didn’t budge.

There are a few ways to look at this development. On one hand, it’s easy to track this reaction from Liz. Though she can occasionally operate like her not-dad, she never handles it particularly well. She was already guilty for having put Reddington in prison. Everything that happened after that — the reveal that the original Reddington wasn’t a traitor, the rushed trial, the potential death sentence — only shook her further. As she said in this episode, this man did protect her for years and mostly continues to do so. He’s important to her, maybe more important than the truth. That’s more compelling character-driven story.


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Task Force Loses a Member on The Blacklist http://bit.ly/2YHaKa0
// 3/31/2019

… The concluding moments of “Umbrella Corporation” were legitimately moving, playing off of [Mozhan Marnó’s and Amir Arison’s] strengths and years of character history. … [T]here’s an emotional connection with the audience and those characters. Devasting Aram, he still of mostly pure heart, is the one card the show can always play, and it played very well here.

Injecting Reddington into the middle of the couple’s challenging circumstances further increased the tension and ultimate emotional wallop. Aram punching Reddington in utter heartbreak, and Reddington simply taking it because he understood the emotional context, was one of the better moments of the season. Arison and Spader played that moment perfectly. Mozhan has always been restrained as Samar, but she loosened it up effectively as Samar made such a difficult choice.

… According to Mozhan Marno, Samar is gone for good, and her departure should create new storytelling opportunities for Aram and the task force as the season nears its conclusion….


Cinemablend: Why The Blacklist’s Aram Is Now At War With Red After Samar’s Heartbreaking Decision http://bit.ly/2uCyy15
// 3/31/2019

… It is Aram versus Red following this week’s two-parter. The reason? Red helped Samar start a new life, leaving Aram behind to live his.

After having her burn notice served, Samar and Aram were on the run for her life. Samar’s former employers put a hit out after Aram told her handler, Levi, that she had gotten diagnosed with vascular dementia.

… Samar faced a conundrum. She will always have assassins trying to kill her out of fear she will accidentally share their secrets. Aram wanted to go on the run with her and — thanks to the Task Force — all of the arrangements had gotten made.

That is when Red came to the warehouse Aram was meeting the Task Force at to get his and Samar’s documents.

Red revealed that Samar had chosen to forge ahead solo. A devastated Aram shared a heartbreaking goodbye phone call with Samar.

After hanging up with her, his fury took on the form of a physical outburst. Aram punched Red. Soon after, a declaration of war. Aram told Red that he would never forgive Red for taking Samar away from him.

… Between losing Samar, and then Aram’s dynamic with Red, The Blacklist is showing relentless emotional aim. Speaking of which, how amazing were Amir Arison and Mozhan Marnò throughout the two-parter?

They are such bright stars and to see them burn with such intensity in this episode was phenomenal for this viewer. Amir Arison and Mozhan Marnò’s turns were awards-worthy. The goodbyes between Aram and Samar were crushing. …

The Blacklist has taken away a romance and given viewers a new rivalry. How much damage will Aram inflict before he calms down? Will he ever forgive Red? Can Aram and Red ever go back to the way things were between them? …


CountryLiving, Samantha Drake: All About James Spader’s Very Private Relationship With Leslie Stefanson http://bit.ly/
// 3/23/2019; “The Blacklist” star has been with the actress-turned-sculptor for over a decade.


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist Conspiracy Reaches the White House http://bit.ly/2TiaoTC
// 3/15/2019

The best entertainment makes you feel like something you know can’t happen is about to happen, or at least can’t happen in the way it appears. …

The clock nearly ran out. Harold, Dembe, and Liz failed, insomuch that the White House didn’t budge. Reddington accepted his fate. He was given his last meal and hooked to the chair for his lethal injection. Then the episode ended.

There’s no way that Reddington dies. The cliffhanger promised something that won’t come to pass. And yet this was one of the best episodes of the season. …

Though the plot machinations leading to Reddington in the chair were compelling, it was really the intimate conversations between the man and those in his life that buoyed the episode. … Liz desperately wanted to ask Reddington about his identity swap, knowing the end could be near. But when it came down to it, all she really wanted to say was “I love you.”

That emotional payoff, illustrating the complexities of this relationship, was far more satisfying than any major twist related to the identity could be. Both Boone and Spader were phenomenal in the scene, with the latter delivering a kind of gobsmacked reaction that truly only he could do — half-opened mouth and shocked. At that moment, Reddington grew comfortable with his fate. …

That’s not to say that “the real Blacklist is the friends we made along the way,” but… it kind of is. This is how all long-running TV shows operate. They ultimately become about the connections between the people above any plot details, to the point where the audience can go along with a death penalty cliffhanger because they want to see the people react to that moment.

Compare that to the episode’s other big reveal, which is that the U.S. president is directly involved in the cabal conspiracy. Like, actively involved in it. It suddenly felt like an episode of 24 up in here. There’s no payoff to that reveal that can be anywhere as compelling as some of the emotionally charged conversations in this episode. If only The Blacklist could find more of those conversations amid the cabal conspiracy once Reddington doesn’t die, or comes back to life.


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: What The Blacklist’s Big Reveals About Liz’s Mom And Red Could Mean http://bit.ly/2EAKUww
// 2/25/2019


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist: More Truths About (the Real) Reddington Are Revealed http://bit.ly/2U5aZZR
// 2/22/2019

… The Blacklist has thrived … in exploring the complications between Red and Liz. That’s really what it comes down to.

… It’s far more interesting to consider why Not Red continues the lie because of his similarly large emotional connection to Liz, even in the face of the death penalty. And it’s far more interesting to think about how secondary characters like Ressler and Jennifer get stuck in the orbit of this complex relationship and struggle to maintain their own connections to Liz.

Really then, this is all about not just two versions of Raymond Reddington. It’s about the two versions of The Blacklist. There’s the show that gets gassed up on its twists, and the show that highlights the ongoing toll of its central relationship. The Blacklist probably isn’t a success without both, but at this point in the run, the latter version is more compelling. That version needs to win out moving forward.


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: Did The Blacklist’s Dembe Story Tease A Major Red Reveal Ahead? http://bit.ly/2BDcZ4o
// 2/17/2019

Along with affirming Liz’s assertions about how much he knows, Dembe also assured her she is a lot like her mother. Hearing it from Dembe seemed to relieve Liz, who is now treating everything Red says as lies.

Dembe’s confirmation of knowing all of Red’s secrets coupled with Red saying that Dembe always saved his life could be huge. What if, by helping Red assume Raymond Reddington’s identity, Dembe was saving Red’s life?


Romper, Misha Ali Zafar: 5 Theories For ‘The Blacklist’ That May Actually Hold Water http://bit.ly/2BvJNw7

    1. Red Is Katarina
    2. Red Altered The DNA Of The Bones
    3. Red Is A Twin
    4. The Bones Are Red’s Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card
    5. Red Is A Fed


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist Busts Liz For Crossing Her Own Red Line http://bit.ly/2RSdb4R
// 2/9/2019


TVGuide, Cory Barker: We Finally Got Some Quality Corrupted Liz Time on The Blacklist http://bit.ly/2SGPPnt
// 2/8/2019

The hunt for the titular Ethicist, a contract killer who made “ethical calculations” regarding who should live or die, spurred a few hammy monologues about the value of human life, but it also exhibited the kinds of choices Liz is now willing to make to discover the truth. She lied about the origins of the case and she lied to Ressler about communicating with Red to find more information. Most importantly, she agreed with the Ethicist’s calculation that the only way to protect her rogue investigation would be to let the Blacklister kill himself.

… [T]his kind of behavior is the slippery slope ideal personified. The Ethicist may have made claimed to make necessary calculations to determine life and death, but that’s just a framework he created to justify evil behavior. Though Liz isn’t at that point yet, it’s been obvious for a long time that she is, in many ways, the daughter of the man pretending to be her father — DNA be damned.

Even with this show closer to the end than the beginning, it’s hard to imagine a world where Liz fully gets the upper hand on Red. However, the more that The Blacklist turns in episodes like this, in which Liz personifies the toxic Reddington effect, the better off any potential conclusion will be. …


TheWrap, Jennifer Maas: ‘The Blacklist’: Red Gets Psychoanalyzed – and All the Inkblots Look Like Genitalia (Exclusive Video) http://bit.ly/2SGQnd1
// 2/7/2019 [sic]; Oh, and he has no idea why he’s on trial or what he’s ever done “wrong”


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: The Blacklist Set Up Both Red And Liz For The Death Penalty http://bit.ly/2t4fPLc
// 2/2/2019

By betraying Red, Liz has put herself at risk of receiving the death penalty. Agnes already lost her father, and now Liz’s actions could mean her losing her mother too. Liz knows what happened with Mr. Kaplan and how Red feels about betrayal. She should not have risked it.

The Blacklist has not put Red and Liz’s life in any less danger with “Alter Ego.” It has ratcheted up their endangerment ten-fold. Since they are the stars of the show, they will have to survive their current predicaments. Right? …


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist: Red Defends His Empire From Inside a Cell http://bit.ly/2MMo2g7
// 2/1/2019

… Nobody knows how to turn a negative into a positive like The Blacklist’s Raymond Reddington (James Spader). Recent episodes have shown that, for Red, prison offers only physical barriers to his influence over the world’s one-percenters and evil-doers. Two episodes ago he successfully defended himself in court — and flirted with the judge in the process. In the most recent episode, he became king of the yard in less than a week by using messenger rats.

[ //➔ What I actually loved about the messenger rat what how peripheral it was to the procedural storyline. In the end, it did not save Red in the prison yard – “that mouth” did. The rat was cute and fun and it seemed it would let Red communicate to Dembe on a prison break or something spectacular. Instead, it was a misdirect, a way for Red to bring in some contraband – champagne, no less! – to cement his friendship with Vontae and highlight the importance of “the small things in life.” Also a thing I love about the show: expect to be surprised up to the last phrase (or word, as in Episode 6:2). – LB90 ]

Perhaps recognizing the trend of victories for the Big Red Machine, this week’s Blacklist toyed with the formula just a little. Rather than spending more time with Red as the don of the clink, “Alter Ego” explored the limits of Red’s power in two contexts to mixed results.

In one story, Red returned to the courtroom to complete the hearing on the admissibility of the gun he had at the time of arrest. Much like the courtroom scenes a few episodes back, the back-and-forth squabbling between Spader’s Red and Ken Leung’s aggrieved lawyer made for a fun time.

The show always asks the audience to accept that Red is the smartest person in every room. His strategic manipulation of his arresting officer at least demonstrated how he does it — he talks and talks and finds people’s pressure points just enough to get exactly what he wants from them. Sometimes, like with Liz (Megan Boone), the pressure ramps up over a long period. Here, he broke down the cop’s claims much faster, but no less effective, and threw in a number of lines about the beautiful color of his suit and his sexual proclivities to boot. Spader as a lawyer, or even a self-defending criminal, is simply TV gold. …

The case did feature my favorite Blacklist flourish: extremely unsettling corporate business models. In many cases, the horrors of capitalism manifest through pseudoscience …


CheatSheet: ‘The Blacklist:’ The Real Reason James Spader Loves Being on the Show http://bit.ly/2D5P79y
// 2/1/2019; bio highlights and partial filmography

Spader is more into playing quirky characters than seeking out boring roles that pay a lot of money. That’s why he loves playing Red. He constantly talks with the show’s writers about his character, and they tailor Red to his interests.

Another thing Spader enjoys about The Blacklist are the seemingly constant plot twists and turns that happen. Red is certainly one of the most fun characters he’s inhabited over the years, and The Blacklist plot twists in Season 6 could take it to the next level.

When the show first started, he earned $160,000 per episode, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That comes out to more than $3.5 million each season. Lately, he’s making much more than that. Spader makes $300,000 an episode or $6.6 million each season, making him the highest paid star on NBC these days.

As a producer on The Blacklist, he has more creative control and takes a bigger slice of the pie when payday comes. Filling both roles helps NCIS star Mark Harmon’s net worth, and we’re guessing Spader earns more for his show than we know about.


TVOvermind, Nat Berman: How “The Blacklist” Has Evolved Since Season 1 http://bit.ly/2Hrz62Y
// 1/14/2019

The relationship between Red and Elizabeth is one of the main themes of the show and it is something that is explored in every season. The way that this relationship has progressed is something that can be clearly tracked throughout each season and is one of the main ways that the evolution of the show is defined. The idea that Red could have been her father was one that was introduced fairly early on. He insisted that she was the only person that he wanted to work with, and most of the actions that he took in the first season were seemingly to protect her. We also learnt that Elizabeth’s father was killed in a fire and in the season one finale Red was shown to have scars from severe burns on his back. However, despite this in the following seasons there were other things that suggested that he was not her father after all and this is something that he has repeatedly denied when she has asked him. At the end of season five it was revealed that the man they all know as Raymond Reddington was an imposter and while the real Ray may have been her father, she has no biological connection to the man that has been impersonating Reddington for all this time. This is something that will no doubt be explored further in season six and fans may finally start to get some answers. …

Despite the falling ratings, The Blacklist remains one of the most popular TV shows that is airing at the moment. It is one of the most successful drama shows that NBC have ever produced. There is a very good chance that it will renewed for a seventh season which will allow fans to see how the show is going to evolve even more in the future. As long as there are still criminals on Red’s ‘blacklist’ then there is a premise for the show to continue.


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist: Red Hires a New Lawyer—Himself http://bit.ly/2BfNTIy
// 1/12/2019

… [T]he longer the show explores Red’s incarceration, the better. However, while the task force continued its work in the shadows — hunting a rogue, “bio-hacker” pharmacist — the A-plot of the episode saw Red pull the most Red move possible: firing his public defender and electing to represent himself in court.

In almost all cases across scripted entertainment, this decision is silly and dramatically inert. Even Red’s performance in front of the court here isn’t the exception that proves the rule, but it did allow Spader the opportunity to harken back to his days on The Practice and Boston Legal for which he won three Emmys for his performance as Alan Shore. That’s right, three.

… [A]s usual, Red got the upper hand on everyone. When the prosecutor pushed Red and Harold to answer questions about the purpose of the task force and Red’s adherence to the immunity agreement, Red countered with a charged monologue about our post-truth fake news society — and effectively sold the judge in the process.

… Spader made it as believable as could be. He so perfectly embodies Red in moments where the character has to sell total BS. Everyone knows it’s a con! There aren’t too many performers who could make that work so effectively.


Romper, Chrissy Bobic: 11 Theories For ‘The Blacklist’ Season 6 To Help You Make Sense Of All The Twists http://bit.ly/2RCBmnY
// 1/11/2019

    1. Reddington Had A Twin
    2. Red Changed His Identity For An Important Reason
    3. Dr. Koehler Played A Role In Red’s Identity Switch
    4. The “Redarina” Theory
    5. Liz Also Has A Different Identity
    6. Red Has Always Been A Secret Agent
    7. Red Was A Russian Spy
    8. Katarina Will Return By The End Of The Season
    9. Red Is Still Liz’s Father, But Not The Real Red
    10. He’s Actually Liz’s Uncle On Her Mother’s Side
    11. Jennifer Is The Real Impostor


NotJustAnotherTVSite, Jeff Sachs: The Blacklist: Raymond Reddington Goes To Prison http://bit.ly/2AO88wL
// 1/10/2019


CarterMatt: The Blacklist season 6 spoilers: Liz Keen’s plan of attack http://bit.ly/2TmMDdq
// 12/31/2018


TVGuide, Liam Matthews: The Blacklist Boss on What’s Next for the Impostor Raymond Reddington in Season 6 http://bit.ly/2QaUWah
// 10/30/2018

The Blacklist ended Season 5 with another shocking twist: The bones Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) had been seeking all season belonged to the real Raymond Reddington, and the criminal mastermind fans have come to know and love — the man Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) had come to believe was her biological father — was an impostor who assumed the identity of the late naval officer (and Liz’s real father) around 30 years ago.

“That’s something that I hope the audience understands,” says Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp, “is that Spader, this impostor, this person who has taken the identity of Reddington, has probably lived as Reddington longer than Reddington ever did, and was far more interesting, and far more dangerous, and far more funny, and is the guy that we want to watch.” Or as Spader himself puts it in the season’s sneak peek, “The Raymond Reddington that everybody’s become familiar with over the last five and a half years is considerably more Raymond Reddington than the Raymond Reddington was 30 years ago. They wouldn’t have made a TV show about that guy.


TheWrap, Jennifer Maas: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 6: Liz Explains How She Plans to Prove Red Isn’t the Red That Red Says He Is (Exclusive Video) http://bit.ly/2CAwHhY How hard could it be?
// 12/27/2018


CinemaBlend, Britt Lawrence: Why The Blacklist Season 6 Needs To Quickly Fix Things Between Red And Liz http://bit.ly/2EPOh42
// 12/22/2018

The Red [Liz] knows was also there the night of the fire that changed everything. He has saved her life, time and again. Whoever Red is, he clearly cares for her. For her part, Liz has also, begrudgingly, grown to care about him deeply.

Liz does not necessarily know enough to proclaim Red her enemy. After all this time, he has earned the benefit of the doubt. Liz should be learning from previous experiences, and not jump to conclusions without giving Red the chance to clear things up. With everything they have been through together, doesn’t she at least owe him a clarifying question or two?

While he has been deceptive, it may not be the domino of truth she thinks it is. What does Red’s true identity prove? That is a crucial mystery Season 6 will hopefully uncover quickly. For his part, Red also needs Liz. She has given him something to fight for. What is he without her?

In having their relationship disrupted to this extent, The Blacklist risks forever altering the relationship that has been at its fore. The show’s very DNA is founded in the complicatedly tangled relationship that is Liz and Red’s. Whether he is or is not her biological father, they have had a daughter/father relationship.

If Liz does irrevocable harm to Red, The Blacklist cannot take it back. It all depends on how far the show takes her vendetta. It is difficult to imagine that viewers have been witnessing the prelude to Red’s downfall all these seasons.

Red forgave Liz for betraying him by her faking her death. Even if he sees it from her perspective, there are lines that Red will never accept her having crossed. Things between Red and Liz need to be repaired before The Blacklist crosses over its own lines.


USAToday: Exclusive: Watch opening scene of ‘The Blacklist,’ as Red shows amateurs how to rob a bank http://bit.ly/2AcCsky 💽 YouTube: https://youtu.be/jU-Mmw_SXx8
// 12/20/2018


CarterMatt: The Blacklist season 6 video: Megan Boone, James Spader on what’s next http://bit.ly/2LiingM
// 12/15/2018
💽 https://youtu.be/lHb8dfi4-M0 Season 6 First Look (Sneak Peak) (2:25)
💽 https://youtu.be/g6FOfd9QVxk Will Season 6 be the last? (Matt Carter) (6:32)


E!News, Chris Hartnett: The Blacklist Season 6 Turns Everything on Its Head as Liz Seeks the Truth About Red http://bit.ly/2Ep9m4o
// 12/13/2018


TVInsider, Jessica Napoli: ‘The Blacklist’ First Look: Liz Is on the Hunt for Answers in Season 6 (VIDEO) http://bit.ly/2Lj5Dqk
// 12/14/2018


ScreenRant: 20 Secrets Only True Fans Know About The Blacklist http://bit.ly/2UCnBbL
// 5/18/2018, fun!

Under #13: With a show like The Blacklist, which is built on mystery and intrigue, we have to wonder if they know where this is going. Are they making it up as they go along? Anyone who watched Lost can attest to the pain and disappoint that awaits the overly trusting viewer. There is a great deal of trust that goes into becoming emotionally and mentally invested in a long-spanning story. You put your time, your interest, your energy, and your enthusiasm into the hands of the storyteller. For storylines that take years to unfold, that is quite the commitment. No one wants to find out that that trust has been misplaced. No one wants to get wrapped up in a mystery, only to find out that the person who asked the question didn’t know the answer.

As the tension mounts and the thread unravels, dedicated fans of The Blacklist are no doubt asking themselves how this is all going to end. Well, we have good news: there is a plan! This is, in fact, going somewhere!

Jon Bokenkamp (the show’s creator) dispelled any doubts in his recent interview with Variety Magazine http://bit.ly/2QOdTE1. “We’ve thought about the whole series and we’ve had conversations with everyone involved. We definitely have an end game in mind.” Bokenkamp said. “There is a bible in our writer’s room that tracks every character, every plotline. If we didn’t have our endgame in mind it would be very difficult to tell the story we’re telling.”


CinemaBlend, Laura Hurley: The Blacklist Finale Dropped A Huge Reddington Bombshell That Changes Everything http://bit.ly/2UFLw9V
// 5/17/2018

[T]he mysterious bones in the duffel bag that has been passed around The Blacklist for a while now belong to Raymond Reddington, but not the Raymond Reddington fans thought we knew for the past five years. As it turns out, the real Raymond Reddington died 30 years ago, and the man we’ve thought was Red was an imposter all along. James Spader has not been playing the genuine Raymond Reddington, although I’m sure we’ll be referring to his character as “Red” for the foreseeable future. Liz’s discovery that the real Reddington is the dead man whose bones were in the bag means she realized that her real father is dead and another man has been attempting to fill that role for her, which… is creepy.

To emphasize the point that Red has been trying to keep his secret for the entire run of the series, “Sutton Ross” featured a flashback montage of all the characters who have died trying to expose Red’s secret and how they died/were killed. Despite all the death and destruction, Red was not able to destroy the secret before it got out. While he did get his hands on the bones and burnt them at the end of the episode, it wasn’t before a DNA test was conducted on the bones that proved them to belong to the real Raymond Reddington. Thanks to her deal with Ross and reunion with her half-sister, Liz was able to see the DNA results for herself. …


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist Finale’s Massive Twist Was a Big Win for Liz http://bit.ly/2rSu9Wa
// 5/16/2018, Spoilers!

… [T]he show’s frustrating tactics throughout Season 5 made the turn late in “Sutton Ross” much more satisfying. Despite Red’s gloating, the final moments saw Liz return to Tom’s (Ryan Eggold) grave, speak to his ghost and reveal a master plan.

She swerved Red into thinking he captured the duffel and buried his big secret forever. Instead, Liz staged a kidnapping with the titular Blacklister and her supposed sister to uncover the truth: that the bones belong to the real Raymond Reddington, the man whom our Red has been pretending to be for decades.

As far as last-minute twists and seasonal pay-offs go, this was a solid one. It re-contextualizes many past events and sets up a legitimately compelling showdown between fake father and fake daughter in Season 6 — something The Blacklist has been teasing for years. …

… [I]n the context of the season and even the entire series, Liz’s speech to Tom’s ghost served as a triumphant moment. The character has been consistently outwitted or beaten down so that Reddington can shine. She’s been positioned as reactive to his genius actions. Thus, both the plan to con Red and the speech illustrated how important this secret and finding some semblance of peace over Tom’s death was to Liz.

It also signaled that, despite the lack of real blood lineage between the two characters, Red’s influence on Liz is undeniable. She may have outsmarted him, but she had to mirror his tactics to do it. That’s a strong reflection of how well the show has developed the relationship between the two characters, even while favoring one character over another.

… Liz has lost so much — including the continued distance with her own young child — because of the man claiming to be Raymond Reddington. Indeed, that he has done all of this and is, in fact, not her father only makes the collateral damage that much more disheartening.

They do, however, offer a potential new road, one where Liz truly gets the upper hand on the person who has terrorized her since childhood. Given the last five seasons, it’s fine to be skeptical that The Blacklist can fully execute that potential truly satisfying conclusion, but this is a really strong indicator that the show has a meaningful plan in mind for its end game.


Deadline, Greg Evans: ‘The Blacklist’ Season Finale: Mystery Of The Bones Revealed, With Surprise Visits http://bit.ly/2BcJHZd
// 5/16/2018

In an episode that included more than one oddity – yes, that was cult filmmaker John Waters appearing as himself in a cameo at a tailor shop, getting fitted for one of his trademark bespoke suits – FBI agent Liz Keen (Megan Boone) and super criminal Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) were on a collision course with special guest Blacklister Sutton Ross (Julian Sands), a 1980s-era stealer of international trade secrets who got harshly duped way back when by Red himself.

Ross, out for vengeance, knows the secret of the bones – who they belong to and why they’re so important to Red. Turns out – and truly, stop here if you don’t want to know – the bones are Red.

The episode, written by John Eisendrath & Jon Bokenkamp & Lukas Reiter and directed by Bill Roe, built to one of the series’ twistiest moments ever, with Liz revealing – to the ghost or perhaps memory of her late husband Tom, no less (Ryan Eggold, in a surprise graveside appearance) – that she’d been in cahoots with Ross all along, and that divulged that the bones in the bag were those of the real Raymond Reddington, and that the Red who Liz (and viewers) have known these past five seasons is an imposter. …

In any case, The Blacklist pulled off something even a rarer than a mere double-cross: Tonight’s finale was a reverse-Vader. Liz, Darth Spader is not your father.

The Rashomon-style final scene, in which we revisit earlier moments from the episode but with new knowledge (of Liz’s scheming with Ross, chiefly) and perspective, also reminded us of earlier victims of the bones mystery. In flashbacks, we see the final, sometimes bloody, moments of characters played by, among others, Jane Alexander and Mary-Louise Parker. …

Ghosts, fake dads, John Waters, mysterious skeletons and Etta James. No one can say The Blacklist doesn’t go for broke …


TVFanatic, Lisa Babick: The Blacklist Season 5 Episode 22 Review: Sutton Ross http://bit.ly/2kbducB
// 5/16/2018, great questions, to many to list here …


TVOvermind, Nat Berman: Why The Blacklist Episode “Cape May” Was So Significant to the Series http://bit.ly/2KuLT1k
// 5/16/2018

… “Cape May” provided some insight into one of the most important plotlines running throughout The Blacklist, though in the end, said insight proved to be rather misleading in its own right. In short, the question of whether Red is Liz’s biological father or not was a very important question for The Blacklist. However, that question is bound in an inextricable manner with a number of other questions such as the identity of Liz’s mother, the exact nature of Red’s relationship with Liz’s mother, and what happened between the two in the “past” of the series. “Cape May” provided a fair amount of insight into Red’s thoughts upon the matter, though the information that it presented wasn’t as simple and straightforward as it might have been under other circumstances because of Red’s state in the episode as well as the means by which it was presented.


TVLine: Performer of the Week: Elisabeth Moss http://bit.ly/2jPmdRA
// 5/12/2018, Honorable Mention: Amir Arison; cross-posted under News

Though The Blacklist is typically anchored by Liz and Red’s tumultuous relationship, the NBC drama shifted focus this week to Samar and Aram’s ongoing love story. The result? A lovely showcase for Amir Arison, who so sensitively portrayed Aram’s desperation and hope while on the search for an abducted Samar. All at once, Aram was fiercely determined to find his love and completely terrified he would never locate her — a tricky balance that Arison nailed. But the highlight of the episode came in its final minutes, when Aram sweetly proposed to Samar at her hospital bedside. Arison’s performance was so sincere, so tender, that we nearly changed the channel to give these two some privacy.


EW, Jodi Walker: Red and Liz race toward the finish line http://bit.ly/2rBl5Wg
// 5/10/2018


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist: Did the Task Force Save Samar in Time? http://bit.ly/2KSaA8U
// 5/9/2018

This episode, like much of the show’s exploration of Aram and Samar, was totally fine. The rush to find Samar with the titular kidnapper (a go-to hired goon for last week’s Blacklister, Nicholas T. Moore), forced Amir to bend the rules of legality in a way he usually doesn’t. The late-episode sequence, with a drowning Samar calling Amir to inform him that she would have said yes had he asked her to marry him, was stirring and well performed by Arison and Marno — particularly given that the conversation took place over the phone. …

In the context of the end of the season, Samar’s kidnapping surely enabled the writers to drag out the meaningful duffle bag-related drama just a little bit longer. Red came up empty handed in his sojourn to Costa Rica, only to be quickly met by Liz. If there’s one positive development with this storyline, it’s how persistent Liz has been in reminding her father of his broken promises and general assholery. …


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist Leaves Liz Waiting for Answers… Again http://bit.ly/2Fh4VFq
// 4/25/2018


CinemaBlend, Laura Hurley: Is The Blacklist For Real With That Huge Reddington Family Twist? http://bit.ly/2EG51Ga
// 4/11/2018

Spoiler Alert: If you have not yet watched Episode 5:18 Zarak Mosadek.

The second half of The Blacklist Season 5 has been one of the most intense runs of the entire series to date, and that’s saying something. The death of Tom Keen set Liz on a dangerous path for revenge and Red’s ongoing search for the duffel bag has only made things messier. Now, The Blacklist has served up what could be the messiest twist to date for Liz and Red with a huge Reddington family bombshell in the latest episode. The hour ended with Liz chatting with a woman, seemingly named Lilly, who had been seen hugging Ian Garvey, who murdered Tom. Liz got more than she bargained for out of the chat when Lilly revealed that Garvey put her in witness protection to keep her from her dangerous father: Raymond Reddington.

Liz was not expecting that the woman who had been seen hugging her husband’s murderer was her own sister, and the episode ended before she had much time to process the bombshell dropped by Lilly. Since this is The Blacklist we’re talking about, we shouldn’t necessarily take the bombshell as 100% the truth without some assurance. Fortunately, The Blacklist executive producer Jon Bokenkamp weighed in on the reveal and whether or not we should take it with a grain of salt:

It is most likely the truth. Viewers might remember that as far back as season 2, we had introduced a character whose name was Jennifer Reddington and who was MIA. Reddington was looking for her. The woman’s mother, Naomi Hyland, played by Mary-Louise Parker, was protecting her and wanted nothing to do with Reddington. Reddington had no access, no way to contact her and couldn’t find her. And so there is a character out there who we know to be Reddington’s daughter and this woman, it seems that her foot may fit the slipper.

In case you’ve forgotten about Jennifer Reddington, she’s the product of Reddington’s relationship with his wife, Naomi Hyland, whereas Liz is the daughter of Katarina Rostova. At this point, the big question we should be asking may be more of what Ian Garvey wants with Jennifer than whether or not she’s the real deal. …


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist: Is It Time to Dump Red’s Shenanigans? http://bit.ly/2IYIsPH
// 4/4/2018

Previously on The Blacklist: Liz (Megan Boone) was left in a compromising position because Reddington (James Spader) betrayed her once again. While that could describe at least 65 percent of The Blacklist episodes, this week’s installment at least directly addressed the frustrating sameness of Red’s actions as the show began its stretch run for Season 5.

Fed up with Red’s nonsense, Liz made it very clear that she knew he nabbed — and subsequently eliminated — the one informant who could help her bring Ian Garvey (Jonny Coyne) down by legitimate means. In fact, our beleaguered hero even got physical with her father, pushing him up against a wall and ordering him to answer a simple and direct question. In that moment, Liz perfectly personified my annoyance with Red.

… [F]or the show, Red’s rhetorical tap dancing is an attempt to justify further tension between he and Liz without any real change possible. It appears that we’re supposed to view Red’s half-cocked honesty about his actions as a major development; yet, it still promotes the status quo the show has fostered for four-plus seasons. …

It’s not that this storytelling makes for bad television. It’s simply that The Blacklist’s storytelling operates from the default setting that Red’s way is the right, or at least most successful, way. No matter where a story begins or goes at the mid-way point, Liz and others eventually partner with him, bend to his will or give him what he wants.

On one hand, of course this makes sense. James Spader is the star of the show. Red is a great, entertaining character. His methods are an entertaining riff on typical law enforcement procedurals.

On the other hand, if there’s ever been a season of The Blacklist where things should be different, it’s this one. Given the context of this season, this should be Liz’s story. She should triumph over Garvey in a compelling way that doesn’t have to involve her father negotiating for a bag of bones and then delivering Garvey on her behalf. By consistently leaning towards Red, the show compromises what could more powerful stories.


CarterMatt: The Blacklist season 5 Finale Forecast: Prepare for big reveals http://bit.ly/2H5yNHk
// 4/2/2018


CinemaBlend, Laura Hurley: When The Blacklist Will Give Liz The Chance For Revenge http://bit.ly/2pfqGR0
// 3/15/2018

The second half of The Blacklist Season 5 has set Liz Keen on her darkest path of the series to date. The death of Tom in the midseason finale broke something inside of her, and even Red has been troubled by what she’s willing to do on her quest to avenge his death. Unfortunately for Liz (and for fans who want to see Tom’s killer pay for his death), she hasn’t been able to get her hands on Garvey to exact her revenge. The good news is that she probably won’t have to wait too much longer, barring another coma.

Liz will face off against Ian Garvey in the first half of a two-parter that will air this spring. No air date for the episode has been released at this point, but TVLine reports that their confrontation will be “fairly dramatic.” Based on everything we’ve seen of Liz in the second half of Season 5, I think it’s safe to say that the dramatic scene could very well end with Liz killing or attempting to kill Garvey. While she may be smart and an excellent agent who can play a long game, I’m not sure that she could hold back from just trying to end him if the circumstances are right (or wrong). …

Although Red spent the majority of the latest episode tailing, taunting, and threatening Garvey, his endgame is currently getting back that box of bones that has caused so much trouble. By the end of the hour, Red let Garvey just walk away, which we can bet Liz would not be happy with if she saw. Red’s promise to kill Garvey after he finds the bones and do him some serious damage if he harms Liz were nice to see, but she may not be okay with what he did if/when the truth comes out. …


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist: A New Ally Emerges for Liz http://bit.ly/2pgvogv
// 3/14/2018

… [I]n a juicy role as Dr. Sharon Fulton, crusading FBI shrink [uses] her inside information on damaged agents to recruit them into dispatching of serial killers. Not only did this conceit inject major life into the show’s procedural energy — which has been lacking a bit throughout the 2018 episodes — but it offered some solid moments of reflection for Liz (Megan Boone) in this never-ending conversation about right and wrong, crossing lines, and so on.

The Blacklist is always better when it lets Liz go “off book,” or at least not serve as a stick in the mud to the more adventurous and charming Red (James Spader). … [T]he episode made a smart decision to dig deeper into Liz’s perspective on “justice.” … Plimpton’s nefarious Fulton perfectly invoked Liz’s precarious placement in the bureau, on the task force and in the world.

That Fulton would exploit Liz’s indecision over how to proceed made for a strong case of the week, with Liz having to further consider how she felt about an agent using bureau resources to track and kill serial killers outside the confines of normal procedure. It also wonderfully dovetailed with another string of lies from Red, who predictably made contact with Garvey [and] negotiated for the bag of bones …

Liz, therefore, faced yet another moment of crisis at an inopportune time. Once again, the traditional methods failed her, and once again, she’s left questioning her father’s intentions. That meant that she didn’t have much of problem letting Fulton walk free — in fact, she utilized the Reddington family playbook to lean on Fulton for potential assistance in the future.

Finally, all the traumas of Liz’s life are influencing her decisions in a meaningful way, and The Blacklist can be better for it.


TVGuide, Liam Matthews: The Blacklist Exclusive: Liz Gets an Intriguing New Assignment http://bit.ly/2Iv0byX
// 3/14/2018

This killer’s name [“The Capricorn Killer”] is an obvious reference to the Zodiac Killer, who terrorized Northern California in the late ’60s and early ’70s and has never been caught. So maybe Liz will be taking a trip to San Francisco in search of an old foe. It’ll be good for her, as it will take her mind off Tom for a little while and give her the chance to close a case that’s eluded her for years.


CinemaBlend, Laura Hurley: How Liz’s Return To The Blacklist’s Task Force Will Change Things Up http://bit.ly/2CpmfLk
// 2/23/2018

Viewers will not see Liz transformed back into her old self just because she’s back in her old surroundings and surrounded by her coworkers again. For once, Liz is going to be the devious secret-keeper of sorts. Judging by Jon Bokenkamp’s comments to EW, Liz may simply start crossing more lines now that she’s officially back with law enforcement. She’ll likely be under more of a watchful eye; it may require some drastic actions to keep moving forward on her mission for revenge against the people who killed Tom.

All things considered, as jarring as it will likely be to see Liz keeping secrets and hiding her own agenda from the Task Force, it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense if she was suddenly reformed back into the agent she was before Tom was killed and she was left comatose. Red has warned that she may not be able to live with her actions once she “crossed the abyss,” but that hasn’t stopped her from doing everything from killing to disposing of a body. Liz is still smack dab in the middle of her abyss, and it will take a lot more than a change of scenery and more involvement with the Task Force for her to see the light again.

The good news is that a devious Liz on the Task Force is proof that The Blacklist is still quite capable of trying new things even after more than 100 episodes on the air, and that could bode well for the chances of a Season 6. Jon Bokenkamp has already revealed that Season 5 will end on a great cliffhanger that isn’t what the end of the series ought to be; we can only hope that NBC is happy with how the series performs moving forward.


EntertainmentWeekly, Natalie Abrams: The Blacklist first look: Liz finally meets her family http://bit.ly/2nJ9brv
// 2/5/2017


CinemaBlend, Laura Hurley: Why The Blacklist Is Finally Introducing Liz To Her Family http://bit.ly/2nI6EOf
// 2/5/2017

The Blacklist has taken some intense twists and turns in Season 5, largely due to the death of Tom Keen back in the midseason finale. He was brutally killed in an attack that left Liz comatose for months and set her on a devastatingly dark path toward revenge. Her quest for vengeance has changed the dynamic between Liz and her dad; soon, we’ll get to see her dynamic with another member of her family. Brian Dennehy will be back as her maternal grandfather Dom, and Liz will finally get to meet him. …

Jon Bokenkamp’s further comments to EW about Dom’s relationship with Red may indicate that we’ll see more of that not-so-dynamic duo in the next episode. Red has been the major connection to Dom over the series so far due to his relationship with Liz’s mother Katarina, who may or may not be dead. Personally, I’m hoping we get to see Liz react to the realization that Red and Dom have had more of a relationship that she could have guessed.


CinemaBlend, Laura Hurley: How The Blacklist Just Set Liz On A Bloody Path For Revenge http://bit.ly/2meffGI
// 1/4/2018


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist Premiere: How Did Liz Move On? http://bit.ly/2CQ0OAA
// 1/3/2018

What a way to start 2018.

This is not the first time — even this season — where The Blacklist faced the aftermath of a momentous event. From departures and deaths to shocking reveals and births, the show has produced some great, big moments across its run. But it has, in all those instances, hustled to return to the status quo — with the relationships between characters, with the Blacklister case of the week structure, the whole deal.

Not this time, at least for one episode. …

While the team celebrated Tom’s memory over drinks, Liz despondently looked into the distance. As Red urged her to let go of the anger and truly grieve her husband’s death, she moved the conversation along to focus on the need to continue the work of the Blacklist itself. In both the past and present scenes, the camera lingered on Liz’s face just long enough to underline her status as a bomb, slowly ticking down to a powerful explosion that everyone else — including us — knows is coming. …

[R]ather than going fully unhinged, Liz methodically executed some bad dudes, uncorking all the ugly feelings inside of her. While she ultimately returned to NYC at the end of the episode, thus suggesting a soft reboot and return to normalcy next week, the character feels legitimately changed by this experience. She’s ready to get revenge, and even Red is a little spooked.

So much credit goes to Megan Boone for this episode. It was a strong change of pace in aesthetics and tone, but it wouldn’t have worked half as well without her very, very strong performance. She’s underrated and sometimes saddled with circumstances that frustrate, but she was powerfully muted here. This was her best work yet. Hopefully the show gives her space to continue to explore this version of Liz in the coming episodes.


HuffPo, David Hinckley: You Think Negan Likes Killing People? Check Out What Liz Keen Does to Bad Guys on ‘The Blacklist’ http://bit.ly/2lKj7Qt
// 1/3/2018

Not since the golden age of the Steven Seagal / Sylvester Stallone / Clint Eastwood / Charles Bronson vigilante flicks has a character gotten more sheer pleasure out of killing bad guys than Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) gets in this week’s return of The Blacklist. …

The second half of the Blacklist season kicks off at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, and as fans would expect, the death of Liz’s husband Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) has reset all the characters and some of the rules.

The episode wisely focuses on Liz, who has been shattered into tiny pieces by the unsolved crime. Tom ran in a shady, dangerous world and she knew it, but that makes no her less determined to now implement her own version of justice.

Liz is an FBI agent, of course, but she’s also the daughter of Raymond Reddington (James Spader), who routinely handles things outside the parameters of the law even though he works with the FBI to apprehend mega-criminals.

Liz’s bounce to the dark side doesn’t represent a sudden wholesale shift. Nonetheless, it’s emphatic, and Boone makes the transition both credible and compelling. …

She got that answer slowly. Her relationship to Reddington also unspooled in small increments, while Tom Keen wove in and out of the story without ever fully revealing himself. Good guy, bad guy? We never could be quite sure. Even his last mission, to find a mysterious piece of information for Liz, was never exactly spelled out. Tom seemed to think it would turn her against Reddington for good, and as far as we know the information could still be in play.


ChristianToday, Kareen Datoy: ‘The Blacklist’ season 5 spoilers: Liz seeks revenge after Tom’s death http://bit.ly/2lI83Dq
// 1/2/2018


ChristianPost, Jillianne Arbonida: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 5 Episode 9 Spoilers: Scottie to Blame Liz for Tom’s Death? http://bit.ly/2Crtx1w
// 1/1/2018


CarterMatt: Why The Blacklist season 5 episode 9 is poised to be series classic http://bit.ly/2lDrywD
// 12/29/2017

Are you ready for The Blacklist season 5 episode 9 to arrive on NBC? You really should be. This episode, entitled “Ruin,” is one you’re absolutely going to watch live. Not only does it serve as the jumping-off point for the second half of the season, but it’s a fantastic showcase for Megan Boone as Elizabeth Keen tries to piece together her life.


TVGuide, Liz Raftery: The Blacklist: What’s the Inspiration for All of Red’s Crazy Adventures? http://bit.ly/2zvgQ4p
// 11/23/2017


TVGuide, Tim Surette: The Blacklist: Whose Bones Are Those? http://bit.ly/2AZtoOF
// 11/16/2017

1. The bones belong to Liz’s Mother, Katarina Rostova …
2. The bones belong to the Real Red Reddington! …
3. The bones belong to the Real Elizabeth Keen!?


HuffPo, David Hinckley: ‘Blacklist’ Shocker: Sometimes, As Major Strasser Said, Human Life is Cheap http://bit.ly/2A0gzmW

After Wednesday night’s Blacklist, it just got a little harder to argue that prime-time TV isn’t becoming Game of Thrones. Getting hired as a main character just isn’t the immunity card that it used to be. …

Jon Bokenkamp, the show’s creator, reiterated at the start of this fifth season that Tom was almost erased at the end of the first, when his wife Liz (Megan Boone) found out he’d been lying to her about pretty much everything, possibly including his name. Annoyed, she chained him up and waved a gun at him. Thanks, Hon. …

He was a shadowy character from start to finish, and The Blacklist dropped regular hints that anyone who thought they’d figured him out, or even knew if he were a bad guy or a good guy, might not want to bet too heavily on it. …

Random death has always been an occasional factor in prime-time shows, either because an actor actually died or, more often, wanted to leave. From Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey to McLean Stevenson of M*A*S*H, it has often been convenient for writers to terminate a departing actor with extreme prejudice. …

But major deaths can change a show, which can be risky or can be good. The Blacklist, it’s safe to say, is thinking this will deliver a shot of adrenalin. …

Bokenkamp said in a statement Wednesday that the return episode “will be like nothing we’ve ever done before.”


Hollywood Reporter: ‘The Blacklist’ Parts Ways With an Original Series Star http://bit.ly/2A1OQFw
// 11/15/2017

“Of all the words I’ve written on the show, two of the hardest were when Red [James Spader] told Liz [Megan Boone]: ‘Tom’s dead.’ Nooooo! We’ll miss the intensity, range and just plain bad ass-ness Ryan [Eggold] brought to the part. Won’t come as any surprise — but he went down swinging!” Eisendrath, who wrote Wednesday’s episode with Bokenkamp, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. …

“I feel incredibly lucky to have played a role with such a uniquely dynamic evolution,” Eggold said in a statement to THR. “I’m grateful for the time spent working with Megan, James and the entire cast. I’m thankful to the incredibly hard-working crew for consistently making the show better. Sony and NBC have both been deeply supportive, conscientious and adept in managing the show. Mostly I’m indebted to Jon Bokenkamp, John Eisendrath and the writers for continuing to elevate the show creatively and always impassioning me to further explore the true nature of this character. I will miss this TV family immensely and diligently look forward to the opportunity to embody new characters and tell new stories.”


ETOnline, Philipiana Ng: ‘The Blacklist’ Sneak Peek: Liz Fears the Worst for Her MIA Husband in Fall Finale (Exclusive) http://et.tv/2jrHKTv
// 11/14/2017


Fangirlish, Samantha: ‘The Blacklist’ 5×07 Review: ‘The Kilgannon Corporation’
// 11/9/2017

Last night’s emotional tour de force “The Kilgannon Corporation” was the best episode The Blacklist has ever done, and no I’m not exaggerating. The characters were perfectly balanced, the writing was spectacular, the plot was intense and emotional, and the monologues given by Red and Dembe  no doubt brought even the strongest viewers to tears. Not to mention that the brilliant Hisham Tawfiq  was the star of the episode as Dembe, a character who usually says about one to two words every now and then.

The Blacklist is at its best when it focuses on the emotional cores of the characters and their intimate relationships with each other, and I don’t mean this is in a romantic way. The relationship between Dembe and Red is the deepest, most beautiful and loving one in the show, and focusing on that makes The Blacklist sail to new heights; heights that they have come close to hitting before–but never reached in the way that “The Kilgannon Corporation” did. …

The smile between Red and Ressler at the end of the episode when The Task Force had brought a group of ten migrants to him to safely relocate, instead of turning them over to the police to get deported, meant so much.

They both reveled in the feeling of saving innocent people looking for a better life because they have more in common than they realize. …

So rarely does it happen that a show fixes the problems of its past season and returns to the quality that it first started with, but The Blacklist has done it. This season has returned to the roots and standard of the show that we all fell in love with, and all I can say is–Bravo.


CarterMatt: Golden Globes 2018: Why Poldark, Outlander, 13 Reasons Why, The Blacklist, Game of Thrones deserve Drama Series nods http://bit.ly/2hQUdQs
// 11/1/2017

One of the more frustrating things … is the frequent disrespect shown to network shows, often the backbone of what we cover and some of the most entertaining programs week in and week out. From the excellent and fiercely dramatic conclusion of the Mr. Kaplan arc of season 4 to the lighthearted and high-octane reinvention of the show in season 5, this is The Blacklist at it’s best. It’s discovered its groove once more since it’s incredible first season and it certainly helps that the show is anchored by the always-outstanding James Spader as Raymond Reddington.


Cinemablend, Laura Hurley: The Bloody Way The Blacklist Just Raised The Stakes With The Mysterious Suitcase http://bit.ly/2zoSIvH
// 10/19/2017

It’s still not clear whether or not Tom really will be killed when the action in the present catches up with the flash-forward, but the flash-forward does prove that the suitcase will probably change hands yet again. It’s looking like Tom will get the case back in his possession, although it’s impossible to say how long he’ll be able to keep it. This is a suitcase that people are willing to kill for, and Nik’s death can’t exactly be swept under the rug. He has powerful friends, and Liz will likely take a particular interest in solving his death, given her guilt after driving him away in “The Endling.” It should be interesting to discover if Red’s allies are responsible or if a third party has suddenly entered the game.


TVFanatic, Lisa Babeck: The Blacklist Season 5 Episode 4 Review: The Endling http://bit.ly/2hT0Pd7
// 10/19/2017

[W]hile the mailman thought making an extra hundred grand on the side was good business, he had no idea how much his business would grow with just a few tweaks from Red.

What a great idea to make these places safe houses for criminals! Only Red would come up with an idea like that. Not only is he going to make buttloads of money, he’s going to make himself invaluable to his criminal counterparts.

How come no one ever thought to do something like this before?

But that’s Red for you. His mind is always working. One little spark and his imagination goes wild. Now he has some cash, a plane, and a multitude of houses to fit his every need. And he still has the Task Force on his side.

It was surprising that Red had no ulterior motive for handing over a Blacklister. Liz was surprised about that, too. It may have been a way to show Liz, in case she didn’t know already, how devoted Red is to her and that he would do anything for her including giving his life to save hers.

As much as the Nirah was trying to do the right thing to save her son, she was incredibly selfish doing her dirty deeds for that purpose. It’s true that a mother’s love knows no bounds, but her vision was screwed up. 

I disagree with Red that she was a sinner turned to a saint because of what she did. Yes, she made the ultimate sacrifice but only because she was forced to. Red gave her no choice. If she wouldn’t have killed herself, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would have pulled the trigger himself.

The boy would have gotten her heart either way with or without her consent. …

Poor Nik was never able to escape from under Red’s thumb. And now the guy is dead because of him. Ultimately it was Tom’s fault, but all roads lead back to Red.

… [W]ho killed Nik and took the bones? It had to be triggered by Liz’s FBI I.D. and that puts the mystery in even more dangerous territory because you know someone is going to question Liz about it.

She’s going to get sucked up into the mystery of the bones, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Tom made a poor choice using her ID to help identify the bones. He put Liz right into the thick of it with that idiotic mistake.

I’m going to guess that this is how Red ends up confronting Tom and possibly killing him. Liz will be questioned, she’ll go to Red and Red will go to Tom. …

TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist: Liz Makes a Controversial Decision, but Was it the Right One? http://bit.ly/2yEKYZD
// 10/18/2017

This week, however, The Blacklist pivoted ever so slightly to shine the spotlight on the third member of its leading trio, the character with the least amount of surface intrigue but who perhaps has the most potential for evolution in this version of the show. Liz (Megan Boone) yet again has these scheming and duplicitous men in her immediate vicinity; but unlike in the show’s early seasons, she is, in theory, far more aware of the ways in which her father and her lover manipulate her. That makes for fertile storytelling ground, if handled correctly.

It’s the perfect kind of half-step toward a slightly different view of the world where Red’s influence is more visible. On one hand, as Liz noted late in the episode, she helped a sick and innocent child survive (and eliminated a threat in the process). On the other hand, as Cooper (Harry Lennix) argued, she stood by and let an evil person off the hook, disobeying protocol to decide who gets to live and die. The ultimate results of her decision were good; the processes she followed to get there are less good — though not overtly evil. Red-esque, if you will.


ETOnline, Philipiana Ng: From Script to Screen: How ‘The Blacklist’ Turned to a Fan Favorite to Ramp Up the Funny (Exclusive) http://et.tv/2ynrPL5
// 10/11/2017

Red’s quip about Glen’s living situation — that he’s a millionaire still living with his mother — came from conversations Bokenkamp and Spader, also an executive producer, had over the years. “The more I started thinking about it, the more it made sense. It is a little bit of a dig to the character of Glen. That’s how Red feels about him,” Bokenkamp says. “They don’t get along, but there is an affinity for the other. And at the end of the day, Glen is one of the people in Red’s inner circle who didn’t abandon him. I think Reddington is deeply grateful for that.”

Bokenkamp dug into the constraints that often come with having a show on a broadcast network, crediting the “limitations” as making The Blacklist “a better show.” “What surprises me is what we can show versus what we can say. We can’t show the top two inches of the rear of a man’s buttcrack, but we can show people being murdered straight up every week, which blows my mind,” he admits, referencing Glen’s PG-13 version of swearing, as noted in the script below. “I’m sure, in the cable version, he’d say, ‘Are you f***ing with me?’ But it’s almost more fun that he says, ‘Are you dickin’ with me?’ Who talks like that?”

[ more annotated script pages at link ]


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist: What Does Red Know About Ressler? http://bit.ly/2hGDXgT
// 10/11/2017


TVOvermind, Nick Hogan: The Blacklist Review: Red Scams “Greyson Blaise” While Tom Sneaks Around http://bit.ly/2xZNRlb
// 10/6/2017

…The Blacklist has stayed hot into week two, even though I have some qualms with some of the way they’re handling things. By Season 5, I never expected that they could continue to create such a compelling show …

There was much that pleased me about “Greyson Blaise” as a whole. Namely that star of TURN: Washington’s Spies, Owain Yeoman, flawlessly played the white collar blacklister. It was wonderful to have him back on my TV screen so soon. But aside from that, the one-off story surrounding Greyson Blaise was high stakes and twisty, something that not every Blacklist episode captures. Reddington gaining his trust and then burning him was a delightful heist driven story with high stakes, and supplemented by Yeoman’s bravado. Yeoman and Spader worked well together and since Greyson Blaise only went to jail, I hope to see him again.


CinemaBlend, Mick Joest: The Major Blacklist Event That Might Finally Happen In Season 5 http://bit.ly/2fYQBuJ
// 10/6/2017

If marriage is in the future for Tom and Liz, letting her know about the significance of that suitcase will likely put him in his father-in-law’s bad graces, which appears to happen regardless according to that flash forward.


TVGuide, Cory Barker: The Blacklist: Is Liz Becoming Too Much Like Her Father? http://bit.ly/2xV1Ds1
// 10/4/2017

The Blacklist has always tried to paint Red as this partially conflicted, fully charismatic dude, but there’s a level of needed malice behind Spader’s performance that sometimes makes it hard to appreciate the character or the performance. But here? Here we got a completely uncorked Spader, with Red wheeling and dealing his way into one selfish pursuit after another.

Across the episode, Red convinced Cooper (Harry Lennix) of the need to bankroll his courting of the titular Blaise (an always solid Owain Yeoman, rocking his natural accent) abroad, then talked Blaise into coming to a party at a house he didn’t have, then intimidated a wealthy couple into letting him use the house, and then gained Blaise’s trust only to narc on him, exploit his resources, and fall backwards into a free Picasso. Boy did he have fun doing it, making everyone — including Liz — look like an intellectual lightweight in comparison.

Without the use of violence or talking points about code names and conspiracies, Spader’s performance really hums. His ability to represent Red’s glee over being the smartest person in the room is simply joyous in episodes like this where the character is courting and conning everyone around him for even the most ridiculous purposes like turning a rival’s compound into hysteria simply to retrieve a coin that Blaise had outbid him on earlier in the case. Respect to that level of petty.

Red’s charmed assault on Blaise also nicely demonstrated how Liz, deep down, enjoys her father’s showmanship and skill — and might share them more than she’d like to admit. She was a willing compatriot throughout the episode, once blaming it on the alcohol during the fancy party rouse but ultimately admitting she just liked conning another con, with the master con.

In the short-term, this makes for a nice change of pace for The Blacklist. The two central characters get to explore their relationship with lighter baggage. And in the long-term, it will make whatever awful thing(s) Red eventually does to Liz or Tom that much more painful. …

… [T]he episode’s final moment, with Red, Tom and Liz awkwardly pretending like there’s no awkwardness between them, was a strong button on another fun episode — and a clear indication that the fun, as I’m defining it, is probably over. No one knows exactly what the others know, but they’re certain something is going on — and they’re all correct. Is it ridiculous that we’re going down this road again with these three characters? Absolutely. But the constant push and pull between them and the annoying father-in-law on steroids story is what makes The Blacklist tick.

CinemaBlend: The Blacklist May Have Just Revealed How One Huge Character Is Going To Die http://bit.ly/2xSJElz
// 9/28/2017

Here’s what happened. Tom, who had been toting that suitcase around for the majority of the episode, reunited with Liz at their apartment at the very end to deliver his news. Before he could tell her about the suitcase, however, she dropped the bomb that Red is her father. Tom then decided not to involve her in the suitcase situation, and we got a flashforward that featured what looked an awful lot like Tom’s death.

In the flashforward, we see Red and Dembe enter the apartment to find a very bloody Tom lying on the floor, clearly having taken a severe beating. Red stood over Tom, pointed his gun, and fired twice at Tom. Although we don’t see the actual wounds, Tom’s eyes seemed to be staring pretty blankly up at the ceiling after the gunfire. It looks like he might be biting the dust. For a guy who already lost his spinoff, death is a pretty big bummer.


TVGuide: The Blacklist: Everything You Need to Know About Season 5 http://bit.ly/2xX15SH
// 9/22/2017


EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist’s Megan Boone on how Red reveal changes everything http://bit.ly/2hnX42K
// 9/22/2017


TVFanatic: 7 Wishes We Have for The Blacklist Season 5 http://bit.ly/2jZVZic
// 9/19/2017


FameFocus, Stassi Reid: 11 Things Most Fans Don’t Know About ‘The Blacklist’ http://bit.ly/2fLHNVP
// 8/16/2017, I don’t think Megan wears a wig anymore


CinemaBlend: The Blacklist Season 5 Reveals First Look At Liz And Tom’s Big Reunion http://bit.ly/2wgkp8V
// 7/4/2017


Inquisitr: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 5: Current Reddington A Fake? Contents Of Suitcase Could Set Plot Next Season http://bit.ly/2wRhqmT
// 7/16/2017

The Blacklist is a show known for leading its audiences one way only to have their assumptions shattered as the show progresses. A great example is when everyone believed Liz to be dead, only to be revealed a season later that it was just a fake death meant to fool Red. Given this precedent, it is understandable that fans would be a bit wary of Season 4’s revelation that Red is Liz’s father. While the DNA test result might be true, there could be a twist that might be introduced when Season 5 returns this fall.

Some untrusting The Blacklist fans were quick to point out that there is one potential flaw with the DNA test result. The sample used for the testing was taken from Reddington decades ago and not from the current Red. Thus, it opens the possibility that the current Red may not be the same person who was the source of the sample.

If the current Red is not the Redding of the past who is the source of the DNA tested, who could he be then? Well, depending on who you ask, answers vary greatly. For instance, there are those who believe that, for still unknown reasons, someone took over Reddington’s identity when Liz killed him on the night of the fire as stated in this The Blacklist fan site, which also contains an impressive collection of evidence to support the impostor theory. Of course, there are also those who are convinced that the current Red is actually Katarina, Liz’s mother.

But it appears the suitcase full of bones will set the plot for Season 5. In last season’s finale, the suitcase is in the possession of Tom, who may or may not give it to Liz.

Of course, the pertinent question is whose bones could be inside the suitcase. Again, a lot of theories have been put forward with some saying that it could contain Katarina’s bones due to the letter K marking on it. On the other hand, there are fans who believe that it could contain the bones of the real Reddington. If the latter is true, it also explains why the impostor Red is bent on intercepting the bones to keep them from reaching Liz.

EP Bokenkamp already confirmed that the suitcase reaching Liz could spell trouble for Red. When EW questioned Bokenkamp whether the bones belong to the real Reddington, the EP confirmed that the bones are the key for Liz to unlock the bigger picture, something that Red, impostor or not, is not quite ready for yet.

“That could also be a good theory. I love the way you look at this. Look, they could be anyone, right? But they’re going to be a problem, a real problem, Liz finds out about them. These bones are a key to unlocking everything, and Red is not ready for that yet.”


ChristianPost: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 5: Liz to Meet Half-Sister? http://bit.ly/2yoFmzo
// 6/22/2017


Cinemablend: Where Will The Blacklist’s Suitcase End Up In Season 5? Here’s What The Creator Says http://bit.ly/2sXyw1D
// 6/10/2017


ChristianPost: The Blacklist’ Season 5: Will Samar Break Aram’s Heart? http://bit.ly/
// 6/2/2017, Amir Arison on playing Aram


BlacklistExposed: BLE86 – S4 – Susan Blommaert Interview (audio) http://bit.ly/2qnPDrD
// 5/26/2017, aka “Mr Kaplan”


TVGuide: The Blacklist’s Susan Blommaert: Mr. Kaplan Promised to “Protect Liz with Her Life” http://bit.ly/2qnYhGX
// 5/18/2017


EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist finally confirms Red’s relationship to Liz http://bit.ly/2rxWlfM
// 5/18/2017, Major Spoilers‼️


EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist’s Megan Boone reacts to that parental revelation http://bit.ly/2qxJpbm
// 5/18/2017, Major Spoilers‼️


GulfNews: ‘Blacklist’ star James Spader reveals his biggest fears http://bit.ly/2qdQvSt
// 5/13/2017, likely pieced together from other interviews …


Deadline (5/11/2017): ‼️‘The Blacklist’ Renewed For Season 5 By NBC‼️ http://bit.ly/2pCYBkJ


TVOvermind, Nick Hogan: The Blacklist Review: What Do Altered Memories Mean for Liz? bit.ly/2pY49ZG
// 5/5/2017

I mean it. The Blacklist has improved by leaps and bounds since Tom Keen left to do his own thing. Almost all of the complaints I had about the show evaporated into  Redemption. What remains is a half-procedural, half character-driven drama series that explores ideals, hopes,  and dreams of all different kinds of Americans…who happen to be FBI agents and criminals. Still, largely, the show’s improvement since cutting the dead weight has been apparent.

The Blacklist still feels a little bit like the Red and Liz show, with other characters sprinkled in the background. I’m not saying that shouldn’t be the case, because James Spader is one of the best actors on television right now, and Reddington by far one of the most compelling characters in the same spectrum. Still, this episode highlighted one of my remaining apprehensions about the show, which is simply that the other task force members don’t get enough screen time. … All of the supporting cast, even Dembe, have proven to be ridiculously compelling when given a chance to shine.

All told, I’m still extremely curious at what secrets Liz could be hiding from herself. I think the series has been hinting for some time that Katarina Rostova could still be alive. … I’m just speculating, of course, but I sincerely hope that the mystery is worth the build up.


GoldenSpiralMedia/Chicago ComicCon: BLE81 – Inside The Blacklist at C2E2 with Jon Bokenkamp & Cast http://goo.gl/Yh3Vbd [ audio] 1:10:15
// 4/26/2017, audio interview: Exec Producer Jon Bokenkamp and Actors Amir Arison (Aram Mojtabai) and Susan Blommaert (Mr Kaplan)


TVGuide, Liz Raftery: The Blacklist Creator on [SPOILER]’s Transition to a “Pretty Badass Villain” http://bit.ly/2oBf1IN
// 4/20/2017
For excerpts, see Interrogations


EntertainmentWeekly, Natalie Abrams: The Blacklist unveils a shocking amount of backstory http://bit.ly/2p23fLq
// 4/20/2017, Interview with Jon Bokenkamp, interview contains major spoilers …
For excerpts, see Interrogations


EntertainmentWeekly, Natalie Abrams: The Blacklist: Who’s the mastermind dismantling Red’s organization? http://bit.ly/2oQmR39
// 4/19/2017


TodayShow: James Spader: TheBlacklist delves deep into Red’s past as it returns http://on.today.com/2o5blnd video (4:59 mins)
// 4/18/2017


TVByTheNumbers: Cancel Bear vs. NBC, week 30: ‘The Blacklist’ should be back; ‘Blindspot,’ not so fast http://bit.ly/2ph7ioi
// 4/18/2017


NYT, Jim Rutenberg: How to Write TV in the Age of Trump: Showrunners Reveal All nyti.ms/2p6tC3A
// 4/12/2017, Showrunners of: House of Cards, Madam Secretary, Scandal and Veep


ScreenSpy: The Blacklist is Coming Back and Here’s What You Need to Know http://bit.ly/2p0ocYd
// 4/10/2017


Three Guys with Beards: #049 | Daniel Knauf http://bit.ly/2pzY6aL
// 3/21/2017, audio interview


ScreenerTV: The ‘Redemption’ connections to ‘The Blacklist’ are piling up in the coolest ways http://bit.ly/2n8eAbv
// 3/17//017


InternationalOpulence, Robin Jay: Meet The Blacklister – An exclusive Interview with Jon Bokencamp http://bit.ly/2nGUinO
// 3/14/2017, “An exclusive Interview with Jon Bokencamp, creator of NBC’s hit crime thriller ‘The Blacklist’ and the new spinoff series ‘The Blacklist Redemption’”
For excerpts, see Interrogations


TVSeriesFinale: The Blacklist: Season Five? NBC Boss Discusses the Thursday Series http://bit.ly/2n4aXTS
// 3/8/2017

“During a recent conference, [NBC chief Jennifer] Salke said the numbers are low but the show is a big performer overseas:

“‘[The Blacklist is] very profitable for Sony and an important show for us. Even though the linear rating is nothing to write home about, we define it differently and look at how it performs over a few days. It’s huge overseas.’

“The creators of The Blacklist will pitch a new season to NBC next week.”


CarterMatt: The Blacklist: What James Spader series needs to do to secure season 5 renewal http://bit.ly/2m1fVRM
// 2/26/2017


EntertainmentWeekly: Did The Blacklist reveal Red’s real betrayer? http://bit.ly/2mkjj7C
// 2/23/2017, Interview with Jon Bokenkamp ⋙ for excerpts, see Interrogations
The Blacklist returns on Thursday, April 20 with a two-hour episode.


Observer, Anne Easton: EPs Couldn’t Kill Tom Keen, So They Made Him the Star of ‘The Blacklist: Redemption’ http://bit.ly/2lpZGKn
// 2/22/2017, Interview segments: Eisendrath, Bokenkamp, Eggold, Famke ⋙ for excerpts, see Interrogations


AbsoluteMusic, Paula Courtney: An In-depth Interview With Hisham Tawfiq ~ ‘Dembe’ on The Blacklist http://bit.ly/2kUwKtM
// 2/18/2017


NYT, Kathryn Shattuck: Famke Janssen Plays Another Lethal Woman in a ‘Blacklist’ Spinoff http://nyti.ms/2lUdvVe
// 2/17/2017


CarterMatt: ‘The Blacklist’ season 4 casts ‘The Office’ alum as new Red adversary http://bit.ly/2jM4pFu
// 1/26/2017, Melora Hardin


ChristianPost: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Sees Tom and Red Join Forces in ‘Natalie Luca’ http://bit.ly/2jtCKYZ
// 1/26/2017


MyCelebrityHarem/Tumblr: What the “Keens” have done to disenfranchise fans from Liz http://bit.ly/2peHJ6E #TheBlacklist #Lizzington
// 1/20/2017, fan review


ScreenerTV: ‘The Blacklist’s’ latest episode gives rise to 3 mysteries http://bit.ly/2jkL8yT
// 1/20/2017


DeadlineHollywood: How ‘Redemption’ Will Coexist In ‘The Blacklist’ Universe
// 1/18/2017

While The Blacklist is “a cop show in many ways, this is a spy show,” EP John Eisendrath said about the series’ latest spin.

Redemption follows Ryan Eggold’s operative character Tom Keen as he begins to learn facets about his past, specifically his mother, military intelligence op Susan Hargrave (Famke Janssen), who lost him when he was a toddler. …

Essentially, the 15th episode of The Blacklist feeds right into Redemption as NBC will devote a two-hour block to the franchise. “Tom Keen walks from one episode into the next,” says Eisendrath. …

One big question: How does Redemption fold in Keen’s baby and his relationship with Liz?

Teased Eggold: “He never had a family life or intimate relationship. This love is important to him, and it’s not going to go away lightly. So we’ll see the struggle of his balancing a work life with espionage abroad and a home life.”


EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist: Redemption team on why Tom Keen is heading to the spin-off http://bit.ly/2khF0qt
// 1/18/2017

The Blacklist: Redemption finds the world’s most elusive criminals from Red’s (James Spader) infamous list coming together to form an elite mercenary team as they try to regain their self-worth after a lifetime of inflicting damage on the world. Blacklist undercover operative Tom Keen (Eggold) joins the team’s brilliant and cunning chief, Susan “Scottie” Hargrave (Famke Janssen) — who is apparently his mother while Terry O’Quinn is his father! — as well as lethal assassin and Tom nemesis Matias Solomon (Edi Gathegi). …

“Right off the bat, we say she is his mother,” Eggold told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour on Wednesday.

On the flip side, however, Scottie is in the dark about the truth. “We’re playing that I don’t know at the moment that he is my son,” Janssen said. “Also, the source, we have to consider where it came from, which is Red. We don’t really know, so there’s a lot of intrigue and suspense when it comes to this relationship.”…

The question remains whether Red’s far-reaching influence will find its way into Redemption — and the producers aim to answer that if the show is renewed for a second season. For now, Eisendrath said, “Redemption stands on its own. Redemption is a world that is independent of The Blacklist.

The spin-off is particularly different when it comes to its genre. Where Blacklist is more of a cop drama, the spies of Redemption have to use unconventional means to achieve their goals. “It’s an espionage thriller,” Eisendrath said, though stressing that the DNA of Blacklist lies within. …

As for whether Tom is gone from the flagship series, Eisendrath said he will definitely be back. “The answer is he’s always going to be part of The Blacklist family,” Eisendrath said. “He’s not leaving The Blacklist with a period; it’s more of a comma. … It is very important to us that Tom Keen’s character, who is a young guy, fun, sexy, a great undercover operative, but also is someone who is vulnerable and accesses his emotions and is responsible for the things that matter in life, and that includes Agnes.”

It’s a surprising turnaround for the producers to spin off the character after having very different plans for him. In the initial conception of The Blacklist, Tom Keen was slated to die in the pilot, but an executive at TNT — where the producers also pitched the show before it landed at NBC — said the character should stick around. At the close of the first season, they also mulled killing off Tom. “We never did it in large part because Ryan became so undeniably significant in The Blacklist,” Eisendrath said. “Instead of writing him out and killing him, we just wrote more and more for him until it became clear it was a character we could build a show around.”


TVOvermind: The Blacklist Review: “The Forecaster” Predicts Trouble For The Task Force
// 1/13/2017


TVGuide: The Blacklist: Liz Finally Knows Red’s Big Secret http://bit.ly/2kDN2HX
// 1/12/2017

… [O]nce Dembe realizes that Red’s actions were merely an elaborate ploy to replace Kate, with a couple of casualties along the way, he goes rogue and heads straight for Liz and Tom’s new apartment (where, by the way, Liz is not ready to welcome Red just yet, despite the fact that he went to the trouble of convincing the president of the United States to issue her a pardon).

What will Liz do with the information? That remains to be seen. But if anyone needs to watch their back, it’s Dembe — because we all know what Red Reddington does with people he feels he can no longer trust.


Cinemablend: Why The Blacklist’s Lower Ratings Might Not Actually Be A Problem http://bit.ly/2kIS9FW
// 1/6/2017

The series actually performs astoundingly well in DVR viewing in the days following the live airing.

For the first eight episodes of Season 4, The Blacklist averaged 5.8 million viewers and a 1.14 in the valuable 18 – 49 age demographic in Live+same day ratings. Neither of those numbers is particularly great, especially for a Big 4 network like NBC. What may save The Blacklist is the fact that the Live+7 numbers that take DVR viewership into account bump the average up to 10.6 million viewers and a 2.37 in the 18 – 49 demo. The demographic rating jumps a whopping average of 108% from Live+same to Live+7, and the 4.8 million extra viewers are impressive. The show is also doing well in wealthy homes, which likely means that NBC makes a pretty penny off of advertising revenue.

The DVR numbers should come as a relief to any fans who have been afraid that The Blacklist is on its last legs on NBC. … Going by the DVR numbers, … the drop might … connect to the change in the show’s time slot. NBC bumped The Blacklist from a 9 p.m. to a 10 p.m. time slot, which could have cost the show some members of the audience who happen to go to bed before episodes air.

Throw in the fact that the Thursday 10 p.m. time slot is rough on the other Big 4 networks, and the ratings for The Blacklist aren’t too alarming. In fact, The Blacklist ranks #2 in every key demographic in the 10 p.m. slot against competition from ABC and CBS. …
Cross-posted under News


UInterview: Mozhan Marno Speaks On Her Character’s Betrayal On ‘The Blacklist
// 1/6/2017


SpoilerTV: The Blacklist – Episode 4.09 – Lipet’s Seafood Company – Promo, Sneak Peeks, Promotional Photos, Interview & Press Release http://bit.ly/2kbLc38
// 1/5/2017, interview ⋙ for excerpts, see Interrogations


Yahoo: ‘The Blacklist’ Postmortem: Mozhan Marnò Talks Samar’s Big Admission About Aram and Her Feelings About Liz’s Big News https://yhoo.it/2k1HWVQ
// 1/5/2017


AbsoluteMusicChat: Paula Courtney: Presenting Brandon Sonnier ~ Writer/Director (The Blacklist, Blues, The List, The Beat)
// 1/4/2017


Iloveredmorethanever: Live with Kelly Interview with Megan Boone http://bit.ly/2kbhOdd
// 1/3/2017

⬆ go to top
Bloginetor: The Blacklist | 4×09 “Lipet’s Seafood Company” Promo +Promotional Photos + Press release+ Interview http://bit.ly/2k1OFiv
// 12/21/2016, long EW interview excerpt plus analysis


RottenTomatoes: The Blacklist Interview Excerpts [videos] http://bit.ly/2k1EaM8
// 12/6/2016, many interview snippets


YouTube Build Series: Interview with Zee Hatley, Associate Producer on NBC’s The Blacklist http://bit.ly/2kvi04Z
// 11/15/2016


BrisbaneTimes [AU]: Gangster movies and a passion for books led James Spader to an acting career http://bit.ly/2jnGgnC
// 11/13/2016, interview ⋙ for excerpts, see Interrogations


ParentHerald: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Update: Mid-season Teasers Unveiled; Major Revelations Out In The Finale? http://bit.ly/2jnFVRZ
// 11/11/2016, quotes from source interviews plus analysis


Etonline[.]com: Philiana Ng: My Favorite Scene: ‘Blacklist’ Creator on the Moment the NBC Crime Thriller Became More http://et.tv/2naR0eP
// 11/10/2016


EW, Natalie Abrams: The Blacklist: Red’s connection to Liz finally revealed? http://bit.ly/2jGlPTN
// 11/10/2016, interview interview ⋙ for excerpts, see Interrogations


AbsoluteMusicChat: Paula Courtney: My interview with Brandon Margolis, writer/producer on NBC’s The Blacklist TV series http://bit.ly/2jXKEvF
// 10/18/2016


TVGuide: The Blacklist EP Teases Mr. Kaplan’s Fate and an Impending “Conflict” for Liz and Tom http://bit.ly/2jnYhCs
// 10/12/2016, interview ⋙ for excerpts, see Interrogations


Yibada: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 spoilers: Liz, Red romance finally materializing as Tom leaves for a spinoff?
// 10/5/2016


Sportsrageous: Blacklist Season 4 Spoilers: Megan Boone talks about how she had to lie to everyone http://bit.ly/2kCXVsF
// 10/5/2016


HuffPo: BUILD Series Exclusive: James Spader on Typecasting in Show Business http://huff.to/2jnWtt5
// 9/29/2016, interview ⋙ for excerpts, see Interrogations


AbsoluteMusicChat: Paula Courtney: Q&A with The Blacklist’s Dave Metzger on Music, Writing & Breaking Down Episodes http://bit.ly/2k8tgq5
// 9/22/2016


YouTube: Opie&Jimmy: James Spader Interview https://youtu.be/Wna_AcHHQa4
// 9/22/2016


EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist’s Megan Boone on ‘stronger’ Liz Keen in season 4 http://bit.ly/2cL1nzN interview
// 9/22/2016


AOL: James Spader Discusses Season 4 Of NBC’s The Blacklist | BUILD Series NYC http://aol.it/2dnJUiL 37 mins @NBCBlacklist
// 9/22/2016


TVGuide, Liz Raftery: Blacklist Boss Answers Your Burning Questions About Season 4 http://bit.ly/2cF2vow
// 9/20/2016, interview ⋙ for excerpts, see Interrogations


Deadline: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Spoilers: EP Talks Red, Liz’s ‘Strained’ Relationship, Kirk’s Motives
// 9/19/2016


ParentHerald: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Spoilers: Liz And Red’s Relationship Will Finally Be Answered? http://bit.ly/2cz3UuP
// 9/19/2016, ‘Will Episode 3 feature a big reveal?’


BlacklistExposed: Podcast: ‘The Blacklist Exposed’ Chats with Megan Boone About Career, Super Powers & Season 4! 72mins http://bit.ly/2cOgjOZ
// 9/17/2016


ITechPost: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Updates: Truth On Liz And Reddington To Be Revealed In Upcoming Season http://bit.ly/2cyQoJE
// 9/17/2016


GameNGuide: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Air date, Spoilers, News and Update: Liz & Red To Get Married? Cast & Plot Details Revealed! http://bit.ly/2cyUyBo
// 9/17/2016


CarterMatt: ‘The Blacklist’ exclusive: Amir Arison on Liz Keen reveal, Aram’s journey, and big premiere http://bit.ly/2d4i8F3
// 9/16/2013, interview ⋙ for excerpts, see Interrogations


CarterMatt: ‘The Blacklist’ season 4 spoilers: Liz’s family history lesson http://bit.ly/2cM3E0a
// 9/15/2016


EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist: Liz Keen’s history to be revealed! http://bit.ly/2cyrv06 Megan Boone interview
// 9/15/2016, interview ⋙ for excerpts, see Interrogations


StopRU: The Blacklist season 4: Jon Bokenkamp “Alexander Kirk has many truths about the past of Liz!” http://bit.ly/2cIlxYN
// 9/14/2016


NBC: Get Ready for Season 4 of The Blacklist http://bit.ly/2clTD7I previews, S3 clips, access to S3 episodes, & a 22min “Behind the Scenes”
NBC: Get Ready for Season 4 of The Blacklist http://bit.ly/2clTD7I previews, S3 clips, access to S3 episodes, & a 22min “Behind the Scenes”
// undated


RottenTomatoes: Supergirl, The Blacklist, and More Available on Netflix This Week http://bit.ly/2cb1LEF
// 9/13/2016


ITechPost: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 News And Updates: Elizabeth Keen’s Connection With Reddington To Be Revealed http://bit.ly/2coXz72
// 9/13/2016


ChristianPost: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 News and Updates: Ryan Eggold Spills “Esteban” Spoilers and Next Season’s Plot http://bit.ly/2cTypk0
// 9/12/2016


VineReport: ‘The Blacklist’ season 4 spoilers: synopsis for episodes 1 and 2 revealed http://bit.ly/2cDyBDL
// 9/12/2016


TVFanatic: 13 Things We Want to See on The Blacklist Season 4 http://bit.ly/2cDn2MB
// 9/11/2016

1. The truth behind Red and Liz’s relationship
2. Red and Liz reuniting
3. How the FBI task force will handle Liz’s return
4. More Dembe
5. Dembe with new hats
6. A new character to join the team
7. Tom finding more out about his mom
8. The return of Solomon
9. Aram finding love
10. An after work hangout session
11. The fate of Mr Kaplan
12. An interesting and engaging antagonist
13. Clever quips and monologues from Red
I would add:
14. More about Naomi and Jennifer (Red’s ex-wife and daughter)
15. An explanation for the story Red told to Madeline Pratt (“Bloody Christmas”)
16. A love interest for Red … c’mon – we watch this show for 🔥 Hot Spader 🔥

🔴 BlacklistDCd Blog Stats http://wp.me/pDKwi-3i5 1 of 3) Fans really liked Cape May @BlacklistRoom The Blacklist https://twitter.com/BlacklistDCd/status/777864890039971842/photo/1
🔴 BlacklistDCd Stats http://wp.me/pDKwi-3i5 2 of 3) #TheBlacklist’s global reach is amazing @BlacklistRoom https://twitter.com/BlacklistDCd/status/777867142397964292/photo/1
🔴 BlacklistDCd Blog Stats http://wp.me/pDKwi-3i5 3 of 3) The “Love of Lizzington” never flags @BlacklistRoom https://twitter.com/BlacklistDCd/status/777867543037915140/photo/1


Zap2It: ‘The Blacklist’ S4 premiere: Red is on the hunt, while Tom buries a body http://bit.ly/2clhHoR
// 9/10/2016


Vulture: National Treasure James Spader Fondly Recalls Pranking the Secret Service http://bit.ly/2cgYCDa
// 9/10/2016, interview ⋙ for excerpts, see Interrogations


CinemaBlend: Will Liz Appear On The Blacklist More Often In Season 4? Here’s What The Creator Says http://bit.ly/2cGCkgL
// 9/9/2016, interview ⋙ for excerpts, see Interrogations


iTechPost: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 News And Updates: Could Liz Keen’s Faked Death Set Her Free Or Make Her More Of Reddington’s Target? http://bit.ly/2cRsKXl
// 9/9/2016


SpoilerTV: Spoiler Room: Scoop on Quantico, The Blacklist, Arrow and more http://bit.ly/2c1KfHM
// 9/9/2016


ParentHerald: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4: Tom Will Fight Raymond Reddington, Alexander Kirk To Get Liz Keen, Agnes Back? http://bit.ly/2cKDab8
// 9/6/2016


IBTimes: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Spoilers: Will The Task Force Forgive Liz? Premiere Episode Synopsis Released Online http://bit.ly/2clkpuu
// 9/1/2016


Amazon: The Blacklist, Season 3 ★★★★★ http://amzn.to/2cIsM6I w user reviews, DVD, Blu-Ray, Amazon Prime Video


IBTimes: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Spoilers: New Trailer Teases Red’s Revenge, Hunt For Liz http://bit.ly/2cusEpl
// 8/30/2016


ReleaseDate: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Premiere Date, Promo & Updates – Release Date http://bit.ly/2cLZIMY
// 8/23/2016


UniversityHerald: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4: Is Kirk Liz’s Father? Is Red’s Help Not Needed? http://bit.ly/2cR1Tuz
// 8/21/2016, Full subt: “‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Spoilers: Alexander Kirk Is Liz’s Father? Liz, Tom, Agnes Abducted, Red’s Help Not Needed? [VIDEO]


EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist: Will Red save Liz? — exclusive http://bit.ly/2ctW4pi “Your first look at season 4”
// 8/17/2016


VineReport: ‘The Blacklist’ season 4 spoilers: details about Red http://bit.ly/2caUhSa
// 8/15/2016


GameNGuide: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Premiere Deals Identity Of Liz’s Real Father? Katarina Rostova Holds The Key http://bit.ly/2d2YWur
// 8/13/2016, full subt: “‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Air Date, Trailer, Spoilers & Update: …”


DigitalTrends: Who is Reddington? The Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp teases the truth http://bit.ly/2aDePVG
// 8/4/2016 ⋙ see Interrogations for excerpts.


Odyssey, Dreana Drogan: Top 10 Reasons Why We Love ‘The Blacklist’s’ Raymond Reddington http://bit.ly/2qWg5uU
// 8/2/2016, “The greatest savage of all time”


Cinemablend: The Blacklist Season 4 Is Bringing Back A Great Character, Here’s How It’s Happening http://bit.ly/2cKJ4cD
// 7/27/2016, Lotte Verbeek, Katarina Rostova


EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist: Katerina Rostova returning in season 4 — exclusive http://bit.ly/2crTbEs
// 7/26/2016, Lotte Verbeek


Design&Trend: The Blacklist’ Season 4 Spoilers: EP Talks Red, Liz’s ‘Strained’ Relationship, Kirk’s Motives http://bit.ly/2cf7k4R
// 7/10/2016


TVGuide: The Blacklist: Five Burning Questions For Season 4 http://bit.ly/2ctOECs
// 5/20/2016


NYT, AO Scott: Poking at Politics, Without a Stick, on Big and Small Screens http://nyti.ms/293cf7G “The European postwar order is a shambles”
// 6/30/2016, Though not about The Blacklist, this article is an interesting look at how pop culture and politics are intertwined.

● “The European postwar order is a shambles. A rich celebrity with no political experience and a flagrant disregard for the niceties of political behavior has become the presumptive nominee of a major American political party. I’ll leave it there for now, though the litany of the dreadful, the unlikely, the inexplicable and the absurd could be extended in every direction. Over in the other major party, the wife of a former president fought off a serious challenge from a 74-year-old socialist. The political institutions that have taken turns governing Britain for most of the last century are in chaos. Let’s not even talk about what’s happening in Russia, Bolivia and Brazil. [ Or worse, Venezuela ] Who could make this stuff up?”

● “The world right now is more farcical than the most ridiculous big- or small-screen comedy; more extravagantly and bombastically preposterous than any superhero franchise movie; and a whole lot scarier than any zombie apocalypse or paranormal shriek-fest”

● “The movie studios, the cable and broadcast channels, and the producers and creators who feed them stories don’t just represent a constellation of talent or competing agglomerations of corporate power. They also constitute an Establishment, an elite devoted to preserving their influence and accustomed to regarding their constituents with a mixture of entitlement, sincere concern and condescension”

● “[A]t present the genre’s default ideology is a variant of the masters-of-the-universe libertarianism that energizes some of the most vocal sectors of the American ruling class. The supermen are doing good, and they know what’s good for us, and they have never needed pusillanimous institutions — the cops, the press, the government — to tell them what to do. What they need is the support and gratitude of the masses, and when they don’t get that affirmation, they can get a little sulky”

● “The superhero franchise movies can be interpreted as psychological case studies of the powerful, but they are also defenses of power. Their protagonists see themselves as outsiders, as rebels against weak or corrupt civic authority, and at the same time as avatars of a more benevolent and less accountable form of strength, whose exercise is justified by the absolute evil they must combat. This kind of politics has a precise name, one that’s been rather astonishingly bandied about during the Republican primary season. But I’m not going to call Captain America a fascist. Not yet anyway.”


GoldDerby: Experts’ Predictions: Best Drama Actor http://bit.ly/29unCXU not good news; very much an echo chamber, unfortunately The Blacklist
// as of 6/30/2016


GoldDerby, Buchanan: Emmy spotlight: James Spader (‘The Blacklist’) outdid himself as a man in mourning in season 3 http://bit.ly/29iSP1c
// 6/26/2016

“The role [of Red Reddington] offers the actor ample opportunities to demonstrate his incredible range: in each episode he is both menacing and comic as he eviscerates his on-screen foes. He also somberly reflects on his many sacrifices and his lost opportunities for a peaceful, familial existence.

● “Spader’s arc this year provided him with some of his best material to date. After Elizabeth’s shocking death, Red abandons all of his obligations in order to grieve privately. The resulting episode, “Cape May,” proved to be an extreme departure from the usually procedural and ensemble nature of the series; Spader spends the entire episode either alone on screen or opposite a mysterious woman (“Outlander” actress Lotte Verbeek) who seems to be from Red’s past. Spader is brilliant in the episode, conveying Red’s overwhelming grief, searching his conscience and probing his past for solace and redemption. In particular, Spader’s monologue about the effects of suicide on one’s family is both beautiful and heart-wrenching, and it helps solidify the episode as a fantastic Emmy submission.”

● “Spader is no stranger to the TV awards circuit. His performance as Alan Shore garnered him three Emmy wins for Best Drama Actor (2004 for “The Practice,” 2005 and 2007 for “Boston Legal”), as well as four individual SAG Award nominations (2006-2009) and a Golden Globe bid (2005). For “The Blacklist,” Spader contended at both the 2014 and 2015 Globes but this performance has not yet been acknowledged by SAG or the Emmys.”


Amazon: The Blacklist, Season 3 ★★★★★ http://amzn.to/2cIsM6I w user reviews, DVD, Blu-Ray, Amazon Prime Video
// June 2016


TVGuide: The Blacklist: Five Burning Questions For Season 4 http://bit.ly/2ctOECs
// 5/20/2016

1. Why did Kirk wait so long to reveal himself?
2. Does Red know who Kirk is? [ This reviewer seems unfamiliar with the show! ]
3. Who will keep Liz’s baby, Tom or Liz?
4. And where is Tom anyway?

Deadline[.]com: ‘The Blacklist’ Creator On Finale’s Shocking Twists, the Fallout & Season 4 http://bit.ly/25vqVYE
// 5/20/2016 ⋙ interview, for excerpts, see Interrogations

Deadline: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Spoilers: EP Talks Red, Liz’s ‘Strained’ Relationship, Kirk’s Motives
// 5/19/2016


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

The Blacklist is a terrific, inventive, entertaining and eccentric show by network standards. Indeed, by any standards. From the get-go, James Spader’s hammy, overripe performance as Raymond (Red) Reddington, a bombastic villain turned informant, has been its excellent anchor. He’s so arch and sometimes insufferable, you can’t take your eyes off him. Network drama isn’t dead as long as something like The Blacklist can be created and thrive.

In one astonishing episode a few weeks ago, called Cape May, Red experienced what seemed to be an opium dream of lamentation. At an eerily bleak beach hotel in mid-winter, he encountered a woman, long dead, who might be Elizabeth’s mother, or might not. The entire episode was a striking example of a network show with the confidence to expand limits and brood on the characters. As always with The Blacklist too, the music was phenomenally good and appropriate.

From the beginning, I thought there was a fiercely theatrical quality to the series, something that only works while using an actor with Spader’s flamboyant tone. The entire series, rich in broad passions, tragedy and pathos, is one long revenge drama, Jacobean in style. The Blacklist does not have the chops of great premium-cable drama, but it has literary chops and an exuberance that is very entertaining.


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.”


TVGuide: The Blacklist: Five Burning Questions For Season 4 http://bit.ly/2ctOECs
// 5/20/2016


TVGuide: The Blacklist: Five Burning Questions For Season 4 http://bit.ly/2ctOECs
// 5/20/2016


Zap2It: ‘The Blacklist’s’ huge reveal; give James Spader all the awards http://bit.ly/22UwFod
// 5/20/2016


April 3,2015
BlacklistDeclassified: Tara Bennett, who wrote “Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier” along with Paul Terry, was kind enough to answer several questions for me.

Q: 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 @BlacklistRoom is promoting the book suggests there is some level of coordination and approval.

A: 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.

Q: A couple examples of things that were new to me:

● 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.

A: 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.

Q: 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).

A: 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.

Q: Did the show provide any of the “props” (documents etc) featured in EK’s Dossier?

A: 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.

Cross-posted under “Writers’ Room”

⊰ ♤ ⊱

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: The Blacklist: 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


Hypable: The Blacklist – Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier is just what obsessed fans want http://bit.ly/1o6RTkX @NBCBlacklist
// 3/23/2016


VanityFair, Micah Nathan: Pretty in Pink Turns 30, and James Spader Remains the Only Reason to Watch It http://bit.ly/1LM5xzW
// 2/26/2016

“The so-called high school classic has aged poorly, but Spader’s gleeful, authentic turn as a villainous cad keeps us coming back anyway.

“John Hughes’s Pretty in Pink turns 30 this month, and it has not aged well. The best of Hughes’s best teen movies—I’m thinking of The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off—at least tried to charm us, their polished alienation posing as spiky angst, their soundtracks offering the brood and bite that Hughes could not. Pretty in Pink doesn’t even try; it’s as though Hughes knew his audience would automatically root for any underdog, bonus points if she’s a poor girl with mussed hair and unadorned beauty, double bonus points if she makes her own clothes and suffers the sneers of rich kids, triple bonus points if the poor girl has a goofy best friend who nips at her heels yet seems incapable of ever jumping into her lap. …

“The non-Euclidean love triangle is thus: Blane loves Andie, Andie loves Blane, Steff lusts after Andie, Andie despises Steff, Steff tries to sabotage Andie and Blane.

“So why bother? You know the answer. James Spader. His performance makes the whole damn movie worth it. He shuffles about in linen suits, unbuttoned oxfords, and Egyptian-cotton robes. He shoots trap and rolls joints. He prowls the high-school halls, smoking a cigarette, a squinty flâneur who looks more like a hotshot real-estate developer casing the property than an 18-year-old waiting to hear back from his top three college choices. (My guess: Princeton, Yale, Stanford. Safety school: Skidmore.) Spader is so unbelievable as a high-school senior that his performance nearly crosses over into farce—maybe it does, the writers left him no choice—but there’s something authentic, nearly gleeful, in his turn as a villainous cad. A best-supporting-actor nomination should have followed. …

“The story goes that Pretty in Pink originally ended with Andie rejecting Blane and dancing prom night away with Duckie. Test audiences hated seeing Duckie sort of get the girl—I don’t blame them—so instead we get Blane and Andie kissing in the parking lot while OMD’s “If You Leave” lulls us into acceptance. Their union is the carnal equivalent of paint-by-numbers. But what about Steff? He didn’t get Andie, he lost Blane, and so what: the best revenge is getting ahead. Andie and Blane broke up that summer. Duckie fractured his neck in an Off Off Broadway performance of Peter Pan. Steff went to Yale and bedded the provost’s wife.”


NYT, AO Scott: Everybody’s a Critic. And That’s How It Should Be. http://nyti.ms/1PL4Nfc
// 1/30/2016, general article, exceptionally insightful; indulge me (tags: aesthetics, film, art)

● “The Oscars are silly. Why should we suppose that 6,000 members of an insular and entitled professional association would be reliable judges of quality?”

● “The days of the all-powerful critic are over. But that figure — high priest or petty dictator, destroying and consecrating reputations with the stroke of a pen — was always a bit of a myth” ⋘ not enough so, unfortunately

● “Criticism has always been a fundamentally democratic undertaking. It is an endless conversation, rather than a series of pronouncements. It is the debate that begins when you walk out of the theater or the museum, either with your friends or in the private chat room of your own head. It’s not me telling you what to think; it’s you and me talking”

● “Like every other form of democracy, criticism is a messy, contentious business, in which the rules are as much in dispute as the outcomes and the philosophical foundations are fragile if not vaporous.”

● ““It’s all good!” you might say. But you don’t believe that, any more than I do. Some of it is terrible. There is, axiomatically, no disputing taste, and also no accounting for it.”

● “The ability of critics to make a living may be precarious, but criticism remains an indispensable activity. The making of art — popular or fine, abstruse or accessible, sacred or profane — is one of the glories of our species. We are uniquely endowed with the capacity to fashion representations of the world and our experience in it”

● “[W]e have the ability, even the obligation, to judge what we have made, to argue about why we are moved, mystified, delighted or bored by any of it. At least potentially, we are all artists. And because we have the ability to recognize and respond to the creativity of others, we are all, at least potentially, critics, too.”

● “As consumers of culture, we are lulled into passivity or, at best, prodded toward a state of pseudo-semi-self-awareness, encouraged toward either the defensive group identity of fandom or a shallow, half-ironic eclecticism.”

● “In our roles as citizens of the political commonwealth we are conscripted into a polarized climate of ideological belligerence. Bluster substitutes for argument.”

● “The incentives not to think — to be one of the many available varieties of stupid — are powerful. But there is also genius around us, and within us.”

● “It’s the mission of art to free our minds, and the task of criticism to figure out what to do with that freedom.”

● “That everyone is a critic means that we are each capable of thinking against our own prejudices, of balancing skepticism with open-mindedness, of sharpening our dulled and glutted senses and battling the intellectual inertia that surrounds us. We need to put our remarkable minds to use and to pay our own experience the honor of taking it seriously.”

● “The real culture war (the one that never ends) is between the human intellect and its equally human enemies: sloth, cliché, pretension, cant. Between creativity and conformity, between the comforts of the familiar and the shock of the new. To be a critic is to be a soldier in this fight, a defender of the life of art and a champion of the art of living.”


Fashionista: How James Spader Helped Me Overcome My Fear of Pairing Formal Clothing With a Parka http://bit.ly/2qUoOwR
// 1/16/2016


⬆ go to top
TheAtlantic: Why Are So Few Film Critics Female? http://theatln.tc/1YHJoxZ The Blacklist @NBCBlacklist @MeganBoone
// 12/27/2015, (No specific mention on The Blacklist)


RollingStone: #TheBlacklist: Full House, Ace of Spaders http://rol.st/1McsOjK doubles down on its oddball star and comes up a winner
// 10/20/2015

● RollingStone: “Nothing might sum up the crazy times we’re living in like the words ‘James Spader: Action Hero'” http://rol.st/1McsOjK The Blacklist

● “As The Blacklist takes off into its excellent third season, it remains one of a kind: the model for a well-built network cloak-and-dagger caper, so consistently clever it makes the whole genre look a breeze — except nobody else gets it right.”

● “So much of the show’s success comes down to Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington”

● “But the gentleman spy Red is the perfect role for him: his intense eyes shielded by those manhole-cover lids, his control-freak deadpan, his patrician-stoner smirk. Pretty vacant, as the old song goes”

● “But the copy cats just show why it’s so hard to duplicate the ease and panache of The Blacklist; it depends on Spader’s serene arrogance to carry it off week by week. That quality has served him well his whole career, whether he’s been playing preppie scum (Pretty in Pink, Less Than Zero), kinksters (Secretary, Crash) or cartoon villains (Age of Ultron, 2 Days in the Valley). But he’s never had an asshole to play quite like Red.”


CarterMatt: ‘Shiptober: On ‘The Blacklist’ season 3 & the Liz-Red connection http://bit.ly/1hO9BXl The Blacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 10/19/2015, by Mrs Carter, “The relationship between these two characters has become among the most interesting and complex on TV. At first, the biggest theory out there was that he could be her father, but the more we see of the show, the more obvious it becomes to us that this is not the case. For one, it’s too obvious; also, the chemistry that the two characters share is very different.”

● “As a matter of fact, if you look on social media these days, #Lizzington has become an incredibly-popular ‘ship for this show, and has a much more passionate following than anything that we’ve seen for Liz / Tom or Liz / Ressler. Where does this stem from? We feel like in part it is the element of mystery, the fact that the two have more in common than either would like to admit, and that they have been forced at times to care for one another because they have no one else to rely on.”

● “Why pair the two romantically? – For one, it is the most important relationship on the show. Without Reddington turning up, there’s no way Liz becomes involved in the task force, and there’s no way she could unlock many of the secrets from her past.”

● “He has some sort of predestined love and affection for her, regardless of where it stems from. He recognizes her potential, and values her safety even if he has a weird way of showing it from time to time.”

● “While adding a romantic component to this relationship was not something we were thinking about in season 1, it would at this point perhaps make the show even more layered and complex as more and more people in Liz’s world start to wonder what she sees in him. If she already feels like the world is against her, imagine what could happen after something like this.”

● “We don’t think that either one of them is going to be able to have a real relationship with someone else thanks to the closeness they share with each other, and that could be fascinating to explore.”


EW, Jodi Walker: The Blacklist 3:2 Marvin Gerard http://bit.ly/1Lfbhnk
// 10/9/2015, “I agree with Tom – we need to talk. But as opposed to whatever he and Ressler need to discuss (spoiler alert: it’s Lizzie), you and I… we need to talk about that scene. You know the one. THE scene. The one where Red and Lizzie walked out of a shipping container decorated like an X-Men villain’s secret lair, onto the deck of a cargo ship in the middle of an unknown ocean, and he told her that she’s his North Star. Because if there was ever any question that this show is about the relationship between Raymond Reddington and Elizabeth Keen – not just the connection between them, but their relationship: the people they are, the people they make each other – then season 3 is answering that with a loud and resounding, ‘This IS the story of Lizzie and Red, and here’s an itemized list of their childhood dreams to prove it.’ It’s doing that with confidence; it’s doing that with pizzazz; it’s doing it to the tune of ‘Our House” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.”
LOL: “I’ve grown to really enjoy Elizabeth Keen as a character, but the woman cannot be left alone and still be expected to live.”


EW, Jodi Walker: The Blacklist: 3:3 Eli Matchett http://bit.ly/1kbmSuX
// 10/16/2015, “If there’s one message that this episode attempts to nail home a little more subtly, I think it’s this: Red isn’t lucky — Red makes his own luck. To use his own analogy from last week, Raymond Reddington doesn’t so much catch every green light; instead, he runs all the red ones. That means breaking the law; that means lying; that means working with criminals, murderers, people who have caused much pain, people who are undeniably bad; for Red and, now, for Lizzie that means killing: ‘I shot a cop…and killed the Attorney General of the United States.’ You sure did, Keen. Welcome to the show that just took you out of the protagonist’s seat.”


IBTimes: Watch The Blacklist season 3 premiere live online: Answers about Liz-Red relationship will be given in episode 1 http://bit.ly/1KPYDuQ


People: #TheBlacklist’s Hisham Tawfiq Talks Working w TV’s ‘Sexy Criminal’ James Spader & Teases a ‘Shady’ New Nemesis http://bit.ly/1KPTqmX @NBCBlacklist
// 10/1/2015, “and Teases a ‘Shady’ New Nemesis for Season 3”


HollywoodReporter: Liz and Red are “like Bonnie and Clyde on steroids” – Jon Bokenkamp http://bit.ly/1KWTSww
// 10/1/2015


TVGuide: How The Blacklist Flips the Script This Season http://bit.ly/1VstK2s
// 10/1/2015


ThinkChristian: The Blacklist and our need for sin-eaters http://bit.ly/1VslzDp perceptive essay w background of the belief The Blacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 9/30/2015


ScreenSpy: THE BLACKLIST: Spader, Boone and Eggold on Season 3 http://bit.ly/1MK7DT3 [interviews may be from last spring]
// 9/24/2015


Forbes, Merrill Barr: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 3 Review: A Relentless Game Of Cat And Mouse Begins http://onforb.es/1QGgs0K
// 9/24/2015, “There’s a lot to like about The Blacklist’s season premiere. It’s fun, it’s exciting but, most importaly, it’s full of passion.

● “Last year, what hurt the show more than anything, from a story perspective, was the Super Bowl episode. Despite being the highest rated broadcast in series history, … it did nothing for mythology beyond introducing what would become the group behind season two’s primary macguffin, The Fulcrum).”

● “Thankfully, with all of its timeslot madness now behind it, the show is now getting back to what it does best, putting Liz and Red in impossible situations they must figure a fantastical way out of.”

● “The hope, right now, is that it can both retain the audience of NBC’s big event of the fall, Heroes Reborn, while also helping to sustain the next big star driven series on the network’s slate, The Player …”

● “While the premiere does have its title blacklister of the week, named “The Troll Farmer,” the individual in question serves as small potatoes to the grander story of Red and Liz’s attempt to clear Liz’s name.”

● “But, more import is that fact that the arc doesn’t reach a conclusion by the end of the episode. Rather, come the final moments, we merely get to a point that leads to ‘the next chapter … and that’s totally fine if the show can maintain the level of excitement portrayed in its first episode back.”


EntertainmentWeekly: Liz and Red are just trying ‘to get out alive’ in season 3 of The Blacklist http://bit.ly/1gLP2tZ
// 9/22/2015, Liz “‘looks a lot more like her mother,’ Boone says of her character’s transformation, which includes a new blond ‘do. ‘She’s transforming into a woman that was a mystery to her before.’”

● “’She had a very idealistic world with a husband and a job, and everything was great,’ says exec producer John Eisendrath. ‘And the direction she’s been pulled is a rather dark path. She’s been drawn into Reddington’s world, and I think she’s seeing similarities in herself to him that she may not want to recognize.”’

● “But not everybody’s out gallivanting around Red’s underworld. ‘While the center of the show is always going to be Red and his relationship with Liz, we are going to get an opportunity to broaden the canvas and really tell a lot of great stories for all our characters this year,’ Eisendrath says. ‘This manhunt configuration really lends itself to everybody blossoming and getting to have their characters dramatized.'”


USNavalInstitute, Naval History Magazine (Jun 2010): The Navy’s Biggest Betrayal http://bit.ly/1fOlrQE 1985 John Walker, spy
// Jun 2010


BlacklistDCd (8/1/2015): 🔴 Poll: Is Red Liz’s father? http://wp.me/pDKwi-1h9 The Blacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 7/18/2015 – 8/1/2015, 129 votes as of 8/1/2015
● 64 “No” (49.6%), 58 “Yes” (45.0%), 7 “Unsure” (5.4%)
● still about 50/50 (margin of error about 9); those who think Red is Lizzie’s father virtually unchanged from poll taken by The Blacklist Support group in March (52 or 50% “Yes” w 104 votes) http://bit.ly/1MqgHO3


MSNBC, Rachel Maddow Show: 1985 – The Year of the Spy (transcript) http://bit.ly/1Sn6zdv http://on.msnbc.com/1SQBREx (19 mins)
// 7/28/2015, Focus on Jonathan Pollard, who spied for the Israelis, but talks about a number of cases in 1985 in which men in Naval Intelligence and the CIA sold US secrets to the Russians


SunshineCoastDaily [AUSL], Sarah Rex (7/21/2015): Sucked back in by a Blacklist addiction http://bit.ly/1lmk02F The Blacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 7/21/2015


Tumblr, toutcequej’aime: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 3 Spoilers And Cast: Red Failed Liz? Upcoming Run To Center On Protagonist’s Struggle tmblr.co/ZV8-Am1oT5g-C
// 6/30/2015, sourced from IBTimes, Hollywood Reporter, Gospel Herald, Venture Capital Post
● IBTimes expects new Cabal-linked villain
● “…show’s structure is likely to undergo some change and may no longer follow the procedural format” according to IBTimes
● Jon Bokenkamp: ‘Red will continue to struggle with the sense that he failed Liz,’ IB Times continued.
● Bokenkamp “told The Hollywood Reporter, ’[This storyline] opens and takes us into a new chapter where she is no longer just an FBI agent – they have a real journey that they’re about to go on. They’re entering the third season as fugitives.’”
● “With Liz being a fugitive, it makes it very complicated if she and Tom will ever have their happy ending,” Gospel Herald reported.
● “The Venture Capital Post has stated that Liz Boone’s character is planning on taking center stage in season 3, as opposed to Red, played by James Spader, who always manages to steal the show in a very subtle way.”


NYT, Michael Woolf: How Television Won the Internet http://nyti.ms/1R05FD6 trends in payment and types of programming
// 6/29/2015, “[S]ince adult household members pay the cable bills, TV content has to be grown-up content: ‘The Sopranos,’ ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘The Wire,’ ‘The Good Wife.'”

“Streaming video is now not only the hottest media draw — 78 percent of United States Internet bandwidth …”

“Well-produced, highly structured narrative video entertainment is so profitable that everybody in digital media — frustrated by tumbling ad rates and rising traffic demands — wants to be streaming premium video (i.e., television).”

“The fundamental recipe for media success, in other words, is the same as it used to be: a premium product that people pay attention to and pay money for. Credit cards, not eyeballs.”


Review of Reviews of Season 2 Finale: [2:22 Tom Connolly]

I found all 15 of The Blacklist season finale [2:22 Tom Connolly] reviews that showed up on the my first two Google pages and graded them for how helpful and insightful I thought they were http://wp.me/pDKwi-1bL.

I looked at their internet sites and graded those, too. Here, I was looking for functionality as well as for organization and interest.

Remember, as you read these: The grades next to the reviews are NOT grades given by the reviewer to the show, but rather how good the review itself was. Hopefully, the excerpts I included indicates how the reviewer felt about the show.

The following were the best websites*:
Buddy TV http://bit.ly/1K0wAct
Entertainment Weekly http://bit.ly/1eqF3Kq
IMDb http://imdb.to/1zGjs4L
TV After Dark http://bit.ly/1N65joW
TV Fanatic http://bit.ly/1eqFYKP
 ✛NBC’s own site http://bit.ly/1L2PAb4
*(excludes social media sites)

⊰ ♤ ⊱
By Lisa Cosas (contributing): ‘The Blacklist’ Season 2 Finale Recap: Liz Goes on the Run to Prove Her Innocence http://bit.ly/1IgiC1K
// 5/14/2015, “Overall, this was a satisfying season finale with just enough revealed to give us the illusion of making headway. It made sense for Red to be lying to protect Liz, to keep her innocent from the ugliness that occurred. Unfortunately, ugliness has a way of surfacing and it did when she shot Tom Connelly in cold blood. How will she recover from this? And what about a possible Liz/Ressler showdown? I was hoping for a take-down of another kind, but it looks like those Blacklist writers are going to have Donald in hot pursuit (emphasis on the word hot) of his former partner. Season three, we cannot wait!” [Review Grade: B]
Site Grade: A: Synopses, articles, links, games, slideshows, etc http://www.buddytv.com/the-blacklist.aspx

By Matt Carter: ‘The Blacklist’ season 3: Where should Megan Boone–James Spader series go from here? http://bit.ly/1BihH3J
// 6/13/015, “The problem with season 2 is one of focus. While it improved in the later weeks of the season, this story started off as a mess and was frankly all over the place, bouncing from one place and one character to the next.”
● “In a sense, we’d like to see the show go back to basics a little, and that involves Megan Boone and James Spader’s character working together, reluctant or otherwise, to take down some of the bad guys. Maybe you separate them further from the rest of the FBI, but the actors’ chemistry is one of the reasons why this show was so popular in the first place.”

CarterMatt: ‘The Blacklist’ season 2, episode 22 (finale) review: Liz remembers her past, Tom and Liz get romantic http://bit.ly/1IYWZbM [Review Grade: B+]
Site Grade: B: Synopses, articles, few comments http://cartermatt.com/tag/the-blacklist/

By: Jodi Walker: Masha Rostova’ – A game-changer of a finale finds Liz going on the run http://bit.ly/1R1gujc
// 5/15/2015, “When The Blacklist’s season 2 finale started, I had no idea that I needed it to end with Elton John. But I did. Of course I did. Because this entire season, as punctuated with an exclamation point in this finale, has circled again and again around all of the ways in which Red has had to hurt Lizzie in order to protect her—and that despite his best, most invasive efforts, he very much has not been able to. By attempting to purge Lizzie of her earliest sins, and secluding her from his own, the vacuum Red created has now sucked Lizzie—family, friend, whatever she is to him—into the life that he never intended for her. He’s a Rocket Man.”
● “Lizzie and Red being forced to leave the Task Force is such a disruption to the core of this story that its effects almost haven’t hit me yet. And the reveal that Liz shot her father is affecting—and I can’t believe they actually gave us a bit of the “everything” Lizzie remembered—but it’s not exactly revealing No, we didn’t get a lot of straightforward answers in tonight’s finale. Instead, we ended with everyone in utter turmoil, sure, but also knowing their missions. Lizzie has to get away, Red has to get her there, and the Post Office crew has to hunt them down.”
● “As a character, Lizzie has always clicked less than Red because she tends to lack focus. Her life has been so out of whack since the moment we met her that she can barely see one step ahead. She admittedly does not know what she wants. Ever. But going into the next season, it doesn’t matter what she wants, because everyone has a map laid out in front of them. Everyone has a job to do—they’re rocket men.”
● “… And no matter how Red tried to protect her or keep her pure, Lizzie is still running. But at least now she has company.”
● “I’m hoping this nosedive into Take Your Daughter to Work anti-hero territory will be better suited for Lizzie than being a hero was.” [Review Grade: A-]
Site Grade: A: Synopses, occasional nterviews, active comments http://www.ew.com/topic/blacklist

Links to professional reviews; used reviews [Review Grade: mixed]
Site Grade: A: Very active message board, ratings, technical details http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2741602/

By: Kevin Yeoman: ‘The Blacklist’: Can Viewers Trust Liz’s Origin Story? http://bit.ly/1QyLgoF
// 5/17/2015, “… The episode’s co-writers, John Eisendrath and series creator Jon Bokenkamp … managed to weave quite the tapestry regarding Liz and Red’s relationship, seemingly blowing up the idea that Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington, a.k.a. “The Concierge of Crime” is actually Liz’s father. … But how much of this is to be taken at face value, and how much of it is simply another fiction within the narrative that is simply supposed to ‘look like the truth’?
● “This is a common problem with shows that routinely like to trick the audience and its characters at the same time. There is a certain advantage to this particular storytelling ploy, as it allows every situation to feel suspenseful and potentially the moment where a massive reveal could happen. The downside is that it dilutes the moments when said reveals actually do occur, simply by virtue of the audience being acclimatized to not trusting certain information when it is handed to them.”
● “This is an important juncture for the series. Messing with Harold Cooper for the better part of a season is one thing, but feeding your audience potentially false information regarding the series’ main storyline is something else entirely. At a certain point, every show has to give the audience something concrete, something the audience can believe (not just believe in), something it knows to be true.” [Review Grade: B+]

By: Kevin Yeoman: The Blacklist’ Season 2 Finale Review – A War Fought On Many Fronts http://bit.ly/1MWkD7i
// 5/15/2015, “… While ‘Masha Rostova’ didn’t exactly deliver the kind of bombshell the series had been teasing (with regard to Liz and Red’s relationship), it didn’t exactly shy away from it either. ”
● “At what point is it better for a series to play into the audience’s expectations, than to swerve at the last moment in an attempt to skirt them? Those swerves may very well pay off by making The Blacklist a better show, one that is willing to switch up its formula in order to serve the larger story that has been unearthed this season. If that’s true, then these hard-to-believe choices will be easier to overlook …”
● “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, however, and that is the question of what the future will bring. As mentioned above, season 3 will likely start out as a very different animal, and for a show whose basic premise already feels a little tired, that could be very rewarding.” [Review Grade: B-]
Site Grade: B-: Intermittent reviews http://screenrant.com/tag/the-blacklist/

By Geo N: The Blacklist: Tom Connolly (No. 11) Season Finale Review: “The Sin Eater” http://bit.ly/1GIEasT
// 5/18/2015, “Last Thursday, The Blacklist aired its season two finale, “Tom Connolly”. I thought it an exceptional episode, which is what you want given how some other show’s finales have been this TV season. It closed out most of the questions we were concerned with and paved the way for a season three that, based on that ending, will re-ignite my love for this series.”
● “Throughout much of season two of The Blacklist (mostly after the “Berlin-centric” episodes) we were shown how much Liz has been a beacon of light to Red; a ray of light to guide him out of the darkness. If you noticed in that scene, where Liz was escaping the “Post Office”, Liz was in the dark and there was, literally, a ‘red’ light guiding her way to safety. He is as much her ‘ray of light’ as she is his.”
● “After a season of Liz fluctuating and wavering back-and-forth between loving and hating Red it appears she has finally accepted his role in her life, whatever that may be. It doesn’t matter if Red is Liz’s father or not – like the ‘Rocket Man’, Red is ‘not the man that we think he is at all’. What matters to Liz now, is the harmonious relationship they share; Red is her ‘Sin Eater’ and occasional guide through life and Liz is his ray of light and beacon of hope in a tumultuous world.”
● “I love the parallels that were drawn between Red and Liz’s life this season. This is made even more apparent as Liz’s photo is added right next to Red’s on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. Their relationship is truly a harmonious one and they are closer to each other than they (and we) think.” [Review grade: B+]
Site Grade: B-: Reviews/Synopses mixed w other shows; active comments http://www.spoilertv.com/search/label/The%20Blacklist

Tell-Tale TV
By Jennifer Stasak: The Blacklist Season Finale Review: Masha Rostova (Season 2 Episode 22) http://bit.ly/1KTK9Lu
// 5/15/2015, “Well hallelujah, amen! We finally have answers as to who Elizabeth Keen really is, why her memories were blocked by Red, and what – exactly – happened the night of the fire that she has been struggling to remember ever since.
● “This season’s finale of The Blacklist is pretty subdued. This is a series that has been known to blow up buildings, set things on fire, and wreak bloody havoc on its characters in its episodes. But “Masha Rostova” is relatively tame in comparison to episodes like “Anslo Garrick,” for example. It is a culmination of the questions that have been building all season. They’ve been questions of identity and of secrecy, of lies and truth. And it’s wonderful.
● “It is poignant, to me, that the weapon of choice for Raymond Reddington is not a gun. It is not an explosive. It is not a material weapon at all. The weapon against the Cabal? The truth. Words.” //➔ Remember Berlin mocking Red: “Words. Words. Words”? – LizzieB90
● “So Ressler makes his choice and when the cameras turn back on, he lies and says that he just missed catching Liz. … I think that the Ressler/Liz dynamic is so interesting and so great. Here’s a man who gives pretty much everything in his life to his job and yet still chose to protect his partner, even though he knew that if anyone found out, it could cost him everything. He believes in Liz. He believes that she is stronger than she knows.”
● “… I loved Liz’s darker path this season because I recognized she was becoming more and more like Raymond Reddington. Now, she’s embodied all of those similarities, down to her name being next to his on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.” [Review grade: B]
Site Grade: B-: User-created content http://telltaletv.com/category/the-blacklist/

By: Cory Barker: TheBlacklist Season 2 Finale Review: America’s Most Wanted http://bit.ly/1QDS7Yx
// 5/15/2015, perceptive review; “… The last stretch of episodes of Season 2 have felt purposeful, promising, and specifically structured to offer some real answers. And wouldn’t you know it, ‘Masha Rostova’ actually delivered on that promise. While this season finale wasn’t an exceptional episode by any regard, it was definitely one that The Blacklist needed.”
● “If you’ve followed my irregular coverage of the show you know that I’ve been critical of how willing The Blacklist has been to let Lizzie (Megan Boone) be manipulated and jerked around by the cunning men in her life—and sometimes by the men she doesn’t even really know are ‘in’ her life—but the back half of Season 2 made nice strides in illustrating that this was a woman who despite all the trauma, all the secrets, all the lies, was still willing to push ahead to find pieces of the truth.”
● “The late-season reveal that Lizzie’s mother was a KGB operative was a solid enough wrinkle to the ongoing questions about her family history, and the finale uncovered another substantial piece of that family history in spectacularly melodramatic fashion. Yes friends, anytime a fictional character SUDDENLY remembers a traumatic event that they’ve long suppressed by murdering someone is a good time in my book.”
● “… It was kind of great to see Lizzie decide, ‘You know what? Nah,’ and pop Connolly in the chest. It was brutal and will certainly have long-lasting consequences for a character who has already been put through the emotional ringer, but it was a big move for the character.
● “The few moments between Cooper and Lizzie here, particularly the one early on in the car, was so well acted by both Lennix and Boone that Lizzie’s ultimate decision to kill Connolly and get Cooper fired (presumably) was that much more moving. …
● “… This is still clearly Spader’s show (and if you need evidence of that look no further than the last four minutes of the episode), but there was real value in nudging Red to a slightly more supporting role in Lizzie’s quest to find answers and then clear her name. Of course, this is The Blacklist and we now don’t have any idea as to why Red would have gone so far out of his way to protect this particular truth from Lizzie for so long, but at least there’s a built-in ‘I wanted to protect you’ rationale.”
● “Now Lizzie and Red are on the run, a pair of the FBI’s Most Wanted taking a journey to the unknown. Hopefully this season’s traumas were what Lizzie needed to continuously take a more active role in the increasingly insane world around her, and considering that Ressler and the American Intelligence Apparatus and this dumb Cabal* are all coming for them, she’ll need to be.”
● “[F]rom the post-Super Bowl episode [2:9] onward**, there was more to like than not. Until Season 3!” [Review Grade: A-]
*The Cabal is dumbly named, but I love the Cold War backdrop and how it provides the context for major political, social and ideological issues we currently face. See: TNR, Mark Lilla: The Truth About Our Libertarian Age – Why the dogma of democracy doesn’t always make the world better http://bit.ly/1sXX2gn – LizzieB90
** I’d say, starting with [2:8 The Decembrist], so Episodes 8-22. – LizzieB90
Site Grade: B: Reviews and links http://www.tv.com/shows/the-blacklist/

By: Christopher Bourque: The Blacklist Season 2 Finale Review: 2×22 “Tom Connolly”
// 5/18/2015, “Superb, emotional performances by Megan Boone and James Spader. Gutsy and powerful moments for Harry J. Lennix and enlightening twists that answer some questions and serve to deepen the mystery surrounding Liz’s past.
● “Reed Birney has been a joy to despise all season. Slowly integrating his sleazy approach to charm and manipulation into the serialized arc for Red, Liz and Harold instantly made him a fun character to hate.
● “Harry J. Lennix delivered his most endearing and emotional performance of the season as he and Liz discussed his illness. We were moved by Lennix and his vulnerability.
● “As she shared her revelation with Red, Spader was masterful. Red was clearly emotional during her confession.
● “By the time the hour was done, we genuinely did feel very much like Liz. Where was Red’s shoulder for us? We needed it.
● “The Blacklist managed to ramp up to the excellence we’ve come to expect in the last few weeks and the finale was certainly a worthy ending. We have no idea how all these pieces will get sorted, but you can bet we’ll be watching to find out when The Blacklist returns next fall!” [Review Grade: A]
Site Grade: A: Reviews, Promo Photos & Synopses: http://tvafterdark.com/category/tv/nbc/the-blacklist/

By: Sean McKenna: The Blacklist Season 2 Report Card: Grade It! http://bit.ly/1R0LYWy
// 6/2/2015, nice look at entire season, picking out high & points in a fair & considered way, eg:
● “Best episode: There were actually a few episodes that could have taken this one, but I’ll give it to The Blacklist Season 2 Episode 18. We got a blacklister, Vanessa Cruz, who managed to escape from the Liz and the FBI, and yet, Red clearly has something in store for her in the future. Tom really was trying to prove himself to Liz on his journey for forgiveness, even revealing to her the big secret that Red hired him to watch Liz. We also got Liz emotionally confronting Red, even willing to give up the sacred fulcrum, right before the shocking moment of Red getting shot.
● “This was a well-crafted episode on all fronts that left you wanting to know more. And it really set the pace for those final episodes of the season.” [Review Grade: A+]
Site Grade: A: Reviews of every episode, articles, interviews, links, photos, quotes: http://www.tvfanatic.com/shows/the-blacklist/

By: Rebecca Ianucci: The Blacklist Recap: 7 Biggest Moments From the Season Finale http://bit.ly/1FWQEYj
// 5/14/2015, more a recap than a review (w 7 ‘take-always’), but I liked this: “I’d like to suggest the alternate title Elizabeth Keen and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Life. (The hashtag might need some work, but I’m willing to rally around the #EKATTHNGVBL cause if you guys are.)” [B]
Site Grade: C: Intermittent reviews, ratings oriented: http://tvline.com/tag/the-blacklist/

By: Nick Hogan: The Blacklist Season 2 Episode 22 Review: “Tom Connolly (No. 11)” http://bit.ly/1HLcmmF
// 5/15/2015, “What an exciting thrill ride the second season of NBC’s The Blacklist has been. It’s been such a fun show to write about, and the finale ended with quite a bang. This episode was a culmination of multiple seasons of plot, intrigue, and non-stop action, and was arguably The Blacklist’s best hour yet. It was certainly a game-changer.”
● “Wow. Any expectations I had for the final episode of this season were absolutely blown out of the water by this episode. It was action-packed, revealed lots of plot, and managed to do all of that while keeping a tight reign on my attention, never wavering. I cannot praise the direction of the show or its characters enough. I was surprised, but since I’m pretty good at predictions, I love it when a show keeps me on my toes. I don’t think there’s anything they could’ve done to get me more interested in Season 3.”
● “Megan Boone has been wonderful all season, and I’ve not been shy about saying so. She was never bad, but at the beginning, the show was about James Spader and no one else. … As details come out about Agent (well, I guess not any more) Keen’s past, the more that Boone embodies those traits in her nuanced but powerful portrayal. Many people believed (and some still do) that Reddington is Liz’s father, but from what the show has shown me so far, the past for the two of them is a much more complicated matter. Either way, I’m excited to find out.”
● “Of course, you really can’t talk about a finale without touching the main character, and James Spader is always deserving of the praise that everyone (myself included) gives him. He has a certain level of gravitas that is untouched by those around him, and his performances are always so powerful. …”
● “This episode has to be in the five best The Blacklist has ever done. It has everything you could want, and perfectly set up a game-changed new season.” [Review Grade: A]
Site Grade: C: None, each review listed separately

By Brian Lowry: ‘Scandal,’ ‘The Blacklist’ Season Finales Go In Opposite Directions http://bit.ly/1A68NpJ
// 5/15/2015, “Yet while the NBC drama actually shifted course in an unexpected and invigorating way, the centerpiece of ABC’s “TGIT” lineup flung around absurd plot twists so promiscuously even die-hard fans will likely need the summer to recover.”
● “When NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt described “The Blacklist” finale as a “game-changer” during this week’s upfront presentation, the temptation was to roll your eyes. After all, the show had kicked the can down the road regarding FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen’s background so many times as to merit skepticism.
● “The episode, however … more than delivered on that promise, not just transforming Keen (Megan Boone) into a fugitive after she killed a member of the Cabal, but finally exposing what happened to her father when she was a child, and why Raymond Reddington (James Spader) had gone to such great lengths to conceal it from her.”
● “The finish set up all kinds of possibilities for season three, with Keen on the FBI’s “most wanted” list, former colleagues charged with tracking her down, and her on-and-off again bond with Reddington seemingly solidified, at least for now. Even his description of himself as a ‘sin eater,’ an archaic term, felt especially elegant and appropriate under the circumstances.” [Review Grade: A-]
Site Grade: B: Reviews, articles, ratings: http://variety.com/t/the-blacklist/

WSJ, Blacklist Blog, By Jason Evans: Synopses http://on.wsj.com/1sMrXMo [B]
Site Grade: C-: Although JE’s synopses are very good, the blog itself is ill-managed and inbred and given to exotic theories.

By: Adam A. Donaldson: The Blacklist Season Finale Review: “Masha Rostova” (Season 2, Episode 22) http://bit.ly/1ehQVhR
// 5/15/2015, “From the criminal and cop dichotomy, to the are they or aren’t they father/daughter relationship, it always seemed like they were made for each other, like peanut butter and jam. And now, at the end of the second season of The Blacklist, it turns out that they truly are peas in a pod. The finale firmly answered the question of Red’s potential paternity to Liz, and it set up a fascinating new dynamic for next season that will likely see Liz becoming more like Red in a way she never thought she would.”
● “There was something delightfully fatalistic about the moment when Liz shot Connolly. First it was like she came full circle, since the show sometimes likes to dangle the possibility that there’s more criminality to Liz then she’d like to admit. At the same time, it’s going to be harder for the writers to walk back Liz shooting the Attorney General dead than it would have been to just explain away that she was framed for the murder of a senator. It’ll be really hard to re-establish the status quo now, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the writers will try.” [Review Grade: B]
Site Grade: C: Synopses/Reviews, each listed separately, no individual link


༺✦ ⌘ ✦༻


FirstPost: James Spader: “I’m drawn to conflicted characters” http://bit.ly/1T6M3M9 The Blacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 6/4/2015, “What makes Spader’s portrayal of Raymond “Red” Reddington so popular is his ability to bring in doses of black humor in the most edge-of-your-seat moments. He has a straight face in any given situation, even as he plays a wanted criminal who surrenders to the FBI for immunity. It almost seems as if he maintains the mysteriously calm, yet bordering psychotic persona in all his characters.

“‘I read it [The Blacklist] and I was intrigued by the character, and the story, and the possibilities for the direction that the series could go,’ said Spader, also adding ‘The character’s sense of humor, I thought, was such an interesting juxtaposition to what the realities of his life were. The realities are very often dangerous, and quite dramatic and extreme. I saw the possibility for a sense of humor within that life. I responded to that immediately and have done everything I can to try and explore that as much as we can on the show.’

“Perhaps it’s his personal interest in the stories that are being told that makes Spader so involved in his characters. ‘The writers, John Bokenkamp, John Eisendrath, and myself have been collaborating very closely about every aspect of this character and how he fits within the life of the show since the very beginning, since the very first episode,’ he said.

“But make no mistake, for Spader, the edgier the better. One of the most striking things about The Blacklist as a show is your frustration with Reddington and his motivations. He’s a tough character to crack, and that adds to the charm of watching a thriller. This seems to be a deliberate move on Spader’s part: to not be a hero, but to never meander into villain territory as well. He admits to finding fascination in the grey.

“‘I’ve found that there has always been a long historical precedent in both film, and in television, and in literature of the anti-hero,’ said Spader. ‘It’s always been those characters that I’ve been the most drawn to, characters who are very conflicted, and not just conflicted but also very often very dichotomous or – as you say – they sort of live in the grey area.'”


══════════ ▼
RATINGS and Renewal Summary
By LizzieB90, May 21, 2015
(See also http://wp.me/pDKwi-Yo Appendix)

The Blacklist remains NBC’s top-rated scripted drama – and NBC is moving toward more drama, not away from it. The fact that The Blacklist production group will be doing the show just after it shows they have confidence it them and in The Blacklist. They are keeping TBL on Thursdays to anchor two new shows. And VOD and L✛3D do matter. Advertisers just wish they didn’t.

CarterMatt: ‘The Blacklist’ season 2: Episodes still charting high in DVR ratings http://bit.ly/1INNDiH “We would be surprised to see this show conclude at any point before 2017”
// 5/5/2015

HollywoodReporter: Broadcast Ax: Networks just went on a cancelation binge http://bit.ly/1HkUt9R With one exception, NBC renewed all shows between 2 and 6 seasons (the one they cancelled had just completed 2 seasons)
// 5/8/2015

Variety: Ratings: NBC, CBS Win Season Titles http://bit.ly/1Pzjvvz
// 5/19/2015, “And though “The Blacklist” fell off as it moved to Thursday Island, it remained a big DVR draw; combined with its early-season Monday averages, the James Spader drama finished as the fourth most-popular broadcast drama among adults 18-49 (Live+7 for original episode)”

MediaLife (5/18): ‘The Blacklist’ soars w DVR viewership http://bit.ly/1Khr32C 18-49yo +142%, all +75% week ending 5/3/2015 http://pic.twitter.com/WxzWCQ5VzV
// 5/18/2015

TVSeriesFinale: NBC 2014-15 Season Ratings (updated 5/21/15) http://bit.ly/1Sk6chq the top six shows were renewed; The Blacklist is #1
// 5/21/2015
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BlacklistDCd, LizzieB90: Looking Ahead to Season 3 (Review) wp.me/pDKwi-Yo
// 5/22/2015


TV[.]com, Cory Barker: TheBlacklist Season 2 Finale Review: America’s Most Wanted http://bit.ly/1QDS7Yx perceptive review
// 5/15/2015, “the last stretch of episodes of Season 2 have felt purposeful, promising, and specifically structured to offer some real answers. And wouldn’t you know it, ‘Masha Rostova’ actually delivered on that promise. While this season finale wasn’t an exceptional episode by any regard, it was definitely one that The Blacklist needed.

“If you’ve followed my irregular coverage of the show you know that I’ve been critical of how willing The Blacklist has been to let Lizzie (Megan Boone) be manipulated and jerked around by the cunning men in her life—and sometimes by the men she doesn’t even really know are ‘in’ her life—but the back half of Season 2 made nice strides in illustrating that this was a woman who despite all the trauma, all the secrets, all the lies, was still willing to push ahead to find pieces of the truth.

“The late-season reveal that Lizzie’s mother was a KGB operative was a solid enough wrinkle to the ongoing questions about her family history, and the finale uncovered another substantial piece of that family history in spectacularly melodramatic fashion. Yes friends, anytime a fictional character SUDDENLY remembers a traumatic event that they’ve long suppressed by murdering someone is a good time in my book.

“But it wasn’t just that Lizzie finally ‘remembered’ the truth about her birth father’s death—Surprise! As a toddler, she couldn’t take the arguing and the domestic abuse in her family anymore and decided to shoot him dead—it’s the way that it happened. After being set up by the increasingly vicious Tom Connolly (Reed Birney) as well as the stupidly named Cabal and watching the same thing happen to Cooper (Harry Lennix), Lizzie simply had enough. Was shooting U.S. Attorney General Connolly dead in a public place a good move? Obviously not. Yet, in an episode where everyone from Red (James Spader) to Tom (Ryan Eggold) to Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) tried to tell her what was best for her, it was kind of great to see Lizzie decide, ‘You know what? Nah,’ and pop Connolly in the chest. It was brutal and will certainly have long-lasting consequences for a character who has already been put through the emotional ringer, but it was a big move for the character.

“Lizzie’s murder of Connolly was also a surprisingly effective culmination of a couple of storylines, namely Connolly’s manipulation of the previously straight-and-narrow Cooper and the larger influence of the Cabal. … The few moments between Cooper and Lizzie here, particularly the one early on in the car, was so well acted by both Lennix and Boone that Lizzie’s ultimate decision to kill Connolly and get Cooper fired (presumably) was that much more moving. …

“… This is still clearly Spader’s show (and if you need evidence of that look no further than the last four minutes of the episode), but there was real value in nudging Red to a slightly more supporting role in Lizzie’s quest to find answers and then clear her name. Of course, this is The Blacklist and we now don’t have any idea as to why Red would have gone so far out of his way to protect this particular truth from Lizzie for so long, but at least there’s a built-in ‘I wanted to protect you’ rationale.

“Now Lizzie and Red are on the run, a pair of the FBI’s Most Wanted taking a journey to the unknown. Hopefully this season’s traumas were what Lizzie needed to continuously take a more active role in the increasingly insane world around her, and considering that Ressler and the American Intelligence Apparatus and this dumb Cabal* are all coming for them, she’ll need to be.

“… *[F]rom the post-Super Bowl episode [2:9] onward**, there was more to like than not. Until Season 3!”
*The Cabal is dumbly named, but I love the Cold War backdrop and how it provides the context for major political, social and ideological issues we currently face. See: TNR, Mark Lilla: The Truth About Our Libertarian Age – Why the dogma of democracy doesn’t always make the world better http://bit.ly/1sXX2gn – LizzieB90
**I’d say, starting with [2:8 The Decembrist], so Episodes 8-22. – LizzieB90


YahooScreen: James Spader Interview http://bit.ly/1cQ3OOU trx by Tumblr: asundayinaugust
// 5/13/2015


GlobalTV (5/12): James Spader on Season 2 of The Blacklist and the finale http://bit.ly/1HhywbJ
// 5/12/2015, Q: “Looking back over Season 2, in what ways would you say that the relationship between Liz and Reddington has changed?

James Spader: In terms of that relationship, it has its hills and valleys and I think it has to continue to be that way. It’s a very, very complicated relationship between the two of them. As much as she doesn’t know the true nature of their relationship, I think it’s quite equitable for Reddington as well because I think he’s trying to grasp a hold of what the true nature of their relationship is now. Forget the past, regardless of what that the past represents. What is the nature of their relationship now and what are even the possibilities of a relationship with her. I think he’s enormously conflicted that he’s there. He certainly has a protective instinct but by the same token he does bring an awful lot of crisis and strife to her life. And I think he probably wrestles with that quite a lot.

Q:Do you think the revelation that Red was responsible for placing Tom into Liz’s life was a turning point for them?

James Spader: That’s a perfect example of where Reddington, with the finest of intent to be able to have some kind of arm’s reach to her life and her safety and well-being, introduced Tom into her life in a capacity that he soon discovered turned into something very different. But those good intentions blew up into something very different.”


HollywoodReporter: The Blacklist Creator on “Devastating” Finale Death, Liz and Tom’s Romantic Shocker http://bit.ly/1Fo1BEg
// 5/14/2015, “Executive producer Jon Bokenkamp tells The Hollywood Reporter that the episode’s conclusion had been in the works for the duration of the show’s run. ‘The image of Liz’s wanted poster going up next to Reddington’s wanted poster is something we’ve talked about for a long time and one of those signpost moments in the series that we knew we wanted to hit,’ he says.

“With the episode’s ‘devastating’ turn of events, Bokenkamp says that Liz’s ‘line of good and bad has become blurred,’ as the finale ‘hardens her in ways and makes her more jaded and careful and really more like Reddington in a lot of ways.'”


NYT, Dave Itzkoff: Interview: James Spader Prepares for ‘Avengers: Age of #Ultron’http://nyti.ms/1OHYOYC The Blacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 4/22/2015
● “some essential part of him remains inscrutable & comfortably weird”
● “Mr. Spader speaks in perfectly formed sentences, a baritone voice, an automatic pace & an unpredictable volume”
● “You really can find yourself not being able to see the forest for the trees,” he said.
● “And then,” he added, his voice rising without warning or provocation, “at times not being able to see the trees for the forest”
● “My trajectory has not been an unbroken line. It’s always been piecemeal”
● “Colleagues say that he has always projected a mixture of confidence and eccentricity, naïveté and shrewdness”
● “Spader shed his reputation as a pretty boy & played intricate characters w unconventional erotic tastes” ⇈ ⇊
● “As to why he was so often cast in those roles, ‘I don’t know what the hell it says about me'”
● “There are times where you feel somewhat in control of the beast. I’m not really sure one entirely is”
● “never consider[s] whether [a film] possesses ‘a broader appeal, beyond my perverted sensibility'”
● Spader “latched onto … network pilot, which offered tantalizing* questions about his character & an FBI profiler played by Megan Boone” (*❗) ⇈ ⇊
● ⋙ Not sure when I last heard the word “tantalizing” used to describe a F/D relationship …
● Whedon: Ultron possesses “all the logic of artificial intelligence, but can’t control how his conclusions make him feel”
● Ultron is “an eight-foot robot wreaking havoc in his wake” – Spader
● Whedon: “James can do that it’s-coming-out-of-the-subwoofer voice, & then he can do the most hilarious hissy fit”
● “Downey said he took a certain delight that … Spader was now about to join him in ‘the ranks of the overexposed'”
● “I’m trying to serve my own curiosity & imagination first” – on picking roles
● “whatever perception his performances create, ‘I don’t concern myself with that very much — I just do the work'”


From Candice Bergen’s autobiography, A Fine Romance (2015): On James Spader bit.ly/1DQY90V via Tumblr: MesmerizingJamesSpader pic.twitter.com/1Btdi4M791
// 4/7/2015, “James Spader is one of our finest actors. He is truly eccentric, initially a tiny bit prickly, hyperfocused and hyperintelligent. He carved each character he plays by hand – gaining or losing weight, shaving or growing his hair, and making singular wardrobe choices. For the character of Alan Shore on Boston Legal, he wanted him to wear Lobb handmade shoes. James found a way of not smacking his gums exactly, but sort of champing on the bit that was very Alan Shore. He has an almost photographic memory, so he learns his lines at one viewing. David Kelley routinely wrote him five- or six-page monologues in court closings, and he would give them flawlessly, only to be sandbagged by a nervous actor who couldn’t remember his few words at the end. James never lost his temper with the actors and was always generous to work with. The only thing you had to do was be prepared because he not only knew every word of his lines, he knew every word of yours. Plus the punctuation. “Didn’t you have a semicolon there?” He asked when someone barreled through a long sentence. “I think you left out your ‘for.’” It came from respect for the writing and respect for the craft.

“James’s dressing room was at the farthest corner of the complex. It took days to reach. He had set up a sculpture studio there for his gorgeous, dear girlfriend Leslie Stefanson. That was the only way to ensure seeing her during the relentlessly long workweek. Leslie would often show up with their dog, Mr. Meagles.

“James, whom I love, is fiercely quirky. He had, evidently, a traditional series of actions that he went through before going to the sound stage when we were ready to shoot. A string of rituals. If he was interrupted in the sequence and it was unfinished, he would start over from the top. The assistant directors had to consider this when he was called. He would then use his handkerchief to open the heavy fire door to the set as a preventative to catching the myriad germs from the hundreds coming in and out. The crew understood he needed his time, and they waited patiently, without speaking, for him to enter the sound stage. He was given every consideration because they had such respect for his work. He never failed them. Every performance was a little masterwork.”


💙💙 TVAfterDark (3/22): The Blacklist Review: 2:16 “Tom Keen” http://bit.ly/1N7mmap
// 3/22/2015, very positive review: Rating: A+
I don’t think I’ve ever read a more positive review of ANYTHING
● “The Blacklist just delivered a near perfect hour of television”
● TVAfterDark: “If there was any doubt @Ryan_Eggold could equal James Spader line for line, this episode should put that all to rest” The Blacklist
● TVAfterDark: “Ryan Eggold is a rare talent and we’re extraordinarily lucky to have him to play such a complex, nuanced and pivotal character”
● “Eggold absolutely crushed it in this episode”
● “we’re just hoping that we get more of Tom from here on out”
● Eggold “equaled Spader’s performance in every scene the two shared”
● “the eyes don’t lie when the acting is exceptional”
● “This show hit a monumental home run in casting [@MeganBoone] in this role”
● “Harry Lennix has made Cooper into someone we all respect”
● “in this episode, [@MeganBoone] laid out some of the finest work she’s done”
● “The first 10 minutes of this episode was some of the best work we’ve seen on this show and it only got better as things drew to a close”
● “entire episode … was absolutely full of moments that tugged at the heart-strings”
● “though we rarely root for Connolly, we certainly did as he pushed Denner right over the edge”
● Connolly (Reed Birney) “freely admits with the smile of a newborn that he has no principles to lose”
● “So many great things happened in this episode that writing a review seemed a daunting task”
● “How do you do greatness justice?”
● “we’d like to see a Ressler and Dembe spin-off later”
● “we really should learn not to underestimate this writing team and James Spader”
● “truly a master at his craft and we’re just lucky to get to watch”
● “we got a glimpse into perhaps some of what Red has felt toward Liz all this time and maybe—just maybe—some of the reasons why he’s done all he had to do”
● “Spader once again delivered an unforgettable, emotional moment”
● “Spader’s emotional delivery showed us that Red cares deeply for Liz”
● “we’re just going to enjoy the ride with this cast, team of writers and group of producers that have brought us an exceptional show in The Blacklist”
● “Not one word or second wasted. Every moment moved us, hit us emotionally, moved the plot forward or thrilled us. That’s rarified air for any television show, but this episode achieved it”
● “… sometimes, talent, hard work, impeccable timing, prefect circumstance and a little luck all converge to bring us that rare 43 minutes of near perfection that strikes a chord in complete harmony with all our expectations of what we hope television to be”
● “outstanding combination of writing and performance”
● “The Blacklist from the beginning … was far more than one hour of television”
● “Every moment, every emotion, every look and every word was enhanced by all we know about this show up to now”
●”‘Tom Keen’ may very well the finest episode of this series to date”
● “Someone watching The Blacklist for the first time might even be compelled to watch the rest of the series based on this episode alone”
● ‘To Jon & John:’ “You’ve created something special and you’ve set the bar high for what fans expect”
● “[I]’n an episode, where there wasn’t a wasted moment, a needless word or an out-of-place d emotional peak, you’ve pushed your own bar even higher”
● “we get the distinct impression a lot of this episode has been planned by the entire writer’s room for some tim”
● “the teleplay of this episode was jaw-dropping fantastic”
● “…Andrew McCarthy be brought back to direct as often as he is able and willing”
● “… those that had a direct hand in building this episode, from the big picture down to the smallest detail, deserve the tip of our Fedora for their efforts”


TVGuide: The Blacklist: How Far Will Liz Go to Protect Tom? Megan Boone Weighs In http://bit.ly/1BpNOYw
// 3/11/2015
In a TVGuide.com poll, 63 percent of votes were against Tom and Liz together. But the Red-Liz (Lizzington) ‘shippers out there seem to be vocal.
Boone: I’m very well aware of them. They actually have the loudest ‘shipper’ voice on social media.
They must have been thrilled with the last episode when Red is about to be shot, and he calls out, “Lizzie,” right before he’s saved.
Boone: Yes, and when she says, “I care about you.” I think the interesting thing about Red Reddington is that ostensibly he’s a sociopath. Only terror lies before him, and there’s destruction in his wake. But the people who are closest to him love him dearly. Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) and Lizzie both love Red. Even though Lizzie has a very conflicted relationship with that love because she knows who he is, she shows these people a side of him that not very many other people see. That is where the Lizzington crowd comes from. They sense that. And because the audience sees that side of Red, they want that side of Red to prevail.”


HuffPo: The Enjoyable and Oddly Gripping NBC Series ‘The Blacklist’ http://huff.to/1Ec5SMA stresses the show’s continuous improvement
// 2/26/2015, “While the show without a doubt has a few shortcomings, from the occasional plot hole to some bad computer-generated graphics, it has quickly improved in quality, each episode more secure and confident than the last. But missteps aside, the true joy of the series lies in utterly delightful charm and menace with which Spader plays Red. Calm and collected, adorned in a three-piece suit and a fedora with his ever trusty bodyguard Dembe at his side, he is the holder of all the information. He is a walking and talking enigma, part shaman, part criminal mastermind, part sociopathic murderer, part worried guardian, who disguises his deadly nature with a disarmingly easygoing and charming smile that’s accompanied by wild stories that could be taken word for word out of the diary of The Most Interesting Man in The World. But, as many of the episodes in the series allude to, and as he admits himself, everything about him is a lie, but it’s difficult to dismiss even those you don’t trust when they become in a necessity in what you hope to achieve.”

“Utilizing Spader’s charms and wonderfully enjoyable display of acting, alongside a continually improving cast and high-end production quality, The Blacklist stands out among dramas on network television. … ”

⬆ go to top
HollywoodReporter: The Highest-Rated Broadcast Series of 2014 — and How People Watched Them http://bit.ly/1vGLE3U
// 12/30/2014, #5. The Blacklist
“Blacklist’s performance outside of traditional time-shifting is not altogether clear, as networks tabulate their own multiplatform scores and NBC tends to focus on freshmen, but it regularly adds the most viewers of any broadcast series each week, and its showing with adults 18-49 is only slightly diminished in its sophomore year. Time-slot replacement State of Affairs proves that it’s not just Voice magic driving interest in Blacklist — something that NBC should feel good about as February’s big Super Bowl episode and ensuing migration to Thursdays approach.”


Decider, Ned Hepburn: What Makes ‘The Blacklist’ So Popular? Why, James Spader, Of Course! http://bit.ly/1xcvmVC
// 12/28/2014, wickedly funny review; see comments also

“There are times when Spader seems to know that the show is falling apart around him so he does what can best be described as burping the show: like a skilled babysitter, he puts the entire series on his shoulder and pats it’s back and tells it everything is going to be alright. It’s an honestly impressive feat, sort of like watching Johnny Carson successfully interview a burrito. James stops short of blowing raspberries on your stomach and jiggling his keys in front of your face, but you get the point.”

There are flashes here of a show much smarter than it lets on to be.

“The show should not work. It often doesn’t. But not unlike a metaphorical Cadillac in an allegorical garage, it’s not about what it CAN do, but what it COULD do. Polish it up and fine tune it and you could have a real gem, but right now, thanks probably in part to network notes, The Blacklist is the body of a Cadillac with the engine of a Prius, looking the part but caught between what it wants to be and whats under the hood. Because car analogy.

“It’s gonna have to pick one or the other. It’s a highly popular smart show masquerading as a dumb show. One has to wonder what the show could be if it decided to be both highly popular and highly intelligent at the same time..” //➔ yes, please

Comment: What is great about the show is that Spader is just so much fun to watch. He is just a captivating actor. His dramatic scenes are captivating and his lighter scenes are a blast. Without Spader this show wouldn’t have lasted a full season, with him it is must watch TV. The one thing that Spader never does is “phone it in”. He is working very hard in each and every scene.”

Comment, John Hymer: Hipsters really shouldn’t be allowed to write reviews. They get too caught up in trying to express their snarky witticisms than they do actually paying attention to what they are trying to critique. The Blacklist has it’s formula and it is obviously a winning one. Much like NCIS, it has found something that works and is not going to screw with it’s formula. The fact that James Spader is one of the greatest actors in the business, living or dead, is the very spark of Life that makes the show breathe. Reddington is Alan Shore’s id after it’s slipped it’s leash. Pure oozy, chauvinism and smarm, that could not be pulled off by any other actor.” // ➔ Bravo! [emphases mine]


Enstarz: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 2 Spoilers: No. 2 On The Blacklist Revealed, 10-Year-Old Liz To Appear http://bit.ly/1vO7zfO


BlacklistExposed Podcast: http://bit.ly/11Uyicx The fall finale fan feedback episode of The Blacklist Exposed listen below then subscribe! http://bit.ly/1row0cy


SpoilersTV: The Blacklist Season 2: Will Return With New Prominent Stars http://bit.ly/1vjEEy3 this is exciting
// 11/12/2014, “NBC is looking to add a little A-list action to the Super-powered hour. A casting notice just went out seeking “star names” to play Jasper, the fiftysomething Director of the National Clandestine Services. Jasper’s in charge of the multi-national group that runs the worlds’ most powerful figures. He’ll also be around beyond Feb. 1, since the role is recurring”


SpoilerTV: Scenes of the Week http://bit.ly/1u1DF04
// 11/16/2014 “Jimmy Ryan: James Spader delivered what I think is his best performance yet as Red on his hit series The Blacklist on Monday night. His presence on screen was incredible, and it culminated in the terrific closing scene of the year, as Red calls Tom to a bar, and gives perhaps the firmest demand I’ve ever seen one character give to another on television, to never see Liz again. It was an absolutely sensational bit of acting by Spader to close one of the series most outstanding episodes.”


CapitolFile: Megan Boone Opens Up About ‘TheBlacklist,’ Dating, and Twitter http://bit.ly/11EenzD @NBCBlacklist
// 11/17/2014 (date approx)

Q: How does the process work? I noticed last season that current events were woven in and references added to the dialogue to make it very timely.
A: I really think that social media has changed the medium of television in a huge way. We are in the golden age of television. The interesting thing about network TV is that we are developing and shooting episodes at a much faster rate [than cable or streaming], so that means our air date and our wrap date are very close. When we get a response from our fans, we’re able to almost instantly respond to that within our story. Within a couple of episodes, fans will see something play out that they wished for, or something that they noticed will be somehow woven into the story.”


BleedingCool, Erik Grove: That Was Fun, Let’s Do It Again: The Blacklist Fall Finale http://bit.ly/14pNLDo
// 11/14/2014, “The Blacklist is NBC’s most successful original and genuinely compelling straight-down-the-middle one hour drama since ER. It’s not hard to figure out why. The show’s vitality and bite comes almost entirely from James Spader. Spader’s Raymond “Red” Reddington welcomes the audience with his easy charisma and moral ambiguity. He can go from haunting sadness to viciousness and then wry humor in the same scene. Spader’s performance and the character that he and the showrunners have created for him to play is an instant classic TV villain at once intoxicatingly likeable and absolutely horrifying.”


EW  Spoilers: Anatomy Spoiler Room: Scoop on ‘The Blacklist,’ ‘Mentalist,’ ‘Grey’s’ and more http://bit.ly/1zXrytw @NBCBlacklist
// 11/14/2014, “What’s coming up when The Blacklist returns? — Brandon. It actually looks like Red does not have the Fulcrum, but he will set his sights on getting it. Unfortunately, so will another Blacklister. But in the process, Red will be forced to risk his life to protect Liz, who you may be surprised to hear might have a connection to the Fulcrum.”


NYMag, Peter Sassone: Where We Stand After The Blacklist’s Season Two Midpoint http://vult.re/1GTRacE 10 key points @NBCBlacklist


NBC, plots are one thing. You can draw people in with interesting plots. But it’s the CHARACTERS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS that keep people interested. It’s Writing 101. Pretty sure half of your fanbase is better at it than you. If you keep this shit up, I guarantee you, the ratings are going to drop tremendously once you make the shift to Thursday nights. Did I leave anything out, selinabln, lizzingtonshippers, redandlizzie, agentsofspader, eaglechica19, red-is-the-new-blackington, roominthecastle, the-blacklist-theory, and any other Blacklisters out there I forgot to include?
Nah, I think you covered it. Right there with ya! http://bit.ly/1uf1PrB


From AgentsOfSPADER: http://bit.ly/1xLNEuB //➔ A Lizzington shipper perspective ♡ ૂི•̮͡• ૂ ྀ♡
If Red’s ‘Bomb’ is as exciting as Liz’s ‘Secret’, it’ll be him telling Berlin that he’s
found Berlin’s daughter (Zoe/Jennifer).
“One…last…option,” Jon [Bokenkamp, head showrunner] whispers, his voice savage and raw with desperation. His fingers tremble over the keyboard, and the words tumble with unmistakable finality onto the page. He reads them aloud, as if speaking were the last step in his eldritch spell. There is a strange light in his eyes—the gleam of a madman and a prophet—as he clears his throat:
‘Lizzie…I am your father.’”
Repent, heathens! Repent, and bring not the end times down upon us!
Darth Spader…❗


EW, Jodi Walker: The Blacklist recap: ‘The Decembrist’ – Red kills two vendetta-birds with one stone, and Lizzie finally caves to the pressure of everyone knowing so much more than her all the time http://bit.ly/1vinTFk

// 11/11/2014, “…Surely [Liz] knows she’s just a pawn in a game much bigger than she is. She breaks down about not being able to kill Tom; she told herself by not killing him she was using him, that it meant she was finally in control. Red tells her, ‘When you love someone, you have no control. That’s what love is—being powerless.’ They share a comforting embrace that should probably imply that Red loves Lizzie in such a way—yet his complete control, his power over every situation, suggests the opposite. Liz is living in a world she’s not equipped for, surrounded by people who are equipped for it—none more than Red….

● What was harder to stomach: Watching an Alan Fitch smoothie hit that wall, or watching Red and Berlin take down 10 shots of vodka in a row?
● Any theories on how Zoe (played by 32-year-old Scottie Thompson) was going to prison in 1991—or that timeline in general—are welcome.”


IGN: The Blacklist: “The Decembrist” Review http://bit.ly/1ENyoSi
// 11/11/2014 “First thing’s first: the show’s entire reason for being has always been and continues to be James Spader’s performance as Raymond Reddington… “The Decembrist” finally provides him an opportunity to play off some marvelous actual guest stars as he takes a central role in the proceedings.

“Lizzie’s unbelievable connection to Tom. The idea that she’s still in love with him rings false and the whole business with her holding him as a secret prisoner is unbelievable, both logistically and for her character.

“So The Blacklist goes into mid-season hibernation with a few hopeful signs that the plot’s going to move forward, but for the most part remains what it’s been from the start—a one-man show with a lot of filler.” http://bit.ly/1vBr3nQ

// 11/11/2014, L+7: So far this season, “Blacklist” is growing by +70% in 18-49 rating (from a 2.82 to a 4.79) and more than 6.2 million viewers (10.5 million to 16.7 million) going from L+SD to L+7.


TV[.]com The Blacklist Community, Cory Barker: The Blacklist Fall Finale Review: Powerless to Stop It http://bit.ly/1wkep7a
// 11/11/2014


Yahoo: The Blacklist: Interview Excerpts – James Spader http://yhoo.it/1sjniM3
// 11/7/2014
Rough transcript of interview with James Spader on Season 2 and the mid season finale [possible spoilers] Yahoo http://yhoo.it/1sjniM3

● “The stakes are higher right from the jump. Everybody, every character on the show is facing greater adversity and is in disarray and the show’s opened up… There’s a resolution of sorts but any resolution on our show opens up another door and the resolution is always going to be painful and bittersweet.”

● “It started out where people were asking me wanting to know the true relationship between Elizabeth Keen and Raymond Reddington… People are still curious about that, which is good to sustain. I think it’s the burden is on us to sustain that. But I think the thing that I like is that no matter what the past is the nature of the relationship now[!] has become as compelling, and it should be.”

● I think that the journey is more important than the destination and in this case the destination is backwards, going into the past, what those characters are going through in the relationships and the nature of those relationships.’


MediaLife: How Twitter helps boost DVR viewership http://bit.ly/12bK02G
The most social programs see bigger gains in L+7 ratings

// 11/10/2014, “In these days of telecommuting and social networking, Twitter has become a virtual watercooler, where people go to talk about the day’s events, and that’s especially true when it comes to television.

● “A new Nielsen study on Twitter and television … found that a 10 percent increase in Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, which measure which shows are being tweeted about the most, results in an average 1.8 percent increase in live-plus-seven-day-DVR viewership (L+7). ”

● “On one level, you can think of social media as providing insights to help network departments make better decisions, including research, ad sales, marketing, promotions, etc.”

● “At a broader level, social media changes the relationship that networks have with their audiences. It for the first time enables networks to create one-to-one relationship with fans, creating new approaches for building loyalty, engagement and enthusiasm.”

● “We know that the number of people who see tweets about programs can be 50 times larger than the number of people who Tweet. We know from prior Nielsen research that some people choose to view TV programs live specifically because they enjoy the added engagement around social TV.”


The Blacklist @NBCBlacklist
#TheBlacklist fall finale will change everything. Make sure you’re equipped with these three facts before it happens. http://youtu.be/0Wlx0zPU7ls
// 11/5/2014 approx


IBTimes: Episode 8 Spoilers: The Decembrist http://bit.ly/1E51gD8
// 11/4/2014, “A lot goes down in [episodes 8 and 9]…there will be some huge, huge events that will change the direction of the show,” Amir Arison, who plays C.I.A. analyst Amar Mojtabai, explained. Arison added that the crux of the surprises coming might hinge on the relationship between Red [James Spader] and Liz [Megan Boone] saying, “It’s exciting to watch Red and Liz with their own agendas that intersect and may support or not support each other.“


FutonCritic: Ratings: Projected “Live Plus Three Day” and “Live Plus Seven Day” Results: http ://bit.ly/1u00yGk

Adult 18-49 Rating
Show… L+SD… L+3… L+7
The Voice… 3.4… 4.1… 4.3
The Blacklist… 2.4… 4.0… 4.3

Persons 2+ (Total Viewers)j
Show… L+SD… L+3… L+7
The Voice… 11.9 million… 13.7 million… 14.0 million
The Blacklist… 9.2 million… 14.0 million… 15.3 million
// 11/4/2014


NewsCom [AU]: Blacklist star James Spader says he’s clueless when it comes to playing the Hollywood game http://bit.ly/1wwJTuB
// 11/4/2014, “It’s something that I don’t take for granted; I kind of just suck up everything that I see him do,” says Tawfiq. “Being the actor that he is, I just try to learn as much as I can working around him. And he’s just a humble man. I feel, like Dembe, I’m in the wings learning as much as I can from him.”


Seriable: The Blacklist Unanswered Questions & Answers Guide http://bit.ly/1rPl5Yk
// 11/2/2014


CapitolFile: Megan Boone talks Liz, Red, Tom bit.ly/1p1BD4A
// undated; Nov 2014


Today: James Spader strikes gold again on ‘The Blacklist’ http://on.today.com/ZAflf5
// 10/14/2013, “It’s a lot of fun for me because it means I get to have a lot of secrets from the other characters and the audience,” Boone told TODAY. “She’s very purposefully ambiguous. I do love her heart. She is so madly in love with her husband and devastated by the cruel world she is being introduced to. It’s a tumultuous journey for her. In her case, it’s a story of a young woman coming into her own.”

“Although Red was introduced as a super villain, he now is possibly on the road to redemption.

“He does start out as someone who appears to be, by all reckonings, evil and dark and self-serving,” Eisendrath said. “Over time, our job is to develop him into a much more dimensional character who is all those things but also explains to the audience how he became the person we met in the pilot.”

“One of the things going forward that we’re going to find out is what matters to Red and what his vulnerabilities are,” executive producer Jon Bokenkamp added in the interview. “[Elizabeth] appears to be one of the few things thus far that he truly cares about.”

“I think you will discover that your feelings about who he is and what he’s up to will change directions and change directions again,” [Spader] said. “That’s one of the great surprises of the show. Just when you feel you might be getting comfortable, you haven’t. Just when you think you can get cozy with him, he does something to make you realize he’s not someone to be cozy with.”

“Anybody in the real world that would be a paradigm for Raymond Reddington, we wouldn’t know anything about him,” Spader said and laughed. “I look at things and I read things that relate to the world that he must operate in. And I read the paper every day. He lives in that world out there. He operates in that world out there. And he moves swiftly and frequently throughout that world. And it allows for your imagination to run wild.”


FutonCritic: “The Blacklist” Grows by a Season-High 65% in 18-49 Going from Live + Same Day to Live +3 – NBC further spins the numbers for Monday, October 20 http://bit.ly/1snqtlr
// 10/25/2014, viewers are migrating to L+3: “Grew by a season-high +65% in 18-49 (to a 4.05 rating from a 2.45) and 4.637 million viewers overall (to 13.975 million from 9.338 million) going from L+SD to L+3”; beat “The Voice”


Inquisitr: ‘The Blacklist’ Leads The Way For Resurgent NBC http://bitly.com/1pKTUhN
// 10/23/2014


❥ IAmRogue: Peter Stormare Talks ‘Autumn Blood,’ ‘The BIg Lebowski 2’ and ‘The Blacklist’ http://bit.ly/13oWEMW
// 10/22/2014 “There is a great revolution that has been happening on TV …”
“They have six or seven different scenarios, and I don’t know what direction they will go in. I do not envy the writers because they are really kicked from both sides all the time. They try to come up with the best solution, and sometimes they have to do rewrites over night. TV is a gruesome business. But there is a great revolution that has happened on TV. A lot of talent is moving in…”


CinemaBlend: How James Spader’s Ultron Is Different From Any Other Marvel Villain http://bit.ly/ZJGf3g
// 10/22/2014


 ☒ HollywoodReporter: Watch the Official ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Trailer http://bit.ly/1wpO0qj
// 10/21/2014


WSJ (Oct): Sorting Out TV’s New Metrics – Broadcast networks are gathering mounds of new info about viewing http://on.wsj.com/1HLsm74 thorough
// 10/16/2014, “Last season, only two broadcast series saw their total audience grow by more than 4 million when L7 viewing was added in, including NBC’s “Blacklist,” one of the few new hits of last year. By comparison, 11 series so far this season have had a jump of 4 million viewers or more”


❥❥ TheWeek: The outrageous, surprising, and prescient legacy of Boston Legal http://bit.ly/1sB2yCJ premiered 10yrs ago this month
// 10/15/2014, “Ten years after its premiere, the legal drama stands out for its unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries”


HuffPo: NBC Wonders Why Bother to Sign On http://huff.to/101Pc99
// 10/15/2014, “The Blacklist is the ONLY holdover for new shows from last season and that is only good because James Spader is truly “the man”. The rest of the cast is horrid. Some of the worst acting ever put on television and that’s saying something. The Blacklist is a fun show and it is a success but it is a testament to the great James Spader and how at this point he could be in anything and it would work. … If I were Robert Greenblatt I would give James Spader some serious Big Bang Theory money right now or your network will have nothing left but to ‘sign off’.”


PhilStar: Get on James Spader’s Blacklist http://bit.ly/1vQVLWE
// 10/6/2014 “At the inevitable end of the series you will be able to look back and realize that there were things that you found out along the way that you weren’t sure how to process them in terms of that issue and, all of a sudden, those things will connect. It’s almost like a puzzle and we are giving you pieces as we go on and eventually you sort of put them together and they fit!” – James Spader


CarterMatt: ‘The Blacklist’ season 2: James Spader defends actions, violence of Reddington http://bit.ly/1tr2Ppk
// 10/4/2014, “Part of the conflict that comes with this series is that you know that Reddington is a killer, a criminal, and capable of doing very terrible things. However, at the same time you still find yourself glued to the television, desperate to see more of what he is going to moving forward. You also want to think that there is a motivation somewhere in him that is good, and you have to wait and see what that is”


TVAfterDark, Christopher Borque: The Blacklist Review: 2×02 – “Monarch Douglas Bank” http://bit.ly/145Ja9s
// 9/30/2014, lovely review, “Sophomore slump? Not hardly. The Blacklist might just graduate early and reach iconic status if it keeps up this level of quality.”

“The pained look in Red’s eyes as he reaches for [Naomi], but can’t bring himself to touch her is palpable. Spader’s emotional drive throughout Red’s confrontation with Berlin is punctuated by his remorse in that moment. It’s a stunning performance swing from steeled determination to pain. Spader is an emotional genius. And we’re just along for the ride.”


Crooks &Liars: If You Think James Spader’s ‘Blacklist’ Character Is Weird, Wait Until You Meet Him http://bit.ly/1n8tURq
// 9/29/2014


TVOM: James Spader and His Amazing Body of Work on Television http://bit.ly/1sWktFe
// 9/29/2014


Stuff[.]co [NZ]: Red is the new black http://bit.ly/ZK7YkB
// 9/28/2014


Stuff[.]co [NZ]: A Blacklist’s A-list anti-hero http://bit.ly/1vuijxK
// 9/23/2014


NYDailyNews: James Spader suggests his ‘Blacklist’ character Reddington’s true motives will soon be revealed http://nydn.us/1FamLD1
// 9/22/2014, “‘Red felt that the relationship between Elizabeth and her husband had reached a point where he was concerned for her safety and well-being,’ Spader says. ‘He felt it was necessary to make contact with her.’

Widespread speculation has Red being her real father, though he denied it when she asked.

Spader has said in the past that resolving their relationship that way might be ‘too easy.’

He’s now backpedaling a bit. ‘It is very very hard to predict the road map of a television series,’ he said last week. ‘Because it does not have a finite lifespan. Our show could last two years or seven.’
‘Once you’ve started taking all the back roads, they become much more interesting than even the destination. So it may be that the easiest and the simplest result is the right one. And even if it was predictable right from the start, there should be a satisfaction because the route was satisfying.

‘But given what our show is, I don’t think anything is as simple as it may appear.'”


Today: Mystery Man http://bit.ly/1yyxaWU
// 9/22/2014 great article!


GlobalTV: The Blacklist Blog | Q &A with James Spader about Season 2 of The Blacklist – GlobalTV http://bit.ly/12nQDyY
// 9/22/2014


EntertainmentWeekly: TV James Spader talks ‘The Blacklist’ season premiere, loving the strange http://bit.ly/1rdlZxm
// 9/22/2014


Details: A Celebration of James Spader’s Bad-Assery. And Singing. http://bit.ly/1s3q0L5 10 video clips
// 9/22/2014


TVGuide: It’s All Relative: 9 Ways The Blacklist Will Beguile You in Season 2 http://bit.ly/11LHgtn
// 9/21/2014


☒  JimmyFallon: ‘The Blacklist’s’ James Spader: ‘The stakes are higher’ in Season 2 http://tinyurl.com/ovpqoj5 @NBCBlacklist #RedReturns
// 9/20/2014


EOnline: The Blacklist: 13 Times Raymond Reddington Was His Raymond Reddington-est GIFs http://eonli.ne/1qt1bTF
// 9/19/2014


BuddyTV: ‘The Blacklist’ Interview: EP John Eisendrath on Liz’s Journey, Red’s Burn Scars and Tom’s Disappearance http://bit.ly/1tHMUXO
// 9/16/2013


BuzzFeed: 13 Reasons James Spader Is The Baddest Bad Boy Ever http://bzfd.it/1zx9pyM
// 9/15/2014, GIFs


☒ Eonline: 13 Times Raymond Reddington was his Raymond Reddington-est http://eonli.ne/1qt1bTF video snaps
// 9/14/2014


☒ NBCNewYork/TalkStoop: James Spader on Acting Advice and New Show http://bit.ly/12nIdYx “the camera looks through your eyes” //➔ transcript http://bit.ly/1zlb232 at BlacklistDeclassified.net, with Cat Greenleaf  //  9/2/2014

● CG: I love watching your face during this show, so nuanced.
JS: I mean, that’s a trick, you understand [the extreme close-up]
● CG: Okay, no, it’s not a trick, your still making things –

JS: Oh no, there’s things going on. There’s definitely things going on. I was very lucky. Someone once, when I was very, very young, just starting out as an actor (said) “a camera doesn’t just see your face. It looks through your eyes and into your head. And that’s true, I think. The camera cannot, though, decipher what you’re thinking. It can only see THAT you’re thinking.
And an audience projects an awful lot. So part of the trick of working as an actor is to be comfortable enough to just live and think and breathe in front of a camera and the camera takes care of a lot of the rest of it.

● CG: Do you have an idea of what you want the audience to be thinking, while they’re watching your face?
JS: No, if you don’t make any attempt to show the audience anything, then the audience wants to look further and further and further and further… And I think that’s what that character does – he doesn’t show a great deal, but he draws you to look further in….

● CG: …Watch The Blacklist. It’s on –
JS: Have you seen it?
● CG: Yes! That’s how I know about your face –
JS: Did you like it?
● CG: Yes, I liked it very much.


BuzzFeed: 21 Red Reddington GIFs That Are Your Life http://bzfd.it/1uXWU0b
// 9/2/2014


The Playboy Interview: James Spader (Sep 2014) http://bit.ly/1sKfatM

// ⋙ “To me, Secretary is a very funny, sweet, lovely love story — very touching in a way.”

“‘Be of love a little more careful than of everything’ wrote e.e. cummings. Pay attention. Take great care, especially in things that are taken for granted.”

“…petulant-preppy good looks, laser intelligence, breathtaking condescension and air of polymorphous perversity” – Playboy

● “[A] television show is your life. It swallows you whole and chews you up but refuses to spit you out. And on a brand-new television show, the writers don’t know how the fuck to write it yet. The actors don’t know how the fuck to play it yet. The editors don’t know how to edit it yet. Composers don’t know how to compose it yet. The crew doesn’t know how to shoot it yet. I work very hard on the show, and I’m lucky because it’s a wonderful character who’s great fun to play. I work closely with the people I make the show with. It’s a lot of time spent when all of us might rather be spending time with our families or doing something else.”

● “When viewers respond well to a character, there’s a natural tendency for them to say, ‘I want to know more. I want to know everything.” But I say, “’Well, you can’t. It would ruin the character for you. You just must trust me in terms of that.'”

● “We watched great films from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, like The Third Man and Humphrey Bogart movies. Charles Laughton in Hobson’s Choice, Bogart—those were the actors I liked best.”

● [On his love of vinyl: “I like the whole process. I like to get the record out. I like the way a turntable looks. I like to watch it work as the record plays. I like to read the liner notes when I listen to a record. I don’t understand what else people do if they’re listening to a record.”

● “I don’t sleep particularly well. If I wake up at night, everything inside turns on instantly and won’t stop. There’s a compulsion to address things. I just can’t let them fester or get pushed under the rug. I have to tie it up tightly in a box, throw it right out the fucking window into a river and let it sink to the bottom.”

● “I’m not a believer that good work comes out of antagonism, fear and punishment, but I think it can come out of discourse and argument, so long as you’re open, communicative, honest and able to listen to what others’ needs are.”

● “I like to travel, walk through a city and go to museums and galleries.”

● “I think the greatest works are always based on that prism of sexuality and relations. It’s been that way for me my whole career and has probably informed my choices more than anything else.”
“Playboy: Is it better to fantasize or to actually sleep with a co-star?

● “I think you can fuck things up, because anticipation and unrequited feelings are very powerful. Ultimately, in acting you’re always pretending you’re angry or a bad guy or that something is down the hall that isn’t actually there. But to look another human being in the eye and pretend you’re in love with them, that’s a very different thing.” ♤

● “But it seems to me that you have to fall in love with the person, because film looks right into your head. It’s wrenching, because you have to fall in love with that person but also accept it for what it is and turn it on and off. That’s a very important part of what is a sometimes schizophrenic job.”

● “I think you can fuck things up, because anticipation and unrequited feelings are very powerful. Ultimately, in acting you’re always pretending you’re angry or a bad guy or that something is down the hall that isn’t actually there. But to look another human being in the eye and pretend you’re in love with them, that’s a very different thing.”

● “…You’d be surprised at some of the people who have walked up and told me they’re great fans of Secretary. I’m always intrigued whether that’s a practice in their life or not.”

● “I like the saying “May you live in interesting times,” because I think things are great when we accept chaos in life. That goes against my being obsessive-compulsive and ritualistic, but I don’t mind adversity. The fight is okay with me. My life is wonderful. It’s a grand time, you know?”
// 8/18/2014, Sep 2014 issue


Emmys[.]com: Perfect Witness: James Spader http://bit.ly/1EE8qR5
// 8/1/2014


Seriable: The Blacklist To Last Seven Seasons? James Spader On Red’s ‘Unclear’ Path http://bit.ly/1wbxhc9
// 7/23/2014, Original #1 on Blacklist was Tom, until decided he was “not worthy.”

“We’ve talked a lot about [what the future holds for Red and what his backstory is] right from the beginning. We talked about it around the time of the pilot, and when it looked like we would be lucky enough to move forward into series, those conversations have been happening fast and furiously. But at the same token, without knowing what the inevitable lifespan of the series will be – one that has to be fluid to a certain degree, and there has to be a certain amount of flexibility because you don’t know how long you’re going to have to tell your story, or how many misdirects there may be, or how circuitous your route is going to be – to get to your endgame is unclear going from the first season into the second season.”


HuffPo: TV Trends: James Spader Proves His Emmy Awards Weren’t Flukes With Another Success, ‘The Blacklist’ http://huff.to/1yWNFxr
// 7/11/2014


IMDb: Reasons We Love “The Blacklist” http://imdb.to/1rYdW9v
// June 2014


TVGuide: The Blacklist Postmortem: Who Fell Victim to Berlin? And Who Is Red, Really? http://bit.ly/1ui6Oea
// 5/13/2014


WSJ: Megan Boone on James Spader & ‘The Blacklist’ Season Finale http://on.wsj.com/1o80Udo
// 5/11/2014
Speakeasy: So, do they tell you what is going to happen down the road on the show?

Megan: [Executive Producer] Jon Bokenkamp tells me anything I want to know. I’ve heard that’s not how other shows work but they want our input. I have a sense of how Red (Raymond Reddington, played by Spader) and Liz (Elizabeth Keene, played by Boone) are connected and what his storyline and my storyline are going to be. It’s a story of Liz being brought into the harsh nature of Red’s world while Red is brought into the goodness of Liz’s life. They are a yin and yang who come together in balance.”

“How much is James Spader like Red?

Megan Boone: “You can’t create that charisma that James brings to Red. That’s who James is. He’s highly intelligent just like Red. I don’t think an actor can play a role without bringing elements of themselves to it. One of first things he said to me once the pilot got picked up was, “We are these characters now. What we bring to it is now going to be a major force in forming the show.”


HollywoodReporter: Fall TV: ABC’s ‘Agents of SHIELD,’ NBC’s ‘Blacklist’ Dominate Social Media Conversation http://bit.ly/1FBLlPq
// 5/17/2014, “Overall, ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD was the top show with the most engagement out of all the networks, followed by NBC’s Blacklist and CBS’ The Crazy Ones.”

“Networked Insights, a social media analytics technology company that has worked with MTV, CBS and Samsung, has ranked the new shows dominating the social network landscape (Facebook, blogs, forums, comments, but mostly Twitter) — and the ones that aren’t — with the help of its marketing platform SocialSense. The company measured sheer volume, viewer sentiment and acceleration to determine its findings.

“Additionally, Networked Insights broadcast its “buy”/”don’t buy” recommendations for the networks’ new shows during upfront week with its “Operation Outsmart the Upfronts” campaign, a bold move that could have an effect on advertisers’ sentiments.”


Variety: Upfronts: Blizzard of Pickups and Passes Leaves Everyone Dizzy http://bit.ly/1uSbvFt
// 5/10/2014, social media impact, no Blacklist reference


❥  Variety: ‘The Blacklist’ Producers Pay Close Attention to Social Media http://bit.ly/1vVlaSN but not James Spader :-(
// 4/3/2014
“But what is Red’s motivation for turning over the ‘Blacklist’? Is he a good guy or a bad guy?
“Fox gave a few scenarios. ‘Is he doing this out of some selfish motivation? Self-preservation? Or is he on the slow path to redemption?’
– ‘Boy, that would be disappointing,’ Spader interjected. [ oh, no! ]
– ‘I hope that’s a question we can keep alive for a long time,’ Fox said.
– ‘I think the bad guys are good,’ Tawfiq said.”
Trust Dembe. Dembe is the Keystone” [and not the KXL kind]


RollingStone (Apr 2014): James Spader: The Strangest Man on TV http://rol.st/XJRtDS #RedIsBack The Blacklist // [I dislike this interviewer]


❥  NewsCom [AU]: Not even James Spader understands the character he plays in The Blacklist http://bit.ly/1qoWpGN
Here, Spader says no reveal “right up until the last episode of the show” http://bit.ly/1qoWpGN
// 3/7/2014, “He is comfortable and confident in the dark corners of life that most of us would never be comfortable with.
“His confidence in those areas allows for humour and irreverence even in the most extreme of circumstances.
Spader likes his personal life to be not for public consumption, and is similarly determined to preserve the enigma and mystery of Reddington.
“I have asked the writers really not to tell me too much too soon,” he says.
“I only want to know what I have to know to be able to perform that week’s episode.

● “One of the things that we guard most carefully … is that his secrets remain intact. Once you’ve answered those questions about who he is and where he’s coming from and really what he’s up to, I think you’ve pulled the curtain aside much too far.
“Hopefully Red will remain enigmatic, and what he is really truly up to is something we’re going to hold close to our vest right up until the last episode of the show.”

● Despite Red’s almost casual — and certainly clinical — methods of dispatching enemies and threats (the body count in 2014’s return episode reached almost double-figures as he ‘cleaned up his house’) there are lines Red won’t cross — even if Spader himself is still discovering them.

● “You’re seeing somebody in extreme circumstances that would be completely unfamiliar to you, and that person (Red) is thriving in that context,” he says.

“He seems willing to step over any threshold. He’s perfectly comfortable with not knowing what the outcome is going to be. And there is something about it that amuses him. I find that’s fun to play and very endearing.

“He leads a very thrilling life that takes him to the very, very end of the limb. But he also doesn’t mind sitting out there on the end of the limb for an hour or so. Really, he’ll stay there as long as necessary.
“He finds peace and serenity in the oddest of places, in the most dire circumstances.”


MasterHerald: The Blacklist Season 2 Successful with Fans, Producer Hints at the Future Developments http://bit.ly/1yoV0Wl
// 2/27/2014


TheWire: NBC’s ‘The Blacklist’ Kind of Insulted Ted Cruz and Allen West http://bit.ly/1zvT2CL
// 2/25/2014, “This is the Madeline Pratt you all know and love – politically active, influential, a good citizen. What you don’t know is the Madeline Pratt that I love — 6 million in diamonds stolen from a DeBeers outpost in the Congo, security fibers used in printing the Czech Koruna taken from a mint in Prague and used to produce counterfeit bank notes. The Madeline Pratt you know fosters relationships with incredibly powerful people. The one you don’t exploits those relationships in ways that impact national security.”


❥❥ IndieWire, Max Winter: On THE BLACKLIST: Why James Spader Is the Perfect Star for the Increasingly Unreal Medium of TV http://bit.ly/1yBfjyG //➔ great analysis
// 2/12/2014, excellent; “…he plays it with the same aggressively insouciant quality, as if every line he speaks is not only the best line ever written for a television actor but is also the most explosive; and the more dramatically he speaks the line, the more of a detonation it sets off.”

● “Spader is occupying, with unusual elan, a historical moment in TV watching and reception: he is with us as TV becomes an almost entirely private personal phenomenon, in which viewers develop relationships with characters and plotlines that they cannot quite shake”


CozyLittleHouse: Bio: The Many Faces Of James Spader http://bit.ly/1yyS9wv
// 2/3/2014, likes to be called “Jimmy,” is an excellent chef, loves Bob Dylan


 ☒ Today: Go behind the scenes of crime drama ‘The Blacklist’ http://on.today.com/1oevNg8 James Spader, Megan Boone interview
// 1/14/2014


WSJ: ‘The Blacklist’ Creator Reveals Some of the Show’s Secrets http://on.wsj.com/1w9aWeW
// 1/13/2014


Redditt: Theory on Reddington, Keen, Tom, and the Universe http://bit.ly/1vPGckT
// Jan 2014, dumb

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Andy Greenwald: The Man in Black: James Spader is having fun with The Blacklist, but why aren’t we? http://es.pn/1E54hDn
// 11/13/2013

Billboard (2013): The ‘Blacklist’ Playlist: NBC’s Dark Drama a Surprise Hit for Music Supervisors http://bit.ly/2nSyapZ
// 11/11/2013, music, songs


Slate: The Guilt-Free Antihero: James Spader in The Blacklist, the hit series that lets you have your darkness and enjoy it too http://slate.me/1uvZVQI
// 11/3/2013


HuffPo: James Spader, Megan Boone Talk ‘The Blacklist’ http://huff.to/1xS3zpH
// 10/26/2013, “‘Oh,’ laughs Spader on hearing this assessment, ‘there’s a LOT of confusion and doubt! We don’t know WHAT we’re doing yet! But we’re getting it done. By Monday night at 10 o’clock’ — Eastern time, he means — ‘we’re getting it done!'”

●  “‘I might have been looking for him,’ Spader muses when asked how he came to play Reddington. ‘I wanted someone who was irreverent, and, even at the most difficult times, saw the irony in the world around him. And he’s really not afraid of the unknown. I don’t think he’s afraid of much.'”

●  “It’s a show that trades on secrets, as does its stars, one of whom, despite her breakout role in a breakout series, continues to live largely incognito.”


Grantland, Andy Greenwald: Five cures for the ailing Peacock http://es.pn/1uw2Bhn
// 10/23/2013, “the show’s appeal is not in the least bit mysterious: It takes a popular star, pairs him with a younger, prettier actress, and sparks off of their mismatched chemistry. Though The Blacklist dazzles and distracts with expensive set pieces and talk of global masterminds, it is, at heart, a very old-fashioned and modest series; it’s a cop procedural with a criminal as the lead investigator.”


DailyActor (2013): Q & A: James Spader Talks ‘The Blacklist’, Creating a Character and Playing Ultron in ‘The Avengers 2′ http://bit.ly/1wJ3jye
// 10/17/2014, by Lance Carter, “People love to watch him work (including me). His acting choices and use of his voice are so unique, it’s just a blast to watch him.”

Q: … Are we ever going to get into the details of what sort of nitty-gritty bad, horrible things he’s done in the past?
A: Yes, I think that’s going to be sort of eked out slowly over the course of the episodes. A sort of overall history lesson…. I think it’ll be over the lifespan of the show that you start to discover more and more about him.

Q: Reddington is very technologically savvy. He’s very plugged in. How plugged in are you? Are you hip technologically?
A. You’ll actually discover in subsequent episodes that Red is actually not very technologically savvy. I think he’s actually – he is sometimes wishful about the old days of what spying and espionage and criminal activity might’ve been like as opposed to what it’s more like today which is much more technologically driven. But he obviously has to have people who supply that for him because he certainly has to contend with that part of his world. Myself, I’m completely technologically ignorant. I don’t know how to type either.

Q; There’s some speculation that Red is actually Elizabeth’s father. What are your thoughts on that?
A: I don’t really have any thoughts on that because I don’t think he is but I don’t know for sure. You know, I think that’s something that, first of all, I wouldn’t divulge what the nature of their relationship was to you in any case no matter what it was because I think that’s something that the only way one earns that information is to watch the show.
But I think – I know that that’s been something that’s been posed to me in the past and it’s always seemed – I’ve always been surprised when faced with that as a possibility as an outcome because it seems so – too easy. But, you know what? Maybe the thing – maybe it’s a very circuitous route back to the simplest answer of all. So we’ll have to wait and see.

Q. Can you explain what, “The Blacklist,” is for those who missed the pilot and what does it mean for Red?
A: The blacklist is just a name that Reddington gives to – a sort of freeform and very fluid list of targets but there is no list. It’s just – it’s in his head. And the targets can sometimes be quite spontaneous based on what’s ever going to serve his greater agendas. And I think sometimes the targets are … more calculated and I think at other times they’re not. Sometimes they serve an immediate purpose.

Q: You’ve had a lot of success on television. How much input do you have or do you want to have on the scripts?
A: I seem to be having just enough and I couldn’t take on any more, that’s for sure. Our schedule is too oppressive to be able to take on any more. But just enough to be able to do the scenes and try and feel like we’re making them right.


TVWatchTower: THE BLACKLIST : James Spader Talks What Drew Him to the Master Criminal Role of Red Reddington (2013) http://bit.ly/1wGQlhr
// 10/8/2013, long interview


Variety: Facebook Reveals the New Fall TV Shows Generating the Most Buzz http://bit.ly/15HBH0Z  The Blacklist is fourth
//10/3/2013, “Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter are getting more aggressive about tracking TV-related activity across their platforms in their bid to establish themselves for marketer dollars and partnerships to networks and studios.”


Today (Oct 2013): James Spader strikes gold again on ‘The Blacklist’ http://on.today.com/ZAflf5


TheIndependent (2013): James Spader: ‘I like going to the dark places’ http://ind.pn/1vQV6Dm
// 9/29/2013


AVClub: The Blacklist: “Pilot” Recap http://bit.ly/2obggzr
// 9/23/2013


IVillage: Now James Spader’s a Bad Guy! Or Is He? ‘The Blacklist’ Isn’t Telling http://ivill.ag/1HwGPDN // video of Steff
// 9/23/2014, “Variety likes the show, too. “Spader has always been a particularly interesting actor,” writes their critic. “And he’s well suited to this sort of twisted figure, where so much is going on behind those eyes.” And while Variety has a few reservations, they still call the show “one of the fall’s more promising new network hours.”
“Creepy or not, people still love Spader.”


NYT: Crafty Character. The Actor, Too: James Spader Stars in ‘The Blacklist’ http://nyti.ms/1wgCb6v
// 9/20/2013


NYT, Alessandra Stanley: Two New Wars on Terror on the ‘Homeland’ Front http://nyti.ms/2ncbW2d
More Intrigue: ‘Hostages’ on CBS, and ‘The Blacklist’ on NBC
// 9/20/2013

“On ‘The Blacklist,’ a young F.B.I. agent, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), is paired with an unlikely partner: Raymond Reddington (James Spader), a former government agent turned criminal consigliere, who sells secrets and abets mobsters, thieves and terrorists worldwide. In the pilot, Reddington turns himself in and offers to help the F.B.I. track down his blacklist of master criminals, but on the condition that he deal only with Elizabeth. (The show also borrows a bit from ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ but, in this case, Mr. Spader chews the scenery, not human kidneys.)

“The many layers of feints and puzzles are compelling, but it’s hard to see how they can last more than a season or two.” …

“Conventional television shows are called series for a reason: whether it is “Bonanza” or “Law & Order: SVU,” these are serial dramas engineered to last, with replaceable characters and story lines that begin and end in under an hour.

“The best shows these days are more like movies than serials, with narrative arcs that sweep the action and the lead characters to a fixed conclusion. And subsequent seasons are more like movie sequels: even good ones rarely live up to the first, and the more there are, the more they strain to work.

“Shows with two dueling characters, moreover, tend to have shorter shelf lives than those with a single central villain. Tony Soprano kept his criminal enterprise going for six seasons; Walter White of ‘Breaking Bad’ is on the verge of shutting down after five; and women sometimes outlast the men: Nancy Botwin, the pot-dealing heroine of ‘Weeds,’ hung on for a remarkable eight seasons.

“When a drama follows the collision course of two enemies of the opposite sex, sooner or later they have to consummate their love, or their hate. It’s not just sexual tension that wears off after contact; so does the piquancy of conflict. …

“‘The Blacklist,’ going head-to-head with ‘Hostages,’ also withholds a lot of information, including why Reddington turned himself in and why he feels a kinship with Elizabeth, who is fresh out of Quantico and has no known history with him or his criminal career. Once those questions are cleared up, what’s left is a more commonplace procedural: Reddington manipulating the top brass while helping Elizabeth track down dangerous suspects.

“One season of a standout drama should be enough, but in a culture of more, it’s almost impossible to stop at less. But like Shakespeare’s lilies, great shows that fester smell far worse than ‘Weeds.'”


HollywoodReporter: The James Spader-starring drama premieres … http://bit.ly/1tb32gV
// 9/19/2013, “…he’s as Zen as can be and shows no signs of being a physical threat. Mentally, however, he’s clearly dangerous.
“As Spader devours the script and steals every scene, basking in the power he has – more than the FBI thinks he has – the audience isn’t sure what his motives are. The connection to Keene doesn’t seem too difficult to figure out, though guesses in that direction may end up bearing no fruit. But the pilot suggests that Red isn’t going to be some white hat masquerading as a criminal. He certainly seems to have dealt with a number of unsavory types, and the pilot makes it clear that he’s well-connected to the underbelly of international power brokers and terrorists. So, what’s his game?”


☒ YouTube: Comic-Con (Summer 2013) Blacklist panel http://bit.ly/1q8xSFP
// James Spader: “Secrets are a great thing. Secrets are such a part of everyone’s life. And that’s allowed to live in this show, how you reckon with secrets, in your own life and others, and the secrets that you know about others, and secrets you hold very dear that someone in the first time meeting them, they somehow are intuitive about things you hold very close to your heart and I think that’s a very interesting aspect of both Red and Elizabeth, from both sides. I think intuitively, she responds to something in him – and the same thing happened with Megan and I and I was glad for that.”


WSJ, Alexandra Cheney: What’s ‘The Blacklist’? Just Hope You’re Not on It http://on.wsj.com/11nZLDZ
// 7/23/2013, first of wsj blogs

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Sundance (2012): Top 10 Reasons Secretary Beats Fifty Shades Of Grey http://bit.ly/1tnGL4N


HollywoodReporter: ‘Lincoln’ Star James Spader on Why He’d Rather Watch the GOP Presidential Debates Than ‘The Office’ http://bit.ly/1yT8Xxa
// 11/26/2012
THR: I know this film was shot during the GOP primary season. Did that impact it at all?
Spader: Well, considering how much irreverence and comic relief this character was bringing to the film, it only helped that the primaries were so tremendously entertaining. That was actually some of my favorite TV watching that I think I ever witnessed, the Republican primary debates. I loved those; I wish they never ended.

THR: Herman Cain could have a TV show.
Spader: Just everybody. Really, the entire cast. The entire field, one was just as entertaining as the next.❗

THR: So was waiting for Lincoln the impetus to do The Office?
Spader: I was very excited to do both of them, but the timing was perfect. I had just done a play for a year in New York, so I was flat broke by the time they offered me Lincoln. And it was a labor of love on Lincoln, and it was so far in advance, I didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills, but The Office came in at just about the same point, and that answered that question for me.


Vulture: James Spader on His Eccentric Lincoln Character http://vult.re/1IDrIJj

Vulture: How much research did you do for the part?
Spader: “…Regardless of whether it’s based on fact or fancy, the most important part of my job description, besides showing up and staying in the light, is a real dedication to the intents of that screenplay. The script is the coloring book that you’re given, and your job is to figure out how to color it in. And also when and where to color outside the lines.”

Vulture: So where and how did you color outside the lines?
Spader: The lines were blurry. W.N. Bilbo was one of the only characters in the film that they did not have any pictures of….
he was a bit of a dandy. But in the screenplay he was depicted as being very bawdy and colorful, and he certainly has the most irreverent language in the film. So, I thought it would be great to try and put all those pieces together — and I imagined him as a dandy in decay. So, he’d have all these expensive clothes but they’d be a little disheveled….

His appearance reflects a tremendous lust for life. He was a very colorful guy. He had been a very successful attorney prior to the war. And I love the dichotomy that he was a Southerner, from Nashville, Tennessee, who’d known Jefferson Davis. He was even arrested in New York State on suspicion of being a Confederate spy, and he had to prevail upon Lincoln and Seward to get him out and advocate on his behalf. So there were already these dichotomies within him. All we really did was add another, with him being a colorful dresser but with food stains and crazy hair and whatnot. I think he had more changes of costume in the film than anyone except maybe Mary Todd Lincoln!


MovieLine: WATCH: James Spader Lobbies For ‘Lincoln And Name-Checks His Favorite President http://bit.ly/1yDn8SY
// 11/20/2012, Obama


NBCBayArea: James Spader Crafts a Quirky Take on “Lincoln” Lobbyist
// 11/14/2012, greatly admired Spielberg’s enthusiasm and indefatigability
“I find that every actor – every good actor that I have ever worked with – is immersing themselves to different degrees. And in the moment that the camera is rolling, they’re making an attempt to immerse themselves to the greatest degree. And some are more successful at that than others. And some are able to pick it up and put it down, and some aren’t. I do not suffer from any form of schizophrenia. I have many other mental incapacities and many other issues and idiosyncrasies, but I am not schizophrenic in any way shape or form.

“And therefore, I absolutely, do not believe that I was at any point talking to Abraham Lincoln. But in every scene I had with Daniel, I felt that we were all – and not just Daniel, everybody in the film – being the truest that they could be to that time and place, and those people set within those circumstances. But it may just be in the prism through which I see the world, including my work life, I’m still aware of the fact that I’m making a film.”


Sundance: 5 of oddball James Spader’s oddest roles http://bit.ly/1zwlmXI.   // 11/8/2012


TheCultureProject (2010) Blueprint for Accountability: Torture, Accountability, Habeas Corpus http://bit.ly/1sjeLdj
// 6/7/2010, James Spader reads from interview by journalist Sy Hersh with General Antonio M Taguba on Abu Graib; 1:12-1:22.20 minutes in; includes short video [graphic!] follows
New Yorker, Sy Hersh (2007): The General’s Report http://nyr.kr/1vPBpPs General Antonio Taguba was routed from the Army for reporting on Abu Graib
// 6/25/2007


Broadway[.]com: “Race” Star James Spader on Truth, Justice and the Mamet Way http://bit.ly/1oX7wG5
// 1/19/2010 “I think that David Mamet is very happy with the notion that every character in this play—and therefore the actors playing those characters—believe with all their heart that they’re telling the truth. That’s what he wants this play to be about; he wants it to be about truth and lies. It’s one of the things that makes for the excitement in the play—and there’s something terribly tragic about these four characters—all of them absolutely believe that they’re doing the right thing. But what you believe is the truth may turn out to be a lie. I think where the play lives and breathes is that idea.”


NYT: So Many Dark Sides – James Spader in David Mamet’s “Race” http://nyti.ms/1rcP8sy

● “the kind of up-for-grabs moral universe that Spader characters have been occupying in Hollywood for years”

● “Alan Shore, the outrageously sardonic, ethically cynical lawyer on both “The Practice” and “Boston Legal” on ABC. In that role Mr. Spader’s instincts for dark, enigmatic characters grounded an entire performance, one that won him three Emmys”

● “His Jack Lawson is like Alan Shore on Paxil — calmer and focused but no less brazen. And if Lawson does not represent especially new ground in Mr. Spader’s oeuvre, this latest incarnation of a slick lawyer, who at first appears more ruthless than anyone else onstage, taps into his many discomfiting talents. After two decades of personifying the creepy id in our collective imagination, Mr. Spader is finally on intimate view as audiences come face to face with the snake in the room”
// 11/25/2009


PittsburghPostGazette: ‘Boston Legal’s’ Kelley delivers parting shots http://bit.ly/1ydGbFP
// 12/7/2009


LucianMaverick (2009): Character Analysis: Alan Shore, Boston Legal http://bit.ly/1yFI6pn //➔ I miss this show so much


TVWW: The Show with the Most Famous Balcony Scenes Since “Romeo & Juliet” Ends Tonight http://bit.ly/2mnJoq3
// 12/8/2008

“ABC’s Boston Legal, one of the braver and more delightful TV series of the past five years, ends tonight, with a two-hour episode that concludes with one last scene on the balcony.

“And that’s only fitting, since this David E. Kelley series has done more for the balcony scene than any drama since Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet…

“Last week’s episode had Carl, the attorney played by John Larroquette, complaining that there was nothing on TV worth watching, especially for viewers over 50. And complaining not to friends, or the networks, but to a judge, where he’s taken the case of mass-medium age discrimination to court.

“‘I’m over 50 myself,’ Carl yells at the judge, ‘and I want something to watch!’ He argues that there’s only one prime-time network show on TV with lots of characters his age, and starts to say it — but stops, saying he doesn’t want to ‘break the fourth wall.’

“Breaking the fourth wall, of course, is one of those things this series has done brilliantly, and increasingly, throughout its run. Last week, the case in which James Spader’s Alan Shore was suing on behalf of his best friend and fellow attorney, William Shatner’s Denny Crane, was scheduled to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“When would the case be heard?, one asked the other. The response: ‘Special 9 o’clock start time,’ which savvy viewers knew was a cue for real-life TV appointment viewing. Ditto the obvious real-life applications when Alan complained, ‘There seems to be a law against promoting us.’ Take that, ABC.”

“… Boston Legal says farewell, arguing one last case before the biggest court in the land. In the biggest entertainment venue in the land, though, this series proved its case years ago, with barrels of Emmys and an endless lis of unforgettable summations, flirtations, outrages and, at the end of each show, contemplative balcony scenes between Alan and Denny.”…

“Wherefore art thou, Shatner and Spader? For one last night, it’s an easy question to answer.”


ManODogs: Why is Boston Legal Canceled? http://bit.ly/2nYPsBE
// 12/4/2008

“As we reported a while back, next week brings us Boston Legal’s last episode. I was literally stunned to learn the show was being discontinued! They even cut it short – Boston Legal only has 13 episodes this season, as opposed to the regular 22! I searched in vain for a reason, as no one seems to know exactly why Boston Legal is in its last season. The best reason offered was that it simply couldn’t afford its super star-power and since there was little else said on the matter, I assumed it was something of a mutual agreement between the show and network.”

“But this week’s episode featured Betty White and John Larroquette suing the networks for not including programming aimed at those over 50. … ”

“Boston Legal is clearly one of the best shows on TV and if the cast is still willing to do it, I want to ask other networks to consider picking it up. Honestly, Boston Legal would rock on HBO. I know that isn’t going to happen, but man… that would be the optimum home for this incredible dramedy and it would flourish. Its older demographic has consistently been touted as a possible reason for its cancellation and on HBO, where they could pull out all the stops, the freedom to be as ostentatious as they want to be would certainly draw younger viewers.” …

“For now, The Rundown mourns yet another fantastic show’s passing and the steady decline into mediocrity we have come to expect from network programming. Now only Chuck, Smallville, and Supernatural are left on the free networks; everything else heaves.” …


Courant: ‘Boston Legal’ Ends Dec. 8 [2008] http://bit.ly/1zhgF5d viewers’ disbelief & anger //➔ show never dropped in ratings
// 11/24/2008


DenOfGeek: As Boston Legal season four hits DVD, we uncover some crazy laws that even television couldn’t make up… http://bit.ly/2mKrqJG
// 10/17/2008


Reason: Remixing Television http://bit.ly/2n8sZEt Francesca Coppa on the vidding underground
// Aug/Sep 2008, fan culture, fan fiction

“Since the 1970s, an underground subculture has been making and privately screening short films. The artists are fans—and critics—of cult TV shows, from Star Trek to Homicide: Life on the Street. Their movies are music videos, edited from pieces of those programs and other sources into something new: a story, an essay, a mood piece, a love note.

“These vidders, as they call themselves, weren’t the first filmmakers to re-edit existing footage into new works, but they may have been the first to do it as a self-conscious community, training one another in the art and craft of vidding. They also did it invisibly, shying from the spotlight both to avoid copyright infringement lawsuits and simply to keep the work away from viewers not likely to appreciate the form.” …


SeattlePI: Defending ‘Boston Legal’ http://bit.ly/1tutzoM
// 7/22/2007


DigitalSpy: Boston Legal /Star Trek connection? http://bit.ly/2nYKPY7
// 2/25/2007


MediaResearchCenter: ABC’s ‘Boston Legal’ Takes Cheap Shots at GOP and Dick Cheney http://bit.ly/2nh2CN4
// 1/18/2007, politics

“Tuesday’s Boston Legal prime time drama on ABC was packed full of political jabs at congressional Republicans and Vice President Cheney. Buffoonish conservative lawyer ‘Denny Crane’ (played by William Shatner) was placed on the ‘No Fly List’ and when liberal lawyer ‘Alan Shore’ (played by James Spader) asked if Crane had called for help, he responded: ‘Well, I can’t get anybody. I called Tom DeLay, his number’s disconnected. Foley has got his hands full, Frist said, “Don’t take it personally.” I called Clarence Thomas; his office said he was ‘indisposed.’ Shore then asked, ‘Have you tried going right to the top?’ Crane replied: ‘Cheney?’ Shore also linked being ‘red, white and blue’ with not reading newspapers and got in a slap at Cheney in a quip about avoiding ‘the rich friend who will take you to his quail ranch and let you shoot him.'”


HonoluluAdvertiser/WaPo, Frank Ahrens: Best man-love on ‘Boston Legal’ http://bit.ly/2nYLNUq
// 9/26/2006

“It’s the best love story on television. Not Homer and Marge. Not that cute married couple on ‘Medium.’ Not the HBO polygamists. It’s Denny Crane and Alan Shore in the ABC Tuesday-night hit ‘Boston Legal,’ now in its third season, tonight at 9 p.m.

“Each episode of the two-year-old dramedy, a spinoff of ABC’s ‘The Practice,’ ends with lawyers Crane (played by William Shatner) and Shore (James Spader) relaxing on the high-rise balcony of their Boston firm of Crane Poole & Schmidt, recounting their day and their lives thus far.

“Sometimes, the two puff cigars. Sometimes, they enjoy a Scotch. Always, they express their love in ways circumspect, tough and touching.” …

“Denny Crane and Alan Shore are perhaps the best example of postmodern, heterosexual man-love currently available in the mass media. It has been a long time coming.

“‘Boston Legal’ tells us modern hetero-man can freely love fellow hetero-man without worrying about whether it makes us gay, without spending time thinking and talking about our feelings (gaack!) and without expressing affection solely through physical competition.

“Producer David E. Kelley (‘The Practice,’ ‘Ally McBeal,’ ‘Boston Public’), created it as an ensemble. But Shatner and Spader quickly took it over by force of personality. The show has produced solid ratings.

“Buoyed by viewer feedback, the writers began to pair up the two in other, off-balcony situations, taking the male-bonding relationship to unexpected places: a fishing trip that included a spooning scene in bed, dressing as matching flamingos at a party, and being tied together with a rope as Denny kept Alan from hurting himself while sleepwalking.” …

“Yet, like many successful couples, they are opposites in some ways.

“Alan has a bleeding heart where Denny is a troglodyte right-winger. Alan lays open his weaknesses while Denny tries to suppress them. And there is a 30-year age gap between the two.

“Perhaps it’s not surprising that the person who pens most of Shatner and Spader’s lines is a woman: Janet Leahy is the executive producer and a writer for ‘Boston Legal.’

“‘I think of their relationship as (they’re) having sex with women, but they’re married to each other,’ she says.

“In interviews, Shatner and Spader talk about how the other actor smells, so close is their on-screen contact.

“‘It’s a very funny friendship that Bill and I have and that Denny and Alan have; it really is,’ Spader says from California. ‘We go together.'”


Hollywood2020: Boston Legal Season Finale Breaks 4th Wall with Kiss http://bit.ly/2n2xEq3
// 5/17/2006

“The show continues to ‘break the fourth” wall not once but twice with this episode. (Break the fourth wall: Urban Dictionary: Break the fourth wall). Toward the end of the second part of the finale Denny Crain (William Shatner) passes Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen) in the hallway and makes a reference to ‘Sweeps Week’ to finagle a ‘kiss’ from Shirley (an ex-flame of his in his/her youth). Then at the end of the show Alan Shore (James Spader) and Denny Crain sharing a drink. Alan says “Here’s to the fall” and Denny responds ‘Same Night?’ and Alan retorts ‘God I hope So’.”


OnlineAthens (2006): James Spader surprised to find himself on TV, but loving it http://bit.ly/1vCP4Z7


BostonGlobe (2005): Delayed Gratification http://bit.ly/ZAcgvF
// “With his sexuality, arrogance, and boyish charm, Boston’s own James Spader built a successful, if quirky, film career. Then TV’s David E. Kelley called with a proposition. What happened next surprised even Spader”


Playboy interview (2005): James Spader: a candid conversation with Boston Legal’s press-shy star about pushing sexual boundaries, his bizarre characters and why journalists annoy him. http://bit.ly/1pwfG8u


LATimes: Does he make you a little…uneasy? James Spader loves to play compelling creeps. Now he’s feeling comfortable in your living room. http://lat.ms/1wxRA3k
// 10/3/2004, sculpture garden


James Spader at 2004 Emmies, Best Actor acceptance speech for The Practice http://bit.ly/1x5zh7P “I want to thank my sons Sebastian & Elijah & their wonderful mother, Victoria, & I want to thank my girl, Leslie.” //➔ so sweet!
// 9/17/2004

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NYT (2002): Film: Sometimes the Spanking Brought Tears http://nyti.ms/1qioTS1


RogerEbert (2002): Secretary http://bit.ly/1o7lzhI


Kamera (2002): An Interview with Maggie Gyllenhaal http://bit.ly/1D6yh3l


From Amazon review of Sex, lies & videotape:
“What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to recount all the points in my life leading up to this moment, and then hope that it’s coherent; that it makes some sort of sense to you? It doesn’t make any sense to me. You know, I was there. And I don’t have the slightest idea who I am. And I’m supposed to be able to explain it to you…?”


Esquire: James Spader: What I’ve Learned http://bit.ly/1sqlS2q
// 12/15/2000, very interesting


YouTube/Japanese TV: Speaking of Sexuality? http://bit.ly/1vVRZOP Interview (1997)


InterviewMag (1993): “How James Spader’s Image has Changed” http://bit.ly/1FMjDxz [partial transcript under Interrogations]


Angelfire: James Spader Interview http://bit.ly/1G5lVK7 [omg] © Playboy magazine, April 1990 by Jerry Lazar

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