The Blacklist

Crime shows have always held a special place for me. They have the ability to develop great characters, while at the same time providing suspense, thrill, and grittiness. Also, these kinds of shows often proffer a good canvas for the battle between good and evil. One show that takes a somewhat unique twist on this genre is The Blacklist.

The Story:

Elizabeth Keen
Elizabeth Keen

Instead of offering the ‘detective vs. mobster’ style of show, The Blacklist  turns this traditional trope on its head. Reddington is a criminal mastermind who willingly turns himself over to the FBI. Elizabeth Keen is a new analyst working for the FBI, and she alone is the one that Reddington is willing to talk to within the agency. What does Reddington want by turning himself in to the FBI? What interest does he have in Elizabeth? The show’s first season begins to unravel these many mysteries. Meanwhile, Reddington has his own list -THE blacklist -of criminals that the FBI does not even realize exist, and he begins to help the agency to hunt them down. However, motivations remain cloudy, and the characters are constantly left questioning one another’s motives. The writers do an entertaining job of weaving their story -making the characters empathetic, and dropping enough hints along the way to keep you engaged and wanting more. What makes the story different from most crime shows is that Reddington is not reformed, but continues to carry on his questionable activities alongside his lawful one.

The Characters:


Reddington and Elizabeth Keen are the primary characters of the show. Reddington is portrayed as a sauve and diabolical criminal mastermind -a spider with many webs who is proficient at what he does. Elizabeth is the pure-intentioned, law-abiding, but sometimes naive FBI agent Reddington requires to work with him. The writers do an excellent job of letting the characters develop -often subtly -through the show. The supporting cast is also well played and provides a colorful and varied backdrop to the main two protagonists’ narrative.


The Blacklist portrays a world of professional criminals, and as such contains much of the macabre and sinister. However, evil is brought to justice in the end, and justice -in some form or another -reigns. However, this pattern begs the question when will Reddington’s own sins be accounted for? Offering a slightly different take on the crime show genre, The Blacklist offers an entertaining first season and engaging characters. If you are a fan of other such shows, I would definitely recommend giving it a try.