It was with anticipation that I watched The Blacklist, NBC's newest twisted thriller. I should have known better.
Mainstream TV tries to copycat the ground-breaking series that appear on HBO, AMC or Showtime. Unfortunately, NBC doesn't have the guts.
Like The Following, FOX's spring series which starred Kevin Bacon, The Blacklist hired a recognizable movie name in James Spader, who loves the chew dialogue like a cow grazing in the pasture. Spader is the perfect antagonist -- arrogant, smart and even sassy (yes, that can be used to describe a man).
Spader made watching The Blacklist a must-see. Unfortunately, there wasn't much else worth watching in the pilot episode.
There was the prerequisite shootout in which the bad guys gun down everyone but the main characters, who kill with one shot while running, rolling, jumping, etc. Yawn.
There was the kidnapping of an 8-year-old girl, and the duty to find her belongs to an FBI agent who -- just by coincidence -- longs to have a child of her own, a desire we are beaten over the head with in the first 30 minutes.
The little girl has a bomb strapped to her in the city zoo. If this were Breaking Bad or The Shield, the bomb explodes in the first episode, showing that nothing is off limits in the series. Instead, the bomb is, of course, yielded useless with -- gasp -- just 10 seconds left on the timer. Yawn. I've seen more thrilling endings on Charlie's Angels.
The Blacklist shows it's nothing more than a run-of-the-mill non-thriller. Oh, Spader is delicious to watch, and I will tune in again just to see if he can save the show, but I doubt it. There are some minor twists -- we are led to believe Spader is the long-gone dad of the FBI agent he has chosen to speak to, and that same agent's husband may be a spy. That's not enough to keep my interest.
Looks like I wil have to buy the DVD Breaking Bad series. Even re-watching a series I've already seen has more surprises than The Blacklist.