The Blacklist Series Premiere Review “Pilot”

The broadcast network drama is in a weird space. The Big 4 have begun to acknowledge the difficulty of crafting a 22 episode season of a drama that’s not completely episodic. With so many episodes to fill, networks have virtually thrown in the towel when it comes to high-stakes drama. They can’t compete, and they know it, so the model has changed. They’re no longer searching for groundbreaking, merely entertaining.

In many ways, The Blacklist fits the new model of the network action drama: Everything in excess with no aspirations whatsoever. The pilot alone features an action sequence on a bridge, the entire backstory of Red Reddington as told to us by the furrowing brow of an FBI agent (played with adequacy by Diego Klatenhoff of Homeland fame), adoption meetings, hostage situations, and a husband with multiple identities and a box of cash. (Is this a new requirement of all TV husbands? Walter White ruins everything again.) It’s as if the show realizes it doesn’t have much to offer so it keeps throwing things in your face when the star isn’t on the screen.



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