Friday Favorites 11/8/2013

blacklistThis post will be a first on several counts.   For one, it is the first Friday Favorites written at 30,000 feet.  As I said I would be yesterday, I am in an exit row in coach with Muri, flying across the country.  The video presentation at the moment is the first episode of NBC’s The Blacklist and if you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ll be surprised that I’ve seen it.  Older Eyes’ TV diet usually consists of sports and old movies, used as a background for blogging.  I have occasionally watched successful HBO series like The Sopranos and Ten Feet Under on DVDs.  A few months ago, Muri and I watched House of Cards on Netflix, primarily because it stars one of my favorite actors, Kevin Spacey.  Excellent, by the way.  But watching live TV … and a new series at that?  Unheard of.  But in the interests of spending more time together in the evening, Muri’s been watching more of my sports shows (while reading) and I agreed to watch The Blacklist (yes, I may be blogging, too).   And, hey, Mikey, he likes it!   Enough that I’m watching episode 1 again.   Here’s an interesting fact.  You know that TV shows are edited for content before being shown on the airlines.  Would you believe that on our flight, every time someone on the show said the word bomb, it was bleeped out.  Seriously?  Does that make us all safer somehow?  I digress, though.

In case you haven’t watched The Blacklist, Red Reddington (James Spader) is former government agent turned master criminal who suddenly turns himself in to the FBI, offering to help them catch a list of wanted men he’s put together.  The scene in which Red gives himself up by walking into the lobby of the bureau, getting down on his knees in front of the surveillance camera with his arms raised above his head, is a classic opening.

While Red won’t say exactly what he wants in return for his cooperation, he will only deal with an attractive, young (naturally … this is TV) agent who has just started at the agency.  We find out very quickly that he knows a great deal about agent Elizabeth Keen … and about her husband, who is not what he appears to be.  The chemistry between Red and Lizzie (as he calls her)spader reminds me of that between Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs.  Each week features the capture (or execution) of another criminal from Red’s blacklist, played out against the tensions of the FBI’s resistance to having their operations run by a rogue agent and the jealousy of senior agents to the Red’s insistence on a new agent like Liz.  We find out a little more about Red’s motives, his relationship to Liz and what is going on with Liz’s husband, who seems to be an agent of some sort, too.  Just as with Clarice in The Silence of the Lambs, dimly remembered events in Liz’s childhood contribute to her manipulation by Red.   And just as with Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal, we are both repelled by Red’s brutality and disregard for the law but drawn by his charisma and his obvious joy in manipulating those who would rather throw him in jail.   The show is well cast and the action sequences are excellent.  It’s a great show.  It’s also the the first Friday Favorite TV show.  If you haven’t seen it, take a look.

Have a great weekend.

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One Comment on “Friday Favorites 11/8/2013”

  1. cherperz Says:

    I have yet to see the Blacklist but have heard from several friends that they too are enjoying it.

    Have a safe trip. I sure it will be now that the word bomb was bleeped out.

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