Daily Archives: October 23, 2013

The Man in the Black Fedora

Thanks to the digital magic of the DVR, “The Blacklist” was last night’s feature once the awesomeness of, “The Goldbergs” rocked its final inspiring nostalgic note for the week. Another great half-hour journey back to the ’80s.

The power of the VHS tape…

Focusing back on, “The Blacklist,” this national security mystery added yet another name to the aforementioned list. The diabolical characteristics of the villains continue to shock and surprise, while the anti-hero Reddington remains a constant. However, Reddington is different than most television leads.


The answer boils down to the actor who plays him…or is it the other way around?

James Spader is weird, smart, sharp, cocky, borderline creepy and full of ambiguous intrigue.

He’s like a perplexing painting in a museum. At first glance, you think you have it all figured out. Then, as you begin to walk away, you take a second look and something’s changed. You gently rub your eyes in a bewilderment, but you’re still convinced something definitely changed. After a minute passes, you don’t want to or think you need to stay in the room, but you’re in a trance. The experience is downright odd, leaving a void of all the answers you seek. You can’t help but continue to look, searching for the exciting answer.

Spader has played lots of memorable roles, but Reddington suits him as perfectly as the three-piece suits he wears (plus the dynamite hats). As crazy and insane as it may read, it’s easy to imagine that James Spader is like Reddington in his spare time. As in that’s how he acts on the weekend. No big deal, just a Thursday-Saturday excursion to the Bahamas to Paris to D.C. with the itinerary consisting of moral dilemmas, beautiful women, breathtaking locations and powerful enemies to manipulate and defeat.

And one cannot forget about a delicious and savory meal in a five-star hotel with a bodyguard.

His eerily reassuring presence is one of the primary reasons why this show has been such a success thus far. Writing and portraying the story lines of, “The Blacklist” for network television without a major motion picture budget has proven to be difficult in the past. Consequently, the final product has come off as campy and, therefore, lacking in believability.

Not “The Blacklist.”

The action is explosive, the suspense is palpable, the settings are realistic, the characters and their movements are precise and gritty and the twists are startling and fun.

“The Blacklist” is accomplishing (so far) what all good television shows and movies achieve, which is temporarily relieving the viewer from his or her reality to fully immerse ones self into the dramatic, comedic and/or action packed world for a short period of time. We’re not simply watching the actors or actresses portray characters, but are instead embracing an engaging, puzzling story unfold through the guidance of a reticent lead.

Who is Reddington exactly? Why does he insist on working with Agent Keen?

We’ll just have to wait until next week for the 6th episode…or viewing.

The good news about a television show and a museum is that there are no visitation limits.