The Blacklist : Season 1

  • Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 23, 2013
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 444 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 444

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User Reviews

  1. Feb 3, 2014
    3
    It started out good but got boring and predictable real quick. Like everyone has said, the best part is Spader. LIzzy Keen appears incompetent and her acting stinks. The stupid mention of watch out for your husband is getting really old. That foreign mole is irritating too. Can hardly understand her when she talks. The plots are getting just too far fetched. Next......
  2. Aug 27, 2014
    1
    This series is astonishingly unrealistic and also completely derivative of previous works.

    Spader's acting is the only redeeming aspect of the series.
  3. Oct 1, 2015
    3
    Spader is great, but they must be paying him a fortune to get him to act opposite one of the blandest, lamest "actresses" in television history. How she got cast I'll never know. And the rest of the cast is not much better, though to be fair the mediocre writing does them no favours. That the show is doing as well as it is is a testament to Spader's considerable skills and charisma, butSpader is great, but they must be paying him a fortune to get him to act opposite one of the blandest, lamest "actresses" in television history. How she got cast I'll never know. And the rest of the cast is not much better, though to be fair the mediocre writing does them no favours. That the show is doing as well as it is is a testament to Spader's considerable skills and charisma, but it's not enough for me to wade through the rest of the mediocrity. Expand
  4. Aug 8, 2014
    3
    James Spader is the only reason this show is worth watching at all. The critics of america seem to collectively have been drugged or bribed to give this show such glowing reviews. Most plot lines in every episode are utterly predictable. The whole Tom Keen story ark is very predictable after just a few episodes. The action scenes are repetitive between the episodes and don't feelJames Spader is the only reason this show is worth watching at all. The critics of america seem to collectively have been drugged or bribed to give this show such glowing reviews. Most plot lines in every episode are utterly predictable. The whole Tom Keen story ark is very predictable after just a few episodes. The action scenes are repetitive between the episodes and don't feel believable and the FBI agents do not seem to think planning is worth anything. The characters in the show do some surprisingly stupid things just to keep the plot alive. Consistency seems to be VERY hard. People are moving between D.C. and New York in a few minutes. EVERY american citizen has had it's DNA recorded in a government database somewhere.

    For some reason James Spader manages to keep me interested.
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  5. Feb 2, 2015
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Sorry couldn't get past the first episode. I stopped at the scene at the house where she finds her husband strapped in a chair with tape. Right from the trailer, i already decided I didn't like this show and wasn't going to watch but my friend convinced me to. I think this show is too dramatic, but that would not be a problem if the acting was able to rise to occasion. the scene where she finds her husband captured in the house was just too bad. Shows like this piss me off: Reminds me of "The Following". Find a very dramatic plot-line but don't bother finding actors who can convincingly carry out the plot line and don't bother making the show as realistic as possible tone-wise and plot-wise. This show is for people who just want cheap entertainment and don't want to think or reason as they watch. Expand
  6. Oct 1, 2014
    3
    Started off so well and found Reddington to be a great character BUT the acting in general, especially by Agent Keen, is terrible. The concept is great but week in week out take down of super villains is pretty unbelievable - feels like it was trying to be Dexter but without the clever sub plots and story lines. Essentially college level writing. By the end of season 1, which I had toStarted off so well and found Reddington to be a great character BUT the acting in general, especially by Agent Keen, is terrible. The concept is great but week in week out take down of super villains is pretty unbelievable - feels like it was trying to be Dexter but without the clever sub plots and story lines. Essentially college level writing. By the end of season 1, which I had to force myself to watch, it felt rushed and was too predictable. Shame Expand
  7. Apr 9, 2016
    3
    James Spacer- Awesome. Why in the world he would agree to take on a horrible actor like Megan Boone as a co-star, I have no idea. The writers are so inept that this series is doomed to fail. Diego is also a horrifically flawed character. I think that this series shows a total dysfunctionality of the writing staff. I truly believe that the irrational behavior of the characters probablyJames Spacer- Awesome. Why in the world he would agree to take on a horrible actor like Megan Boone as a co-star, I have no idea. The writers are so inept that this series is doomed to fail. Diego is also a horrifically flawed character. I think that this series shows a total dysfunctionality of the writing staff. I truly believe that the irrational behavior of the characters probably mirrors the writers. I am such a fan of James Spader, but other than that this series is doomed to fail. Expand
  8. May 21, 2014
    0
    Imagine this, an FBI convoy of at least 5 large black armored SUV,s full of armed trained agents are speeding a potential kidnap victim to safety ....how could you possibly stop them a get to the kidnap victim
    I know get a phony road worker to hold up a stop sign !!!........this sums up this series which is only made more ludicrous by the inept casting ,the female lead looks like her
    Imagine this, an FBI convoy of at least 5 large black armored SUV,s full of armed trained agents are speeding a potential kidnap victim to safety ....how could you possibly stop them a get to the kidnap victim
    I know get a phony road worker to hold up a stop sign !!!........this sums up this series which is only made more ludicrous by the inept casting ,the female lead looks like her hair and makeup were done by Linda Carter's (Wonder Woman) team from the 70's. They paid James Spader and whatever was left over hired the rest of the cast.....this show got good reviews!
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  9. Feb 14, 2014
    2
    One of the worse shows I've had to endure in recent memory, abysmal acting, James Spade has hit a new low, with his one expression act he's got going on. I'm not sure how many times they can make samey shows while keeping us interested.
    A fast paced mess, with a lot of "blabla" trying too hard to sound intelligent and gripping while almost parodying the genre. I am a one man army, boom
    One of the worse shows I've had to endure in recent memory, abysmal acting, James Spade has hit a new low, with his one expression act he's got going on. I'm not sure how many times they can make samey shows while keeping us interested.
    A fast paced mess, with a lot of "blabla" trying too hard to sound intelligent and gripping while almost parodying the genre. I am a one man army, boom bam Hu Ha I'll say two words and make you crack, Ill defuse the bomb the last second, I got the president on speed dial. BORING.
    Tis' a poor man's 24,only two decades late and as dull and cliché as they get.
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  10. Nov 3, 2013
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I admit to a huge Spader crush and that could be why I think he is the only thing worth watching on this show.. but the other characters are just plain boring. Pretty, yes but about as exciting and compelling as old ketchup. Not to mention, quite stupid, honestly. In this show, the FBI is barely functioning above a 6th grade logic skills class and while it's satisfying to get some of the answers before the main characters, we shouldn't be getting ALL of them.
    (POSS. SPOILER AHEAD..) Agent Keen is most likely his abandoned daughter from 20 years ago when he went AWOL. It's super obvious right in the pilot. The only people who don't see this are... everyone else in the story! Which is to say, all the FBI agents. All of whom have been recruited during the same 20 year lag where walking while talking meant you had the right stuff to be in the FBI. I am serious, they are just not that bright. Nest to James Spader's main attraction, they just don't live up to his creepy mystery and everyone else comes across as plain and dull next to him. Agent Keen, his daughter, is very pretty and dull. Agent Keen's begrudging partner is also pretty and dull as block-of-wood Agent Ressler ('cause she 'wrestles' with him, get it.. they love the obvious on this show)
    Since episode 1, it would seem that Keen's only acting directions must have been, "have no expression on your face, then at random moments, face the camera and cry...ok, go!" I don't know whether it's the writing or the directing but no one aside from Spader's character is even remotely interesting. Spader is the best part of the show, along with the always wonderful Parminder Nagra who makes the most out of terrible lines and almost no part. Which ultimately is a shame because I think the premise is quite good.
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  11. Sep 25, 2013
    2
    Has the potential to be great, BUT it sadly looks like it will not live up to it's potential. Conceptually, it is great, but the writing is terrible, nonsensical, and illogical. All the problems are too easily solved by Spader's character, the FBI is portrayed as one big idiot as everyone seems to be out of the loop. Spader's outfit in the opening? WOOF. It was offensively cheesy.
  12. Dec 2, 2013
    0
    The Blacklist is extremely poor. The stories are not checked for internal consistency, the science and history are flat wrong. The characters are terminally stupid. The setting and premise are ridiculous. The acting is bland. The characters avoid asking direct questions so that drama can be spread over an episode. I feel like I'm watching a televised reading of gossip magazines due to theThe Blacklist is extremely poor. The stories are not checked for internal consistency, the science and history are flat wrong. The characters are terminally stupid. The setting and premise are ridiculous. The acting is bland. The characters avoid asking direct questions so that drama can be spread over an episode. I feel like I'm watching a televised reading of gossip magazines due to the shallow, insipid, disgusting, sexist garbage that, quite surprisingly, is being broadcast. I used to count the number of times Keen did something that should have gotten her fired from the FBI or arrested, but gave up after 10. There are not enough adjectives in the English language to adequately convey how disappointing and face-palmingly retarded The Blacklist is. The final kick in the nuts from NBC is that they cancelled Ironside, a brilliantly written, superbly acted and dramatically shot new series while continuing to fund this tripe. Expand
  13. Sep 30, 2013
    1
    cliché, badly written and predictable script. Example 5 seconds after Reddington mentions Ranko Zamani's name they've matched his prints on the plane he just flew into Washington on....c;mon, really?..I can't see this series lasting 3 months before it goes on the chopping block...
  14. Jan 16, 2014
    3
    Spader plays an interesting character and his dialogue and delivery are fun to watch. HOWEVER, the violence in the show has become gratuitous and unnecessary. We do not need to see the torture and maiming, the blood splatter and the body parts to know that it has happened. The gore cheapens the product! Spend the time spent on gore on developing more interesting scripts.
  15. Oct 19, 2013
    3
    Show is poorly written,first loop hole is when Red Reddington surrendered surely CIA or NSA will take him in.Also FBI surveillance in here so week and Red Reddington escapes so easily.Least they should have put tracking device on him.Also action and story out of logic and predictable.No bigger picture there So not tempting to watch the show again so due to that show going to get cancelShow is poorly written,first loop hole is when Red Reddington surrendered surely CIA or NSA will take him in.Also FBI surveillance in here so week and Red Reddington escapes so easily.Least they should have put tracking device on him.Also action and story out of logic and predictable.No bigger picture there So not tempting to watch the show again so due to that show going to get cancel once the viewers get dropped, Expand
  16. Sep 27, 2013
    3
    I found the show pretty preposterous. James Spader's character Red Reddington seems to know everything about everybody and can somehow get people to do his bidding even though he's captive by the FBI. I think someone would have to have supernatural mental/psychic abilities to pull this off. This show tries too hard to be like an action movie and dispenses with the logic. For my money,I found the show pretty preposterous. James Spader's character Red Reddington seems to know everything about everybody and can somehow get people to do his bidding even though he's captive by the FBI. I think someone would have to have supernatural mental/psychic abilities to pull this off. This show tries too hard to be like an action movie and dispenses with the logic. For my money, Jonny Lee Miller & Lucy Liu are much more credible on CBS's Elementary: not so flamboyant, but much more logical. Expand
  17. Jan 27, 2014
    0
    I am in complete agreement with lahonda_99. This show is total garbage. Utterly stupid plot lines. Mediocre acting. The same 2 —and only — agents show up at the right time to save the day. Obviously there have been some serious cutbacks at the FBI!!

    The good folks at NBC were aiming low with this show. And they definitely hit a home run.
  18. Nov 18, 2014
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Who are you kidding with this crap? I can practically SEE the checklist the 'writers' tick off for each episode. Aside from Spader, ever single episode is ABSOLUTELY GENERIC! They cram in a death now and then that has ZERO impact on the progression of the plot or even have a significant emotional toll on the characters just to feel 'dark', because apparently that's the 'feel' they've decided to go with now. For example, the bossman is almost strangled to death on the last episode of season one, and BAM next scene, the guy's already caught and being interrogated, and so far besides having a limp this doesn't have ANY impact on the character AT ALL. (btw, skipping through capturing or indictment scenes doesn't make it seem 'streamlined' or 'cutting off the fat'. There's supposed to be a flow to the story, and just skipping parts doesn't make the show 'efficient'.
    Or what about the pandemic episode, with the LUDICROUSLY CONTRIVED SETUP, in which the bad guy who GASSES AND THEN SHOOTS THE GIRL just so the heroine could do her heroic thing. Well, it didn't swell up any emotions because THE GIRL HAD NO PRESENCE, AND THERE WAS NO CHEMISTRY BETWEEN HER AND KEEN AT ALL. In fact, did they even once talk to each other, other than the 'you screwed up and let the virus out' diatribe that was planted just for this event, just so that they could carry out this RIDICULOUSLY OVERDONE, CLICHE SCENE?
    Everything else about the show is generic, generic boss, generic tough guy, generic nerd, generic heroine in distress. EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER is emotionally flat, even Spder's character and ESPECIALLY ELIZABETH. Her reaction to RED killing her father might well as been her reacting to him running over her mailbox. i mean, are you **** KIDDING ME? DO YOU PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO CALL YOURSELF WRITERS? THROW THE **** CHECK LIST AWAY. THROW IT AWAY NOW.

    Even Spader's not enough to save this joke of a show, and the fact that this show is getting any good reviews at all is very disheartening, to know that this, THIS is enough to keep the American viewer satisfied. ARE YOU **** DIMWITTED? And writers, HAVE YOU MADE ANY CREATIVE ATTEMPTS AT ALL FOR THIS SHOW? HOW ARE YOU NOT ASHAMED TO PUT YOUR NAMES ON THIS GARBAGE? HOW ARE YOU NOT ASHAMED?
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  19. Sep 30, 2016
    1
    The Black List was my favorite TV series until I began noticing writer struggles towards the end of Season 3. James Spader has been one of my heroes until the Season 4 episode 2 aired. Killing Kate was the last straw. I will watch no more episodes. Hopefully, I can find a great series to replace BL with a truly talented writer. The BL had such a great start and showed hope until theThe Black List was my favorite TV series until I began noticing writer struggles towards the end of Season 3. James Spader has been one of my heroes until the Season 4 episode 2 aired. Killing Kate was the last straw. I will watch no more episodes. Hopefully, I can find a great series to replace BL with a truly talented writer. The BL had such a great start and showed hope until the writer's brain failed, tragically. Expand
  20. Feb 7, 2017
    1
    Blacklist: Painfully monotonous and predictable

     Predictable stupid government agents with predictable responses, same shallow dumb agents show after show. Boring characters.  Conundrum of clueless woman who can not figure out who her father is, yet is presented as a smart agent? Terrible actress also  Gratuitous showing of guts and blood at every opportunity.  Perfect for a
    Blacklist: Painfully monotonous and predictable

     Predictable stupid government agents with predictable responses, same shallow dumb agents show after show. Boring characters.
     Conundrum of clueless woman who can not figure out who her father is, yet is presented as a smart agent? Terrible actress also
     Gratuitous showing of guts and blood at every opportunity.
     Perfect for a dumb down , shallow bunch of gore loving sheeple viewers.
     Everything is awful except James Spader's acting , he is the ONLY saving grace, and even then the writer's are so fond of monotony they have stunted his character to that of comic book character.
     Predictable less than intriguing mysteries.
     This is a dumb down formula series that has no real mystery or depth.
     All the government Agents have the depth of comic book characters.
     Suggest the writers study a series like Scandal to understand character development , plot complexity, and engaging an audience.
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Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. People Weekly
    Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Oct 11, 2013
    75
    [A] pleasurable, cheeky new crime drama. [21 Oct 2013, p.47]
  2. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Oct 9, 2013
    83
    Here and now, The Blacklist is top-of-the-list escapism.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Starr
    Oct 3, 2013
    75
    [Spader’s] magnetic, chewing on the scenery so much that you can’t look away from him.