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

Generally favorable reviews- based on 317 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 41 out of 317

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  1. Sep 25, 2013
    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.
  2. Sep 30, 2013
    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...
  3. Dec 2, 2013
    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 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
  4. Oct 19, 2013
    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 cancel once the viewers get dropped, Expand
  5. Sep 27, 2013
    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
  6. Jan 27, 2014
    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.
  7. Feb 14, 2014
    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.
  8. Nov 3, 2013
    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.
  9. Feb 3, 2014
    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......
  10. May 21, 2014
    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! Expand
  11. Aug 8, 2014
    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 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.
  12. Oct 3, 2013
    Critics gave this a high score, but to me it was just ok. I really want to see it, but was disappointed in the gruesome violence in the first episode and the ridiculous easy way the guy escapes in the first two episodes. He is under total lockdown, then let out and is able to just walks away without anyone seeing him. Unbelievable.
  13. Nov 28, 2013
    Show is good. The only downside is the talent-less performance of Megan Boone. This is one my few reviews that was trigger by this bad acting. I keep wondering why she got this part next to a brilliant Spader. Please find a way to change her for the sake of the show. TEEERRRIBLE
  14. Jan 16, 2014
    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. Aug 27, 2014
    This series is astonishingly unrealistic and also completely derivative of previous works.

    Spader's acting is the only redeeming aspect of the series.
  16. Sep 20, 2014
    Meh. It's another black ops type show. I am not done watching the 1st season and am kind of bored by some fairly obvious plot points? Also, the cinematography isn't so great. there are funny details which are not right, which to me seem really blatant. Ep. 2, 21 minutes, it's easy to see the cut scenes based on the rain on the jackets. There are times when you can't make the scene. It didn't need to be harbor-side. The digital effects are also poor. They stand out like effects from the early 2000's. The plot is alright, but requires some real suspension of disbelief. Best bet, read a book, skip the series.

    I can suspend disbelief, but make it somewhat close to how real life would be, where not every next person is known, already pre-linked, and pre-fried.

  17. Oct 1, 2014
    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 to force myself to watch, it felt rushed and was too predictable. Shame Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

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