• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 23, 2013
  • Season #: 1
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 240 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 240

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  1. Sep 28, 2013
    10
    The Blacklist is an amazing, intense, well-acted, well-written, and well-directed. James Spader and the female lead (I forgot her name) are amazing together. I highly recommend this show
  2. 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.
  3. Oct 3, 2013
    5
    The main draw of this show is unquestionably James Spader. His acting is on full display here as he seems to be relishing this mysterious and complex role. Beyond him though, things start to get dicey. A pet peeve of mine is when writers diminish the intelligence of all the surrounding characters in order to make the main character look more intelligent. That happens here. A lot. The government agents, in particular, are almost as incompetent as the cadets in Police Academy, going from one stupid nonsensical act to another. It works for now, but the agents better smarten up or it's going to be tedious. Expand
  4. 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...
  5. Oct 10, 2013
    10
    I don't know if you remember James Spader as Alan Shore from Boston Legal, but allow me to tell you that seeing him in court was almost like seeing Shakespeare in person. Now, I'm not personally a fan of Shakespeare, but we can't deny his brilliance and all the works that have stemmed from his. Alan Shore's speeches were shakesperian in that they were so brilliant and had so much longevity that if you removed them from their surroundings and just used them as words on a page, they would still be brilliant. Well, Alan Shore is back in the Blacklist as Raymond Reddington. He's every bit as brilliant, as witty and as smug, and let me tell you, James Spader was born to play smug.
    The Blacklist is a highly intelligent new drama about a man so smart, and so dastardly that he has conceived a plot to use the FBI as his own personal hit squad, taking out all of his criminal competition. He walks right into the FBI's HQ, and turns himself in, because he knows his value to them. After all, he's Raymond Reddington, the most wanted man in the world. Genius show, you must watch it.
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  6. Sep 25, 2013
    10
    The Blacklist is an intense, fast paced, amazing, action packed drama with good plots and a story line that will make you question everything. If any new fall show deserves to be watched, it's definitely this.
  7. 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 cancel once the viewers get dropped, Expand
  8. 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, Jonny Lee Miller & Lucy Liu are much more credible on CBS's Elementary: not so flamboyant, but much more logical. Expand
  9. Oct 2, 2013
    5
    I don't mind suspending disbelief, but I do mind suspending intelligence. O.K. I knew Spader would make or break the show, but I thought he'd have some support from the writers when he was off screen, and all we get is ramped up "24" fantasia land. "Homeland" succeeds because it has a plot and characters to distract from the adolescent view of terrorism, and it has Clare Danes. "Blacklist" has the usual super heroes in human clothing. Isn't it rather obvious that Spader has a daughter? Namely? Expand
  10. Sep 25, 2013
    9
    RickHendrikse Sep 24, 2013 9 This is the way to drop a new show to your audience. Episode one's overlapping story (thug-helps-police-and-want's-a-deal) is a one-episode story but at the same time uncovers a multi-episode and maybe season long plot in a way that you want to see next episode.

    James Spader is believable as a non-cannibalistic (so far we know) Hannibal kinda guy, a guy who
    looks totally in control, even though he's been arrested by the FBI as a most-wanted international criminal. He planned the whole thing and want to cut a deal, he'll help the feds capture a even bigger fish, but only wants to do business with first-day-on-the-job agent Keen (Megan Boone).

    While everyone, perfectly understandable, will praise Spader's performance, don't forget Boone's part. She can really keep up with her co-star, is attractive, mysterious and overall there is a feeling where you really want this girl to kick *ss!

    I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series. What's the deal with Keens husband? What is the connection between the two main characters? How about Keen's past? And how will Diego Klattenhoff, playing a FBI cop "in charge", fit into the whole story. So far, so good!
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  11. Oct 3, 2013
    9
    I really like the actors and writing. The plot seems to be solid. It gives you enough info each week to show there is some depth to the storyline. I find it entertaining, well acted and good writing.
  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 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. Nov 7, 2013
    6
    Spader is a fantastic lead and him alone makes the show worth watching, The rest of the cast is ok. It's a villain of the week sort of show where they take out 1 person on the blacklist each episode. Gets a little old as the season goes on but it's still a pretty solid show overall.
  14. Nov 11, 2013
    8
    Who can not love James Spader? He is such a good actor taking command of any scene he is in. The show manages to keep my interest with decent characters, good action, and plot twists. I will keep watching this one.
  15. Sep 23, 2013
    7
    The story line and the lead players are well chosen. HOWEVER the production values stank. Oldfashioned viewers like to be able to discern what the actors are saying...it is NOT just about the action.

    Too many of the supporting actors subscribed to the school of acting based upon mumbling, prattling but at all times striving to LOOK compelling. Very strange, as the star of the show was
    speaking clearly and could be followed.

    Some of the responsibility must rest with the sound engineers, who seemed not to be able to balance and achieve clarity.

    For pointers, they should watch the commercials, as their sound values made the program seem very shoddy.
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  16. Sep 24, 2013
    9
    James Spader is fantastic in this wonderful new drama. Just when it seemed like you had the pilot figured out, another plot twist came into the picture. The pilot had it's moments when it seemed to drag, but luckily they were few and far between! I'm really looking forward to seeing where the writers take this show. It looks very promising.
  17. Oct 3, 2013
    4
    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.
  18. Oct 12, 2013
    10
    This a very good show and I give it a 10. I don't usually rates shows above a 9, but this show takes it all. Very thrilling and and had my attention through every second. Also like almost every police drama, there are many sub plots that take place and are introduced with the first couple of episodes. The subplot of her husband's secretly life is brilliant! Mondays are going to be hype at 10 pm!!! Expand
  19. Oct 17, 2013
    10
    OK, I am totally hooked on The Blacklist and am loving the fact that it has gotten a full season order! At this point, I would love to see it go beyond one season. Yes, there are elements of the show that are far-fetched and unbelievable, and would probably never happen in real ife. Dramas are serious, but aren't intended to be a true-to-life reality. I believe TV (as well as film, music, art) is inherently escapist. When I watch or listen to something, I don't expect exactness or reality. What I do expect are things that will keep me interested and entertained. The Blacklist does this very, very well. James Spader is as close to perfect as one can get when it comes to acting. It seems like almost everything the man touches turns to gold. His tremendous skill is a huge reason why The Blacklist is so ridiculously great. Unrealistic aspects aside, the stories are incredibly engaging. There's an terrific mix of drama, action, suspense, mystery, and even comedy. The music used in the show is a very nice bonus. Hands down, this is the best new show of the 2013-2014 TV season, and I hope it sticks around for a while! Expand
  20. Nov 6, 2013
    8
    Spader's dialogue (congrats writers) and Spader's acting are worth an 8 ranking for this show. Even the very to somewhat less realistic story circumstances and plotlines can be overlooked. Spader is the show and makes it worth watching. Sadly the female lead is really mediocre by comparison, both in terms of the dialogue and in terms of her acting ability. There is no chemistry at all between her and Spader, either love, hate or any other strong emotion. She reminds me of one of the innumerable women who play cops, all lightweights to their male counterpart. Sadly, strong female characters, women like those found in Southland, Major Crimes or the Killing are in a whole other acting league. Too bad with a good female lead, this show might have been a 9 or 10. Expand
  21. Nov 9, 2013
    10
    This is an excellent show that is very well written and acted. I must say, that after the first episode I did not like it much, however now It is probably in my top 5 favorite shows.
  22. Nov 18, 2013
    10
    Spader is one of my favourites....and he does not disappoint in this show. A+++ for actors, themes, and entertainment...love the show! The writers are doing a wonderful job so far....keep up the good work.
  23. Jan 8, 2014
    10
    Amazing story, I'm at episode 6 at the moment at I just can't stop watching. This series has amazing acting and a nice original story. Reddington is amazingly played.
  24. Nov 22, 2013
    10
    The best show on TV bar none. James Spader is riveting as he doesn't even have to speak to captivate the screen. If there is a better show on TV I haven't seen it. Word of mouth will propel this show to number one. Mr. Spader wins an Emmy. Don't miss it.
  25. 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.
  26. Dec 17, 2013
    6
    Spader is fantastic, but the surrounding cast is rather underwhelming. This fact falls on the writers as Spader is the only one who can rise above the dullness of the writing. As far as network TV goes, The Blacklist is far better than most, but in my opinion, there's really nothing new about the Blacklist beyond the standard network Police/FBI shows on finds on network tv.
  27. 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
    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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  28. Apr 4, 2014
    9
    The Blacklist is basically about James Spader being a mild **** to everyone around him because everyone else knows less than him because they're not master-level criminal information brokers. If you're okay with that idea, you should watch this show. If not, skip it.

    But really, watch this show. It's totally sweet.
  29. Oct 26, 2013
    8
    Oh my GOD! I love this show. FBI Agents, Most Wanted and Unknown Most Wanted Criminals, A Criminal itself. This one I hope keeps it rhythm because is a good one, and i wanna know what is about this Elizabeth Keen obsession of Red. What made it so attractive to me was the fact that this criminal turns in to the FBI just to help them? Nah im not buying it. I always wanna know more when an episode ends, it leaves me with more questions every Monday. Totally worth it people, if you hadn't watch it yet you Should, even though im asking to myself, You really haven't seen it YET? Expand
  30. Jan 28, 2014
    10
    After quite a while, a show worth watching on major network. I find this very entertaining and follow the Reddington (Spader) character traits - his way of looking at life. Sometime feel envious, that why I am not like him. I guess thats one of the accomplishment of a show - getting a character you feel for.
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. 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.