The Blacklist is a crime drama series with elements of a procedural. It became acclaimed for its anti-hero main character played by James Spader.
Raymond “Red” Reddington (Spader), an ex-intelligence officer turned traitor against the United States, ends his twenty years of eluding capture by turning himself in to the FBI. He offers to share his blacklist of international criminals, terrorists, corrupt politicians, and mobsters with the Bureau one name at a time. In exchange for this assistance, Red wants immunity and the opportunity to work with rookie FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone).
Naturally, the FBI is skeptical, but the opportunities are too good to ignore. Red assists them in catching other criminals as he smoothly insinuates himself into the life of Elizabeth and they slowly reveal one another’s secrets and mysteries.
The Blacklist combines genuinely good television writing with surprising twists and then anchors it all in Spader. His universally acclaimed performance keeps the show moving even when a plot point or character beat falls flat.
If you like narratives about secrets, procedurals, or villains turned anti-heroes, take a chance on The Blacklist.