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In the series The Blacklist we accompany the most wanted felon of the United States, Raymond "Red" Reddington, in a rather atypical activity for criminals: He cooperates with the FBI to help him catch wanted lawbreakers. The criminals are different types of cartel and serious criminals who have made it to Red's personal blacklist.
The former officer of the US Naval Intelligence Agency, at the beginning of the series, faces the FBI to stand up. He uses his experience, both in government work and less legal affairs, to present himself to the FBI as an interesting collaborator.
In return for his seeming surrender, he demands, alongside FBI Special Agent Elizabeth "Liz" Keen, to assist in the search for criminals and terrorists. Liz's qualities as a profiler and her own past make the two an interesting and broad-based couple.
The insider information from the criminal environment that Red can provide to investigators is deemed so valuable by the FBI that both Red and Liz, under the direction of FBI Assistant Director, are allowed to hire Harold Cooper in a secret FBI task force.
Supported by FBI Special Agent Donald Ressler, the obscure CIA agent Meera Malik and the IT professional Aram Mojtabai, the two unequal partners work side by side. To protect Reds, he hires two of his old companions, the bodyguards Dembe Zuma and Luli Zeng - and the task force is complete.
The series thrives on the different approach of the characters and their personal background. Time and again, the private and professional worlds of the protagonists link up and confront them and the entire team with moral, ethical and professional dilemmas.
At the center of the individual episodes is the search and arrest of the steadily shrinking and changing blacklist squad. In addition, the personal worlds of the individual characters are illuminated and especially the common past of Reddington and Liz will paint the viewer one or the other times an exclamation point on the forehead - how much the fates of the two different characters are interwoven, will only later in the process known in the series.
Already in the first case comes to light that Liz 'husband Tom Keen could have a grim past, which makes his wife hard to manage.
Red, too, has to struggle with his own past time and time again, face old adversaries and companions, and live with the image of a pageant and be attacked from all directions.
While the first season is still focused on finding the individual blacklist candidates, the second season of the series sheds light on Reds' private life. His past in the world of serious criminals has brought him into critical situations several times and is now he was hunted by various opponents. Known only by code names, Red uses his connections with the FBI to help us put those old adversaries on the blacklist and in the FBI's focus.
The series plays with various thriller and detective elements to wegzuspinnen the plot. Here is always true stereotype used, be it the ticking time bomb, the super virus or the corrupt authority. Nevertheless, the path of the characters takes the audience on an exciting and intoxicating journey, the outcome of which is open at all times. The changing antagonists and sympathies between the characters make the group around Red Reddington and his comrades to a closely allied and partially opaque troops.
Red Reddington is played by James Spader, who already knows serial fans from various roles, especially for his roles in Boston Legal, Practice The Lawyers, and Stargate.
James Spader is spoken in the German dubbing by Benjamin Völz
Megan Boone plays with Liz Keen the female lead in the series. The actress, the viewers mainly from their role in the horror film My Bloody Valentine 3D know, is spoken in German by Shandra Schadt.
Diego Klattenhoff takes on the role of Donald Ressler and is dubbed by Patrick Schröder.
With Ryan Eggold, Harry J. Lennix, Perminder Nagra, Amir Arison, Mozhan Marno and Hisham Tawfiq, the cast around Red is complete.
Production / Director:
The pilot episode of The Blacklist was written by Jon Bokenkamp and led to NBC's decision to order the program.
The production is supported by Universal Television, Sony Pictures Television and Davis Entertainment. Other producers besides John Bokenkamp are John Davis, John Eisendrath and John Fox. The music for the series is supplied by Dave Porter, known for his work on the series Breaking Bad.
The Blacklist is broadcast in Germany by the media group RTL Germany and distributed. In pay-TV, the previous episodes could be seen on RTL-Crime, the free-TV broadcast followed in 2014 on RTL. Since February 2018, the series is also broadcast on Nitro.
Five seasons of the series have already been released on DVD or Blue-Ray.
Serial rating and review:
The series had a great initial success and secured with high ratings after the release of only two episodes of the first season an extension by NBC on a total of 22 episodes for the first season.
The critics, on the other hand, see The Blacklist with mixed feelings. The comparisons to the series highlights Homeland and 24 are accompanied time and again with the remark that The Blacklist indeed uses the presentation and the plot in these series, but only rarely knows how to achieve the existing quality there.
The presentation of Reddington by James Spader is usually rated very positive and carries the series by some lengths. However, the focus on the individual characters makes The Blacklist entertaining and fast - the right thing for serial fans who do not always want to sit in front of the TV with a note and pen.
The Blacklist is the bottom line, a worthwhile, entertaining series that wants to entertain. And no more and no less she does.
At the end of March 2016, the broadcaster NBC announced that there will be a spin-off to the series. The Blacklist: Redemption tracks several characters known from the original on their way. The single episode's eight episodes aired on NBC from February to April 2017.
The series and its characters have since been recorded in various other media. Thus, a series based comic created by Titan Books, written by Nicole Phillips and drawn by Beni Lobel.
There is also a mobile game for iOS and Android, The Blacklist: Conspiracy, which was released in June 2016.