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Actor makes 'The Blacklist' fun
Showtime with Sasha
James Spader plays a former government agent-turned criminal who mysteriously surrenders to authorities in "The Blacklist." - photo by Studio photo

Switching gears just a little bit from movies, let’s talk television once again. This time, I’m spotlighting the brand-spankin’-new NBC series, “The Blacklist.”
“Never trust a criminal ... until you have to.” That’s the catch phrase of the new series from executive producer Jon Bokenkamp, the screenwriter of films such as “The Call,” “Perfect Stranger” and “Taking Lives.”
Also on his production team are off-screen talent from “Alias” and “I, Robot,” as well as director Joe Carnahan from “The A-Team” and “The Grey.” What that all boils down to is a crew that understands the mechanics of the thriller.
According to the official website, the series stars James Spader as former government agent Raymond “Red” Reddington, who is one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives. He brokers shadowy deals for criminals worldwide and is known “the concierge of crime.”
Now, however, he has surrendered to the FBI with an offer: He will help catch the world’s deadliest criminals under the condition that he speaks only to Liz Keen (Megan Boone), a young FBI profiler who seemingly has zero connection to Red. Keen is a tough but sufficiently mysterious agent who clings to the idea of having a family, but thanks to Red’s emergence, learns she cannot trust her husband. Is he a spy, too?
“The Blacklist” has a fantastic cast. In addition to Boone,  Diego Klattenhoff, formerly of “Homeland,” is Agent Ressler; Parminder Nagara of “ER” fame is Agent Malik; and “Dollhouse” alumnus Harry Lennix is the agent in charge. And of course, making the series really tick is the fedora-wearing Spader. His acting is spot on and helps make the show a certifiable hit.
What is Red’s endgame? Why does he care so much about Liz? TV-savvy viewers will doubt that the show can stay this good for long. Once secrets begin revealing themselves, “The Blacklist” may start to get dull or convoluted. But Spader will keep us coming back for the time being to see who he next will match wits with.
I’m a fan!

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