A few days late (and definitely several dollars short), but I’m now ready to discuss this week’s episode ofThe Blacklist. Rain, snow, DVR playback issues, or a 12 year imprisonment could keep me from my appointed rounds.
Action thrillers are an interesting medium these days. There seems to be a few ways to go about it. You can either take it super seriously (typically not the best route), or you can embrace the inherent ridiculous of the proceedings and throw the money team at it to make it better than it needs to be. Currently in theaters people can watch how to embrace the absurdity while dressing it up in fancy clothes with Liam Neeson(s) Non-Stop. It takes a fantastically absurd premise and just throws quality people at it until it works in a fantastically absurd way. Similarly, Con-Air applied that same strategy to box office and cable repeat success. If done correctly, the absurd can be entertaining. However, too many shows and movies in recent memory are too busy trying to be dark and serious instead of entertaining and fun. Without the personalities to carry those types of shows, super serious versions of action thrillers often drown in their own solemness. The Blacklist is a show that can spin off in either direction based on the group structure of the episode. When Red is on the outskirts of a case, existing primarily through phone calls and off site meetings, the show drags because the show is trying its best to make Liz Keen the biggest buzzkill on earth (Klatenhoff’s inherent woodenness cannot be overcome by writing). As a result, tonight’s episode, which had the makings of a ridiculous good time, turned into a boring treatise about the nature of justice and how to care for other human beings imprisoned in a horse barn.