imdb). The crime drama sets itself apart from similar TV series because of its leading (fictional) character: Raymond "Red" Reddington. This is a former government agent turned high-profile criminal, who had voluntarily surrendered to the FBI, offering to cooperate on capturing a list of criminals who are virtually impossible to catch - the "Black List". (wikipedia). The episodes, which at least meet the level of "Criminal Minds" and other shows, focus on the hunt for persons on this list.
"Red" impresses not only by his high intellectuality, knowledge and connections to the criminal world; he radiates a philosophical and zen-like calmness blended with a dry humor. "Red" is a Buddha of the criminal world, constantly confabulating and entertaining with lots of amusing anecdotes. The character is hedonistic and sophisticated, which reminds me a bit of "Hannibal Lecter" ("Silence of the Lambs") , but without this villain`s vice and bad eating habits. "Red" might be amoral, but he is fair and honest.
I indulge in the performance of James Spader as "Red". I had already enjoyed his acting in the movies "Crash" (1996, imdb) and "Secretary" (2002, imdb). The actor impressed by his agile facial expressions which let the audience witness how his character is mastering his own weaknesses and tics. "Blacklist" shows how Spader has advanced these techniques since then. Now his face is a theater stage by its own. Spader´s slow and articulated way of speaking strengthens this performance.
"Blacklist" has one weakness: The production is as prudish as the typical US family friendly TV Show. I would prefer the erotical liberality which I enjoy in HBO shows like "Boardwalk Empire".
Nobody is perfect.