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Friday, 6 November 2015

The Blacklist - James Spader is Awesome! - #FanFridays 9

Rob and I are mainlining the boxset of season 1 of The Blacklist at the moment and it's turning out to be awesome, so I thought I would use it as this week's Fan Friday.

The Blacklist - James Spader is Awesome!

I have been a James Spader fan for a very, very long time. I first saw him in a made for TV movie called Starcrossed (more about that later), that my sister Sophie and I bought as a previously viewed video tape from our local Blockbuster while we were at school. This was in the 80s and I have been a huge fan ever since. I prefer him as the hero, but he plays a great baddie as well.

Wittegen Press
$2.99 | £1.99
Amazon | Other
However, even with this fact, I had held off watching The Blacklist. The adverts for it hadn't grabbed me and I didn't need another show to watch, so I didn't bother. What the previews told me was this was another Silence of the Lambs, only not so bloody or serial killer-ish because it's prime time TV. I wasn't really interested in that, but, as it turns out, The Blacklist is far more complex than that.

You do have the dynamic of the seemingly unstoppable, genius level criminal and the younger, just starting out, female FBI agent, but the connection between the two is not the same as with Starling and Lector.

Raymond Reddington (Spader) is not a bloodthirsty criminal, he is a mastermind who has built an empire on facilitating enterprises and gaining information for governments and criminals alike. Anyone who can pay him. While doing this he has come across those he feels deserve to be punished for their crimes, people on his Blacklist, some of which the FBI have never heard of. Turning himself in he offers to help the FBI bring these people to justice, but he will only work through agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone).

What I find that I really love about The Blacklist is that in this show, it is not the heroes I trust implicitly to end up doing things right, to sort out the problems, it's Reddington, who is, in fact, a bad guy, kind of. He is the centre of trust to move everything forward, to get it right. In fact over the first four episodes (as far as Rob and I have reached so far) is seems the FBI are far more likely the screw things up than sort them out.

James Spader is superb as Reddington. He is confident, self possessed and very, very clever and I never doubt him for a minute, which I love. One of the reasons I had to stop watching Scorpion (a TV show about a team of geniuses saving the day) is that I could never trust the characters not to screw up, in fact the opposite was true and it was annoying. I love Reddington, because he is so much in control. He also has the most incredibly sexy voice ;).

Wittegen Press
$3.99 | £2.98
Amazon | Other
Megan Boone is also very good as Elizabeth Keen. She's thrown into a situation she doesn't understand and yet she forges on. She's afraid, she's vulnerable, but she still finds her path. The fact that her personal story is so completely part of the plot is also brilliant. Watching the pilot I was worried that it was heading in a certain direction, but it turned out it was so much more interesting that I first thought. I still have no idea what is really going on and I love it.

This is spies and action and mystery all rolled up into a really well written package. I recommend it.

So I mentioned I am a James Spader fan and I want to share with you a couple of my favourites from his back catalogue that are less well known than some of his more famous roles:

Joey (James Spader), a mechanic, meets Mary (Belinda Bauer) when she is running from two men. He helps her, only to discover she is an alien and the two men she was running from are also aliens sent to kill her or drag her back to her home planet.

This film hits all my buttons and I have loved it for a long time. It's a bit corny, some of the lines are terrible, but it has a wonderful feel about it and I love Spader in it. I only have a VHS rip from the original tape Soph and I bought these days - it has yet to be released on DVD.

Jack's Back
John Wesford (James Spader), a young doctor, apparently commits suicide in remorse for recreating nearly all of Jack the Ripper's murders one hundred years later. However, his identical twin brother saw him die in a nightmare and he knows John didn't kill himself. Under suspicion himself Rick tries to find out the truth with the help of John's friend Chris Moscari (Cynthia Gibb).

This was another gift from the bargain bin at Blockbuster, but has, thank fully, been released on DVD since and I have added it to my collection. I love it because it has twins and that slightly paranormal edge with the twin connection, even though the main plot is very much a murder mystery thriller. Spader is also inordinately sexy in this.

So there you have it, my review of The Blacklist and a couple of James Spader classics to keep anyone who loves 80s movies happy. I hope you enjoyed my post.

Have a great weekend.


  1. Hello Tasha, I'm a James Spader and Blacklist fan too. Season two is a little slower than season 1, but the last few episodes are amazingly good television. Season two is on Netflix but I have DVD sets of both already. Season two is soooo worth watching!

    One of my favorite JS films is Secretary. It's a surprisingly sweet, funny, watchable love story between a submissive and a dominant. Some people may not be able to get past the S&M element, and I can understand that as there are a couple of difficult scenes. Personally I have no interest in that kind of relationship, nor can I understand it. Still, thanks to the superb writing, directing and acting, I came to like the two damaged people very much. Also surprisingly, I think Secretary has the most moving love scene ever filmed. It is beautifully shot, romantic, sensual, loving and warm. A complete marriage of the spirits. I've never believed a love scene more. Truly extraordinary.

    1. My husband and I finished s1 yesterday and started s2, we're two episodes in :). We're lucky that the boxsets are on Sky at the moment. Still very much enjoying it.

      I have not heard of Secretary - he chooses some very interesting roles, doesn't he. Never boring.


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