The Blacklist
Don't Wait, Just Watch
Season 1 First Half Thoughts


My brother doesn't know I have a blog, several actually. In writing this, trying to convince him to start The Blacklist, I hope it doesn't sound like I've thought about my words too carefully and make him curious, but I have to say something. I want to be just compelling enough. It is so hard to get him to watch anything new these past few years. He wants nothing to do with a show unless it has a good ending. (Fringe has been over for a year and he still hasn't started it!)

In the mean time, he misses performances that shouldn't be missed, we can't talk about anything, and we have to be spoiler-free for forever and a day. Except for The Walking Dead. That's one we actually got him to watch. Still, he saves them up for weeks and we have to speak in whispers. He also makes fun of everyone who watches something he doesn't. He's not interested in what he's not interested in, and it's nearly impossible to convince him otherwise.

Anyway, this is what I want to say ...

"Spader is astoundingly brilliant, mesmerizing, amusing, heartbreaking, and somehow even better than on Boston Legal, and he's already nominated for a Golden Globe. The show has a deep, continuing storyline, more than simple case-of-the-week. Like Fringe, it's a perfect episodic-serial hybrid with a mystery at its core. It became one of my favorite shows ever during Spader's speech in the fourth episode, "The Stewmaker." If you ever wanted to preview the show to see what it's like, start with that. It was renewed for a full second season just before the fall finale aired. Those ten episodes were undoubtedly some of the best ever. It is more than worth watching. It'll be forever on my PC if you ever do, and it's already on next year's Christmas list."

No. That surely won't be enough. He'd rather watch an episode of one of his favorite comedies for the hundredth time instead of trying something new. I mean, I love Friends dearly, too, but I can't imagine being without The Blacklist now. But what I actually write will have to be a shortened version of that to fit on a Post-it attached to the DVDs I recorded. Maybe more like...

"I know you never want to watch anything new, but put The Blacklist on your To Eventually Watch list. Spader will undoubtedly win awards for his consistently spectacular performance. The story is great, and by just the fourth episode, it was one of my all-time favorites. By the tenth episode, it had already been renewed for a full second season."

Well, that's too long for a note. How about...

"Watch. This was a favorite by the fourth episode. James Spader is even better than I remembered from Boston Legal. Like John Noble on Fringe (another show he never gave a chance), he plays a complicated character flawlessly."

But it will probably be...

"Spader couldn't be more perfect. The show couldn't be more engaging. It's already been renewed for season 2."

Yeah, that should fit. I had to keep the renewal thing in there, because he doesn't want to start anything that will get cancelled quickly and be left without a resolution. The problem with that is he intentionally bypasses great shows, intending to watch them if they work out well, but that means he never actually watches them, because there's always something else and not enough time. Everything just stacks up. I don't believe this will have any effect, but at least I'll have tried.

Edit 1-20-2018: I never tried, because it would be a waste of breath. The only new show he's started in the last five years or so is Stranger Things and he became obsessed. Unfortunately, if it runs for a few more years, he'll suddenly get sick of that like everything else, even if the performances, writing, and story direction are still high quality. He doesn't want the journey so much as to be assured the ending is good before he spends time on it. What is the point of that? I would never want to know how something turns out before it begins. That would ruin the experience. I want that sense of mystery, that feeling that I've been somewhere, the anticipation of things to come, to celebrate the ups and deeply feel the downs. The Blacklist will never lose my attention, and even if the end is the worst thing ever, I will not regret the journey.


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