The Blacklist Takes Viewers from NYC to China

Wednesday Matinee

By Jane Boursaw

Destination: New York City and Across the Globe

The BlacklistThere are just some shows you connect with, and “The Blacklist” is one of those shows for me. I think it’s a combination of the mysterious storyline, the great writing and, of course, James Spader, who keeps you guessing from one minute to the next.

From moment to moment, you never know if he’ll be evil or good, happy or sad, crazy or brilliant. But one thing’s for sure. There’s a lot going on in that mind of his.

Spader plays Raymond “Red” Reddington, the world’s most wanted criminal, who mysteriously turns himself in to the FBI and offers to give up everyone he has ever worked with. Yes, all those bad guys. Not the small-time operators. But the big fish, as Red calls them.

His only condition? He will only work with Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boon), a newly minted FBI agent with whom he seemingly has no connection. Or … does he? At first, I was convinced that he was her father, and I’m still on that train of thought. Maybe that’s a “red” herring they’re throwing at us. Time will tell.

The Blacklist: Wujing

One of the fun things about “The Blacklist” is that while it’s filmed in and around New York City – more specifically, Pleasantville, Pearl River and Long Beach, Long Island – Red has connections all over the world. Which means he flies to exotic locations in nearly every episode — on his own jet, no less.

Last week, the story took place partially in Shanghai (well, in a bunker deep in the earth in Shanghai). This week, Red flew to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti to help free Liz from a ruthless killer who uses chemicals to torture his victims (shades of “Breaking Bad‘s” Walter White).

There’s just no telling where we’ll go in upcoming episodes, but wherever it is, I’m along for the ride. “The Blacklist” is one of the best new shows, not only this fall, but in recent years.

“The Blacklist” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC. Read all my recaps over at Reel Life With Jane.

Jane Boursaw is the founder and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Her credits include hundreds of print & online pubs, including her syndicated family movie & TV reviews.

Jane Boursaw – who has written posts on A Traveler's Library.


2 thoughts on “The Blacklist Takes Viewers from NYC to China

  1. That’s a good point. Sometimes they’ll blow their whole budget on a spectacular pilot and then fizzle out because there’s no money left for the rest of the season (Spielberg’s “Terra Nova” springs to mind). But it makes more sense to keep some money in the coffers for later location shoots and such. Well, Blacklist did have that big train crash, but who knows, that might have been computer generated.

    I hope we do get a long run on Blacklist and get some cool location shoots along the way.

  2. It is my unverified observation that in the first (or first couple) seasons of a TV show, they use only establishing shots to show locale, but if they stick around for a while, they beging to take advantage of actually filming in the place. In Plain Sight was an example of that, only utilizing Albuquerque in later seasons beyond the opening shot. Although Burn Notice had their studio in Miami, and used Miami generously throughtout, in later episodes they also went to other locations. Guess what I’m thinking is if Blacklist sticks around (devoutly to be hoped) they may come out of that Shanghai bunker and show us the real place.

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