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post #181 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Closet Geek View Post

As weird as this may sound, the problem is Spader. He is so far above and beyond everyone else that everyone else almost looks like has been's. If you think about the rest of the cast and their isolated scenes, they're all pretty evenly matched. But I think for the most part I spend a lot of time anticipating when Spader's next scene is coming along.

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So you're blaming Spader for other actors' deficiencies? rolleyes.gif I'm not sure if it's the writing pandering to Spader's lines, at the expense of the rest of the cast, but the other actors on the show (with exception of the female CIA agent) leave much to be desired. I love Spader, and hope that they can fix these issues, although I'm not entirely confident they can.

Actually, this makes sense to me. I have thought all along that he was so very good, that in comparison (as in next to him in the same scene) all the other actors seem pretty poor. It's a relativity thing. smile.gif Since she has so many scenes with him, it is very apparent with her--well, and whatever possessed them to put her in that wig hasn't helped at all.

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post #182 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 09:26 AM
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So you're blaming Spader for other actors' deficiencies? rolleyes.gif I'm not sure if it's the writing pandering to Spader's lines, at the expense of the rest of the cast, but the other actors on the show (with exception of the female CIA agent) leave much to be desired. I love Spader, and hope that they can fix these issues, although I'm not entirely confident they can.

Lol...no, their "deficiencies" are their own fault. I'm blaming Spader for making them stand out more. biggrin.gif

Seriously, as with anything in life, there are different skill/talent levels. There are many very good, top athletes in sports that could make us look like toddlers but that doesn't make them professional level athletes. Spader is demonstrated pro talent amongst college players so to speak. I don't know if he has matured and come into his own or if this is just a role he can really sink his teeth into but whichever, he's a standout producing an award winning performance IMO. In a previous post I casually mentioned Mariska Hargitay in the role of Keen but speaking more seriously to this particular topic, she is someone that can stand opposite Spader. Don't get me wrong when I say this but it's just a fact that not every actor can stand opposite Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, etc. I'm not saying Spader is necessarily in league with the talent of those I just named but this role is bringing something out of him that his supporting cast can't...support quite frankly.

Yeah, there are certainly writing deficiencies but IMO, aside from a few glaring biggies, I don't think the deficiencies are much greater than any other top notch shows. Good actors, in good roles bring out convincing characters. When you don't have that "buy in" to the character then it becomes easier to blow holes in the writing. In short, the supporting cast needs to step it up IMO.
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post #183 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 09:28 AM
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That is a very interesting point. While I do like the plot, Spader is the only thing keeping me watching the show. If not for him I believe it would be a very mediocre crime drama.
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post #184 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 09:32 AM
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My pick for the Weakest Link in this ensemble isn't Boone, but Harry Lennix as Agt. Harold Cooper. Which makes this the second series I've watched where he's occupied that dubious position, the first being 'Dollhouse' (although some may nominate the lovely-but-limited Eliza Dushku in that one, which I can understand).
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post #185 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 09:55 AM
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If us AVS Armchair Quarterbacks could recast Keen with a different actress, who would it be?

Jennifer Carpenter would be interesting, but I'd still want the salty-tongued Debra Morgan version of Ms. Carpenter, which isn't gonna happen on broadcast. tongue.gif

Hargitay would obviously be very good, if willing to remove the "rookie agent" aspect.
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post #186 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 10:02 AM
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Spader was also brilliant as Robert California in The Office.

I have a great twist to The Blacklist. We get rid of Megan Boone in episode 10 by having her killed, then Yvonne Strahovsky enters the scene as the real Elizabeth Keen. Kick this show into second gear for the second half of the season.
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post #187 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

My pick for the Weakest Link in this ensemble isn't Boone, but Harry Lennix as Agt. Harold Cooper. Which makes this the second series I've watched where he's occupied that dubious position, the first being 'Dollhouse' (although some may nominate the lovely-but-limited Eliza Dushku in that one, which I can understand).

We can also replace Lennix with Bob Odenkirk....much more qualified to offer repartes with Spader. And we won't have to deal with "Better Caul Saul"...
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post #188 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 10:47 AM
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I keep watching this during my commute on the bus as it's not important/interesting enough to me to watch it together with my wife. Everybody here is praising Spader but I really don't get it. He might bring a certain "presence" with him but that's it or am I missing anything outstanding that he does with the role? Every episode he seems to do the same thing, nah nah you have to do this because I say so and you can't do anything to me or something like that.
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post #189 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ToddR View Post

If us AVS Armchair Quarterbacks could recast Keen with a different actress, who would it be?

Jennifer Carpenter would be interesting, but I'd still want the salty-tongued Debra Morgan version of Ms. Carpenter, which isn't gonna happen on broadcast. tongue.gif

Hargitay would obviously be very good, if willing to remove the "rookie agent" aspect.
Anyone of "Harold's Angels" from Person of Interest would do well, they're all very good looking and very talented actresses.

Sarah Shahi


Taraji P. Henson


Amy Acker


And then there's Paige Turco, Annie Parisse, Carrie Preston, etc. The show seem to have all the beautiful and very talented actresses locked up! tongue.gif

I think the problem here is this is the James Spader Show and the largest part of the budget is going to his salary so they ended up filling out the cast with B and C level actors. Which is okay as Spader's performance has carried the show for me, but the periods where he is not on screen tend to bore me.
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post #190 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 11:26 AM
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Well, I don't know if she is a good actor or not, but someone can be a great actor and still be horribly miscast in a particular role. I think that's the case here. I haven't seen any of her other work, so I don't know about her talent. I do strongly believe that she is being directed to act in a certain manner, but as may here have pointed out, her character, unfortunately, isn't working very well. They have painted themselves in corner though as Red is somehow doing all this for HER specifically, so getting rid of her would be difficult, unless they went with the, replace the actress but keep the character the same, rout. That rarely works though.
I looked over her IMDb profile and she really hasn't done much at all, a few spots on some TV shows and a role or two in some films, this is her biggest role by far. I think she was a cost-effective solution(a bad solution in my opinion) to a budget that was bloated by Spader's salary, corners had to be cut somewhere.
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post #191 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 11:37 AM
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"Spader's show....bulk of money going to him..."....I'm not sure I believe this entirely. Frankly, I don't think they expected him to shine this much because IMO he's never performed this well before. Even when I heard he was cast as the Avengers villain I thought "What?!".

The trouble with recasting Keen is I'm not sure who is young enough AND strong enough to counter Spader. Or at least who comes off as younger. Not that I'm really a fan and not sure if the chops are there but Kathrine Heigel comes to mind.

And yes, Spader's role is getting to be somewhat monotonous but there have been glimmers of other things here and there. This most recent episode for starters. The scene where he's sitting looking at the painting and Keen comes and basically calls him out. He was sitting there, not saying a word with a "Where do we go from here?" look on his face, which I think is difficult to do without saying a word. I felt more hurt from his past in this most recent episode so more of the onion has been peeled back.
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post #192 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Closet Geek View Post

"Spader's show....bulk of money going to him..."....I'm not sure I believe this entirely. Frankly, I don't think they expected him to shine this much because IMO he's never performed this well before. Even when I heard he was cast as the Avengers villain I thought "What?!".

The trouble with recasting Keen is I'm not sure who is young enough AND strong enough to counter Spader. Or at least who comes off as younger. Not that I'm really a fan and not sure if the chops are there but Kathrine Heigel comes to mind.

And yes, Spader's role is getting to be somewhat monotonous but there have been glimmers of other things here and there. This most recent episode for starters. The scene where he's sitting looking at the painting and Keen comes and basically calls him out. He was sitting there, not saying a word with a "Where do we go from here?" look on his face, which I think is difficult to do without saying a word. I felt more hurt from his past in this most recent episode so more of the onion has been peeled back.
Oh, its just wild speculation although the salary bit probably does have some basis in reality, I can't imagine Spader is a cheap "get", and it wouldn't surprise me if Parminder Nagra was pulling down the second largest salary on the show as she is an excellent actress with a distinguished resume herself. The rest of the cast are basically stock TV character actors, nothing special in that bunch.

The rest of it, replacing Boone with someone more qualified, that's not going to happen, but it is fun to speculate on who could have done a better job.

Spader has been excellent in just about everything he's done, take a look through his IMDb listing and I'm sure you'll remember more than a few standout performances, he's been nominated for numerous acting awards and has won 3 Emmys - he's a Class A talent, no doubt about it.
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post #193 of 603 Old 11-08-2013, 12:49 PM
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If you get a chance to watch "A Killer in the Family" you can see Spader's acting potential at the age of 23. It's a 1983 made-for-TV movie that also stars Robert Mitchum, Stuart Margolin, Eric Stoltz, Lance Kerwin, and Catherine Mary Stewart among others. It's a very good, but disturbing film.
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post #194 of 603 Old 11-09-2013, 06:59 AM
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I find this similar to Dracula's lead. It's not the actress people really have an issue with rather it's the role. Another example is Person of Interest's Sarah Shahi. Early on people complained how bad she was and actually posted how much better she acted a few episodes later.. all because they now approved how her character behaved. :)

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post #195 of 603 Old 11-09-2013, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

My pick for the Weakest Link in this ensemble isn't Boone, but Harry Lennix as Agt. Harold Cooper. Which makes this the second series I've watched where he's occupied that dubious position, the first being 'Dollhouse' (although some may nominate the lovely-but-limited Eliza Dushku in that one, which I can understand).
IDK, he hasn't been given a line worth repeating, yet. The character is just slightly in the way of Red doing whatever he wants, not unlike Cuddy in House. Maybe someone else would be better, but that's a writing issue mainly.

I agree it's the worst character.
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post #196 of 603 Old 11-10-2013, 05:27 PM
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Just because no one else has done it yet...

Spader man... Spader man.... does whatever Spader can... smile.gif

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post #197 of 603 Old 11-12-2013, 09:42 AM
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So, are we any closer to believing that Red is Keen's father, or is it just too obvious to be true?

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post #198 of 603 Old 11-12-2013, 10:20 AM
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So, are we any closer to believing that Red is Keen's father, or is it just too obvious to be true?
I don't think so, I'm sure he played a major part in why her real father is not around anymore, but the "clues" they've given us are far too obvious for Red to actually be the father. If it turns out that he is then that's just lazy sloppy writing, the 'clues" are just too obvious, if TV writers can't pull off a standard misdirection like I believe they're doing here then they should seek other employment.


And who is this? Lizzy's wayward sibling she never knew about?



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post #199 of 603 Old 11-12-2013, 12:58 PM
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Well at least the address is not fake, but there's no house in there (on google maps you can only see a mailbox with no house)

How bout some "state of the art" CGI on this show? I guess they borrowed Revolution's nanites to make an airplane fall to the ground straight down and slowly.

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post #200 of 603 Old 11-12-2013, 01:14 PM
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You can tell this show is meant to be dark. Any other crime drama would have said, "father and son almost killed by a falling plane." No almost in Blacklist.
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post #201 of 603 Old 11-12-2013, 03:03 PM
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I don't think so, I'm sure he played a major part in why her real father is not around anymore, but the "clues" they've given us are far too obvious for Red to actually be the father. If it turns out that he is then that's just lazy sloppy writing, the 'clues" are just too obvious, if TV writers can't pull off a standard misdirection like I believe they're doing here then they should seek other employment.

I tend to agree with you; it does *seem* "too obvious." But I'm having a hard time imagining another relationship Red would have to Keen that would cause him to make her the "apple of his eye." Any thoughts about what relationship (other than her father) there might be which would cause him to make her the center of his universe?

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post #202 of 603 Old 11-12-2013, 04:14 PM
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I like this series, but did I miss the part where the chip in his head works only intermittently? Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
How else would Reddington explain his visit to Keen's Father's Hospital?
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post #203 of 603 Old 11-12-2013, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiky View Post

You can tell this show is meant to be dark. Any other crime drama would have said, "father and son almost killed by a falling plane." No almost in Blacklist.

Yeah, as if the father and son being killed by falling airplane pieces while playing football in the park wasn't dark enough, the writers put the icing on the cake by having Red kill (Murder?) Keeen's terminally ill adoptive father in his hospital bed. To make matters even more chilling, Red apparently killed the sick daddy so that he couldn't tell Keen more than Red wanted her to know. Brrr!
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post #204 of 603 Old 11-13-2013, 02:27 PM
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It could be that Keen's father and Reddington were BFF's once - that was what I took away from their conversation ("I've missed that laugh", etc.). Perhaps Red adopted Keen first, then turned her over to his buddy because he knew he couldn't raise a kid living the kind of criminal life he led. Or something along those lines. Red feels responsible for her, obviously. But being her father is too obvious. Unless it's not - this is broadcast TV, after all. wink.gif
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post #205 of 603 Old 11-13-2013, 07:33 PM
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Read Andy Greenwald's piece about The Blacklist in Grantland this afternoon. I didn't agree with all of it but thought it was mostly on the money. Like many of us he thinks that Spader is vastly superior to his supporting cast or, as Greenwald trenchantly put it, "I'll admit that Spader looks fantastic in a suit. It's just too bad that everything around him is DOA." Indeed! He also writes intelligently about the problems the Big Four networks have with dramatic programming and a bunch of other good stuff too. Highly recommended!
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post #206 of 603 Old 11-14-2013, 04:32 AM
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I find it odd the FBI would let certain things go, like the house with all the money laundry going on. They can just turn a blind eye to all this stuff? I just find it odd, regardless of how much they think they need Red.

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post #207 of 603 Old 11-14-2013, 05:14 AM
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I find it odd the FBI would let certain things go, like the house with all the money laundry going on. They can just turn a blind eye to all this stuff? I just find it odd, regardless of how much they think they need Red.

He has a deal with them, and he is helping them catch the worst villains, all of whom seem to know him. The feds are simply honoring the deal they made in order to ensure his continued cooperation. Besides, counterfeiting isn't even under their charge - that's the Secret Service's territory.

Law enforcement makes all kinds of compromises for the "greater good" including immunity deals with bad guys, in order to catch worse guys. Happens all the time, in real life as well as on tee-vee.
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post #208 of 603 Old 11-14-2013, 08:06 AM
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Funny scene, the Head of the PTA is a master counterfiter drying the new bills in her garage...
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post #209 of 603 Old 11-14-2013, 08:56 AM
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He has a deal with them, and he is helping them catch the worst villains, all of whom seem to know him. The feds are simply honoring the deal they made in order to ensure his continued cooperation. Besides, counterfeiting isn't even under their charge - that's the Secret Service's territory.

Law enforcement makes all kinds of compromises for the "greater good" including immunity deals with bad guys, in order to catch worse guys. Happens all the time, in real life as well as on tee-vee.

So whatever he does, not matter how illegal, they just have to turn their head? And you think that is done all the time in the real world?

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post #210 of 603 Old 11-14-2013, 09:39 AM
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So whatever he does, not matter how illegal, they just have to turn their head? And you think that is done all the time in the real world?

I haven't seen the latest episode yet so I don't know the circumstances that brought on this discussion. However, understanding that this is television and there are going to be certain liberties taken regardless of what show it is, there are also things to consider like illegal search and seizure. Simply put, there are instances where illegal activity is discovered but nothing can be done based on the circumstances in which it is discovered because it won't hold up in court. However, an attempt may be made after the fact to obtain a search warrant or at the very least establish surveillance on a particular subject. Perhaps this applies to this recent episode, perhaps not. I'm just offer some additional insight to what does sometimes occur in the real world. To finish the thought relative to the show, there is no need to revisit the "money laundering in this case" because the episode has moved on so you would just have to accept that there would be follow up activity (again, speaking without knowing what happened in the episode). Another "real life" thing to consider is that some known illegal activity is "overlooked" in hopes of catching a bigger fish or maybe a larger fish tank so to speak. Perhaps there is money laundering going on but there may be consideration of who it's really being done for and/or how big is the network involved. The Feds would rather indict a whole network rather than one operation. This isn't all that dissimilar to their "agreement" with Red. Just my two cents.
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