TV Catch-up: ‘The Blacklist’ and ‘Sleepy Hollow’


With a little more than a week to go before “The Walking Dead” returns and fills up another 60 minutes of my TV viewing time, I’m trying to catch up on a few hour-longs.

“Agents of SHIELD” hasn’t set the world on fire – just a figure of speech there – yet, but I’ll be watching every week. That’s a given, as is “The Walking Dead” when it returns a week from tomorrow.

And so far I’m really intrigued with and enjoying “Sleepy Hollow” and “The Blacklist.”

“The Blacklist” has its greatest asset in James Spader, 1980s teen movie star turned TV stalwart and creepiness personified.

“The Blacklist” owes a lot to “Silence of the Lambs,” “24” and lots of police procedural shows.

Spader, who will play robotic villain Ultron in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” plays Raymond “Red” Reddington, a long-sought criminal mastermind who turns himself in to the FBI and offers to help the feds catch others on the “most wanted” list. But he insists on dealing only with Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), a first-time profiler.

Reddington leads Keen and her fellow agents through their paces in the pilot as they chase a terrorist and associate of Reddington with mass casualties in mind.

Random observations about the pilot:

A couple of moments surprised me, including one in which Keen takes out her frustrations on Reddington’s carotid artery.

Spader spouts his lines with relish. He’s good fun.

He does looks odd in his rose-colored aviators and old-fashioned hat.

In the opening scene, when Reddington shows up at FBI HQ and surrenders, a guard confirms his ID and hits an alarm. So that means every guard in the place knows to pull his gun on Reddington, just because he’s kneeling with hands behind his head?

A kidnapping scene on a bridge is implausible as hell but pretty fun.

As for “Sleepy Hollow,” I’ve really enjoyed the couple of episodes I’ve seen so far. The show is fairly smart and has some nice creepy moments not only with its “monster of the week” to be fought by Ichabod Crane and company but with its only-barely-glimpsed “Big Bad.” Thanks to snippets of “Sympathy for the Devil,” we can guess who this horned fellow is.

I like the cast – thank goodness they’ve brought Clancy Brown back; I’ll take all the flashbacks and dream sequences I can get of this guy – and I like the style.

I just hope the show doesn’t pull a “Lost” or “X-Files” and lose its way along its multi-year, multi-monster, multi-secrets path.


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