A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Although there's a sense that justice prevails, the plot generally plays up danger and uncertainty and blurs the line between good and evil when it comes to Red and his real intentions -- whatever they may be.
Positive Role Models
Red is an antihero you love to hate -- and whom you don't know whether to trust. Elizabeth is in many ways his foil, a strong female lead who's loyal to her job and determined to make villains pay. Still, she could have some skeletons in her closet.
Though a White man is at the center of the show, its female protagonist flips the script when it comes to "traditional" portrayals of women, work, and motherhood. A Black man has a lead position in the FBI, and other people of color are in supporting roles in the organization.
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Violence & Scariness
Sudden moments of violence include explosions, collisions, shootings, and stabbings with some blood, although it's not overly gratuitous. Characters carry weapons and interact with dangerous criminals.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No nudity, some suggestive scenes. Sexual situations show women in underwear.
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Gateway words such as "bitch" and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking, mostly in the background.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Blacklist isn't ruled by violence, but its characters walk around in a dangerous world, where explosions, collisions, shootings, and stabbings come with the territory. As a result, some scenes are bloody but in a realistic rather than gratuitous way. Language is generally tame, too, with mostly gateway terms such as "bitch" and "hell," and any social drinking is scarce.
Is It Any Good?
We're not sure whether NBC wanted us to think THE BLACKLIST was basically a Silence of the Lambs rewrite, but at first glance, that's exactly what it feels like. Spader summons his best Hannibal Lecter, and Boone steps into the shoes of his Starling-esque protege. Other details feel all-too-familiar. It's possible the similarities were all homage? Either way, The Blacklist is thankfully more original than its promotional trailer.
One of the twists that takes The Blacklist in a different direction is its female lead's decision to seek adoptive motherhood with her supportive husband while pursuing a potentially dangerous new career, which brings up all sorts of worthy questions about men, women, marriage, and "having it all" (whatever that means). There are also some intriguing mysteries about Elizabeth's past -- and her possible connections to Reddington -- that are just weird enough to keep you watching.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.