On the Telly: "The Blacklist," "Mom" and "The Goldbergs"

By Craig D. Lindsey
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Dec. 24, 2013

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James Spader stars as a cunning ex-government agent-turned-superfugitive who aids the FBI in tracking down the world’s deadliest criminals in "The Blacklist."

The Blacklist
Mondays, 9pm, NBC
Captive audience: Alias/24 fans; people who just love watching James Spader say shit.
Moment of truth: In this online-only, last roundup of new fall shows I haven’t gotten around to reviewing yet, let’s start with the highly-rated drama that NBC must be thanking God they have. James Spader stars as a cunning ex-government agent-turned-superfugitive who aids the FBI in tracking down the world’s deadliest criminals. Most of the time, with its collection of dastardly baddies and banal good guys, the show seems silly as hell. Of course, whenever Spader appears onscreen, owning whatever scene he appears in, then the show becomes the badass action-adventure it’s supposed to be.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phl-emmy.

Mom
Mondays, 9:30pm, CBS
Captive audience: CBS-sitcom fans; people who just love watching Allison Janney do shit.
Moment of truth: If there is one TV actress I’d watch in anything—'cause I know she’ll be awesome in it—it’s Allison Janney. So, it’s not a surprise she brings some wit and gravitas to the latest, Chuck Lorre-produced crassfest that’s on CBS. She’s the irresponsible, recovering addict mom who comes back into the life of her single-mom daughter (Anna Faris, another gal I’d watch in anything), also a recovering addict. I’ll give the show points for going to some dark, dramatic places with its subject matter. But it’s still a Chuck Lorre show. And there are only so many dick jokes I can take in one sitting.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phl-emmy.

The Goldbergs
Wednesdays, 9pm, ABC
Captive audience: People who’ve wondered what would happen if The Wonder Years and Malcolm in the Middle had a baby. (Actually, that baby was born a decade ago on Fox called Oliver Beene. But it died in the crib.)
Moment of truth: When I saw the pilot for this earlier this year, I thought, “Yeah, it’s cute, but this has the potential to get on everyone’s nerves.” ABC’s latest sitcom about a bickering family has Patton Oswalt voicing a guy recalling his times growing up in the '80s with his loudmouthed clan, led by Jeff Garlin and Wendi McLendon-Covey as the parental units. The retro jokes can pile up fast (the show covers its tracks with historical inaccuracies by having Oswalt say it’s set in “1980-something”). Fortunately, like so many ABC sitcoms, it mixes in a lot of heart with the adorably corny material.
Emmy or phlegmmy: Phl-emmy.

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