What Is the Basis of the Show "The Black List"?


Quick Answer

The basis of the show "The Black List" is that ex-FBI agent Raymond Reddington, who left the bureau to become a super-villain years before and is now number one on the most wanted list, is willing to turn himself in and give the FBI a list of the world's most dangerous criminals but only to rookie profiler Elizabeth Keen. The weekly episodes are procedural dramas based around catching nefarious individuals with a back story between Reddington and Elizabeth.

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Full Answer

Some have suggested that the leading characters Reddington, who goes by Red, and Elizabeth, who goes by Liz, are inspired by the Hanibal Lecter and Clarice Starling characters in "Silence of the Lambs." However, a difference between "The Black List" and "Silence of the Lambs" is that there is a clear history between Red and Liz that goes back a long time, and only Red knows what it is. Another difference is that although Red is no psychopath, he is genuinely a bad guy who lies, steals and kills for his own benefit, although he appears to care deeply for Liz.

The creators of "The Black List" admit that the series was inspired by their love of great movie bad guys such as Kyser Soze in "The Usual Suspects" and the concept of a bad guy starting to talk about all of the other people doing nasty things.

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