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The James Spader Crime Drama Series You Can Binge On Netflix

One of the biggest crime dramas to come out of NBC, "The Blacklist," has been running for eight years and is still going strong. The show stars James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington, a notorious criminal assisting the FBI with the help of agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). Along with thrilling action and suspenseful drama, "The Blacklist" has a lot of twists and turns, as fans try to traverse the maze of conspiracies which unfold with each episode. Who exactly is Reddington, and what is his relation to Elizabeth? What will happen to Red when the FBI crosses off all of the names on the Blacklist?

Even when (and if) these questions are answered, "The Blacklist" has plenty more where that came from, proving that the series is guaranteed to keep its viewers hooked from Episode 1. The show has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Golden Globes, People's Choice, and the Primetime Emmys. It also has a current "fresh" rating of 91% and a 80% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. Now that "The Blacklist" is in its eighth season, fans can get caught up by bingeing the series on Netflix.

James Spader plays an FBI informant in "The Blacklist"

The pilot episode of "The Blacklist" begins with Raymond "Red" Reddington (Spader) strolling calmly into FBI headquarters and turning himself in. One of the top ten on the FBI's Most Wanted list, Red has been evading government authorities for years. Now, his unexpected appearance and immediate surrender has the agency puzzled as to Red's motives. Although Red does not resist his arrest, he refuses to speak to anyone — except to Agent Elizabeth Keen (Boone). When Keen gets the call that a notorious crime boss has demanded to speak with her, she is beyond confused — after all, she has never met the man. How does he even know her name?

Each episode has Red and Elizabeth working to put down each of the names on Red's Blacklist — a list of the world's most infamous and dangerous criminals, all of whom Red has worked with before. Although she begins to warm up to Red, Elizabeth knows that he is still keeping secrets, and wonders what he's not telling her. Red seems to know a lot about Elizabeth and her tragic past — even more than she does — and Elizabeth struggles between fulfilling her duty as an agent and doing what she must to find out the truth.

The show's premise was inspired by real-life FBI criminal informant Whitey Bulger, a mob boss who operated in Boston through the 1970s to the 1990s. His life was portrayed in the bio pic "Black Mass" starring Johnny Depp as Bolger. In a 2013 interview with Collider, "The Blacklist" showrunner and executive producer John Eisendrath stated: "So, there was a real world influence that affected the shaping of the show that was already being thought about. How can you put someone that you don't trust in the center of a show about trying to find criminals?'"

The intriguing premise of "The Blacklist" may be what draws fans to the series, but it's the show's high drama and compelling characters that will keep them hooked. Fans can watch the first seven seasons of "The Blacklist" right now on Netflix.