The Blacklist has ended its run after 10 seasons, proving that James Spader is still just as compelling on-screen today as he was decades ago. While even loyal fans of the show felt it went on a bit too long and didn’t enjoy the lackluster ending, the premise of the series was still quite original, and the characters really drew viewers into the plot. Spader was convincing as charming career criminal Raymond “Red” Reddington, known as the Concierge of Crime. Only Raymond could somehow rope the FBI into working with him to catch criminals worse than him (ones they didn’t even know existed) while he continued to go about his business.
An unconventional crime thriller with a pseudo-police procedural feel (each episode tackled a different blacklister case with overarching, parallel stories playing out alongside them), The Blacklist left a hole in the TV landscape. If you miss Red, Liz, Dembe, and Harold Cooper, check out these three Netflix shows that might become your new favorites.
You’ll be laughing heartily from the get-go after just the first few minutes of the first episode of Lucifer. Like Raymond, Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) is a charming and powerful man. Except he doesn’t just act like the devil incarnate, he really is the devil. Like Raymond, Lucifer somehow ingratiates himself to law enforcement and ends up helping them solve cases thanks to his ability to tap into people’s deepest desires. He doesn’t have as sinister a motive as Raymond’s mysterious, overarching one in The Blacklist. But he does have a similarly strange link to a female detective like Raymond does, though the nature of the two relationships are very different.
Lucifer will give you the same network television feel as The Blacklist:; it was first on Fox before being cancelled and brought back by Netflix. The two leads both draw you in with their devilish smiles, gift of gab, and affinity for culture and fashion.
Stream Lucifer on Netflix.
Ozark is much more violent than The Blacklist. It’s a Netflix original, so the story could be taken in much darker directions without the constraints of linear network TV. Consider it a step up from The Blacklist with a story that also centers around people trying to reconcile criminal dealing with being good and just. Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) starts off as an average man just looking to make some money on the side for his family. He is a talented financial adviser with a knack for money laundering, and he uses this skill to help a Mexican cartel. But next thing he knows, his best friend is dead, he is being forced to move his family to the Ozarks to continue working for a drug kingpin, and his wife, Wendy (Laura Linney), begins to embrace the lifestyle more deeply than he ever imagined she would.
The complicated nature of relationships and a constant battle between good and evil are themes shared between both shows. So is the complex nature of each main character, such that the lines between whose truly good and whose the real evil begin to blur.
Stream Ozark on Netflix.
Raymond Reddington had a lawyer he worked with and trusted with his life. But if he was on the market for someone new, Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) from Better Call Saul might have been in the running. Reprising his role from Breaking Bad, the smarmy lawyer works with the lowest level of criminals and takes on cases he knows he can manipulate to score big. He’s also incredibly talented, even if he uses his skills as a con man for nefarious reasons, too. If only he would have applied himself to something positive, Saul, like Raymond, could have been a positive force of nature.
Saul’s problematic relationship with love interest Kim (Rhea Seehorn), his dangerous client list, and his own self-sabotage continue to get him in hot water. Both he and Raymond are constantly being chased by the law while also skirting it at every turn. Yet, neither feels particularly worried that they’ll ever be caught, even when they know it’s all over.
Stream Better Call Saul on Netflix.