If you like The Blacklist, you’re going to want to cash in with The Player. As my video review above says, the September 24-debuting drama is an action-rich and fun addition to NBC’s schedule – straight, no chaser. Plus The Player has the added benefit of the well-honed skills and sheer star muscle of Wesley Snipes – which lifts the drama to a much more interesting place than you’d first expect.
Now, truth be told, the Las Vegas-set show from John Rogers is far from the most original thing you are going to see on TV this season. Still, with some of the producing team from The Blacklist on board, the above-average procedural mixed with David Fincher’s 1997 flick The Game and a shard or two of some Blade moves, keeps itself at a surefooted and stylish pace.
The basic premise of The Player is that to keep themselves out of bigger trouble, the mega-rich amuse themselves by wagering on anticipated crimes and the team that solves them, led by the Snipes-portrayed pit boss Mr. Johnson. When the previous Player dies, Strike Back’s Philip Winchester is brought into the fold as security expert Alex Kane, who is seeking his ex-wife’s killers. First shepherded by Wolf Hall’s Charity Wakefield as The Dealer, Kane gets the hard but sentimental-less sell from Mr. Johnson to join the game, so to speak. If you think that sounds like a show you’ve seen before, it doesn’t matter – because as soon as the New Jack City alum and upcoming Chi-raq actor shows up well into the pilot and lays out the rule of the game, you’ll want a piece of the action.
Yes, there are car chases, smashed windows, crisp suits and a lot of super-tech to save the day, but, without giving anything away, there is a greater mystery at play as well – an embedded narrative, if you will that is tossing out some very shiny plot baubles to keep you at the table.
So pull up a chair and watch my review of The Player. Tell us what you think of Wesley Snipes coming to primetime full time. Will you be watching on September 24 right after Heroes Reborn?