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Action thriller ‘Blindspot’ combines absurdity with tedium

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Stapleton and Alexander attend to important FBI business.

Two stars

Blindspot Mondays, 10 p.m., NBC.

Perhaps the most heavily hyped new show of the fall, NBC’s bombastic Blindspot is an effort to recapture the same over-the-top, high-concept action that has turned the network’s The Blacklist into a hit. But as silly as The Blacklist can be, at least it stars the charismatic James Spader, delivering all of its elaborate absurdity with amoral glee. Blindspot, which is even sillier than The Blacklist, has no such luck. It stars the blandly rugged Sullivan Stapleton (Strike Back) as grim FBI agent Kurt Weller and Jaimie Alexander of the Thor movies as a mysterious amnesiac woman (known only as Jane Doe) discovered naked in Times Square.

Jane is also covered head to toe in intricate tattoos, one of which features Kurt’s name, that serve as clues that she and the FBI will use to stop crimes. (More than once, characters wonder why whoever tattooed Jane didn’t just call the FBI with their crime tips. It’s a good question.) Even past the ludicrousness of the setup, Blindspot is full of action-movie nonsense, along with the shadowy conspiracy that comes standard in a show like this. Played by Alexander with a tiresome deer-in-the-headlights affect, Jane has no memories, but she’s an expert at hand-to-hand combat and marksmanship and speaks multiple languages; basically, she’s a superhero. Kurt is the kind of ultra-badass whose colleagues ask him, “Do you ever get tired of being right?” Together they make for an unstoppably uninteresting team.

The show’s first episode features a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty, so it’s hard to see how it could raise the stakes from there. Beyond the crime of the week, the mystery of Jane’s back story is equally overblown, and equally unsatisfying. Beneath its loud insistence on its own urgency, Blindspot is a complete blank.

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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