Wednesday, October 13, 2010


There are many things about and relating to the AMC original series Rubicon that I would love to point out and discuss in the open, but I would probably be "terminated with extreme prejudice" for doing so. Things relating to the "real" world that we live in and events that have transpired over the last century. Things that Rubicon very subtly touches on in a way that keeps the show from hitting you over the head with a message. It's embedded into narrative, like code.

Subtext is an art of storytelling that most films and some television fail to grasp or bother to utilize today. But AMC original series such as Mad Men and more recently as of this Summer, Rubicon have it down so good, I want to send them a gift everyday to say "thank you" for entertaining me without insulting my intelligence or lulling me into stupidity.

I am not going to get into the plot and characters so much. If you don't have access to the show it's really up to you to gain clearance to such classy-fied material. But if you choose to cross the Rubicon there are things you should know. For starters, you have to pay attention. In return you are given a rich story, thoughtfully unfolding in a way you seldom see anymore. And characters that feel as real as anyone you know and even in the extraordinary circumstances of their daily work-life, make it easy to relate to them. Though this takes place in the world of Clandestine Services, these aren't the people who pull the trigger, these are the men and women who know too much. What they uncover, what they understand, guides the aim of the gun, for better or worse.

IF you dig crossword puzzles, patterns, hidden messages, connecting-the-dots, you'll will have an immediate attraction to the show. Don't misunderstand though, there is plenty for the "non-nerdy" to appreciate. Many shades of grey give way to danger and even romance, like all great espionage stories,, other espionage stories. They make it fucking interesting. And like AMC's other originals, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, this drama of specific subject matter deals with struggles of conscience that anyone, who isn't a complete piece of shit or living in a sphere of Bubble Yum should be able to appreciate or at the very least, understand.

The other thing you should understand about Rubicon is that like Mad Men it's as much faction as fiction. No matter how much you may like to believe so, there really isn't anything about it that should be dismissed as far fetched or fantastical.

I am a great fan of the late great director Alan J. Pakula. Rubicon is in a way, the secret offspring of Pakula. Rubicon has a very specific resemblance to Poppa Pakula. The subject matter for one, of such films as The Parallax View, All The Presidents Men, Rollover, The Pelican Brief, and even moves it's tone at times in a direction remenicent of Klute. Beyond thematics, the tone is very Pakula. Pacing, lighting, visual composition. The score is even often at times like that of the scores done for Parallax View by Michael Small or All The President's Men by David Shire. All these, forgive me, Pakula-esque elements make for a rare, tough, grown up piece of work.


If you like Pakula's films, you will probably like Rubicon. At least, that's what the latest intel leads us to believe.

Do I recommend it? Strongly. And don't wait, for Rubicon, like it's character's, may be at any time in danger of disappearing. So watch it closely, in fact, don't let it out of your sight, because if Rubicon falls out of our grasp, we will lose much more than a mere hour of entertaining television.

The Season One Finale airs Sunday October 17th at 9pm on AMC. To get caught up watch episodes ON DEMAND.

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