Dead boring. It's how I felt while enduring Rubicon's pilot. I gave it a chance for two reasons, the government conspiracy and Jessica Collins. I thought the first could be puzzling and intriguing. It wasn't. Using crosswords to hide patterns is so old ! In fact it's not really the idea that was disappointing but its execution as the protagonist's discovery wasn't well filmed in a creative way. It was a non event. It gets worse if you compare the story to masterpieces like CSI: NY's Death House episode and Prison Break. The last's pilot was mind blowing and once you had seen it you instantly wanted to watch its whole season. Before Rubicon and only after a few minutes I already wanted to switch my TV. The pace was so slow ! Even its cliffhanger was boring and didn't make me curious. As for Collins her dual performance as twin sisters in a Ghost Whisperer episode, "Ghost, Interrupted", was convincing but there her role was far too anecdotic. But still she succeeded in making the story more interesting and I wonder about her relationship with the protagonist. Who's the father of her little daughter ? What's her job ? However the decent acting and some immersive gloomy visuals couldn't save the script. Even the editing was questionable and comprehending the events wasn't easy considering the characters weren't properly introduced. To sum things up forget about it and if you feel like dazzling your neurons my advice is to get your hands on Lost or some dusty The X-Files gems.
Rubicon starts off pretty slow, with William who can't even remember his own birthday. Must be working realllllllllllllllly hard. Also although the crossword thing was interesting, it was a little farfetched - or is that what they want us to think? Anyways, David's death was quite a shock but it was really plain and simple. Yet Will gets the idea it's connected to something. It was all very loose... but Will slowly adds to his theory as we meet more of the show's characters. Again, we learn little from these characters, which makes them seen flat and dull.
But what about the clover? This was very much an important thing in the little 2 minute intro (which was also odd) but was totally left out of the episode... again not revealing much and therefore not engaging the entire audience.
In all, it moved a bit slow, didn't reveal enough to keep audiences interested, and the characters were introduced as a bit dull. Compared to Breaking Bad and Mad Men, this pilot doesn't par up, but it did lure some of the audience to come back and watch the show in August. Let's see what happens...
'Rubicon' is an original AMC television series airing this August. The pilot (or sneak preview) provides an extraordinary insight in to the subject matter and themes of the upcoming series. ***SPOILER ALERT***
In the beginning, as the viewer - you won't get much information to go on with this story. Unlike other series that develop the characters synchronously with time, 'Rubicon' insists - however, to throw you in the deep end and figure it out for yourself.
A dull office, beige colours, dim surroundings all contribute to impression we get of the main character, Will. Wills life seems dull and boring. He works to crack code (as mentioned near the end). With the mention of a few middle-eastern countries, it doesn't take long to figure out that Will works for a government agency.
On this particular day, Will stumbles upon a crossword, and upon completion he discovers a secret message, hinting that there is a fourth organisation, a fourth branch that overpowers the decisions we make in society, i.e. the government, judicial system - all signified by the four-leaf clover. An inexplicable fourth leaf leads Will to consult his father figure at his work. A senior named David. David is represented in a very sceptical form. As a believer of bad luck and conspiracy, we see David perform all kinds of rituals to prevent a bad turn of events. After showing David the crossword, he dismisses it. Side-lining it cautiously, he awaits for Will to exit before angrily investigating the crossword.
After David shows this to his superior, the plot features an unexpected twist. David dies in a train collision one morning, his wife and Will mourn his death. Soon after Davids death, a following night whilst waiting for a train, Will finds the parked car of David in the stations car-park. Upon further intuition, Will discovers the car is parked on the number 13 bay. Sure that David would never park there, he becomes suspicious and determined that his death wasn't an accident.
Will takes on the role of David at work, and the audience will follow him taking on a superior role, discovering new truths and conspiracies about the role of the secret-agency he works for.
'Rubicon' has an original plot, with fresh new ideas to follow the critically aclaimed Breaking Bad, and to run alongside Mad Men, with a cast including James Badge Dale (The Pacific, The Departed), Oscar®-nominated actress Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow), Dallas Roberts (Walk the Line, Flicka, The L Word), Jessica Collins (The Nine, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Christopher Evan Welch (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Lauren Hodges (Law & Order), and Arliss Howard (Full Metal Jacket, Natural Born Killers, The Sandlot). [Source: AMC Website]
I get really excited about conspiracy stories like these and Rubicon is no exception. I would say the only thing I didn't like is that the Pilot was released now the season doesn't start till the fall. As far as Pilots go, it definitely got me hooked. Everyone's been talking about how AMC has a streak going with their shows, and to be honest I haven't gotten hooked with Mad Men or Breaking bad nearly as quick. I had to force myself to watch a few episodes before wanting to watch anymore. The characterization of the protagonist is currently shrouded in a lot of mystery and I look forward to peeling back the onion of his past--which I suspect will be a major part of the series. The preview of the season makes it look very action-packed, which may or may not be a true representation of the series based on the Pilot. Nevertheless, a little action could break up some of the longer brainy sessions of breaking the codes and conspiracy. The protagonist reminds me of the Mentalist, which isn't a good thing. I appreciate a bit of brooding character to enhance the background of the story, but I don't think I can handle another show that doesn't have at least some chemistry between a male and female lead. He's got to have something to fight for, something to make the sacrifices he is bound to make worthwhile.
Rubicon, the latest offering from AMC, the network that gave us great shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad, is an absolute train wreck. A cast that could get outacted by a high school production of Grease, impossible to follow storylines, and cheesy dialogue were littered throughout this episode. James Badge Dale was the lead here, and he looked like a deer in the headlights. He was uncharismatic, and came off as just too goofy and inexperienced for this part.
AMC should be ashamed of this program. The first flop the network has had since developing real programming.
I am not a typical AMC viewer (neither Breaking Bad nor Mad Men appeals to me). But this show, with its plot, pacing, and intelligence did. I am looking forward to August. The only problem I see is if they don't carry the storyline out to its full potential.
What it looks to me like is "Three Days of the Condor" set in contemporary times and hopefully more fleshed out. I like the lead and the supporting characters. The soundtrack was also well done. The only thing, to get it beyond the typical movie based on the same general plot is to see why people would go to great lengths to mask their movements and to be willing to off people if they started figuring it out.
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