Monday, August 02, 2010



AMC's RUBICON is suspenseful, interesting, well acted, nicely directed and attractively shot. It moves at a glacial pace, which is good for suspense, but something better happen soon or I am out.

The cast is fairly attractive. Miranda Richardson is an imposing presence. The other women not so much. The men are all cut from the standard set of espionage-conspiracy molds.

In the first two hours all we learned is that
  1. Something is happening, and everyone "important" knows about it.
  2. The hero (one of the little people, I suppose) does not; though he has a clue.
  3. People who get 4 leaf clovers are really scared and die soon after. The hero does not know this yet.

The bad conspiracy guys seem to be all powerful. So why don't they put a patsy in charge at the intelligence gathering center, instead of someone who might find out what is happening?

In a TV show, if nothing quite makes sense (think LOST), all the characters and the moment-to-moment activities better be fascinating.

Also, when too many self-contradictory, random, all-powerful things happen, there is no real story left. If anything can happen; or the bad guys can do anything, there is no suspense and no story left. A guy with dice could choose the story line.

In short, this show has great possibility, but it needs more action, additional interesting (that is, very attractive and uniquely distinctive) actors and actresses playing mysterious (but consistent) characters, and at least a hint that a reasonable internal logic underpins the whole show.

(Note: As for the title, I think the Wikipedia explanation of the idiom "crossing the Rubicon," is brilliantly eloquent and very illuminating:

The idiom "Crossing the Rubicon" means to pass a point of no return, and refers to Julius Caesar's crossing of the river in 49 BC- which was considered an act of war. Because the course of the river has frequently changed since then, it is impossible to confirm exactly where the Rubicon flowed when Caesar and his legions crossed it. )

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