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RUBICON Series Preview

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RUBICON Series Preview

Rubicon On AMC

Photo by: AMC

AMC is no longer just a place to watch classic American films, but is now a premium outlet for quality original scripted entertainment.  “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” have set the standard for future shows, and if the pilot is any indication, “Rubicon” looks to work hard to live up to that standard.

   By : SHAWNA BENSON

AMC is no longer just a place to watch classic American films, but is now a premium outlet for quality original scripted entertainment.  “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” have set the standard for future shows, and if the pilot is any indication, “Rubicon” looks to work hard to live up to that standard.

Clouded in mystery, suspicion and doubt, “Rubicon” delves into the world of API, a federal intelligence branch set in New York City.  Will Travers (James Badge Dale), a bright if sullen intelligence officer finds himself suddenly thrown into a world filled with more questions than answers.  Already scarred by the deaths of his wife and son on 9/11, he walks through his life in a haze, even forgetting his own birthday as he is distracted by the patterns and information that surrounds him.  When another personal tragedy strikes, Will must decide whether to delve further into the questions posed by the events or walk away from a job which has caused him so much personal pain.

Rubicon On AMC

Photo by: AMC

AMC sneaked the pilot in June, after the season finale of “Breaking Bad.”  Now, on August 1st, you can watch the pilot episode and the second episode immediately after to dive into the world of conspiracy that “Rubicon” presents.

James Badge Dale, previously seen in the HBO mini-series “The Pacific” presents Will Travers as a man with a lot on his ind, to the point of blocking out much that represents life.  At one point he describes the building where they work as “a tomb,” and he isn’t far wrong.  Cloaked in grey and lacking all color, the building feels like it is dead as Will walks through the halls, the only quirky bit of life seemingly in his boss David’s office, who also happens to be Will’s father-in-law.

While the color palette of the show is lacking, that may be a necessity, so that laser focus can be pointed at the details of the twisting, turning story.  More than once you may find yourself replaying a scene to catch all of the subtleties.  This show rewards the viewer who pays attention.  Those who try to watch the show while it plays in the background may find themselves hopelessly lost.

That complexity makes the show a joy to watch.  So many shows play down to their audience, making sure to hold their hands and guide them carefully through the story.  “Rubicon” makes an assumption that the viewer is intelligent enough to put together the clues, just as our characters do, and it is a better show for that.

Jason Horwitch created the show and wrote the pilot episode, but Henry Bromell has taken over the showunner duties.  The series looks to be a tight compelling thriller that unravels slowly, as can best be done on television rather than in a film.  Based on the teasing notes of the pilot, there is quite a mystery ahead for the series.  Hopefully the audience which already enjoys the other AMC offerings will find time to sample this show as well.

Rubicon premieres Sunday August 1 at 8 pm (ET/PT).

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