Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rubicon (TV series) (2010)

Creators: Jason Horwitch, Henry Bromell
Cast:       James Bridge Dale, Jessica Collins, Lauren Hodges, Dallas Roberts, Christopher Evan Welch, Arliss Howard, Michael Cristofer

Will Travers is an analyst at a New-York based federal intelligence agency who is thrown into a story where nothing is as appears to be. He discovers that he maybe working with members of a secret society that manipulates world events on a grand scale. The series is probably inspired by how intelligence was massaged to get a consensus for War on Iraq in the aftermath of 9-11 attacks. 

I stumbled on to this series after reading a review of Mr. Robot in LA Review of Books. This was cited as a very underrated one with similar conspiracy sensibilities as well as for respecting audience's intelligence. It was broadcast in AMC and was cancelled after the first season, comprising of thirteen episodes. It also had other problems like the creator leaving due to creative differences after the pilot and show was later taken care by Henry Bromell, the executive producer. You could see over the course of the season how that affects the series as there is a conflict between whether it is primarily about the conspiracy or is it about Office politics and team dynamics. That is especially apparent in the season finale which seems a bit directionless and understated in a bad way. 

Overall, it is still a very good watch and a breath of fresh air when compared to traditional TV staple. It does have the cheap look of a TV series, which is not true for Mr. Robot. The fact that it didn't get renewed for a second season doesn't really matter since it reached its logical conclusion and anything after that is better if not done. Same is true for Mr. Robot, which has been renewed for second season, and I can only see it going downhill from here after the excellent first season. In Rubicon, performances from all concerned are very good but I found James Bridghe Dale's acting in the very last sequence of the series a bit underwhelming. Michael Cristofer is deliciously hammy and he will play a bigger role in Mr. Robot's next season, which is great news. Arliss Howard's 'Kale Ingram' is the Doug Stamper (House of Cards) equivalent for this show and like Doug for HoC, he is my favorite from this show. Just found out that he played John Henry (LFC and Boston Red Sox Owner and figurehead of FSG) in Moneyball. 

Rating: 3.5/5