AMC’s Rubicon is Smart TV

When it comes to smart TV, AMC has it all over the big three networks; Mad Men, Breaking Bad and now Rubicon. The pilot for the series, which debuts in August, is now available OnDemand or online, so I sat down last night to watch and I wish I hadn’t because now I have to wait almost two months to see what happens next!

Rubicon is a conspiracy thriller, which is all the rage on TV this season. But unlike NBC’s “The Event,” Rubicon doesn’t hang its chapeau on blockbuster action and big moments. Rubicon is about the small moments. It’s a quite show with a moody, artistic style that feels secretive and sad from the very beginning. James Badge Dale plays Will Travers, an average young man who is anything but. He’s a top analyst for the New York branch of the FBI and he has an incredible mind for details. He’s well liked at work  but outside of work, he’s a lonely, devastated man who hasn’t gotten over the loss of his wife and child during 9/11.

When you watch the pilot, notice how the director compartmentalizes all of the people at the agency shooting scenes with actual, physical dividers running through the shots. It’s not just the acting or the dialogue, every aspect of the production is part of the puzzle. And puzzles are what it’s all about.

While helping a co-worker solve a crossword puzzle, Will realizes that there is a pattern to the answers if you go back over the weeks. It’s an obscure connection that no one would see, unless you were looking for it. Will takes his theory to his boss and father-in-law David, a man with superstition OCD. It’s a move that changes everything and Will is left wondering who to trust as he tries to unravel the mystery that could end not only his career, but his life.

I’m a big fan of conspiracy theories so I was instantly drawn in by the secret text, coded messages and suspicious glances between all parties involved. Has Will stumbled on a major political cover-up? Or did he come in on the start of a military coup? What could be so big that it’s worth killing over again and again. And is 9/11 part of the mystery or is that just a smokescreen to get us pointed in the wrong direction? I don’t have a single answer, but I do have a desire to find out, so you can bet that I’ll be right there when the series begins its 13-episode run on August 1 at 8pm on AMC.

Here’s the official website: http://www.amctv.com/originals/Rubicon/

Photo: AMC (And doesn’t James Badge Dale look like Glee’s Matthew Morrison in that picture?)

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