AMC has been pushing their new spy drama Rubicon as the next in a long line of great shows including Mad Men and Breaking Bad (which I’ve never seen, but have heard good things). It sounded interesting enough, so when I was flipping through channels and saw the first episode was just ending and the second one was beginning, I figured I’d give it a shot. It’s not a great show. The cast seems good enough, but they rely too much on the audience never having read a spy novel or seen a spy movie or show. Is anyone still surprised that spies communicate with their handlers by using the same copy of a book? I think at one point someone was even doing the ol’ chalk mark on a mail box gag, which I’ve seen about a million times. It works when the perspective is that of the spy’s on the outside, but when you’re following the handlers it’s just not that interesting because there’s very little action.
I guess I should explain the show, the main character just got bumped up to a team leader after the death of his former boss and friend. The death didn’t just bring our hero a promotion, but also a mystery that he’s trying to crack while still dealing with the death and his job. That’s all I got. Regular readers will know that I had various problems with Alias, but at least the show had some interesting action going on, whereas Rubicon just feels like this vast, empty thing with a few minor mysteries going on that I don’t really care about because I don’t know the gang well enough. Maybe I’ll go back and watch the first episode again if buzz starts growing, but I’m good for now. If not, I kind of like Covert Affairs. It’s definitely got an Alias vibe, but at least it’s fun.