I watch it, enjoy it…but the whole time I’m silently screaming “something better fucking happen! Now!”
I’m gonna stick with it simply because it’s on right before Mad Men, so what the hell. My boss (who refused to watch both Mad Men and Breaking Bad) loves it, so it gives us something to talk about.
Argh, I really hope it picks up a bit soon. The look, feel and ambiance of the series is fantastic. On actual plot happenings - good lord, I don’t think a single “thing” has happened since the pilot. It’s all atmosphere, which I do enjoy, but man I hope something actually occurs, and soon.
I’m not a spy, but I think it captures the pace, methodology and mindset of the intelligence community. I don’t really know, but I would guess that good intelligence comes from pulling together bits of information from many disparate sources, grading each bit on its probable veracity and probing it for any deeper meanings.
That approach would require a methodical, deliberative process and I think that is what you see in Rubicon.
I normally multi-task while watching most tv shows - either reading something light or surfing the web. But Rubicon is completely engaging - at least to me. I think there is a lot going on, it’s just very subtle and requires your full attention to appreciate it.
I think other popular shows like 24 have conditioned us to expect plots to unfold in a certain way and have certain characteristics. So when we see something that completely violates those expectations, our initial reaction is negative.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of British murder mysteries. These also seem to have a glacial pace and less action than afternoon at the senior’s center. But if you’re actively trying to solve the mystery as the plot is unfolding, you realize that there is a great deal of information being presented and you need to be able to both remember it and process it. That requires, at least for me, a great deal of concentration.
As to the cinematography - really wonderful. I would characterize it as soothing - but only because I can’t think of anything better right now.
This show does some things really really well: the acting, writing, cinematography, mood, etc, are top notch.
On the other hand, the actual plot and many of the details of the people’s lives make absolutely no sense. I think they must get basically every fact about how actual secret facilities work wrong. Just as an example, what’s the point of sweeping a place for bugs if it has windows, frequently open? Or the scene in DC where Spangler meets a guy who he has known for years, inside the US intelligence community, whose NAME is secret? And then they send Will away because of how secret their conversation is, but then just sit there in a public restaurant talking? And of course as someone pointed out, the whole crossword puzzle thing makes absolutely zero sense. Also, the idea that three fairly junior intelligence analysts would somehow be given the responsibility for making the go/no-go decision for an assassination attempt strikes me as pretty implausible. (Granted, they might have just been making a recommendation up the chain to the military etc etc, but it sure seemed more immediate than that.)
One other thing that bugged me in the first few episodes was that the entire show appeared to be taking place in the '60s, with books and typewriters and big file folders and nothing modern… but that seems to have been toned down more recently.
Nonetheless, a very entertaining show.
I’m behind a couple episodes so I didn’t follow most of that, but I’ll keep an eye out. If the concern about windows is because of laser interferometry to gather audio - that’s easily detectable and not much of a threat. If you mean that they aren’t all in a Faraday cage to defeat Tempest-like devices, that’s a good point but it would also explain why everything seems to be done as if it were the 1960’s.
Even in high security apps, only the most critical stuff is put into EMF shielded areas.
The crossword puzzle plot device was definitely over the top, even for people who know nothing about spycraft. It’s the sort of thing that would certainly be noticed. But I’m prepared to make a certain number of allowances for tv shows that would be unacceptable in a novel. In fact, I’ve probably become too accustomed to tuning things like that out.
The crossword thing is idiotic even for me and I don’t read spy novels. I do know that back before D-Day in 1944 they brought in a crossword puzzle writer for coincidentally using the code names of the beaches.
When I worked for Diplomatic Security, the windows were secondary. It was assumed that the embassies were being routinely bombarded by microwave and other snooping devices. We primarily searched for hard bugs and the proximity of emitting devices in the vicinity of computers and phones.
It also seems rather odd that none of the analysts have computers on their desks (or at least Will doesn’t)…the first place to check some odd fact about the government in Nigeria nowadays would be to check Google (or a classified version of Google), not in a binder of information. The only computers we generally see are in a vault and are all run by this show’s version of Chloe. I see no reason why a guy like Will couldn’t run a check a database himself rather than having to ask the tech geek to run the search. But obviously it forces the characters to interact with each other in person.
Because the tech geek can see everything that is on your computer and is bound to report it. If he agrees to do it for you, then he’s complicit. Obviously, somebody with higher access is also monitoring the tech geek. I need to pay attention to the cars being driven, which is a sure giveaway as to the era they are living in.
I was going to post a “Is anybody watching Rubicon?” thread, but there’s a perfectly good month-old one right here!
It’s been a while since this thread was updated, how are you all feeling about the show?
Personally, I love the pacing and feel like it’s paying off now that we’re late into the season. That may just be my personal bias, though; I even found Mad Men to be too fast-paced this past season at first. It’s just nice to watch a show with legitimate tension, where you hear footsteps it doesn’t automatically mean that a door is going to be kicked in.
I’m completely nuts about the Chekov’s gun that Will is carrying around. Part of the suspense of this show comes from the fact that hardly any actual violence is going on. Will felt completely vulnerable for the first half of the season, and now that he has a weapon and can confront his pursuers (though he probably could have before, goddamn the dude is built) the threat of violence hangs through basically every scene outside of the office.
To be honest, I thought that the show was pretty clearly set present day. Not only are are wardrobes and apartments modern (well, the Rhumor homes seem a bit outdated and tacky, but still) but I think we’re given an explicit date - I’m trying to remember which episode, but I’m certain that at one point we see an August '10 date on a document somewhere.
Also um sorrrrt of have a massive crush on Miles.
Guess like everybody else I lost rack of this thread.
The 1983 date is an internal reference to the show, the date in which they earlier used crossword puzzles to signal people.
I’m still watching it, but more to find out if anything, anything at all, is ever going to happen.
I don’t like the pacing. There is no tension whatsoever. Will is supposed to be smart but in every single episode we see him being stupid and incompetent. People have to tell him things he should know, over and over. He’s been at API for years and apparently never once thought that he has to behave as if he’s in the spy game. He’s never shown being a leader to his team, who act utterly directionless. The incompetence extends to everybody else. The FBI locks down the building. They catch him in an office when he’s been told not to go there. What do they do next? They allow him to wander around the building freely and enter the most secure office of all, which they have left unguarded by knowingly taking away the security. The API chief has his name in a phone directory at a private company whose offices are open to anyone wandering by.
So why am I still watching this? I honestly don’t know.
It’s really, really rare that I’m not at least partially self-aware - almost regardless of what I’m doing. It’s even rarer when watching television because there is always this sort of MST3K partitioning of my brain (i know, that didn’t make any sense to anyone) and one part is always flitting one way or another.
I got really far behind and watched eps 5-8 back to back. By the last episode, I was completely engaged - so much so I can’t even explain why. I can’t say I’m emotionally invested in the characters but for me that’s a big negative anyway (long story). So it has to be the story, although I can understand some of the comments about there not being one.
OMG. I didn’t wear my tinfoil hat!!! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!
That’s what it must have been. It’s a show about a fictional conspiracy that is in fact a real conspiracy involving mind control. Damn! Why didn’t I see this sooner?!?!
But he’s not in the spy game? He is an analyst. His work comes from espionage, but he has only ever had to evaluate that data. The whole point is that he is learning this as he goes.
Let’s be fair, he was thrust into his leadership position quite suddenly and had to get acclimated to that while at the same time learning that his boss might be part of a conspiracy that murdered his father in law and is bugging his house.
And even if you don’t grant him that, I think there has actually been a pretty steady character arc for Will in terms of how he adapted to both his new leadership role and how he handles his pursuers. His character was nervous and aloof at the beginning of the series and has steadily developed a focus and directness that he didn’t have before. We’ve seen him rein in the insubordinate Grant and push Tanya to assert herself. The team has been struggling because they’ve been fed conflicting information. They’re being played.
I see where your complaints are coming from, but I think you’re looking at it the wrong way. I think if you tried looking at Will and The Analysts as being independent storylines they become a lot clearer (maybe you are, maybe I just sound condescending by saying it like that, but that storyline always seemed to belong to Miles to me).
I’ll admit that was a bit of a stretch, though it was one I wasn’t uncomfortable making while I was watching the show (The FBI is set up from the start to be a bit incompetent, anyhow). There seem to be other moments like that in the show (the intruder [I forget his name] in Will’s apartment doesn’t think to close the blinds before bugging the place?) that skate the line of improbable, but I still think it operates within the level of already-suspended disbelief.
Well, I hope the next few episodes turn the show around for you. I’m really enjoying myself and am pretty eager to see how everything comes together.