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post #61 of 277 Old 08-23-2010, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MeowMeow View Post

They know Will is on to their trail. At this stage, overtly but politely warning him off is the lowest cost play. Hence why Will's boss also warned him off.

The problem with this scenario is that it was far more likely that even the fragile Ed Bancroft would discover his own front door open inappropriately than that Will would find it first, or so it seems to me. Who knows, though? It's open ended stuff like this that makes Rubicon so interesting.

Speaking of Ed Bancroft, Roger Robinson, who plays Bancroft, is also a Broadway guy and won a Tony last year. It's hard to complain about the talent of Rubicon's cast. One of the things I like about New York shows, like Rubicon and Damages, is how much first class Broadway talent they attract.
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post #62 of 277 Old 08-24-2010, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I agree that the last two episodes were outstanding. I can't get enough of the weirdness and deviousness of Will's boss, Kale Ingram (Arliss Howard), and his boss's boss, Truxton Spangler (Michael Cristofer). I also enjoyed seeing Michael Gaston (of Jericho fame) as the ominous Donald Bloom.

I did have one quibble about this week's show, though. Why would Truxton's people go to the trouble of planting a bug in Ed Bancroft's house but then leave the front door wide open? As fragile as the Bancroft character is, I suppose he could have left the door open himself but I was still left scratching my head.

Rubicon is fast becoming my favorite show. It reminds me of the first season of Damages, which is high praise indeed, I think.

While I agree that it appears it was them leaving the door open, do we know that for sure? I dont remember seeing a scene or dialogue either way. Especially since Bancroft was upstairs and in the house at the time. If it was them then Will probably never "caught on" as his meeting with Bancroft when he came in was way "off the deep end". Bancroft had become so obsessed with the things Will was giving him that Will might have tought Ed was becoming "sloppy" and a "little off" which is why he put the end to it that night instead of later on. I believe it was right after the JFK mention (he was stetching for the ultimate consirpacy theory there) that Will decided to cool it down.

As far as Sunday night goes I agree with Dexter and Boardwalk Empire coming up hopefully they move WD to a different night (but they probably wont). Thankfully this show isnt on one of the other networks as it would have probably got the axe before it even started. Hopefully AMC keeps this show alive as it is one of the best IMO serial dramas on TV right now.


What can I say though this continues to be a great show. Slow moving, yes but I expected that going in. This is not some fast paced give you all the answers so you can have them type show. This show is slowly unraveling and its the little things that make the difference ).
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post #63 of 277 Old 08-27-2010, 07:49 AM
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Still an excellent show! Has all the elements to make it great and has the benefit of not being a network show, avoiding the cheesiness that often gets injected into those.

BTW, there are 13 episodes this season.
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post #64 of 277 Old 08-30-2010, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Another great epsiode last night, this show thankfully has been very consistant. some very nice parts with Kale offering his "help", and the wife finally starting to make connections in her husbands suicide. Everything is centered around this group of men who gew up together.
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post #65 of 277 Old 09-01-2010, 08:36 AM
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Critic's Notes
Five Ways To Fix Rubicon
By Andy Greenwald, New York Magazine's 'Vulture' Blog

Rubicon had a lot going for it when it premiered earlier this summer: the AMC pedigree (Mad Men! Breaking Bad! That upcoming show about zombies everyone is so excited about because they love zombies!); an outstanding, suggestive pilot that harkens back to much-loved seventies conspiracy flicks like All the President's Men, The Parallax View, and The Conversation (much-loved in the sort of high-income, higher-education households that = money for AMC advertisers, anyway); and in James Badge Dale, the best looking Brillo-haired leading man since Glee's Matthew Morrison. What could possibly go wrong! In two words? A lot. Behind the scenes, creator Jason Horwich was 86'd after the pilot, leaving the show scrambling for direction: What seemed like icy menace in the first hour quickly defrosted into aimless boredom. But hope remains! Rubicon is still one of the best-looking shows on television and the viewing public still yearns for a complicated mystery to fill the Lost-sized hole in its hearts. So with that in mind, we humbly present five ways Rubicon could go from Rubican't back to RubiCAN! (Woof.)

1. It's the conspiracy, stupid.
Rubicon's premise is simple and intriguing: Will, a brilliant analyst at a shadowy government think tank (the South Street Seaport dwelling, terrorist assassinating air strike-ordering American Policy Institute) finds himself under surveillance by ominous forces after he pokes around in the mysterious death of his ex-father-in-law and friend, David. All good! The problem isn't that Rubicon is inspired by the 1970s paranoid thrillers mentioned above; it's that it is slavishly copying them. Supposedly in 2010, the workers at the API pore over newspapers as if they are holy tablets, scribble things manfully with Bic pens and liken loud noises to pinball machines. Even worse, what little we know of the show's overarching conspiracy involves grim white men in suits meeting in wood-paneled rooms to drink whiskey and scheme. Bugs are placed inside of smoke-detectors. Will is perpetually followed by faceless white guys (more on that later) who are easily spotted. A secret meeting is held in a Washington, D.C. parking garage for god's sake! This isn't homage, this is lazy.

It's a complicated world out there, and issues of privacy and identity have trickled down to those of us who don't have G5 security clearance, a corduroy jacket, and a sensible briefcase. A braver show would make Will's situation feel immediate and relatable. (Also it would make the situation make sense: In the pilot, David tells his boss that he has discovered the crossword puzzle code when really Will did. The next day David is killed in a ridiculously complicated train crash. Since then, Will has continued to dig and yet is allowed to ride all the trains he wants without fear of catastrophic injury. As Liz Lemon might say: Whuck?)

2. It's not the heat, it's the humanity.
One of the only memorable characters on Rubicon is the preposterously named Kale Ingram, Will's boss, who is played as if sponsored by the Smithfield Company, by Arliss Howard. Kale (Seriously! Kale!) is the sort of person who reads documents by holding his glasses six inches in front of his face, announces he has the immune system of a hydra, and likes to stand in his dark office and stare at the West Side Highway and declare so much darkness, so many shadows. Which is to say: he is not like a person at all. This week's episode attempted to flesh out Kale by making him a potentially sympathetic disco-hating ex-CIA assassin who owns a nice townhouse in Chelsea, has a live-in boyfriend named Walter, and makes a mean white bean salad. Okay! If you say so!

But with a show like Rubicon so dependent on mood and and tone having relatable characters is key. (The enduring secret of Lost: come for the polar bears, stay for the star-crossed Koreans.) And Rubicon is filled with sallow, twitchy white people who, to be frank, aren't all that pleasant to be around. (Seriously: every character on the show besides Roger, the Magical Crazy Genius, and Hal, the minimally used computer tech, is white. Extremely, grain-of-rice-on-a-baby-harp-seal-in-a-blizzard white. Sure, the great Isiah Whitlock, Jr. is on the show, but he's literally said two sentences in six episodes. Some real diversity might at least liven the place up.)

Furthermore, Will has become significantly less interesting since the pilot. Initially a complicated genius still mourning for his wife and baby daughter lost on 9/11 (we were told he's never been late for a meeting since, an interesting character quirk that's been completely abandoned in fact, Will was noticeably late for a meeting in episode two), he's now become an unhinged and unpleasant workaholic who takes red herrings motorcycles apart in his studio apartment in his spare time. What's he doing all this poking around for? The dead father-in-law who is barely mentioned? His weird, not-at-all-there flirtation with the (suddenly horny!) Maggie? Simple TV arithmetic: Give us a reason to like Will, and we will like the show.

3. Plots that make us plotz.
It's been hard enough slogging through Will's turgid pursuit of truth and justice or whatever but Rubicon devotes huge chunks of each episode to a plot line that as of episode six still has little to no connection with Will's quest. Miranda Richardson plays Katherine Rhumor (!!), widow of a powerful man who shot himself in the pilot after seeing a four-leaf clover. Since then, Katherine has occasionally walked down a hallway and once or twice lifted a photo and looked at it. She spent an entire episode figuring out what her dead husband ordered at a Chinese restaurant. And when she finally crossed paths with Will at a gala, what did they talk about? Vodka. At least we all agree on something! Look, it must have seemed like a great idea at the time to spin two distinct story lines out of the pilot and eventually weave them together. But the experiment was a failure: The season is halfway over and we don't feel connected to either thread. Time to either bring her fully into the show or cut Miranda a nice severance check and send her back to London where she can concentrate on more important things, like falconry.

4. Lighten up!
There have been six episodes of Rubicon so far and only one reported instance of what earth-men call a joke. (It happened in episode four and it was about a separatist faction called M.I.L.F. We chuckled.) Again, we're not saying that a show about the crushing paranoia of clandestine operations should break out the whoopie cushions but a little lightness couldn't hurt now and then. Watching sallow people sit in a conference room and debate killing someone half a world away shouldn't be as punishing for us as it is for them. Sure, All the President's Men was dark but it was also imbued with the thrill of the hunt. Will's emotional spectrum runs from wide-eyed and manic to decidedly dour. Aren't these people supposed to be into secrets? Why is everyone so depressed all the time! Even Tanya the life of the party alcoholic does all her drinking in private. Poor Donald Bloom, Kale's old CIA gun-buddy (and former lover?) has taken to a doughy middle-age of hookers and carrying an umbrella on his arm on sunny days (which is either an homage to The French Connection or incredibly stupid and most likely both). What we wouldn't do to meet someone who likes being a spy and is maybe just a little bit good at it!

5. Hurry up!
Finally, the elephant in the room, the broom hanging on the wall, the kale in the white bean salad: Rubicon is slow. Like, a Sumo wrestler on propofol slow. And not, as we initially had hoped, slow in a mature and confident way: A master storyteller taking his time doling out richly rewarding details at a complicated but ultimately rewarding pace. No, Rubicon is slow because nothing happens. Almost at all. One episode was about Will taking apart a motorcycle then giving it to his ex-brother-in-law who we've never seen again. Katherine Rhumor spends more time inside her fancy house than the worst agoraphobe on the planet. And if we never hear the words George Beck again, it'll be too soon. This isn't a frustrated Lost fan demanding answers. This is a fan of television demanding story or something to care about.

As we've said before, good shows need time to find their legs. But six episodes is an awful long time to put up with throat clearing. The most recent episode filled with frustrated sex, paranoid chases through Chinatown and that infamous white bean salad was a welcome step in the right direction. We say this as still-optimistic fans but say it we must: Rubicon is running out of time to quicken the pace.

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment...x_rubicon.html
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post #66 of 277 Old 09-01-2010, 09:02 AM
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I agree with a lot of the comments in the article. I'm still watching, but there's quite a bit missing to compared it to some of the top shows that have been on AMC or other cable channels. If it came out the Kale was on barbiturates, some things would fall in place. You notice how he cleaned off the plate after dinner in Sunday's episode? I think the 13 episodes could be condensed to 4 hours or so and not miss anything important.

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post #67 of 277 Old 09-01-2010, 09:27 AM
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post #68 of 277 Old 09-01-2010, 12:55 PM
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The search through his apartment finding all the bugs was quite alarming this week. I've been enjoying it quite a lot so far and wonder where they are going to end up by the end of the season. We just saw our two main protagonists pass each other without knowing that they are both looking into the same thing. Will they get a chance to compare notes by the season finale?
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post #69 of 277 Old 09-01-2010, 01:07 PM
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It's clear they're going to merge the two main storylines at some point. I'm expecting the show to ramp up the action a bit once that happens. People voluntarily offing themselves with no warning to their loved ones at the mere sight of a 4-leaf clover - with their compatriots approval - is a very compelling plot point. These guys are committed! Also intriguing is the thought of some mysterious organization engineering a train crash with all the horrific human cost involved just to "inconspicuously" kill one guy who they think merely stumbled onto their nefarious plan. They're committed and evil, as are all supervillains.
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post #70 of 277 Old 09-01-2010, 03:58 PM
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It's clear they're going to merge the two main storylines at some point. I'm expecting the show to ramp up the action a bit once that happens. People voluntarily offing themselves with no warning to their loved ones at the mere sight of a 4-leaf clover - with their compatriots approval - is a very compelling plot point. These guys are committed! Also intriguing is the thought of some mysterious organization engineering a train crash with all the horrific human cost involved just to "inconspicuously" kill one guy who they think merely stumbled onto their nefarious plan. They're committed and evil, as are all supervillains.

The 4 leaf clovers guys are probably loosely based on the conspiracy theories swirling around the below 2 organizations.

Trilateral Commission

Bohemian Grove
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post #71 of 277 Old 09-01-2010, 09:10 PM
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Enjoying the show more and more.

Damn, Will was just little too late for some hot MILF action...

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post #72 of 277 Old 09-02-2010, 11:20 AM
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I do agree with a lot of the points the critic did say. The office of this think tank just seems so 1970's. I am sure brain power would rule in this decipher field but they should be more high tech and it seems the head computer guy is shuffled off in the corner of the basement.

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post #73 of 277 Old 09-02-2010, 01:10 PM
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The office of this think tank just seems so 1970's. I am sure brain power would rule in this decipher field but they should be more high tech and it seems the head computer guy is shuffled off in the corner of the basement.

Um, that's exactly the point. They are supposed to do things with pen and paper because it's much more secure than using email, computer, etc.
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post #74 of 277 Old 09-02-2010, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Um, that's exactly the point. They are supposed to do things with pen and paper because it's much more secure than using email, computer, etc.

^^^ That was always my thought. This group does use advanced electronics, but only with the help of other orginizations. They are more of the brain behind the muscle. Without any electronic fingerprints there is little to trace back to them OR to leak out.
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post #75 of 277 Old 09-02-2010, 03:26 PM
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Are critics really focused on such mundane aspects? This is why I avoid them at all costs.
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post #76 of 277 Old 09-02-2010, 06:54 PM
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Um, that's exactly the point. They are supposed to do things with pen and paper because it's much more secure than using email, computer, etc.

So they hold their huddle sessions in a room with windows that look to the outside albiet highway there or not. When I worked in naval security our meetings were held in rooms with no outside doors/windows and if fact both doors of the buliding itself to the outside had speakers above them playing music to drown out any sounds however mute that might even escaped that way.

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post #77 of 277 Old 09-03-2010, 05:17 AM
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So they hold their huddle sessions in a room with windows that look to the outside albiet highway there or not. When I worked in naval security our meetings were held in rooms with no outside doors/windows and if fact both doors of the buliding itself to the outside had speakers above them playing music to drown out any sounds however mute that might even escaped that way.

Wow. Life is more paranoid than art!

My nephew-in-law works for a branch of the DoD analyzing satellite photos. I know he's been watching 'Rubicon'. I'm going to see him in a couple of weeks and plan to ask him how true-to-life the show's work environment actually is.
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post #78 of 277 Old 09-03-2010, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Argee View Post

So they hold their huddle sessions in a room with windows that look to the outside albiet highway there or not. When I worked in naval security our meetings were held in rooms with no outside doors/windows and if fact both doors of the buliding itself to the outside had speakers above them playing music to drown out any sounds however mute that might even escaped that way.

Unless a ridiculous amount of distraction and expensive looking stuff is built into them (think the situation room on West Wing) rooms with no windows on TV inevitably end up looking horrible. A director of photography's nightmare. Keeping the natural light in that room might not be realistic, but it's a good aesthetic decision.

Besides, that entire place is meant to be so deeply undercover that if anyone even discovers they're worth spying on, they've already screwed up.
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post #79 of 277 Old 09-03-2010, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Unless a ridiculous amount of distraction and expensive looking stuff is built into them (think the situation room on West Wing) rooms with no windows on TV inevitably end up looking horrible. A director of photography's nightmare. Keeping the natural light in that room might not be realistic, but it's a good aesthetic decision.

Besides, that entire place is meant to be so deeply undercover that if anyone even discovers they're worth spying on, they've already screwed up.

Agree with the above . I understand everyone wants as much reality as possible, but there are some things the creators must make artistic decisions for. If you look around though when we do see outside, there does not seem to be any direct line of view into the building other than across the bay, unless you are on the roof.
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post #80 of 277 Old 09-04-2010, 03:19 PM
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Rubicon might be a little "slow" to some, but I'm really enjoying it. I got into it kind of late and had to get caught up on the first three episodes via Comcast On Demand. I've been hooked ever since. Sure, it's not like "24" in terms of pace, but I've found the the two main story lines to be involving, even fascinating. It also looks like the action and tension are going to be ratcheted up as the series goes along.
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post #81 of 277 Old 09-06-2010, 08:23 AM
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The quote of the night - "You're not the leak we're looking for."
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post #82 of 277 Old 09-06-2010, 04:17 PM
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Passed by South St Seaport over the weekend. Just had to see if I could find the door to "API".
Pretty easy based on the exterior shots we've seen in the show. The security camera and buzzer/intercom are there. No brass name plate, just the bolt holes. (Someone must have grabbed it already!)
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post #83 of 277 Old 09-07-2010, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Great episode this past sunday, looks liek they are starting to ramp up the suspense on the show (at least IMO). This epsiode moved much faster then previous episodes and I was kind of left hanging (its over already?) which is a good thing .

Still surpised no one brought up that Kalee is gay in here lol, that usually seems to bring a lot of comments for some reason. Have to say that Will has to treeat Kale with some reservation as he still doesnt know what side he is playing on. It was also interesting to see Will's reaction to the bug being gone one moment and then placed back the next.
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post #84 of 277 Old 09-08-2010, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Argee View Post

So they hold their huddle sessions in a room with windows that look to the outside albiet highway there or not. When I worked in naval security our meetings were held in rooms with no outside doors/windows and if fact both doors of the buliding itself to the outside had speakers above them playing music to drown out any sounds however mute that might even escaped that way.

BING BING BING, give that man a cigar. My background in MI has ruined this show for me, windows all over the place, classified documents out in the open, discussion of work outside the office, bringing family members on campus; none of these things happen in any intelligence organization. The idea that the think tank is so hush-hush that no one knows about it is also a non-starter. It is impossible to hide a group that size for very long and you know ours is not the only Intelligence Apparatus on Earth.

I really wanted to like Rubicon, but I just can't. It isn't quite as bad as Flash Forward (as some have suggested), but I must admit that I tune in primarily to look for mistakes.

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin
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post #85 of 277 Old 09-09-2010, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
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BING BING BING, give that man a cigar. My background in MI has ruined this show for me, windows all over the place, classified documents out in the open, discussion of work outside the office, bringing family members on campus; none of these things happen in any intelligence organization. The idea that the think tank is so hush-hush that no one knows about it is also a non-starter. It is impossible to hide a group that size for very long and you know ours is not the only Intelligence Apparatus on Earth.

I really wanted to like Rubicon, but I just can't. It isn't quite as bad as Flash Forward (as some have suggested), but I must admit that I tune in primarily to look for mistakes.

Personally I dont get the statement "group that size". From the looks of it, its a "small group" as far as organizations go IMO. I am sure there are much much smaller groups, but saying that this group is so large that they should be noticed is a little over the top IMO. We still dont know much about API besides what they do (which is part of the show I think).

As far as some of the things you said I agree, discussing business outside of the building is a no no, period. As far as the windows go though as it was stated before, the windwos that they do have lead out to the harbor and not to any viewable distance (from what we have seen).

While the creators are trying for a little bit of reality, this is a fictonal show and for one reason or another creative decisions have to be made that will take away from the reality. IMO I dont think this show is trying to be realistic representation of an actual firm, sure they deal with real organizations, but its not reality or a documentary.

Personally I am enjoying the show for what it is a very good fictional drama that is heads and sholders above most of the reality driven, cop-drama overload that is network television.
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post #86 of 277 Old 09-09-2010, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by fistofsouth View Post

I really wanted to like Rubicon, but I just can't. It isn't quite as bad as Flash Forward (as some have suggested), but I must admit that I tune in primarily to look for mistakes.

"Not quite as bad as Flash Forward"...? It's the nature of complex serialized dramas that some (including those "some" who made the FF comparison) just won't appreciate them for whatever reason. Sometimes that has nothing to do with the quality of the show itself. These types of shows are often the very best stuff TV can produce.
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post #87 of 277 Old 09-09-2010, 11:29 AM
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I learned most of what little I know about intelligence work from reading John Le Carre, so whatever gaffes there may be in the details of the API office haven't bothered me. I have enjoyed the interplay between API's brilliant, paranoid, and largely dysfunctional employees. Rubicon is taking its time but I like its tone. For example, the arrogance and insensitivity of the FBI investigation team was deliciously outrageous. It seemed to me that the twerp agent standing guard over Will's team took an almost sadistic pleasure by not allowing Grant to call his wife and tell that her that he would miss their daughter's school play, where she was to play an asparagus.
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post #88 of 277 Old 09-09-2010, 12:09 PM
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Well in all fairness the worst secruity in the world was CTU on 24. How many time did they walk bad guys in custody right thru the operations area without covering screens or stopping phone traffic not to mention all the other secuirty gaffes.

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post #89 of 277 Old 09-09-2010, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argee View Post

Well in all fairness the worst secruity in the world was CTU on 24. How many time did they walk bad guys in custody right thru the operations area without covering screens or stopping phone traffic not to mention all the other secuirty gaffes.

"24" was a kiddie cartoon in comparison, not even in the same universe as "Rubicon".
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post #90 of 277 Old 09-09-2010, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Ph8te View Post

Personally I dont get the statement "group that size". From the looks of it, its a "small group" as far as organizations go IMO. I am sure there are much much smaller groups, but saying that this group is so large that they should be noticed is a little over the top IMO. We still dont know much about API besides what they do (which is part of the show I think).

As far as some of the things you said I agree, discussing business outside of the building is a no no, period. As far as the windows go though as it was stated before, the windwos that they do have lead out to the harbor and not to any viewable distance (from what we have seen).

While the creators are trying for a little bit of reality, this is a fictonal show and for one reason or another creative decisions have to be made that will take away from the reality. IMO I dont think this show is trying to be realistic representation of an actual firm, sure they deal with real organizations, but its not reality or a documentary.

Personally I am enjoying the show for what it is a very good fictional drama that is heads and sholders above most of the reality driven, cop-drama overload that is network television.

When I say a group that size I mean pretty much anything more than half a dozen people; you can be certain that in real life a facility of that size would be noticed by the intelligence community.

In regards to the Windows issue it does not matter what direction they face, if there are windows there is a possibility that they can be seen in. Having Windows on a facility where Intelligence is involved is the equivalent of not reading Miranda to a perp in a cop show. Intel is obviously more secretive and less exploited in TV than procedurals and thus it escapes the notice of the average person, but to anyone even remotely involved in that line of work it is a huge flaw.

Just because something is a fictional TV drama does not absolve it of maintaining realism. "The Wire" is a fictional drama and yet it was lauded by real cops because it was realistic in every detail. I was hoping that Rubicon would be that way for Intel, but it isn't.

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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

"Not quite as bad as Flash Forward"...? It's the nature of complex serialized dramas that some (including those "some" who made the FF comparison) just won't appreciate them for whatever reason. Sometimes that has nothing to do with the quality of the show itself. These types of shows are often the very best stuff TV can produce.

I agree with both of you that Rubicon is better than most of the tripe on TV these days. As I said in my previous post my background in Military Intelligence has ruined Rubicon for me, but my background has no impact on your enjoyment so by all means, enjoy.

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin
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